Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs. Buffalo Bisons – 6/19/16

Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple A affiliate of the Phillies), is one of the nicest minor league ballparks I’ve been to.  There really isn’t a bad seat in the stadium, unless the temperature is nearing 100° outside.  Then you’d at least want to have a seat in the shade.  My seat was not in the shade, so things got hot pretty fast.  The next time I order tickets I’m going to remember to ask for seats in Section 104 and up.  According to the usher that was working in my section, the game was a complete sellout.  I saw a bunch of empty seats though.  Those people either decided not to come because of the heat or were in attendance but hung out in the shade.

The IronPigs played the Buffalo Bisons (Triple A affiliate of the Blue Jays) on Sunday.  Former Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown currently plays for the Bisons.  So does first basemen Casey Kotchman.  Kotchman played with the Angels for awhile, and then went on to the Braves.  He bounced around with a few other teams, before signing a minor league deal with the Blue Jays.  I remember his rookies were a big deal in 2002.  David Buchanan pitched for the IronPigs, and I got to see Darin Ruf.  Future Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford was also playing.  They say Crawford’s fielding has been good, but his work at the plate could use some improving.

One way to get out of the sun was to visit their Majestic Clubhouse Store.  Compared to last year, it wasn’t stocked as much.  They could’ve been running low on merchandise because of the doubleheader they played the day before.  Either way, I picked-up a new Coca-Cola Park t-shirt and a few lanyards.  With the Little League World Series coming up in August, I’m going to need those lanyards to store pins.  One of the lanyards has a Star Wars theme to it, while the other is covered in bacon.

For lunch I had a cheesesteak.  I’ve eaten hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, and pretzels at games before, but never a cheesesteak.  It was really good.  I finished it off with some chocolate ice cream.  Out of all the ballparks I’ve been to, I think Coca-Cola Park has the widest range of different food options.

The next minor league game I’m scheduled to attend is in Harrisburg on July 9th.  That evening the Senators will be unveiling a life-sized bobblehead of Cliff Floyd.  Cliff Floyd is scheduled to be there, and fans will receive a replica bobblehead.

The IronPigs ended up losing 5-3 in 10 innings.  While going through the gate I received a set of BBQ tools as a giveaway.

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Buffalo Bisons

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Remember this dude from the Angels?

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Darin Ruf (batting) A.J. Jimenez (catching)

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J.P. Crawford leading off 1st base

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Darin Ruf

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J.P. Crawford

State College Spikes vs. Mahoning Valley Scrappers – 8/9/15 – The Bus Bobblehead Night

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A lot of fans came out to watch the State College Spikes take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Sunday night.  Good baseball wasn’t the only reason people came out though.  It was Jerome Bettis bobblehead night!!!  The first 1,000 fans through the gates received a commemorative Jerome Bettis Hall of Fame Gold Jacket bobblehead.  I think the coolest part of this specific bobblehead is that the platform he’s standing on is in the shape of a bus.  Jerome Bettis was once or still is involved with a company that owns different minor league baseball teams including the Spikes.  That’s why I think they did this.  Plus he was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame over the weekend too and is a PA favorite.

The Spikes went on to win 4-1 over the Scrappers.  Instead of having chicken fingers and fries, I went for a cheeseburger this time.  I could smell them on the grill while waiting to get in.  Everything in the gift shop was 20% off as long as it had black and/or gold on it.  So I picked myself up a new “Fear The Dear” t-shirt.

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LuCKy the Lion from Lion Country Kia.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs. Louisville Bats – 6/28/15

For the last couple of years I’ve been wanting to see the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple A of the Phillies) play.  The IronPigs played the Louisville Bats in a doubleheader since Saturday’s game was rained out.  The giveaway was a popcorn bowl shaped like an IronPigs batting helmet.  I didn’t get one because they were for kids 17 and under.  I usually only attend games when the home team is giving out bobbleheads, but this being my first time at Coca-Cola Park the giveaway really didn’t matter to me.

The first game of the day started at 1:05 p.m. and the gates opened at 12:00 p.m.  Right before they opened the gates, a machine turned on and covered the entire crowd in tiny bubbles.  Moments later I got to see the inside of Coca-Cola Park.  My seat was right behind home plate in Section 111.  I was also sitting right in front of the cinnamon roasted almonds, pecans, and cashews stand.  In all of the stadiums I’ve been to, I don’t think I’ve seen such a variety of food.  On one side you have pulled pork sandwiches and bacon on a stick.  On the other you’ve got ice cream and fried calamari rings.  In between are the hot dogs, chicken fingers, hamburgers, pizza, pretzels, etc…  After lunch I visited the Majestic Clubhouse Store.  They sucked me in with the OYO minifigures.  I picked up (2) OYOs, (2) t-shirts, (5) pins, and a bobblehead of their mascot Ferrous.  Next month they will be releasing a new t-shirt that combines the IronPigs logo with Iron Man.

Since it was a doubleheader, both games were only seven innings long.  The IronPigs lost the first game 6-1, but won the second game 8-3.  Coca-Cola Park is overall probably one of the nicest stadiums I’ve ever been to.  I look forward to going back.

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Who wants a Pepsi?

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FeFe

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Russ Canzler

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Russ Canzler

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My girlfriend is a total pig 🙂

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New Addition To The Kalas Collection

This afternoon I received my Harry Kalas replica memorial statue that was a stadium giveaway last Thursday night from the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  It sure looks nice on my shelf.  Anyone pull the Kalas cut signature yet found in Sportkings Series E?  I need it!

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Holding this thing makes me feel like I won an Oscar.

Super Bowl XLVI Champ Henry Hynoski Signing

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This afternoon New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski was signing autographs at the Susquehanna Valley Mall.  The event was sponsored by the Susquehanna Valley Mall and ESPN 92.3FM.  Hynoski played for Southern Columbia High School, then went on to play for the University of Pittsburgh.  He recently won Super Bowl XLVI with the Giants.  Everyone could get (3) items signed free of charge.  The place was totally packed.  The line started outside of Bon-Ton and by the time I left the line was all the way back to Sears.  That’s a long line.  Luckily I got there early enough and didn’t have to wait too long.  They were also handing out miniature ESPN footballs and Pepsi products.  Hynoski was signing right outside of Schuylkill Valley Sports.  They were selling tons of Giants items you could get signed.  How convenient? 🙂

Henry Hynoski is one of those rookies from last year that doesn’t have a ton of cards.  As of right now, you can only find his cards in Plates & Patches and Playoff Contenders.  His Plates & Patches cards seem to be a lot more popular than the Playoff Contenders.

During Super Bowl XLVI Hynoski caught 2 passes for 19 yards, and recovered an Hakeem Nicks fumble in the third quarter.

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Henry Hynoski Coming To The Susquehanna Valley Mall

On Saturday March 3, 2012 Giants fullback Henry Hynoski will be holding an autograph signing at the Susquehanna Valley Mall from 12:00pm – 2:00pm.  No word yet on what the costs will be.  Hynoski graduated from Southern Columbia, went on to play with the Pittsburgh Panthers, and recently won Super Bowl XLVI with the New York Giants.

The cost is free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Free autographs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Lunch With Former Penn State Running Back Mike Guman

This afternoon I had lunch with former Penn State running back, and LA Rams fullback Mike Guman.  Guman was the guest speaker at this week’s meeting of the Selinsgrove Rotary Club, which was held at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club.

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Mike Guman is most notably remembered for playing in the 1979 Sugar Bowl.  Penn State was playing Alabama.  You had two of the greatest football coaches in history going against each other – Joe Paterno and Bear Bryant.  Alabama was winning 14-7, and Penn State just needed to get over the goal line to score.  On Penn State’s last attempt Paterno decided to give the ball to Guman.  Unfortunately when Guman jumped the pile he was met by Alabama linebacker Barry Krauss and didn’t make it in.  Penn State needed to score a touchdown and only having to go such a short distance and not making it is one of those gut wrenching plays.  As the story goes, Krauss hit Guman so hard the rivets in his helmet came loose.  In 2002, ESPN ranked the 1979 Sugar Bowl as the Greatest Bowl Game Ever, and ESPN.com ranked the final play of that game as #6 on their list of 100 Moments That Define College Football.

Mike Guman is an excellent speaker.  He talked about life on and off the field.  He also provided us with his perspective on all the recent events that have taken place at Penn State.  Guman held back tears when talking about Paterno, and wishes the whole situation would have been dealt with better.  He got to sit down and talk to Paterno for about 30 minutes after these events unfolded.  Guman doesn’t like how Paterno has been vilified.  He wishes they would have let him retire at the end of the season.  Paterno said to him this was going to be his last year anyway.  Right now Mike Guman is Vice-President of Oppenheimer Funds.

I took my black and gold Penn State football with me and got him to sign it once the lunch was over.  Usually I get my photo with the athlete whenever I get an autograph, but this was not an official autograph signing, so I didn’t take the camera.

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As far as cards go, he doesn’t have that many.  Eleven to be exact.  His rookie can be found in 1981 Topps card #322.  I bet there would be a lot of college football collectors interested in seeing some modern day cards made of Guman.  Perhaps a Guman/Krauss autograph?

For lunch I had meat loaf, mashed-potatoes, corn, and a roll.

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Photos: Eagles Autograph Signing With LeSean McCoy

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was at the Susquehanna Valley Mall this afternoon from 2:30pm until 4:00pm signing autographs for fans.  The signing was put on by C.C. Collectibles.  The signing had a very nice turnout.  Lots of fans came out to see him.

Near the center of the mall they had a small card show too.  I was looking for a box of 2011 Leaf Metal Draft Baseball but didn’t see any.  Instead I picked-up a couple of 2011 Topps Marquee Baseball packs I will be busting a little later.

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LeSean McCoy SV Mall Signing This Weekend – 10/22/11

Collectors traveling through Central Pennsylvania this weekend might want to stop at the Susquehanna Valley Mall this Saturday – 10/22/11.  From 2:30pm to 4:00pm, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy will be signing autographs.  Click here to learn how you can obtain your autograph ticket.  Any item is $30.00.  If you purchase your ticket online, you can show them the PayPal receipt once you arrive.  You could also purchase a ticket at the show too.  They shipped me my ticket since I bought it so early.  I’m actually ticket #001.  Looks like I’m first!  See you there.

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