Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, third-baseman Maikel Franco, starting pitcher Aaron Nola, and outfielder Roman Quinn will be guests of honor when the Reading Fightin Phils, Double- A affiliate of the Phillies, host the ALL NEW Phillies Caravan 2017 Tuesday, January 17th at the Crowne Plaza Reading Hotel starting at 5:30 p.m. for a family-friendly cocktail hour and food serving stations. The Phillies portion of the program will begin at 7 p.m. Additional guests from the Phillies organization are expected to be announced at a later date.
Mackanin, 65, was named the 53rd manager in Philadelphia Phillies history on September 22, 2015. Philadelphia played to a 71-91 record under Mackanin in his first full season as the Phillies manager. The Phillies went 37-51 in 2015 under MacKanin after he took over for Ryne Sandberg. He is also the eighth Phillies manager to have also played and coached for the team.
Prior to being named manager, Mackanin served as bench coach with the Phillies from 2009-12 and third base coach in 2014-15. He has also served as interim manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005 and the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. His all-time managerial record stands at 161-195 heading into 2017.
2013 alum of the Fightin Phils, Franco, 24, played in 152 games for the Phillies in his first full season in 2016. He hit .255 with 23 doubles, 25 home runs and 88 RBI. He joined the Fightin Phils in June of 2013 after hitting .299 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI in 65 games with the Clearwater Threshers (A+). He hit .339 in with 15 home runs and 51 RBI in 69 games for the Fightins.
Nola, 23, made 20 starts for the Phillies in 2016 before seeing his season end early with an elbow injury. He made his final start on July 28th against Atlanta. He pitched to a 6-9 record with a 4.78 ERA while striking out 121 batters in 111 innings pitched this season.
Since being drafted in the first round by the Phillies in 2014, Nola has skyrocketed through the farm system all the way to his major league debut in July of 2015. In his rookie season, Nola posted a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts while finishing the season tied for the team lead with six wins even though he was in the majors for just over two months.
In 2014, Nola became the first Phillies player since Brad Brink in 1986 to be drafted and make his Double-A debut in the same season when he was promoted to Reading in August 2014. He went 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 11 combined starts between Clearwater (A+) and Reading that season.
He returned to the Fightins in 2015 and picked up where he left off in the season prior. The Baton Rouge, La. native was 7-3 with a 1.88 ERA over 76.2 innings while striking out 59 batters to just nine walks before earning a promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in mid-June. At the time of his promotion, he led Eastern League pitchers in innings pitched while ranking third with his ERA mark.
Quinn, 23, was called up to Philadelphia in September and played in 15 games for the Phillies. He hit .263 with four doubles and six RBI plus five stolen bases. He played in 71 games for the Fightin Phils in 2016. He hit .287 with 14 doubles, six triples and six home runs with 36 stolen bases and 25 RBI.
The event will include Mackanin, Franco, Nola and Quinn speaking to the crowd and answering questions about the 2017 Philadelphia Phillies. There will also be an autograph session from 8:00-8:20 pm. The Phillie Phanatic will be in attendance and be available for pictures along with the World Series trophies from 1980 and 2008. Those in attendance can take pictures with the World Series trophies from 5:30-7:00 pm and the Phillie Phanatic from 5:30-6:00 pm and 6:30-7:00 pm.
The all new Phillies Caravan, "Not Your Father's Chicken Dinner Banquet…This is a Baseball Celebration!" is an exciting new format sure to excite hard-core baseball fans, Phillies fans, families and community-minded citizens of Baseballtown. The 2017 Baseballtown Caravan and Phillies Winter Tour, presented by the Baseballtown Charities, will help benefit the brand new Baseballtown Dream League project of building a field for children with developmental and physical challenges that could otherwise not play the game of baseball.
The program will not only include the crowning of Mike Sarbaugh as the 2017 King of Baseballtown, but will also include: a family-friendly cocktail party from 5:30 until 7:00 pm, with an opportunity to meet new Reading Fightin Phils manager Greg Legg and other Baseballtown figures. Great food will be served that will include a Slider Bar, a French Fry Bar, and more!
Individual tickets are $25. Tickets are $20 when you purchase ten or more tickets.
The event will also feature an auction featuring sports collectibles and other items, raffles, highlight videos, and more. There will be an update on the Baseballtown Charities Dream League Project as well.
Those who wish to attend can call 610-370-BALL to purchase tickets or go online at fightinphils.tix.milbstore.com.
Season tickets for the 2017 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.