In 2019, Colorado Springs to San Antonio, San Antonio to Amarillo, Helena to Colorado Springs

I mentioned the possibility of this happening a while ago, but it’s been announced officially.  In 2019, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox will relocate to San Antonio, TX, the San Antonio Missions will relocate to Amarillo, TX and the Helena Brewers will relocate to Colorado Springs, CO.

San Antonio is looking to build a new stadium and upgrade from AA to AAA.  The new location of the San Antonio franchise is what held up this agreement previously as Lubbock and Wichita were also vying to get this franchise, in addition to Amarillo.  A new stadium will be built in Amarillo for this Texas League team.  Since Colorado Springs has a large stadium that doesn’t draw well in the spring, it makes sense for a short season league to move in.

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Bobby Wine Former Philadelphia Phillies Signing – June 5, 2017

On June 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 and coach Bobby Wine.  I arrived about 30 minutes before the show started and had no trouble getting an autograph.  They also gave me a free T-shirt, which was a nice surprise.  The show is broadcast live on Mondays and is a great opportunity to meet Greg Luzinski and another player.

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Matt Stairs Philadelphia Phillies Coach Signing – May 22, 2017

On May 22, I was able to attend the Bull Session Radio Show at Chickie and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  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 Phillies Hitting Coach Matt Stairs.  I arrived about 10 minutes before the show started and was able to walk right in and get an autograph.  The show is broadcast live on Mondays and is a great opportunity to meet Greg Luzinski and another player.

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Tommy Joseph Philadelphia Phillies Signing – May 8, 2017

On May 8, I was able to attend the Bull Session Radio Show at Chickie and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  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 Phillies 1B Tommy Joseph.  There were about 20 people or so in attendance, so even though I arrived sufficiently early, there wasn’t a need to do so as everyone who wanted an autograph was able to get one 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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Iowa Cubs extend PDC with Cubs to 2020

The Iowa Cubs have extended their player development contract with the Cubs to 2020.  This is a two year extension beyond the previous agreement to 2018.  The Cubs have had their AAA affiliate in Iowa since 1981.  The article mentions that this is the third longest affiliation excluding minor league teams that are owned by a major league team, so in case you were curious, the two that are longer are Reading with the Phillies (tied for longest overall with the Tigers in Lakeland) and Omaha with the Royals.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.htm

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Wilmington Blue Rocks Open Batting Practice – April 4, 2017

On Tuesday, April 4, the Wilmington Blue Rocks held an open batting practice where fans could come into the stadium to watch and also get autographs.  Throughout the event, there was a table on the concourse where a number of players signed autographs.  I was able to meet quite a few players, but I also got autographs on the three cards of the players which I had.  Not coincidentally, I had cards of the players who were the highest draft picks, Foster Griffin, Chase Vallot and Scott Blewett.

One thing that I was disappointed about was that the Blue Rocks roster wasn’t posted online the day before the event.  Their webpage was not updated for the 2017 roster until that day.  Luckily, I decided to grab cards of any of the Royals players who are at the lower levels since I wasn’t sure who was going to be there and was able to get autographs from all three players on the team whose cards I had.

While they have had this event in past years, this was my first time in attendance, and I plan on going back again next season.

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Bill Ripken Former Baltimore Oriole Signing – March 4, 2017

Bill Ripken Autographed Card

Yesterday, the Abingdon branch of the Harford County Public Library hosted the Aberdeen IronBirds Kickoff Celebration which featured former Orioles player Bill Ripken.  He read some stories to the kids at the event and answered some of their questions.  At the end of the event, he signed items and took pictures with pretty much every fan there.  I thought it was a great event that provided access to a former major league player who enjoyed talking about baseball and interacting with the fans.

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Portland Sea Dogs extend PDC with Red Sox to 2020

The Portland Sea Dogs have extended their player development contract with the Red Sox to 2020.  This is a two year extension beyond the previous agreement to 2018.  The Sea Dogs have been a Red Sox affiliate since 2003.

http://minorleaguesource.com/pdc.htm

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Astros Carolina League Team to Play in Buies Creek, NC

The Astros High A Carolina League affiliate will be playing in Buies Creek, NC in 2017.  The team will move to a new stadium in Fayetteville, NC in 2019, but will be playing at Campbell University in Buies Creek in 2017 and 2018.  The team will be known as the Buies Creek Astros.

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New Orleans Zephyrs Change Name to New Orleans Baby Cakes

The New Orleans Zephyrs have changed their name to the New Orleans Baby Cakes.  I think this is another terrible choice for a name.  I know this is done for marketing purposes, but I just don’t see people getting excited over Baby Cakes merchandise.  I also agree that a name change is good since they had kept the inherited Zephyrs name from when the team was in Denver, but I wish that they would have gone back to the old Pelicans name in 1993 when the American Association team moved to New Orleans, unlike now where they can’t use it since the basketball team has it.  I also guess that teams like to have two word names since that is what the five newly named teams decided to go with.

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