C Erik Kratz
and INF Kevin Frandsen
-- catalysts of the IronPigs 2011 playoff run and two of the most popular and successful players in franchise history - will both be Guests of Honor at the 2013 Phillies Winter Banquet presented by The Air Products Foundation, Coca-Cola and the Lehigh Valley Health Network to be held on January 24, 2013 at the brand-new Sands Events Center in Bethlehem. Additional guests, including Phillies personnel, will be announced in the near future.
Seat or table reservations are now on sale and available by calling (610) 841-PIGS (7447). Interested parties are reminded that seating is limited and the Phillies Winter Banquet has sold out in years past.
Last year's event raised over $35,000 for IronPigs Charities, a non-profit organization striving to provide educational and recreational opportunities for children in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.
The main program for Phillies Winter Banquet features players and personnel from the Philadelphia Phillies and includes a dinner and open bar, a sports memorabilia silent auction, raffles and an entertainment portion with the special Phillies guests. Tickets are $80 per person or $725 for a table of ten. Championship tables, allowing patrons entrance to a private pre-event reception are also available. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and commencement of the auctions and raffles.
Erik Kratz, 32, enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Phillies last year, launching nine homers in 141 at-bats while appearing in 50 games as the Phillies backstop. In 2011, he set career highs in hits (103), home runs (15) and RBI (53) with the IronPigs and was named to his third consecutive IL mid-season All-Star squad. Interestingly, it was during the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game at Coca-Cola Park that Kratz received word of his first-ever Major League promotion. Kratz, had spent parts of nine seasons in the Minor Leagues before appearing in nine games with Pittsburgh in 2010.
A native of nearby Telford, Pa. and a product of Christopher Dock High School in Lansdale, Kratz was originally drafted by Toronto in 2002. Kratz has connected on 100 home runs in 766 career Minor League games.
Kevin Frandsen, 30, returned to the Major Leagues with the Phillies last year for the first time since 2010 and had a stellar run as an everyday player in the season's second half, hitting .338 in 55 games as the club's primary third baseman. Prior to his promotion, Frandsen paced the IronPigs offensively and was among the league leaders in doubles (1st, 34), hits (T-1st, 118) and batting average (6th, .302). For his efforts, he was named to a mid-season All-Star team for the first time in his professional career.
The San Jose, Calif., native set a Lehigh Valley franchise record with seven consecutive multi-hit games in 2011 and also delivered the game-winning RBI in the IronPigs first-ever, post-season victory. Over parts of six ML campaigns with the San Francisco Giants (2006-09), Los Angeles Angels (2010) and Philadelphia Phillies (2012), Frandsen has batted .267 in 283 games. Frandsen was originally a 12th round pick of San Francisco in 2004 out of San Jose State University, where he established the Spartans' all-time record with 246 career hits.
The state-of-the-art Sands Bethlehem Events Center, a spacious 50,000 square foot venue, opened earlier this year on the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem campus and has already hosted a wide array of premier musical acts, comedians and sporting events. The events center is directly located adjacent to the Sands Hotel. Winter Banquet attendees may enter at any of the Sands Boulevard entrances off 3rd Street and follow the signs directing you to the rear of the hotel.
The Phillies Winter Banquet beneficiary, IronPigs Charities, is a recognized 501(c) (3) non-profit organization on the state and federal level. One of the annual highlights of the Winter Tour event is the distribution of grants to local non-profit organizations. In fact, over $200,000 has been distributed at this event since debuting in 2008. Since its inception in 2007, IronPigs Charities has made more than $475,000 in monetary contributions.
To renew or order season tickets, mini plans or group tickets for the 2013 IronPigs season presented by Capital BlueCross, call (610) 841-PIGS (7447) or visit Coca-Cola Park's ticket office during normal business hours.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are dedicated to providing family-friendly entertainment and are the only Minor League team to offer bubbles to fans entering the AT&T Plaza and balloons for all children exiting Coca-Cola Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.