by Stephen Pagano
As the 2017 Philadelphia Phillies possess one of the worst records in Major League Baseball, my friend Pat and I decided to take the one-hour trip and check out their Triple A affiliate, the first place Lehigh Valley IronPigs, in Allentown, PA.
The IronPigs play Minor League Baseball in Coca Cola Park. It’s a beautiful stadium that opened in March 2008 and cost about 50 million to construct. It seats approximately 10,000 fans and has a huge Coca Cola bottle that shoots off fireworks when the home team scores a run. The IronPigs have two mascots named Ferrous and FeFe that entertain the excited crowds on hand. In left center field, a patch of grass allows fans who purchase general admission tickets to relax on beach towels and enjoy the game. It’s very similar to a Phillies spring training game in Clearwater, FL.
Phillies top prospects J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Rhys Hoskins, and Dylan Cozens filled out the Lehigh Valley IronPigs roster. Many of these players could be on the Phillies big league roster later this year or next season.
The IronPigs played the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on this warm June Saturday night. I sipped a refreshing Cola Cola while I viewed some of the action from the right field Bud Light deck. The sold-out crowd witnessed the RailRiders defeat The Pigs 11-4. Afterward, the fans were treated to a great fireworks show.
The Philadelphia Phillies future looks strong. Our farm system has many crops in it from previous trades such as the Cole Hamels mega-deal with the Texas Rangers. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before we witness winning baseball again in South Philadelphia.