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

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1949 AACC San Francisco ’49ers vs. Cleveland Browns Press Pin

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Well… Robert Griffin III is now a Cleveland Brown.  He must have put on one hell of a show for Hue Jackson to want him.  Cleveland seems to be the place to go where quarterbacks die.  Maybe this time it’ll be different.  I’m not holding my breath.  RGIII gets injured so easily.

It might be hard to believe, but at one time the Browns were actually very good.  They got their start in 1946 in the AAFC (All-American Football Conference), which was a major competitor to the NFL.  The AAFC was founded in 1944, but didn’t play it’s first season until 1946.  Then it went defunct in 1949.  While the AAFC was around, the Browns were champions for all four seasons of it’s existence.  Its no surprise that the NFL gave the Browns a place to go.  Along with the ’49ers and Colts.  They also have four NFL Championships under their belt as well.

Relics from these short lived leagues are in huge demand.  Since the AAFC wasn’t around that long, it’s list of merchandise is small.  The pin pictured above was given to members of the media who attended the fourth and final AAFC Championship game in 1949.  A pin just like this sold for over $400.00 not that long ago.

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Alien vs. Predator Little League PA District Pin

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Its fascinating to see what characters will popup on Little League pins.  Especially when it comes to the individual districts.  They seem to be able to use anything they want.  I’ve seen them use some pretty violent characters like The Punisher, Deadpool, and the evil Mr. Peanut.

A few years ago a district from Pennsylvania made a batch of pins featuring the Predator strangling an Alien.  As crazy as these pins can get, they almost always have a baseball twist to them.  As you can see, the Alien has a baseball on the tip of it’s tail.  Demand for these pins are really all over the place.  They can sell for $8.00 all the way to $45.00.

The 2016 Little League World Series takes place in South Williamsport on 8/18 to 8/28.  We still don’t know what the official 2016 Little League World Series logo looks like.  I’m sure they’ll unveil it soon.

On a side note, I read earlier this week that Arnold Schwarzenegger could possibly be returning for the next Predator movie.  His character Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer hasn’t been seen since the original film.

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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Lancaster Barnstormers vs. Bridgeport Bluefish – 5/30/15

Every summer I try and get to a handful of minor league games.  Specifically on days they’re giving out bobbleheads.  This year I’ve got tickets for the Williamsport Crosscutters, Harrisburg Senators, State College Spikes, and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  On the day I go see the Iron Pigs they aren’t giving out bobbleheads, but I’ve never been to Coca-Cola Park before.  So that will be a whole new experience for me.

The Lancaster Barnstormers give out great bobbleheads.  They aren’t always of players, managers, and/or mascots related to the team either.  Many times their bobbleheads focus on historical or famous individuals from the Lancaster area.  On Saturday, May 30th the Barnstormers gave out bobbleheads of Robert Fulton to the first 1,000 fans.

Robert Fulton was born in Little Britain, PA which is located in the southern portion of Lancaster.  He is credited with inventing the first commercially successful steamboat called Clermont.  Fulton was also commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was one of the first usable submarines in history.  Early torpedoes used by the British Royal Navy were another invention of his.

The Barnstormers have two more bobblehead nights this year.  On July 18th they will be giving out bobbleheads of golfer Jim Furyk.  Johnny Weir bobbleheads will be given out on July 31st.  While I was there, I picked up a new pin for my collection too.  They should be getting a few more new pins in later this season.  Lancaster won 10-0 that night.

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Cylo!

“Pin-Up” of the Week: Penn State vs. Boston College 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Pin

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Penn State wasn’t even expecting to be eligible for a bowl game last year.  But with the lifting of the sanctions and their 6-6 record they became eligible for the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl which took place in Yankee Stadium.  They were able to sneak out a 31-30 win over Boston College.  Placekicker Sam Ficken made the extra point that put Penn State over the top to win.  Ficken was using Derek Jeter’s old locker that day.  I guess using Jeter’s locker brought him some luck.

Pins from this game haven’t shown up all that much.  Apparently most of them sold out at the game.  They’ve been selling for $15.00 to 50.00.  I got mine for $15.00.