(Reading, Pa.)---February 13 was the first day of single game ticket sales in Baseballtown and to celebrate the annual event, the Fightin Phils went to bat for some of their most loyal fans.
Many fans flocked to Fightins.com and FirstEnergy Stadium throughout the day on Wednesday in hopes of winning the keys to FirstEnergy Stadium for a day. However, only one fan emerged from the pool of ticket purchasers and that was Andrew Benvenuto of Sinking Spring.
When told he was the winner, Benvenuto was shocked. Typically, he purchases tickets each season on the first day to make sure he holds tickets for his favorite promotions of the year. He already has started planning on what he will do with FirstEnergy Stadium this summer.
"I know that I'm going to get my friends and family together for the night," said Benvenuto. "Whatever we do, we're going to have a good time."
Benvenuto purchased tickets for four games and is specifically looking forward to the Darin Ruf Bobblehead giveaway on April 13 and the Cole Hamels Old School Bobblehead on July 16. He's also planning on making it to a handful of the Fightin Phils' record 30 fireworks shows.
While Benvenuto took home the grand prize, he wasn't the only fan that was honored on the first day of single game ticket sales. Throughout the day, Screwball traveled across the region to visit the fans that purchased tickets online, by phone, and in-person. The leader of the Fightin Phils Mascot Band also delivered the trio a Fightin Phils Gift Pack to thank them for their support as the franchise heads into its 47th year affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Robert and JoAnn Bechtel of Reading were the first fans to stake out the Fightin Phils Ticket on Wednesday. As longtime fans of the team, the Bechtels were excited to be eligible to win the stadium for the day and said they would swim in the pool, take batting practice, and peruse the press box if they were to win. JoAnn added that she loves the Fightin Phils' robust crew of mascots as well as the between inning entertainment.
Screwball and his friendly assistant then headed to the Lehigh Valley to visit the first phone and online customers.
Anthony Torcivia of Easton called into the Fightin Phils Ticket Office a shy after 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and purchased tickets because he's a big Phillies fan that comes to as many Reading Fightin Phils games as he can each season. Torcivia said he would play a baseball game if he would win FirstEnergy Stadium.
The final trip of the day saw Screwball stay in Easton to pay a visit to Brian Fauerbach. Fauerbach is a huge bobblehead collector who bought tickets to both the Darin Ruf Bobblehead Night on April 13 and Cole Hamels Old School Bobblehead Night on July 16. With Opening Weekend just 56 days away, Fauerbach already has plans to show up to FirstEnergy Stadium early to be first in line on April 13.