'Pigs promotions certainly not boar-ing

Minor League Baseball is all about promotion, promotion, promotion. For the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, their thoughts went outside the proverbial pig pen to come up with some interesting ideas.

I admit it. I'm hooked on cool baseball stuff. I was always one of those kids who picked which Phillies game they wanted to go to for the giveaway and I haven't completely grown out of that even now. So, when the Lehigh Valley IronPigs promotional schedule came out, I was in Hog Heaven, which could also be the perfect nickname for Coca-Cola Park.

Now, my wife isn't very keen on having my important and stylish baseball collectibles all over the house, so I've been relegated to keeping them in my "baseball room". However, the 'Pigs promotional schedule may provide me a way to branch out of my little room.

Certainly, my wife can't argue with me coming home with a new plunger. See, we live in an old house and the old plumbing requires the frequent use of a plunger. My plan is to have our current plunger develop a major flaw right around mid-May, just in time for me to head out to Coca-Cola Park and get a Lehigh Valley IronPigs Plunger. Yes, they're giving away a plunger! How cool is that? Now, odds are that it will be too cool to actually be put to use, so I'll have to buy a new plunger anyway, but our bathroom has room for two plungers.

I generally handle the bills, so the IronPigs check book cover will be perfect. That's being given away on Tax Day, April 15th. To get over paying the bills, I'll take the dog for a walk, with his new, stylish IronPigs dog leash (April 30), which is also the first of two "Bark In The Park" promotions (the other is August 10).

Maybe if I can get my wife involved in the collecting, I can get more baseball stuff around the house. We'll head out for Italian Heritage Night on June 29 to pick up 'Pigs Pizza Cutters and then we can pick up some Oven Mitts on August 31 and get her a pink bucket hat on May 3. My wife loves tote-bags, so the "Go Green" canvas tote-bag being given away on April 25 would also be a good pick-up. Hey, maybe I can even swap out that butterfly flag we have hanging in the garden for a new IronPigs house flag being given away on June 14. And if she won't let me put it in the garden, there's a window in my baseball room that could easily handle a flag holder.

Other interesting items include Maracas in celebration of Cinco De Mayo on May 5, a Night Light on May 31 and a Mouse Pad on June 1.

For the more serious of collectors, there's a Coca-Cola Park Replica Giveaway Night on April 9, which also happens to be Opening Day. Bobbleheads make their popular return on April 16 when the IronPigs observe Hawaiian Night -- and the first 3,000 fans 18 and older will receive a bobblehead of the Phillies World Champion outfielder Shane Victorino. Victorino, a Hawaiian native, became the first-ever Major Leaguer to rehab with the IronPigs when he appeared in uniform at Coca-Cola Park last season on April 26-27. The IronPigs will also honor one of the top young stars in the Phillies system with a J.A. Happ bobblehead giveaway planned for August 12. FeFe, the IronPigs lovable female mascot, is tabbed for the other bobblehead giveaway on June 25.

So, why did the 'Pigs put together such an ambitious promotional schedule?

"In our inaugural season, fans lived ‘high on the hog' with the best promotional lineup in all of Minor League baseball," said IronPigs General Manager Kurt Landes. "We felt as though we now have a reputation to uphold -- so we reloaded with some new unique giveaways and crazy entertainment acts to supplement the popular returning promotions. To paraphrase MC Hammer, [other teams] still can't touch us."

I can easily see where some baseball room renovations could be in order.

For a full list of IronPigs promotions and information on who can receive the promotions, visit IronPigsBaseball.com. And if you want to relive the glory of last year's Opening Day at Coca-Cola Park, we still have some copies of our 8"x10" First Pitch photo available at HixsonMedia.com.

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