The Bats have left town after taking two of three from the home-town IronPigs, and in comes the SWB Trolley Porcupines. They lead the 2015 IronRail Series 4-2, with 10 wins necessary to clinch the coveted trophy for the year. Top prospect Luis Severino is expected to start for them on Wednesday, and we’ll get our first look at #2 prospect, OF Aaron Judge. He’s the big 23yo corner outfielder from California who bats right-handed. He’s struggled somewhat since being called to AAA, but if there’s a team to get well against, it’s probably us.
But today is “Nola Day” and that means one more chance to get a look at one of the Phillies’ top prospects. He had a dominant showing going last time out in Buffalo–seven scoreless–before getting into some trouble in the eighth. He would have gotten out of it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling errors. Well, more precisely, Bogusevic and Altherr lost the ball in the lights, allowing a double and two runs to score. But no matter–it was still a quality outing and a win for the IronPigs. Nola has come out strong early, in both starts at AAA this season. Allowing early runs was an issue in Reading at times. It’s good to see, and we’ll look for that to continue tonight. I see that the ‘Pigs will have the “Cajun” menu available: The Cajun Burger will be available at the Red Robin Oasis, while the Shrimp Po’Boy will be available at the Club Bar and Pig Stop. Cajun Fries will be available both places.
It’s autograph day in the Lehigh Valley. Folks who know me know that I’m not an autograph guy at all–even if it were permitted for me. However, the kiddos enjoy it as a chance to say hello to the players without pestering them on the field or other times. They circle this day on the calendar as soon as the promo schedule comes out. Plus, a signed card acts as a memory of players who come and go each year, and they boys enjoy having players sign their foul balls if we have them.
Based on my experience the last few years, I’ll give you a few “dos” and “don’ts” as it applies to the day, and a copy of the map is below.
- Do address players by their name. Guys are more willing to interact and share a word if you know who they are. If you’re younger than the players, “Mr. Player” is a respectful way to go about it.
- Do thank the players. It’s not their favorite day of the year, I bet. However, knowing that the fans appreciate it–and them–can make it a bit better.
- Don’t bring a whole treasure-trove of things to get signed by one guy. It’s one auto per person per trip through the line. Leave the binder full of cards at home.
- Don’t try to get pictures. There was a special day for that, and now it will only serve to delay the line. Plus, it’s not officially allowed.
- Don’t worry about the line. Even if it’s long, it does tend to move pretty fast as long as everyone is following the rules.
- Do get there early. While the lines move OK, it can be tough to move around and getting an early start can be an advantage–especially if you’re trying to get to everyone.
- Don’t expect to find Aaron Nola. He’s not on the map, and as the starting pitcher, he’s unavailable to the press or anyone else today, as well. Also, one of those catchers will scoot out quickly to help Aaron warm up, too. If the starting catcher is announced, that will be the guy who will only be around for ten minutes or so.
- Do let the kiddos have the time. If you’re an adult and you collect autographs, fine, but just go for the ones you need so that kids can get a chance.
- Don’t worry about having a pen/marker. They’ve usually got a few choices on each table for the players. If you have a special piece and a favorite marker type (ie paint marker) maybe bring it along. They usually have Sharpies there in black and silver, as well as a ball-point pen.
- Don’t steal the photos from this web site to print 8×10 glossies. Photos are the property of the photographer, and used here with permission.
- Do understand that the session ends promptly at 6:15PM. It’s not just the players, the coaches and staff need to get on with the business of the day. The players will be removed from their tables and escorted downstairs at exactly 6:15PM, despite where you may be in line.
- Don’t be surprised if a player flakes out. It has happened in the past where a player just ‘no shows’ for the session. I can’t explain it, but if there’s an injury or an illness or a pending roster move, it can happen. It may or may not be the player’s fault.
- Do have fun. If you’re stressing about this or that during the session, it’s just not worth it. Plus, it won’t help the players have any fun with it, either.
See you at the park,
(Cover photo: Kram)