(Reading, Pa.)---2013 is expected to be one of the most anticipated seasons in the 47-year history of the Reading Fightin Phils. Not only will the season be headlined by the debut of the recently-rebranded Fightin Phils and FirstEnergy Stadium's $1 million video board project, it will also feature both innovative and classic promotions.
"This is an extremely important offseason for the franchise and the citizens of Baseballtown," said Fightin Phils General Manager Scott Hunsicker. "There were countless hours our staff spent trying to find the perfect promotional schedule to ensure our fans would go home happy each night."
Over the next two weeks, Fightins.com staff will reveal the promotions, giveaways, and theme nights that will make 2013 a "fightin" good time.
Individual game tickets for the upcoming 2013 season go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, or at the FirstEnergy Stadium Ticket Office.
1. Opening Night (April 12) - On April 12, the Reading Fightin Phils will flap their feathers make their debut under the franchise's new moniker and uniforms and to celebrate that, the first 3,000 adults at the 47th home opener will receive a Fightin Phils Stadium Blanket thanks to Capital BlueCross, Van Bennett Food Co., and VF Outlet. When wearing the blanket, it will appear as if you are actually wearing the same Fightin Phils Uniform as the players. The Fightin Phils uniform is an exact replica of the 1950 Phillies "Whiz Kids" Uniform.
Along with the unique giveaway, 25 lucky fans will receive the game-worn jerseys that the team will wear in their first-ever game as the Reading Fightin Phils. All fans that attend Fightin Phils Opening Night on April 12 will be eligible to win the authentic jerseys free of charge.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of last season's VIP Infield Party at the Baseballtown All-Star Classic Home Run Derby, the Fightin Phils will once again be hosting a party featuring exclusive on-field access for attendees on Opening Night.
The VIP On-Field Warning Track Cocktail Party will allow partygoers to watch batting practice on the field from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. and mingle with the 2013 Fightin Phils players, all while enjoying a unique night at the ballpark. The cocktail party includes on-field food stations provided by Adelphia Seafood, Berks Packing, Pepsi, and All Star Distributing.
More information about the night can be found here.
2. Carlos Ruiz "Chooching" Garden Gnome (August 13) - Continuing with a tradition that started in 2011, the 2013 season will feature the third annual "Chooching" giveaway. The Carlos Ruiz Chooching Garden Gnome blends two of the Reading Fightin Phils' most popular giveaway items in recent years. It will be presented to the first 3,000 adults 15 and over on Tuesday, Aug. 13 thanks to FirstEnergy. "Chooch" becomes the fourth Phillies great to be honored with a garden gnome in Baseballtown following Ryan Howard (2010-11), Cole Hamels (2011), and Vance Worley (2012).
3. Human Cannonball (May 17) -Making waves nationally on NBC's "America's Got Talent", CNN, and ABC News, the Human Cannonball, David "The Bullet" Smith, will be blasting off in Baseballtown on Friday, May 17 thanks to Carpenter Technology Corp. As the current world record holder for farthest human cannonball flight, The Human Cannonball will propel over FirstEnergy Stadium from his gigantic cannon. His appearance in Reading will be one for the ages.
4. A "Ruf" Weekend (April 13-14)-In what's being dubbed "A 'Ruf' Weekend", Baseballtown fans will be able to celebrate the historic accomplishments of the 2012 Eastern League MVP and Rookie of the Year, Darin Ruf.
Ruf's achievements will first be honored on Saturday, April 13 when All Star Distributing/Coors Light presents a Darin Ruf Home Run King Bobblehead to the first 2,500 adults 21 and over. Sculpted in his signature home run pose that thousands witnessed in 2012, the bobblehead is the first ever to feature the likeness of Ruf at any level of play.
The celebration continues on the following afternoon of Sunday, April 14 where the first 2,000 kids 14 and under will receive a Darin Ruf Home Run King 28" Wooden Baseball Bat thanks to CJ's Tire and Automotive Services. The bat will be modeled after the piece of lumber Ruf swatted as he chased Ryan Howard's record.
Ruf made a name for himself in Reading last season when he launched a single-season record 38 home runs. His total snapped Ryan Howard's mark of 37 home runs set in 2004.
5. Redner's Kids Club Sundays (All Season)-Each Sunday game this season will be a Redner's Fightin Phils Kids Club FREE ticket game. On 12 dates, members of the Redner's Fightin Phils Kids Club will receive a free ticket just for being a member of the club. Other Redner's Kids Club member benefits include weekly e-mail newsletters, free Phunland happy half-hours on Wednesday through Saturday games, free player autographs on Thursdays beginning in June, and free balloon art. Those interested can sign up here.
On the following dates, club members will be invited to take part in exclusive Kids Club events during the pre-game. The giveaways and promotions for each of the events are listed in parentheses.
April 14-On-Field Hitting Challenge (Announcement on 2/5)
April 28- Fightin Phils Team Autograph Session (Fightins Team Baseball Card Poster)
May 12-Play Catch on the Field Pre-Game (Mother's Day Fightin Phils Tote Bag)
May 19- Mascot Mania and Crazy Hot Dog Vendor Autograph Session (Your Head on the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor's Body Blanket)
June 2- All Members Throw a First Pitch (Fightin Phils Socker Boppers)
June 9- Superheroes and Crazy Hot Dog Vendor Autograph Session (Fightin Phils Superhero Cape)
June 23- Family Play Catch on the Field (Father's Day Game)
July 14-You Can Perform with the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor (Crazy Hot Dog Vendor Pillow Buddy)
July 28-Ice Cream Party and Chat Session with Fightin Phils Players (Fightin Phils Alarm Clock)
August 11-Pirate Hornswoggle and Princess Tea Party (Phillie Phanatic Appearance)
August 25-Fightin Phils Team Autograph Session (Fightin Phils Team Baseball Card Set)
Thurs., August 28- On-Field Candy Grab (Fightin Phils Backyard Baseball Bases)
Sundays aren't just for kids as all Berks Packing hot dogs are only $1 for Dollar Dog Sundays. Following each Sunday game, all fans are welcome to head down and run the bases thanks to 69 News Berks Edition.
6. Cole Hamels/Carlos Ruiz Salt & Pepper Shakers (August 26)-Shake it up with the Cole Hamels/Carlos Ruiz Salt & Pepper Shakers thanks to Unique Pretzels. The first 2,500 adults 15 and over on Monday, Aug. 26 will be able to take the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher/catcher combination home to their personal kitchens with the set. These ceramic shakers will be donned in classic Reading Fightin Phils uniforms and make for the perfect giveaway for any culinary experts.
7. Ryan Howard Action Figure-One of Baseballtown's all-time greats will be immortalized when the first 2,500 adults 15 and over on Wednesday, July 31 receive a Ryan Howard Action Figure thanks to Bayada Home Healthcare. A cross between Starting Lineup and McFarlane Toys, this giveaway will feature the slugger readying to hit one of his signature home runs.
8. Fightins Harley Game Cap & Fireworks-Always one of the season's most popular evenings, Harley-Davidson Night will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10 this season. The first 2,500 adults 18 and over will receive a Fightins Harley Game Cap thanks to Classic Harley-Davidson. During the pre-game, motorcyclists in attendance will circle the warning track for a pre-game parade as part of the celebration. Following the game, Classic Harley-Davidson will present a spectacular fireworks display.
After a two-season hiatus, Classic Harley-Davidson will once again be raffling off a brand-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle leading up to Aug. 10. On the field, members of the Fightin Phils roster will be wearing themed jerseys that will be auctioned and raffled. Proceeds from both raffles benefit Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
9. 12th Annual Morning Game and Mike Schmidt Mustache Coffee Mug (June 10)-If it's one thing that has been proved over the past 12 years, it's that nothing goes together quite like morning games and Reading Fightin Phils baseball. This season, on Mon., June 10, the first 2,000 adults 15 and over will receive a Mike Schmidt Mustache Coffee Mug thanks to Phoebe Berks Village. When one drinks from the Mike Schmidt Coffee Mug, it appears as if you have grown the same whiskers that adorned the Baseballtown great during his Hall of Fame career.
From 6:00 to 7:30 a.m., early birds will be served FREE coffee and hot dogs thanks to Bayada Home Healthcare. Starting at 8:30 a.m., fans will have the opportunity to stroll the warning track to the melodious tunes of Tony Farina.
10. Fightin Phils Socker Boppers (June 2)-A main focus of the Reading Fightin Phils new logo is the clenched fists of the ostrich and the popping "F-Fist" design. Going along with that popular look will be a Fightin Phils Socker Boppers giveaway on Sunday, June 2 to the first 2,000 kids 14 and under thanks to Ehrlich Pest Control. The air inflated boxing pillows make for soft, safe fun for kids of all ages.
11. Cole Hamels Old School Bobblehead (July 16)-In 2005, a young first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies made his Double-A debut with the Reading Fightin Phils. That pitching virtuoso was Cole Hamels, and on Tuesday, July 16, he will be honored with a Cole Hamels Old School Bobblehead. The first 2,500 adults 18 and over will receive the bobblehead courtesy of CJ's Tire and Automotive Services.
12. Gluttony Night (July 1)-Easily one of the most popular promotions in the past five seasons, Gluttony Night will be returning to FirstEnergy Stadium on Monday, July 1. Get a jump start on your Independence Day picnics by stuffing your face during this feeding frenzy. From the time the gates open until the end of the seventh inning, Fightins fans will be able to participate in the all-you-can-eat promotion at the stadium's concession stands.
13. Fightin Phils Retired Numbers T-Shirt: Schmidt, Sandberg, Roberts, and Robinson (July 15)- Over the 47-year history of the Reading Fightin Phils, just four numbers have been permanently retired. On Monday, July 15, Texstyles Screen Printing and Embroidery and Keystone Tees will present a Fightin Phils Retired Numbers T-Shirt for the first 2,500 adults 15 and over. Celebrate the Hall of Fame careers of Mike Schmidt, Ryne Sandberg, Robin Roberts, and Jackie Robinson with the only t-shirt giveaway of 2013.
14. 30 Fireworks Shows- 2013 will feature the most post-game fireworks shows in the history of FirstEnergy Stadium. Starting on Friday, April 26, fans will be bedazzled every Friday and Saturday throughout the season. Each Thursday evening game starting in June, Pepsi will present fireworks shows until the end of the season. Overall, fans will have 30 chances to come to Baseballtown and witness the best fireworks display of the summer.
15. Mother's and Father's Day (May 12 and June 23) - Year in and year out, the Reading Fightin Phils have been named Best Family Destination by Berks County Living. What better way is there to honor the mothers and fathers of Berks County than with the Fightin Phils Mother's Day and Father's Day games?
On Sunday, May 12, the first 2,000 women 15 and over will receive a Mother's Day Fightin Phils Tote Bag thanks to thirty-one. The afternoon also doubles as the Breast Cancer Awareness game where the Fightins will be wearing pink jerseys. Those jerseys will be auctioned and raffled with proceeds benefitting PA Breast Cancer Coalition. Also, thanks to Royer's Flowers and Gifts, the first 1,000 women 15 and over will receive a carnation. As part of the celebration, sons and daughters will be able to introduce their mothers on the field prior to the game.
A month later, it is dad's turn to be celebrated with Belated Father's Day at FirstEnergy Stadium. The first 2,000 men 15 and over will receive a Fightin Phils Neck Tie thanks to Center for Urologic Care of Berks County. The team will be donning Prostate Cancer Awareness uniforms that will be auctioned and raffled to benefit 'Us Too' Prostate Cancer Support Network. During the pre-game, sons and daughters will be able to introduce their fathers on-field. There will also be special VIP First Pitch Packages available where the child pitches to dad. Following the game, all fans are welcome to play catch on the field with dad thanks to 69 News Berks Edition.
16. Fightin Phils Mascot Band presented by National Penn Bank and Music in VIST Bank Plaza- For over a decade, the Fightin Phils Mascot Band has been rocking out with fans in Reading thanks to National Penn Bank. This season, Quack the Duck, Blooper the Hound Dog, Bucky the Beaver, Change-Up the Turtle, and Screwball will be performing on the Weston Center Winning Smiles Stage on the following Saturdays: May 11, May 18, June 1, June 8, June 22, July 13, July 27, August 10 and August 24.
VIST Bank Plaza will also feature such crowd-pleasing acts like Jeff Krick on Elvis Tribute Night (July 29), Good Lovin' Jam Band on Dead Head Night (June 12), John Hain on Parrot Head Night (June 18), Alligator Blues, Uptown Band, and many more!
17. Phillie Phanatic (June 11 and August 11) - Recognized globally, the Phillie Phanatic will be stopping in Baseballtown on both June 11 and August 11 to entertain thousands of fans with his brand of hijinks and merrymaking. The Philadelphia Phillies' mascot will be at FirstEnergy Stadium throughout both games. Appearing on ESPN, NBC's 30 Rock, and Rocky Balboa, the Phanatic has been dazzling crowds since 1978.
18. Wrestling Legend and Movie Star Kevin Nash Appearance with Autograph and Photo Session; Kevin Nash VIP Meet & Greet; Tribute to Professional Wrestling with Post-Game Wrestling (August 1)-He has wrestled in WWE, WCW, and TNA and has acted in such blockbusters as Magic Mike, Rock of Ages, and The Longest Yard. On Thursday, Aug. 1, Kevin Nash will be dropping in at FirstEnergy Stadium for the annual Tribute to Professional Wrestling Night thanks to All Star Distributing/Pabst.
"Big Daddy Cool" will be on hand during the pre-game for a VIP Meet & Greet session from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Tickets for the limited access event cost just $20. During the game, the former WWE and WCW Champion will be participating in an autograph and photo session for the general public.
Following the game, VIST Bank Plaza will play host to a card of wrestling matches as part of the night's festivities.
19. Crazy Hot Dog Vendor Pillow Buddy and FREE Loaf of Bread (July 14) - Did you ever want to practice your ostrich-riding skills at home with the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor? Well, now you can with the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor Pillow Buddy giveaway on Sunday, July 14 thanks to Stroehmann's. The first 2,000 kids 14 and under will be able to take Baseballtown's favorite mascot wherever you go with this one-of-a-kind giveaway. Parents will also be included in the fun of the afternoon game with a FREE loaf of Stroehmann's bread giveaway to first 2,000 adults 15 and over.
20. Fightin Phils Superhero Cape and Autograph Session (June 9) - WAM! BAM! SWOOSH! Kids 14 and under can fight for justice when Betty's Salads present the Fightin Phils Superhero Cape giveaway on Sunday, June 9. These new junior superheroes will also be able to meet a cavalcade of heroes from all realms, including the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, during a Redner's Kids Club Members-Only Meet and Greet Autograph Session starting at 11:30 a.m.
21. "Your Head on the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor's Body" Blanket (May 19)- Each summer, thousands of children come to Baseballtown and clamor to be the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor. Those hopes will be a reality to the first 2,000 kids 14 and under on Sunday, May 19 when Metro PCS presents a "Your Head on the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor's Body" Blanket. When kids pull the blanket up to their necks, it will appear as if they are riding Rodrigo around the friendly confines of FirstEnergy Stadium.
22. Fightin Phils Alarm Clock (July 28) - Make the Fightin Phils part of your everyday routine with the Fightin Phils Alarm Clock giveaway thanks to Redner's Warehouse Markets. With the giveaway, the first 2,000 kids 14 and under on Sunday, July 28 will never have to worry about running late for Fightins games or summer activities. As soon as you wake up, you'll be thinking Fightin Phils baseball thanks to the alarm clock promotion.
23. Seat Cushion (June 19) - Be it football, hockey, soccer, and of course, baseball, you can make the Fightins part of your sporting event experience when the team gives the first 2,000 adults 15 and over a Fightin Phils Seat Cushion thanks to Willow Creek Veterinary Center on Wednesday, June 19. The cushion is easily mobile for your active needs and will let you show your Fightins pride year-round.
24. Fightin Phils Team Baseball Card Set (August 25)-One of baseball's most traditional giveaways over the sport's history has been the baseball card. On August 25, the first 2,000 kids 14 and under will receive a Fightin Phils Team Baseball Card Set honoring the 2013 squad courtesy of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Along with the giveaway, there will also be a Fightin Phils Team Autograph Session for Redner's Warehouse Markets Kids Club members beginning at 11:30 a.m.
25. Fightin Phils Poster/Autograph Session and Chocolate Baseball Glove (April 28)-The first 2,500 kids 14 and under will receive a Fightin Phils Poster thanks to Reppert's Candies on Sunday, April 28 at 1:35 p.m. Kids will be able to dress up their bedroom walls with photos of their favorite Fightin Phils players on the 2013 squad. They will also be able to meet the 2013 Fightin Phils roster during a Redner's Warehouse Markets Kids Club Autograph Session at 11:30 a.m.
Reppert's will also give the first 1,500 kids 14 and under a chocolate baseball glove on April 28.
The Fightin Phils will kick off their home schedule on Friday, April 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium when the team takes on the Erie SeaWolves. Savage 61 Fightins VIP Club plans and group tickets for 2013 can be purchased online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, or by visiting the FirstEnergy Stadium Ticket Office.