Product Highlight: 1996 Best Harrisburg Senators Team Set

Today I was planning to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the Bowie Baysox on City Island in Harrisburg, PA.  I guess we all know that’s not going to happen due to COVID-19.  This was going to be my first bobblehead giveaway of the year too.  Fans were going to receive a bobblehead of Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner.

In early March I purchased three sets of tickets for some minor league games.  Two in Harrisburg, and one in Lancaster.  With MLB looking to play half of a season starting in July with no fans in attendance, I highly doubt MiLB would be much different.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t play at all.  I’d like to get my money back for these tickets, but all I can do right now is exchange them for other tickets to a 2020 game.  This makes no sense because even if they do play fans most likely won’t be allowed in to watch.  I think they’re just holding out for as long as possible on giving refunds.  Its possible they’re holding on to the tiniest bit of hope that perhaps a certain percentage of fans might be allowed to attend.  You can’t blame them for doing so.  Tons of money has been lost already.  The last thing they want to do is dish out refunds.

In 1997 I attended my first professional baseball game on City Island.  The game was between the Harrisburg Senators and New Haven Ravens.  While sitting in my seat, a Ravens player walked by and gave me a broken bat.  To this very day I do not know who that player was.  I like to think it was Todd Helton as he was part of the Rockies minor league system at the time.

Heading in to the game, I remember stopping at a souvenir booth.  Team sets for the 1997 roster hadn’t been released yet, so I bought one leftover from the 1996 season.  The two most recognizable names on the 29-card checklist are Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Vidro.  Both players already had cards in nationally distributed sets prior to this team set release.

Harrisburg Senators vs. Trenton Thunder – Star Wars Day

The Harrisburg Senators, Double-A of the Washington Nationals, is a regular stop for me when it comes to obtaining stadium giveaway bobbleheads.  My first bobblehead giveaway of the year took place on May 4, 2019 – Star Wars Day!  This has become a big deal all over the country for both major and minor league teams.  Combing Star Wars with baseball is a fantastic idea.

Juan “Solo” Soto bobbleheads were a huge draw.  This was the busiest Senators game I’d ever attended.  A limit of 1,500 bobbleheads were given out.  Arriving an hour before the gates opened was a good idea.  Moments after getting in line, the crowd ended up going down the steps and wrapping around the side of the stadium.  Unless they paid extra for a special ticket guaranteeing them a bobblehead, not everyone was able to get one.

Cheeseburger, fries, and Hershey’s chocolate ice-cream made for a good dinner.  Lots of Star Wars characters were in attendance.  All were encouraged to take pictures with the fans.

None of the names on the Senators starting lineup stood out to me.  But one did for the Trenton Thunder, Double-A of the New York Yankees – Clint Frazier.  Clint Frazier is one of the many injured players the Yankees have had this season.  He’s down there right now doing some rehab, and is expected to make it back to the Yankees shortly.

Harrisburg won 6-5.  The bobblehead turned out very well.  Juan Soto is in that famous Han Solo pose.  Instead of a blaster, he’s got a glove.  Even the box got a lot of attention.  It has graphics on each side.  Way better than the standard white cardboard.

My next bobblehead giveaway game is on July 20, 2019.  Back in Harrisburg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

How was your Star Wars Day?  I FINALLY got caught, and a couple of Stormtroopers sent me to the trash compactor.

The odds of me surviving this are 3,720 to 1.

Life-size bobbleheads received a new paint job.

Clint Frazier at bat.

Clint Frazier

Clint Frazier

Harrisburg Senators vs. Altoona Curve – 5/26/18 – Strasburg Life Size Bobblehead Unveiling

Twenty-one years ago I attended my first professional baseball game on City Island to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the New Haven Ravens.  Its a game I’ll never forget because one of the Ravens players gave me a free bat while walking by my section.  I still have that bat hanging on my wall.  I have no clue as to who the player was, but I like to imagine it was Todd Helton.

This summer I’m set to attend one minor league game per month.  All bobblehead giveaways.  My first game this summer took me back to City Island where it all began.  The Harrisburg Senators (AA of the Nationals) were taking on the Altoona Curve (AA of the Pirates).  Two Washington Nationals players, Brian Goodwin and Daniel Murphy, were down with the Senators doing some rehab work.  On Saturday night the Senators inducted Stephen Strasburg into their Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame.  The first 1,500 fans through the gates received a replica bobblehead.  Altoona went on to beat the Senators 10-6.

For awhile, the ballpark food at FNB Field seemed fairly normal.  Last year however, I discovered the River City Grille which is located around the backside of the stadium.  Their burgers and fries are superb.  Its become a “must-have” now when I go.  The Hershey’s ice cream next door is good too.

The Harrisburg Senators will have a card featured in 2018 Topps Pro Debut.  It will be part of the Fragments of the Farm set featuring a piece of base from FNB Field.

New video screen above the main gates

Vladimir Guerrero, Cliff Floyd, Bryce Harper, Matt Stairs, Brandon Phillips, Stephen Strasburg

Will Craig of the Altoona Curve

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy

Harrisburg Senators vs. Akron RubberDucks – 7/9/16 – Floyd Life-Sized Bobblehead Unveiled

Its almost been twenty years since I attended my first professional baseball game on City Island.  After the Harrisburg Senators (AA of the Nationals) cancelled their Star Wars-themed bobblehead last year I wasn’t sure if I’d go back.  But given how close I am to this stadium, it doesn’t take much for me to change my mind.

On Saturday, July 9th, the Harrisburg Senators gave out Cliff Floyd bobbleheads to the first 1,500 fans.  This bobblehead is an exact replica of the life-sized bobblehead of him they unveiled before the game.  Back in April they did the same thing with Vladimir Guerrero, and next month the Senators will do it with Bryce Harper.  Guerrero, Floyd, and Harper will round out their inaugural life-sized Bobblehead Hall of Fame class.  This was the first time I had ever seen a life-sized bobblehead in person.  I wasn’t sure where they were going to be located.  It turned out that both of them were right behind my seat near the end of the walkway.  They look really cool.  Cliff Floyd was suppose to be there, but couldn’t make it.  Instead he sent a video message.  I think after the season ends, these giant bobbleheads will be moved to a more permanent location.

This was the first time I had been to a Senators game since First National Bank purchased Metro Bank.  Nothing really changed much other than the signs.  Before grabbing some dinner, I took a look around the gift shop.  I picked up a 25th and 30th anniversary pin, plus a Forever Collectibles Harrisburg Senators retro-bobblehead.  When returning to my seat with chicken fingers, fries, and ice cream, I found a baseball scout in my spot.  He was just looking for a place to sit.  I thought he wanted to sign me to a team.  For a second there I thought I might get a deal like Mickey Moniak.  Once again my athletic talent has been overlooked.

The Senators played the Akron RubberDucks on Saturday and lost 6-3.
 photo IMG_2997_zpsrytuh6ft.jpg

 photo IMG_3007_zpsx5bbghzf.jpg

 photo IMG_3005_zpsapanrwzw.jpg

 photo IMG_2996_zpswgsai07h.jpg

 photo IMG_3002_zps8swrrzu3.jpg

 photo IMG_2998_zpsc8eedbs9.jpg

RubberDucks pitcher Rob Kaminsky

 photo IMG_2999_zpszq9u229j.jpg

Kaminsky and catcher Jeremy Lucas

 photo IMG_3001_zpsle49msih.jpg

Senators pitcher Phillips Valdez

Card of the Day: Jeff Banister 1989 Harrisburg Senators Star #2

 photo banisterstarhs_zpspcgiuynv.jpg

Senators Dump 7/11/15 Star Wars Bobblehead

 photo harrisburg-senators-logo_zps0aqmr35y.png

Fans have a bone to pick with the Harrisburg Senators (AA of the Washington Nationals).  This evening I was suppose to watch the Senators take on the Erie SeaWolves during Star Wars night.  The first 1,000 fans through the gates were to receive a Star Wars themed two-sided bobblehead.  As a bobblehead collector and Star Wars fan, I thought this would be a fun giveaway to get.  Now it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.

I’ve been watching the Senators schedule closely in an attempt to perhaps get a look at this two-sided Star Wars bobblehead.  But no picture was ever made available.  After the season began, I noticed a t-shirt was placed on the promotional schedule for the same day as this bobblehead.  Up until last week both the bobblehead and t-shirt were listed as giveaways for Saturday, July 11th.  Teams usually don’t have two giveaways on one night, but I really didn’t think anything of it.  Near the end of last week though the information about the bobblehead had completely disappeared.  All that was left was the t-shirt.

I sent an e-mail to the Senators asking them what had happened to the bobblehead and received this response from their General Manager:

Unfortunately LucasFilms did not give us permission to do the Star Wars bobble.  We had it all designed and they pulled it.   Have to settle for the shirt.  Sorry about that.

I don’t see how you can put on the schedule that you’ll be giving away a bobblehead with this kind of popularity before obtaining permission from LucasFilms.  In their response to my Facebook post they state this change was made all the way back in April.  I don’t remember the Senators making any kind of announcement about this change either.  They just made the change, but yet left the bobblehead info on the schedule too.  This looks very sloppy from the consumer’s end.  With all that being said, I wonder what it looked like?

This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems with the Senators.  A few years ago, their Bryce Harper bobbleheads didn’t arrive in time to be given out.  Instead they handed out a redemption coupon that required you to come back at a later date to pick up your bobblehead.

Even though it still is Star Wars night at Metro Bank Park, I’ve decided not to go.  The Williamsport Crosscutters are having a bobblehead night this upcoming Friday.  I’ll be there!

I take my bobblehead giveaways very seriously.  Only Clark Griswold can describe how I felt when I heard about the cancelled bobblehead.

Hershey Bears vs. Binghamton Senators – 12/13/14

 photo bearssenators_zps1efdef12.jpg

On Saturday night I went to see the Hershey Bears take on the Binghamton Senators.  It was Dane Byers bobblehead night!!!  I believe the Hershey Bears have the best chicken fingers and fries out of all the stadiums I’ve been to.  The Bears won 5-2.  There was a lot of scoring and a bunch of fights.  I checked out the gift shop, but didn’t find anything new.  I wish they would sell some more bobbleheads in their gift shop.  OYO needs to start making some AHL minifigures.

 photo WP_20141213_003a_zpse822276c.jpg

 photo IMG_2346a_zps1e9b668a.jpg

 photo IMG_2349a_zps9942a2fc.jpg

 photo IMG_2353a_zps00e23ec3.jpg

 photo WP_20141213_004a_zps3fced2f3.jpg

Harrisburg Senators vs. Binghamton Mets – 8/4/13

Sunday afternoon was a great day to watch the Harrisburg Senators take on the Binghamton Mets.  The Mets started the game with a lead off triple, and their momentum sure didn’t stop.  In the end, the Senators lost 6-0.  These were probably some of the best seats we’ve ever had for taking photos.  Its great to be behind home plate, but the net would always get in the way.  Down third baseline was much better.  It was Drew Storen bobblehead day, and I picked up four new pins for my collection.

I will say this.  The Senators serve the best tasting soft pretzels.

 photo IMG_1982_zpsa94699cb.jpg

Senators 1B Justin Bloxom at bat.  Bloxom has 58 RBIs this season and has cards in 2010 Topps Pro Debut and 2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition.

 photo IMG_1983_zps38c75143.jpg

 photo IMG_1985_zpsf194296b.jpg

 photo IMG_1984_zps2bb5a661.jpg

 photo IMG_1987_zps879a37fe.jpg

The first 1,000 fans through the gate received a Drew Storen bobblehead.

 photo IMG_1981_zps458faaea.jpg

Rascal stopped by while I was watching the game.  As you can see, I was wearing my 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention shirt and an official Sports Card Album hat.  I sorta felt like that clip from Wayne’s World…haha!

Card of the Day: Bryce Harper 2013 Topps Heritage Senators Variation #440

Photobucket

Bryce Harper Harrisburg Senators Bobblehead Is Here!

If you recall, last weekend I went to see the Harrisburg Senators play the New Britain Rock Cats.  It was suppose to be Bryce Harper bobblehead night, but they didn’t arrive on time.  Starting today you could pick them up if you were one of the first 1,000 fans through the gate and received a voucher.  Looks pretty cool!!!

Photobucket