The 2015 State College Spikes season is gearing up to be something special, because not only are the Spikes coming off of a fresh New York-Penn League Championship from the 2014 season, but the team is also celebrating its 10th season playing at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, Pennsylvania.
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park broke ground on May 18, 2005 off Porter Road on the Penn State-University Park campus. The field, which became the first baseball park in the world to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, was a Spikes and Penn State University collaboration which fostered a mutually-beneficial working relationship between the two baseball programs.
A generous $2.5 million donation from 2012 trustee elect Anthony P. Lubrano (Class of 1982), in conjunction with private, state and university donations and Spikes involvement, allowed the field’s construction. Lubrano, who graduated magna cum laude from the Smeal College of Business with a degree in accounting, named the field after former Penn State baseball head coach (1963-1981), Charles “Chuck” Medlar, who coached Penn State for 19 consecutive seasons.
With Medlar at the helm, Penn State had a 312-141-6 record while producing 14 All-Americans, 16 All-Region honorees and 14 drafted players. Medlar also led the program to the College World Series, once in his first year (1963) and a second time in 1973. This was the last time that Penn State has reaches the CWS. A year after passing away at 81 in 1999, Medlar was inducted into the Penn State Hall of Fame, not only for his work at Penn State, but also for his work with the 1952, 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic teams.
The State College Spikes have filled the upcoming season with celebrations, themed events, prize giveaways, 13 fireworks displays and player recognition.
It begins on Opening Night (Friday, June 19), a match up with the Williamsport Crosscutters, as the Spikes will be hosting a 10th Season Celebration Kickoff Party that all fans can enjoy. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive an official 10th Season Schedule Magnet. On June 21, one fan will win an Authentic NYPL Championship Ring – just like the coaches, staff and players – while the first 999 fans through the gates receive replica rings.
In July, The Goonies star Corey Feldman will make an appearance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1980s flick with “Salute to The Goonies Night.” The night will include a meet-and-greet with Feldman and a variety of Goonies-related activities like the “Truffle Shuffle” and a treasure hunt. Other themed nights include Futbol Night in America, Going Green, Military Appreciation Night, Bark in the Park, HD Weekend, Back to School Bash and Super Splash Day, when Medlar Field will turn into a water park.
Also in July, the Spikes’ key 2014 hitter Rowan Wick, who hit 14 home runs in 38 games to set a new single-season club record and lead the NYPL in home runs, will be honored by a poster giveaway. Fans will also have the chance to recognize the Spikes’ greatest players throughout the decade with the 10th Season All-Time Team by participating in the selection process.
Editor’s note: Members of The Cardinal Nation can check out Stephanie Panny’s State College Notebooks with all the inside information about the 2015 Spikes season. These locally-based reports will appear each and every Saturday all season long, starting on June 27th.
Follow Stephanie Panny on Twitter @StephaniePanny.
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