We’re not worthy!

Day 5 of our vacation brought about as much hero worship as a baseball fan can cram into one day. First stop: the Baseball Hall of Fame, of course.

We found some familiar faces: the Founding Fathers …

… the Hawk …

… the Wizard …

… the greatest closer of his generation …

… and the man who teed off on him twice in a game to cement his own reputation. 🙂

We also found Eddie Gaedel’s uniform …

Johnny Evers’ glove …

his famous partners

… and a man whose voice rises and falls in the background of virtually every summer memory I have from the time I was 7 until the time I moved out of my parents’ house:

There was plenty more, of course, and I could have spent the whole day in there, but I had a real, live Hall of Famer waiting for me in Allentown, Pa., so we reluctantly left the museum and made our way back to the car in the early afternoon so we could make it to Coca-Cola Park in time for the first pitch.

The Phillie Phanatic showed up to entertain the crowd that evening at the ballgame:

Unfortunately, his visit was cut short when he was hit by a foul ball and taken to the hospital. He was OK, but he was out of the game for the rest of the evening.

We spent our first evening at The Coke with the guys from Noise Nation, who are basically Lehigh Valley’s answer to Wrigley Field’s famous Bleacher Bums. Honestly, they would have been worth the trip out there all by themselves. They lead cheers (most notably, “Gimme a K!” every time an IronPigs pitcher gets two strikes on somebody), dance during the seventh-inning stretch, ring cowbells, and just generally have a good time. Photos below are from our last evening in town, when Dan, Dean, and Jimmy T. signed the Dreamcar:

Over the winter, the guys put together a really nice charity cookbook, which you can buy here. It has all kinds of recipes in it from current players, former players, a rival or two, and fans.

Noise Nation hangs out behind the bullpen a lot, which is fun. The guys like to rattle the opposing pitchers and shout encouragement to any IronPigs within earshot. They have a running joke about Mike Schwimer’s curly hair. When Schwimer pitches, the guys all put on Afro wigs and shout, “Phear the ‘Phro!” in a nod to Giants closer Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson. It’s pretty hilarious.

That’s Mike Zagurski warming up. He was one of three IronPigs chosen to play in the upcoming AAA All-Star game. He deserves it; he’s a damn good closer. Schwimer and catcher Erik Kratz are the other two All-Stars in Allentown this year. Good choices all around, IMO.

More IronPigs photos coming soon; stay tuned. 🙂


3 thoughts on “We’re not worthy!”

  1. Surely was a hell of a trip.Thanks for bringing me along with all the great pictures. Love your site.

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