It was the end of the Lehigh Valley Sports Week for the NoiseNation Horn and Bell staff. Monday was ‘Media Day’ with the IronPigs (more videos and photos to come), Tuesday was the ‘222 Showcase’ and although no game was played, we were in attendance. Wednesday was Phantoms Hockey. Thursday was IronPigs Opening Day, Friday was BOTH Phantoms and IronPigs (I was at both, for a time), Saturday was both again (this time I skipped hockey), and yesterday was a personal triple header: youth soccer match then IronPigs, then SteelHawks home opener. From Wednesday through Sunday the Lehigh Valley sent 89,106 fans through the gates to support local, professional, minor league sports teams. OK, maybe not through the gates, but that’s how many tickets were sold and it doesn’t count the dogs. (Sunday was Dog Day at the IronPigs)
There’s more IronPigs to come, of course. They remain home through Wednesday, which is an AM game on get-away day. They’ll face Syracuse for these three games before shuffling off to Buffalo for four. But the week that was–it concluded with a massive victory for the SteelHawks and dramatic 16-inning job at Coca Cola Park for the IronPigs first victory of the year.
However, the day didn’t start off so great. We got the time wrong for the soccer match, but luckily we were at the right field–and too early is better than too late. Coffee was my beverage of choice, but I could have used something a little stronger to numb the 6-1 beating we took. Any time you lose by that much, there’s more than one problem–we’ll suffice to say that the opposing team was better than us.
From there on to IronPigs. The game was already underway, and even though we try to listen in the park sometimes, it was great to hear Matt and Jon on the call. There was no difficulty following what happened and painting a picture of the scene and the plays as I approached the park. Somehow, the other team always manages to score runs as I walk from my car to the gates on days when I arrive late. I hate that.
Anyway, the day couldn’t have been more perfect for baseball. I wanted it to go on forever….
OK, we’ll get back to that in a minute. A snack and a cold beverage and next thing you know, we were on our way over to the arena. If it wasn’t the home opener and the first ever indoor football at the arena, we probably would have stayed at baseball. How long, of course, would have been the question–Junior was lobbying hard for staying put at the baseball game, but we left anyway.
We made it to our seats in time for player introductions, and football was soon underway. A full game report will follow, but the score was close in the first half. We kept the IronPigs Gamecast up on my phone. Extras. Junior wanted to go back over.
But, the football game was close at the time, and I was fearful that I would end up hearing a excellent Matt or Jon walk-off call in the car rather than back at the park. We stayed put for football.
The SteelHawks began to pull away in the second half. We checked in with Dan at the NoiseNation table. The IronPigs were still playing. We started to formulate a plan to go back over–time it right so that we don’t miss a walk-off. Russ Canzler is pitching. OK, if they don’t score in the bottom of the 16th…
They did. A walk-off walk to put the game out of it’s misery and avoid getting anyone hurt–pitchers or position players trying to pitch. The SteelHawks were rolling, and we had paced ourselves well enough to enjoy a post-game meal at Chickie’s and Pete’s.
See you at the park,