Minor League Update

While Major Leaguers start rolling into Florida and Arizona, Minor League teams are also preparing for the upcoming season.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Things are coming together nicely at Coca-Cola Park, the nearly finished home of the 'Pigs. The inaugural season is coming and there is plenty of excitement and action surrounding the team.

The big league club will be in town to play an exhibition against the IronPigs on Sunday March 30th. The exhibition will be the first time that the Phillies and one of their affiliates will square off since May of 2000 when the Phils made a trip to Double-A Reading. "We're very pleased that the big league club will be the first to play in Coca-Cola Park," said Phillies President and CEO David Montgomery. At a recent media event, manager Charlie Manuel joked that he plans on being the first to take batting practice and guaranteed that he will be the first to hit a ball out of the park. "I did the same thing in Jacobs Field and I'm going to do it there," said Manuel.

Meanwhile, the Pigs will hit the road the two days later to play the Reading Phillies at FirstEnergy Park in Reading. It's possible that the game will become an annual event to benefit Baseballtown Charities, the R-Phils charities.

The promotional team is fired up and ready, choosing a lucky couple to take part in the first ever wedding at Coca-Cola Park, which will be in August. Allentown natives Tiffany Rupp and Scott Kushner were chosen as the lucky couple and will be married at CCP and also celebrate their reception at the park. This weekend, the team will hold auditions for National Anthem performers.

Reading Phillies

Besides announcing the exhibition game with Lehigh Valley, the R-Phils are planning some exciting events for fans. On Monday February 18, the team will hold a special President's Day sale on tickets for the home opener. The home portion of the schedule opens on April 11 against the Altoona Curve (Pirates) and fans can purchase tickets for the game on Monday for the reduced price of just $5 (a Lincoln) for reserved seats and $2 (two Washingtons) for general admission. They'll also have tickets for the Fairgrounds Square Mall All-You-Can-Eat Picnic Area for $20 (a Jackson). The home opener will allow kids 14 and under to get a special bobblehead celebrating back-to-back MVPs Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.

Williamsport CrossCutters

The team announced that Historic Bowman Field will be getting a newfangled scoreboard. The LED scoreboard and display system will be installed this Spring and will be ready for the 2008 season. The current scoreboard saw 20 seasons of action in Williamsport after a long career in Buffalo. The new Bowman Field scoreboard features an LED baseball scoreboard and two LED video/message displays, one measuring 8' x 18' and the other measuring 2' x 18'.

The scoreboard, being purchased by the City of Williamsport, is being partially financed through a state grant, secured by Rep. Steve Cappelli. "As always the Crosscutters strive to provide a comfortable and enjoyable night at the ballpark while still trumpeting the uniqueness of our 82 year old stadium.  We sincerely feel this scoreboard will add to fans enjoyment without feeling out of place in this truly historic setting," said CrossCutters Vice President General Manager Doug Estes.

A look at the new Williamsport CrossCutters scoreboard.

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