20 Seasons are in the books at Eastwood Field. The 2018 season was full of memories, records and , of course, another Pinckney Division Championship. Now that the off-season is upon us and the Scrappers start preparations for the 2019 season, let's reflect on the fun and excitement that took place at Eastwood Field during the 2018 season.
First, one of the most notable changes to happen at Eastwood Field during the 2018 season, was the installation of a brand new video board. With the help of Visua, the Scrappers debuted a video board that is 4-times larger than its predecessor. The new video board brought more opportunities. The Scrappers were able to debut Movie Nights at Eastwood Field. Not only did fans enjoy traveling to a galaxy far, far away to see Luke Skywalker take on Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but also, fans enjoyed racing around the speedway with Lightning McQueen in Cars 3.
The 2018 season brought many other memorable moments including a fireworks extravaganza. The Scrappers put on 3 fireworks shows in one 6-game home stand. It started on July 4th with a celebration of Independence Day. Then, Friday, July 6th fans enjoyed a fantastic fireworks show to the tunes of Tom Petty. And rounding out the extravaganza was a Star Wars themed show that took fans to another galaxy.
The Scrappers had many theme nights, some of which the team wore specialty jerseys. The first specialty jersey was Star Wars themed. The jersey consisted of the famous duel between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker on the front, and on the back was a space battle surrounding the Death Star. Proceeds from the Star Wars jeresy auction benefited The Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. The second theme night with a specialty jersey was Superhero Night. The Scrappers dawned a Batman themed jersey while their superhero friends from Castle On A Cloud Entertainment engaged with fans all game long. The third and final specialty themed jersey was a throwback to 1999. In honor of 20 seasons at Eastwood Field, the Scrappers wore replica jerseys from the team's inaugural season in 1999. The Superhero jersey and Throwback jeresy auctions benefited Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.
The excitement of the 20th Season continued on the field for the Scrappers. For the second straight year the Scrappers were Pinckney Division Champions. That is now 5 Division Titles since the Scrappers inception in 1999. The Scrappers started the 2018 season on a hot streak, starting the season 5-0 for the first time since 2009. Scrappers pitcher, Luis Oviedo earned New York-Penn League Player of the Week for three straight weeks to start the season. Oviedo was leading the NYPL in strikeouts before getting called up to the Lake County Captains (Single A) in August. Outfield Hosea Nelson was named New York-Penn League Player of the Month for July, while infielder Henry Pujols earned Player of the Week at the end of July.
The 2018 Scrappers also saw 5 players name to the NYPL All-Star Game: outfielder Hosea Nelson, infielders Tyler Freeman and Mitch Reeves, and pitchers Luis Santos and Randy Valladares. INF Tyler Freeman was the break out star for the Scrappers, leading the team in runs scored, hits, doubles and RBI's. Freeman was also name NYPL Batting Champ after posting a .352 over the 2018 season. Both Freeman and Luis Oviedo were named Short-Season All-Stars in their respective positions according to Baseball America.
The 2018 season was full of fun and excitement with countless memories that will last a lifetime. The Scrappers would like to thank the fans for their continued support and look forward to another 20 years in Mahoning Valley.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.