Boise Hawks extend PDC with Rockies to 2020

The Boise Hawks have extended their player development contract with the Rockies to 2020.  The Hawks have been a Rockies affiliate since 2015.  Most Short Season A affiliates have expiring contracts at the end of 2018, but it’s too early to get a feel on what may happen since most (if not all) will be renewed.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Williamsport Crosscutters extend PDC with Phillies to 2020

The Williamsport Crosscutters have extended their player development contract with the Philadelphia Phillies to 2020.  The Crosscutters have been a Phillies affiliate since 2007.  I haven’t heard much recently about the Phillies trying to move their NY-Penn League affiliate to the Philadelphia suburbs.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Salt Lake Bees extended PDC with Angels to 2020 (announced in April)

The Salt Lake Bees extended their player development contract with the Angels to 2020.  This was announced on April 4, but I missed it.  The Angels have been in Salt Lake since 2001.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Pete Mackanin and Larry Bowa Phillies Coaches Signing – September 11, 2017

On September 11, I was able to attend the Bull Session Radio Show at The Blue Bell Inn in Blue Bell, PA.  The show is hosted by Dan Baker and former Phillies player Greg Luzinski and they typically have a current or former player as a guest on the show.  They advertise that the guest will sign autographs and this show’s guests were Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin and former Phillies and current Bench Coach Larry Bowa.  I was able to get autographs of Mackanin, Bowa and Luzinski before the show began.  The show is broadcast live on Mondays and is a great opportunity to meet Greg Luzinski and another player.

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Astros Ending Affiliation With Greeneville

The Astros have announced that they are ending their affiliation with Greeneville of the Appalachian League.  It is expected that the franchise will remain and another major league team will take on this franchise.  The Astros have been in the Appalachian League since 1999, but decided to eliminate one of their affiliates.

After the 2006 season, the Blue Jays and Indians left the Appalachian League and they were only able to add the Royals for the 2007 season and played as a nine team league.  The Mariners did affiliate with the Pulaski team for the 2008 season bringing the league back to ten teams.  Since then, three other affiliation changes have occurred, so we’ll hope that another major league team wants to join the league.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.html

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Gene Garber Former Philadelphia Phillies Signing – September 5, 2017

On September 5, I was able to attend the Bull Session Radio Show at The Blue Bell Inn in Blue Bell, PA.  The show is hosted by Dan Baker and former Phillies player Greg Luzinski and they typically have a current or former player as a guest on the show.  They advertise that the guest will sign autographs and this show’s guest was former Phillies player Gene Garber.  Normally I arrive before the show starts, but I didn’t make it there this week untl about halfway through the show. I was thinking that I would need to wait until the show ended to see if I could get any autographs, but they were kind enough to sign during the commerical break.  The show is broadcast live on Mondays and is a great opportunity to meet Greg Luzinski and another player.

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Autographs from Reading – Harrisburg Game – August 27, 2017

I’ve talked before about how Reading is a great place for autographs, but this time, I decided to go for home team autographs instead of away team autographs.  The Fightin Phils also need to walk through the concourse to get to the field, but it’s a little more controlled as they have someone manning a gate to allow them field access.  What I don’t understand is why they have an additional temporary fence beyond a chain link fence where the players walk through.  So what this does is provide two pathways to the field, one for the players and another for others who need field access.  As a result, fans are too far away from the players to try to get autographs, unless the players walk through the pathway and then come back around.  At first, I wasn’t sure which of the two paths the players would take, but every player took the players only path and a few came back along the fence to sign autographs.

On the other side of the player pathway are the stands and standing there greatly increases one’s chances of getting an autograph.  It’s tough to fit more than five people here, but it’s better than hoping the player will come back around.  I chose the Reading side over the Harrisburg side because I had more cards of their players, but it didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.  I did manage to get an autograph from Reading Pitcher Franklyn Kilome, which was the player I most wanted to meet as he is ranked as the Phillies #8 prospect.

Since I committed to the Reading side before the game, I decided to go to the Harrisburg side after the game.  I made my way over before the 9th inning started, although just after the Senators game up the game-winning grand slam.  I saw a number of people standing there waiting for the team already, which was a little surprising.  And even though the team was dejected after a tough loss, I did decide to see if anyone was willing to sign.

One thing that makes getting autographs at games difficult is that there is a fairly small window to get a player’s attention as they walk by.  I noticed that the rest of the people were making a minimal attempt if any to grab their attention, but maybe they thought the players would just see them and walk over and offer to sign autographs for everyone.  The one issue I had was that there was one fan who was asking any player that walked by for a broken bat.  I hadn’t seen anyone do that before, but it also distracted the players enough that I missed the opportunity to ask some if they were willing to sign.  I was also shocked that the Nationals top prospect, Victor Robles, walked through and nobody really made an attempt at an autograph.  Yes, that would have been me if I didn’t get his autograph at a game the previous month.  But I did manage to get an autograph from 3B Drew Ward, the Nationals #18 prospect.  Interestingly, I managed to get an autograph from him at the end of a Blue Rocks game, two years prior, but I do appreciate his willingness to sign after games.

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Reading Fightin Phils vs Harrisburg Senators – August 27, 2017

On Sunday, I went to Reading to see the Fightin Phils (still not a fan of that name) take on the Harrisburg Senators.  Reading is always a great place for a ballgame.  I think the team does a good job in providing the fan experience.

The game was exciting as Reading and Harrisburg decided that they would each score in the same innings.  I was concerned at first because it was 1-1 after one inning, then 3-3 after two innings, but after the Senators took a one-run lead in the top of the 8th, Christian Marrero broke the cycle and hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 8th for a 7-4 Reading win.  I was able to see Victor Robles play for the second time this season.  He’s the Nationals top prospect and definitely looked good again going 2-4 with a two-run double out of the leadoff position.  I will say that I’m not a fan of his Andruw Jones impression when catching the ball where he flicks his glove down as he catches it.  I mention Jones because he had the infamous mistake where he did that and dropped the ball.  I hope he starts catching the ball with two hands when the situation allows.

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Bob Boone Former Philadelphia Phillies Signing – August 14, 2017

On August 14, I was able to attend the Bull Session Radio Show at The Blue Bell Inn in Blue Bell, PA.  The show is hosted by Dan Baker and former Phillies player Greg Luzinski and they typically have a current or former player as a guest on the show.  They advertise that the guest will sign autographs and this show’s guest was former Phillies player Bob Boone.  I arrived about 10 minutes before the show started and a few minutes after I made it there, Luzinski and Boone arrived.  They were kind enough to sign autographs for fans before the show started. The show is broadcast live on Mondays and is a great opportunity to meet Greg Luzinski and another player.

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Autographs from Aberdeen – Brooklyn Game – July 30, 2017

For games in the NY-Penn League, I don’t typically have many cards because many of the players were drafted this year and wouldn’t have any cards.  And it doesn’t help that I don’t seem to obtain new cards all that quickly either.  I did have one card for an IronBirds player, so I decided to hang out on their side of the field with the hopes of getting a Ryan Ripken autograph.  Eventually, he did walk by and sign autographs for the fans.

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