Here we are: February First. Here’s a quick look at stuff that will be happening this month that will surely get you ready for the 2018 baseball season. We can’t wait, of course, but at the same time it will be here before you know it.
That Just Happened
Already, we’ve had the “Phillies Caravan” stops at the IronPigs Charities dinner as well as at the other affiliates including Reading. The “team down in Reading” has released a preliminary promotional schedule to season ticket holders (2018_Tentative_Promotions) and the IronPigs have begun to roll out their own list, which will culminate tomorrow. With HOCKEY NIGHT tomorrow I might not write about it, but I am looking forward to circling some dates on my calendar when the good stuff happens.
The IronPigs schedule includes a weekly routine similar to past years: Monday dog nights (dollar as well as bark in the park), Wednesday Ladies Night, Thursday Happy Hour, Friday Fireworks, Saturday Fireworks (starting May) and Sunday post-game kids run the bases. The fireworks dates have all been published, including some music themes, a MEGA appearance, as well as the traditional July 3-D shenanigans. We’ll get a look at some theme nights today, I think, and then the whole shebang tomorrow.
The bobbleheads do look interesting: There’s a classic Rhys Hoskins in the Saturday red, crushing a homer. There’s Scotty Kingery as “The King”–a medevil king, I think, not Elvis–and Dylan Cozens as a turkey. Really. And finally, a JP Crawford sliding bobblehead which looks eerily similar to the photo above. The cool part is that the box has a cut-out feature for the catcher so that you can pose the bobble scoring on the hapless backstop. Good times!
Pitchers and Catchers
Phillies will take the field for their first workout on Valentines Day, February 14, with position players arriving by February 19. We’ll start to get game reports with the traditional exhibition vs the University of Tampa on February 22. Finally, grapefruit league games for the Phillies will begin on February 24.
Barrel Aged Beers
For the second year, the IronPigs will host a barrel aged beer fest on the club level at Coca Cola Park. It’s a bit pricey, but we went last year and it was very well done. There are as many samples as you can handle, as well as free food provided by IronPigs catering. It’s a nice afternoon on Saturday February 17, if you’re into it.
Reading’s version of “Pig Day” comes to us on Saturday, February 24. It’s a time for Season Ticket Holders to pick up ticket packages, National Anthem performers to try out, as well as some free snacks and a look at the team shop for the new season. If you’re thinking about a partial plan or a flex plan it might be a good day to take a drive down to Baseballtown and check things out. Like at Coca Cola Park, they’ll be extending the netting over the dugouts for this season. In addition, Reading will be replacing the old seating for this season, I’ve been told. I’m not sure if the new seating will be in yet by Ticketpalooza, but it should be interesting to check it out.
Now we’re into March. Saturday the third is the 11th celebration of “National Pig Day” at Coca Cola Park. Last season, the bitter cold drove us to the Club Level for the pulled pork sandwiches and hot chocolates. Hopefully, they will have our Season Ticket Holder packages ready to pick up as well–that was a nice touch last season. Sometimes they’ll let you poke around in the club level or downstairs in the locker rooms. Stay tuned for further details.
Oh, and it’s about this time that the minor leaguers have reported to Clearwater for spring training. We’ll get “working groups” and start to make some better guesses at opening rosters for the minor league squads.
Well, normally we get some kind of announcement from the IronPigs in February–it could be March. We’ll get a media conference with a dog and pony show of some type of new and exciting thing. Urinal games? New stadium features? Gigantic scoreboard? Uniforms? Food wars? We’ve done all that. What will they come up with this season?
See you at the park,