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Old meets new in the International League04/01/2008 8:00 AM ET
By Steven Conley / Special to MLB.com
Minor League Baseball provides an interesting mix of constant change and long-standing history. As the 2008 season approaches, MiLB.com takes a look at what you can expect in the International League, both new and old.
Debut of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Lehigh Valley will play in the brand new Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which has a seating capacity of 8,100. The team will be managed by Dave Huppert, who has won championships in each of the last two seasons. Huppert guided the South Atlantic League's Lakewood BlueClaws and the Florida State League's Clearwater Threshers to their respective league titles in 2006 and 2007.
The IronPigs inaugural season begins on April 3 at PNC Field House in Moosic, Pennsylvania against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. They will open play at Coca-Cola Park on April 11 against the reigning International League-champion Richmond Braves.
Hall of Fame opens doors to 27
The new inductees include 22 former IL players as well as those with experience as managers, general managers, owners and broadcasters. Some of the greatest achievements in the history of the league were made by members of the 2008 class. Dale Alexander, Frank Herrera, George Puccinelli and Jim Rice account for four of the six Triple Crowns in league history, while Puccinelli is the league all-time hitting champion (.334). Also among the inductees are 1958 Most Valuable Pitcher Tommy Lasorda and former International League Manager of the Year Joe Morgan.
The 125th anniversary celebration will also include a regular-season game between the Rochester Red Wings and the Syracuse Chiefs to be played at historic Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York on May 18.
Foli takes over as Clippers manager
75th and final season at Cooper Stadium
In 2009, the Clippers will move into Huntington Park, which is currently under construction in the Arena District in Columbus. Groundbreaking on the new 10,000 seat stadium took place on August 2, 2007. The name of the new park does not figure to undergo the same identity changes as its predecessor, as the naming rights were purchased by Huntington Bancshares, Inc. for $12 million over 23 years.
Baseball in Toledo
The club has been affiliated with eight different Major League organizations in its history, beginning with the New York Giants in 1930. Toledo was without organized baseball for nine seasons from 1956-1964 when the New York Yankees' transfer of the Richmond club to Toledo restored professional baseball there in 1965 and permanently restored the nickname Mud Hens. Short-lived affiliations with the Yankees, Phillies, Indians and Twins led the club to its current affiliation with the Detroit Tigers, which began in 1987.
Familiar faces managing clubs
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.