Moosic, Pa. - If Michael Scott had any say, they would have been Dundies. During Minor League Baseball's annual Promotional Seminar, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) channeled Dunder Mifflin's fictitious fearless leader and claimed a pair of prestigious honors. The Office Wrap Party held at PNC Field on May 4 took Golden Bobblehead Awards for both the Best Non-Game Day Event and for the most significant accolade of the evening, Best Overall Promotion/Event in all of the minors. The awards show was held in Louisville, Ky. on the heels of more than 200 nominations from all levels of MiLB.
"What a great night and what fantastic honors," said RailRiders president/GM Rob Crain. "This is something all of NEPA should share in. And I must highlight both our friends at The Scranton Times-Tribune and the paper's regional director of marketing and events, Tim Holmes. Without their efforts, this would not have been possible."
The cast and crew of the hit NBC show that wrapped up its nine-year run in May were on hand at PNC Field that Saturday evening. It was a fervent conclusion to a day-long homage for the wildly popular program. The day included a mix-and-mingle breakfast for fans and bloggers at the University of Scranton, a panel discussion with writers from the show at the university, and a parade in downtown Scranton that led to a street festival. But the true cherry on top was the Wrap Party held at the RailRiders' beautiful first-year facility in Moosic.
A Q&A session with the cast, screening of bloopers from the show and a sneak peek at the series finale were the planned activities. The signature surprise of the night was the shocking appearance of Michael Scott himself as actor Steve Carell dropped in and brought about a deafening roar from the thousands that had assembled. Carell was joined by actors Craig Robinson (Darryl), Rainn Wilson (Dwight), Ellie Kemper (Erin), Oscar Nunez (Oscar), Phyllis Smith (Phyllis), Creed Bratton (Creed), Paul Lieberstein (Toby), John Krasinski (Jim), Jenna Fischer (Pam), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Kate Flannery (Meredith), Andy Buckley (David Wallace), executive producer Greg Daniels and a number of behind-the-scenes personnel.
The RailRiders were also finalists for Best Charity Promotion/Event in all the minors for their efforts with HOPE (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) Week. As the top affiliate of the New York Yankees, the RailRiders proudly played their part in the organization's annual campaign. The week-long community outreach program's purpose is to touch as many lives as possible in your area. Members of the RailRiders' coaching staff, players and front office folks made their way throughout NEPA.
The week included a Children's Miracle Network Day at the Ballpark on July 7. Twin boys who have overcome the worst of health adversities spent time on the field with players during batting practice, stopped by the pre-game clubhouse, threw out ceremonial first pitches and spent the game in the owner's suite with friends and family. One day later, the RailRiders hosted a baseball game for the Lackawanna County Challenger Little League. LCCLL gives children with special needs the chance to participate in athletics. RailRiders coaches and players spent the entire game on the field, coaching and encouraging the boys and girls while helping them to bat, run and slide. A ballpark lunch followed. July 9 meant two surprise hospital visits to Moses Taylor and Geisinger in downtown Scranton. Patients interacted with the players while receiving giveaways, autographs and an overall fun time. The week concluded with players and front office staffers visiting the Boys & Girls Club of NEPA. The morning was spent playing baseball, billiards and computer games. The epic conclusion sported a dodgeball match between the RailRiders and the Boys & Girls club.
The RailRiders' 2014 season begins on Thursday, April 3 when the club kicks off a seven-game road trip at Syracuse against the Chiefs (Washington Nationals). The home slate commences a week later on Thursday, April 10 when the Chiefs visit PNC Field for a four-game series and homestand. For season ticket information, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
- SWB RailRiders - All Aboard! -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.