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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

The Baseball Thaw

by Ken Newquist / February 25, 2009
A Beautiful Sty: : An aerial shot of Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Credit: Lehigh Valley IronPigs

It’s February in Pennsylvania, which means we’re alternating between cold and icy, cold and muddy, and just plain cold. Oh we get theoccasional spring tease, when temps spike up to the mid-40s, but thoseare quickly gone.

Now granted, it’s not New England, which just got another foot ofsnow, but it’s still miserable enough to get me looking forward tospring. And spring naturally gets me thinking about baseball, and thenine-ticket plan I just bought to see the Lehigh Valley IronPigs play. 

The IronPigs are the Lehigh Valley’s new AAA affiliate of the Phillies(which, as a Mets fan, I try not to hold against them). They’ve got abeautiful stadium (pictured at right) and I had a great time at the twogames I went to last summer.

So much so that I decided that two games just wasn’t enough; Ineeded more. Fortunately, the IronPigs offer a variety of mini ticketplans. They’re kind of like season tickets, insomuch as you get to sitin the same seats for each game you attend, but they’re a heck of a lotmore affordable.

I bought two tickets for nine-game  mini plans, which cost me $162.That breaks down to about $18 per game for two people, which is worldscheaper than what a Major League game would cost. Granted, you’ve gotto factor food and parking into that as well, which is probably another$20, but even at that it’s a steal.  You’d spend that much going to themovies … and you wouldn’t get to spend any time outside (which,admittedly, some geeks might see as a point in its favor).

I plan on taking my five-year-old daughter to a bunch of the games —in fact I picked the seats I did because Jordan wants a chance to catchfoul balls. We had a blast at the games last year, and she’s very muchlooking forward to it. That said, I’m also planning on inviting myfriends to a few games; a Saturday spent sipping beer and watchingbaseball sounds like a great way to relax. And somehow, I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble finding folks who want to join me…

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I've become a huge fan of minor league ball. (The Pawtucket Red Sox are up the street). Not only is it a lot cheaper, and a lot closer to the action, but it's just more fun to watch. The minor league players seem to make a lot more bolder plays.

Ah, yes. Spring is not yet here, but baseballs are being thrown and caught.

Baseball is a great sport for geeks. It is perfectly suited to those who love to crunch numbers, stats, obscure rules and even power gamers (Yankee fans). It is a sport of epic scope which plays its long space opera like season out over a grand summer and fall. It has off the field antics and drama which seldom obscure the on the field antics and drama. It is expected that the fan will sit and relax and not expend any energy at all. he economy is falling apart, 4e was a vast disapointment, but Baseball is good.

I watch the Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators. I cannot agree with you more that the minor league experiance is superior in many ways to its big league counterpart. The food at the Curve games is great.