It’s tough to realize that the IronPigs actually have an “Old Guard” but they do. It’s been about 7 years since the team name and staff arrived here in the Lehigh Valley and today’s post is to say Hail and Farewell to one of the longest tenured IronPig employees.
I heard it a few weeks ago and it’s starting to set in. IronPig’s Community Relations Sarah Marten has moved up to the bigs with a job with the Chicago White Sox. She’s no longer listed on the IronPig website staff list and is now listed on the White Sox page so I think it’s as official as it will be.
Anyone who has been to an IronPig’s game, Spring banquet, Hackers & Homers Golf tournament or a LV Miracle league game has seen the efforts of Sarah Marten. Over her time in the Lehigh Valley she made a definitive impact on our community.
Sarah, we at The Horn & Bell wish you the best of luck, good health and prosperity. Thank you for all you have done for us!
Announced today, Ryne Sandberg will return to the Lehigh Valley for the upcoming IronPig’s Charity Banquet. Not a big surprise as the team out in Reading announced he would be at their banquet just about a week ago.
In transactions we noticed fan favorite former IronPig Mike Zagurski has signed with Cleveland and also Derrick Mitchell has signed with the Braves.
That’s all I have today…
Is it April yet?
Steve Lerud signed with the Braves.
The Phillies signed Cesar Jimenez, Andres Blanco and Reid Brignac.
Rob Rasmussen, Tommy Joseph, Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan were added to 40-man roster.
The Phillies have signed Right hand pitcher Shawn Camp and outfielder Clete Thomas.
Also, the IronPigs announced the 2014 Banquet information. See below:
2014 PHILLIES WINTER BANQUET SLATED FOR JANUARY 23 AT SANDS EVENTS CENTER
Tickets are Available by Calling (610) 841-PIGS (7447)
(Allentown, Pa.) – The 2014 Phillies Winter Banquet presented by The Air Products Foundation will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at the Sands Events Center in Bethlehem. Guests of Honor will be announced in the near future as last year’s banquet included a number of notable attendees including Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., as well as C Erik Kratz and INF Kevin Frandsen. Seat or table reservations are now on sale and available by calling (610) 841-PIGS (7447). Interested parties are reminded that seating is limited and the Phillies Winter Banquet has sold out in years past.
The annual Phillies Winter Banquet is IronPigs Charities’ flagship event with donations topping $124,000 in 2013. All of the money raised benefits IronPigs Charities, a non-profit organization striving to provide educational and recreational opportunities for children in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.
The main program for Phillies Winter Banquet features players and personnel from the Philadelphia Phillies and includes a dinner and open bar, a sports memorabilia silent auction, raffles and an entertainment portion with the special Phillies guests. Tickets are $85 per person or $775 for a table of ten. Championship tables, allowing patrons entrance to a private pre-event reception are also available. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and commencement of the auctions and raffles.
The state-of-the-art Sands Bethlehem Events Center, a spacious 50,000 square foot venue, opened in 2012 on the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem campus and has already hosted a wide array of premier musical acts, comedians and sporting events. The events center is directly located adjacent to the Sands Hotel. Winter Banquet attendees may enter at any of the Sands Boulevard entrances off 3rd Street and follow the signs directing you to the rear of the hotel.
The Phillies Winter Banquet beneficiary, IronPigs Charities, is a recognized 501(c) (3) non-profit organization on the state and federal level. One of the annual highlights of the Winter Tour event is the distribution of grants to local non-profit organizations. In fact, over $375,000 has been distributed at this event since debuting in 2008. Since its inception in 2007, IronPigs Charities has made more than $560,000 in monetary contributions.
Hey there NoiseNation! Now is the time when Minor League teams start to make plans for the next season. They’re lining up sponsors, renewing season tickets, and starting on the promo schedules and the like. If you’ve got ideas for them, now might be the time to make them known. Maybe not the larger capital construction projects: Larger Scoreboard, full LED ribbon board for the club overhang, upper deck seats above the press box….these are things that will probably need to wait. I’ll share a couple of the ideas that are on my mind this morning, please add yours in the comments section below:
- What Could Have Been Night: I’d like to see this come back. I’m sitting here with a Woodchucks hat on. It’s cool. What’s next? Pennsylvanians? I’m ready.
- Different Perks for Season Ticket Holders: We had the batting practice parties and most recently they used the picnic patio for some free grub (didn’t work out well for me: It rained.) The All Star “pic nic” has kind of run it’s course, but is kind of fun. Here are some suggestions from Kram’s Korner: A. Second autograph day just for S/T holders. B. A meet-the-players session for full S/T holders prior to the season. C. A discount schedule for the Clubhouse Store based on ticket package. D. Discounts on group seats if S/T holders want to bring a group to the park. E. Alternate ideas for season opening gift: i. exclusive car magnet or license plate ii. exclusive hat (nicer!) iii. exclusive T-Shirt (nicer) iv. exclusive replica jersey design.
- Ticket Exchange: We’ve covered this before. It’s doable and would result in better turnstile attendance and per-game revenue. There would be a small take out of the coffers of the Ebay/Craigslist/StubHub sources. It would help sell season tickets. It just would make so much sense. Make it happen.
- Keep the Stuff We Like: Keep the Saturday Tiki after-party, the pre-game concert and dollar dog opportunity (maybe expand it to different days and improve it, but…), and more…
- New Uniform Designs: Looks like some are coming. See my previous post…
- A Push for the Playoffs: I know they’ve got to start selling the packages early. It seemed like a lot of the IronPigs employees were cheering against the team late, because they didn’t want to work the playoff games. Put some perks in for them so that we can get everyone pushing for the playoffs if the opportunity presents.
- A SaladWorks-like Stand: It still seems like there aren’t enough healthy options for eating at the park. This might be a nice start.
- A Tailgate Opportunity for Groups: A park-like pavilion setup or tent outside the stadium which could be rented for an organized tailgate if groups would like to rent it. Would be available hours before the gates open. Would need additional staff and resources, but would make money. Expands opportunity to sell to corporate groups.
- A Better, Longer Radio PreGame: I’ve got some ideas for this. However, they can steal them if they want….
- Free WiFi: C’mon. It’s 2014.
OK, that’s what I’ve got at the moment. I’ll think of more and add them below. Won’t you, too! Try to think of stuff they can actually do prior to next season in order to be the most constructive.
See you at the SteelHawks…
Looks like a few familiar faces coming back.
RHP Luis Paulino
3B Tyler Henson
SS Jonathan Roof
OF Leandro Castro
On another note, J.C. Ramirez will be joining our friend Tyler Cloyd in the Indians organization.
Tis the season for transactions!
At some point today, I’m not exactly sure of the time (I’d bet you could google it) a group of 2013 IronPigs became free agents.
RHP: Justin Friend, Mike MacDougal
LHP: Bobby Bramhall, Tom Cochran, Mauricio Robles, Greg Smith
C: John Suomi
2B: Matt Tolbert
3B: Josh Fields
SS: Miguel Abreu, Andres Blanco
OF: Derrick Mitchell
While Blanco spent just about the entire season on the Disabled list, I’m sure Coca Cola Park would love to revive the “Let’s go, Blan-co!” cheer and some favorites in there that we would like to return.
I read recently that Phillies catcher Ruiz was not offered a guaranteed contract and will enter Free agency this off-season. This might be an indication that the Phillies are either unwilling to pay Ruiz a lot or that they have confidence in Kratz and/or the other catching prospects. Never know who they would try to pick up in case Ruiz leaves.
Out of all of these Pigs I hope to see Friend, Fields, Mitchell and Smith return for the 2014 season.
With that said, I leave you with the most current episode of the Vast Valley of Sports Roller Derby Action…