It’s February now, and folks are counting the days until Pitchers and Catchers report (9 days, for the Phillies, as of this writing). In fact, many of our favorite players are already in Clearwater, finding a place to stay and settling in so that they can hit the ground running. I’m not sure if they have a Florida State University scrimmage this year, but the MLB campers open their Grapefruit League games on Saturday, February 23 at 1:05ET versus the Astros.
In the mean time, here in the land of the pigs, we’ve got a couple things that normally happen during February:
First, Season Ticket Holders have the opportunity to purchase single-game IronPigs tickets before they go on sale to the general public. I’m not sure the date’s been announced yet, but I often take advantage of this, stocking up on extra seats for games when I estimate that I’ll have guests in town over the summer. Often I need 9-12 tickets semi-together. It’s not enough for a “group” but tough to get if you wait until later in the season.
Second, Season Ticket Holders have the opportunity to purchase single-game Phillies tickets before they go on sale to the general public. I’ve done this in the past, too, but it’s not much of an advantage. They put the same access code out on Twitter last year for anyone to go on and buy tickets. Also, with the recent popularity of the Phillies, the seats are not that good. Perhaps with the .500 season last year, some Phillies season ticket holders who buy on “speculation” in order to re-sell tickets, will be discouraged. I’ll probably check it out, but more than likely I’ll hold off and buy tickets closer to the time I wish to go down to a game (if I even do this year).
I forget, but at some point, season ticket holders will be able to pick up our packages. It might be into March. I know National Pig Day will be Saturday March 3, though, so those non-season ticket holders who need single game tix can pick them up starting then. I’ve heard it’s a good time: hanging out at the park and hot dogs and festivities and whatnot. I’ve never been, but maybe this year. I’ll check my son’s indoor soccer schedule. Any excuse to spend time at the park…
Here’s something: Tyler Cloyd’s wife Tonya writes a blog about “Married Life in Minor League Baseball.” It’s quite good and offers a lot of insight about the players and their families and the game from their perspective. Her latest entry was about their trip to the AAA All-Star game in Buffalo last season. Give it a read here .
One last thing; here’s an old story from a previous season*:
“The Episode of the Lost Radio”
Once upon a time at a Minor League park, there was a staffer named “Boris.” “Boris” was leading a tour of the ballpark for out-of-town guests early one afternoon before a game. While he was showing his group the home-team dugout, he accidently left his Walkie-Talkie there on the bench. Soon, he realized his error. He returned, but found that it was gone. A search was initiated. But, alas, no luck. The Walkie-Talkie was nowhere to be found.
Later that evening during the game, emergency calls began over the radios: unruly fan behavior, indecent exposure, fans getting ready to run onto the field, and other “emergencies.” Stadium security was dispatched each time to investigate. Each time they found nothing. It didn’t take long to figure out that a player had gotten ahold of that lost Walkie-Talkie, and was using it for maximum amusement. Personally, I would expect no less from young men charged with playing 144 baseball games over 152 days.
The next day, the radio was returned. “Coincidently,” that same day, a player–let’s call him “Potato Chip”–was traded away for no compensation. Since then, though, this minor league team has had no difficulty with lost radios or player practical jokes.
*Names changed to protect the guilty