The IronPigs’ “Salute to Philadelphia Night” – which included a one-game name change of the club to the Lehigh Valley Cheesesteaks – was recognized as the best theme night in Minor League Baseball at this year’s Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar in Birmingham, Alabama. It marks the third “Golden Bobblehead” in club history, and the first since 2013.
As part of the promotion, IronPigs fans also determined that the proper way to eat a cheesesteak is “Wit” onions, based on 63% of the voters in an online poll at a special web site, LVCheesesteaks.com. Based on that vote, the team donned a Cheesesteaks cap design incorporating a steak sandwich logo that contained onions along with steak and cheese. The team also wore a special Cheesesteaks black jersey that featured the word “Steaks” emblazoned across the front chest in “Cheese Wiz” yellow. The chest patch, complete with the appearance of dripping cheese, was specifically designed to emulate the characteristics of hot cheese on a steak sandwich. The specialty jerseys worn on-field by the team were auctioned off with proceeds benefiting both IronPigs Charities and New Bethany Ministries.
“We raised the Steaks with this truly unique theme night and are thrilled to be recognized by our peers throughout Minor League Baseball,” exclaimed IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes. “We take great pride in being recognized as one of the most creative and forward-thinking organizations in the industry and are already preparing to up the ante for the 2017 season.
In addition to the name and uniform change, other promotions for “Salute to Philadelphia Night” included:
- Appearances throughout the game by the world-famous Phillie Phanatic.
- Philadelphia beer selections from Victory Brewing Co. and Yards Brewing Co.
- Philadelphia-themed on-field contests between half-innings.
Cheesesteaks have been referred to as both a civic icon and a cultural obsession in Philadelphia. Debuting in the 1930’s, the cheesesteak was invented in Philadelphia and today is served in hundreds of steakhouses around the city.
The connection between Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley runs deeper than many people think. In 1777, the Liberty Bell was hidden in Allentown so that the British army wouldn’t melt it down for munitions. Of course, the city of Philadelphia’s role in the founding of the United States of America is unmatched as it served as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787.
Cheesesteaks replica jerseys, along with official “Wit” and “Witout” caps and t-shirts are still available at LVCheesesteaks.com and at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park.
Coca-Cola Park has been among the most progressive venues in professional sports since its highly-acclaimed debut in 2008, receiving numerous honors and distinctions, including the prestigious 2012 Bob Freitas award, recognizing long-term excellence in the operation of minor league franchises, with a focus on the areas of market commitment, operational practices, community involvement and business success.