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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

Geeking Out with #calledup

by Ken Newquist / July 8, 2013
John Mayberry Jr., before he was called up from the IronPigs to the Phillies.

I love science fiction, but I've come to love baseball almost as much. As long time readers know, I came to the Church of Baseball late in life, so I don't know all the rituals and I haven't memorized all the stats ... but I do enjoy the game.

This summer my friends and I are celebrating it with #calledup -- our quest to attend five Phillies affiliated baseball games in five days. We're not doing it because we're huge Phillies fans -- I'm a Mets guy, Jason's a Pirates man, and John bleeds Yankee pinstripes -- but we are big IronPigs fans, which are the Allentown-based AAA affiliate of the Phillies. For the last few years we've faithfully purchased ticket plans for the IronPigs, and it's become a fixture of our springs and summers.

But here's the really important bit: we can do this because the Phillies played it smart. All but one of their farm teams are located within 2.5 hours of Philadelphia. That's the Williamsport CrossCutters (Single A Short Season), the Lakewood BlueClaws (Single A), the Reading Fightin Phils (Double A) and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple A). The only one who's not in easy striking distance are the Clearwater Threshers, located in Clearwater Florida.

Our plan is to see all five of the local affiliates -- including the Phillies themselves -- in order. We named this quest "#calledup" because of the admittedly long-shot chance that we might -- just might -- see someone called up and play in two different leagues this week.

It's unlikely, but baseball geeks can dream, can't they?

We're chronicling our efforts at phillycalledup.com and on twitter with @PhillyCalledUp. We've been making posts in anticipation of #calledup, like Rumbling in Syracuse, Pennant Collection, and Crosscutting the Scrappers, but this week will be the main event.

It's going to be fantastic.