Appearances from gridiron legends Ki-Jana Carter and LaVar Arrington will join return engagements from the Human Cannonball and Cowboy Monkey Rodeo along with four Bark in the Park nights on the State College Spikes' 2018 promotional slate. Fans can enjoy all of the fun of an All-Star summer beginning with Opening Night, presented by PSECU, on Saturday, June 16.
Carter, who will have his bobblehead given away to the first 1,000 fans on Friday, August 10, will also be on hand to sign the bobblehead and interact with fans on the same evening. Arrington, who carved out an All-Pro career after becoming one of the greatest ever at "Linebacker U.," will meet and greet fans and sign autographs at the game on Friday, July 20.
The Spikes' schedule of special appearances also includes a pair of beloved favorites. "The Bullet" David Smith, Jr. makes his way back to State College on Tuesday, July 3 to fly through the air as the Human Cannonball. Smith's blast-off after the game will be presented by Boyles Insurance and HAPPY 103.
Plus, the excitement level at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park will rise early in the home slate when Tim "Wild Thang" Lepard and Team GhostRiders bring the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo back to State College on Sunday, June 24. The one-of-a-kind act featuring monkeys riding dogs herding rams will entertain fans throughout the night.
The Spikes will also be visited by Ben Hill, author of "Ben's Biz Blog" on MiLB.com, on Monday, August 20 during the National Radio Day Celebration featuring Manager of Communications and radio broadcaster Joe Putnam's Birthday Party.
Fans and their four-legged friends can enjoy the return of the Spikes' signature Bark in the Park Nights on four different occasions this season as well. Metzger Animal Hospital will present opportunities for fans to bring their dogs to the park on Wednesday, June 20 and Sunday, July 1, with additional dog-friendly game on Friday, August 3 and Thursday, August 30.
The fun also includes a pair of the Spikes' signature jersey auctions, putting the fun themed jerseys the club will wear at select games up for bids. The Spikes will first shed light on the fight against breast cancer on Sunday, July 22, when they wear special Pink Sunrise Jerseys as part of Paint the Park Pink Night, presented by Mount Nittany Health. The jerseys will also be available in a "Jersey-off-the-Back" Auction, benefiting the Mount Nittany Health Foundation.
In addition, the Spikes, who play on the campus of Penn State University will celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the great films of all time when they wear State "College" Sweater Jerseys on Animal House Night at the ballpark. Fans can also pledge their support by bidding on the jerseys in a "Jersey-off-the-Back" Auction presented by PSECU to benefit Children's Miracle Network.
The Spikes' tradition of innovative theme nights also carries forward into 2018. On Friday, July 13, the Spikes will combine spuds and splatter with FryDay the 13th Night, featuring a National French Fry Day Celebration and a Salute to Horror Movies on Friday the 13th. In addition, the Spikes will welcome gamers to do battle at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park during Salute to Esports Night on Wednesday, August 29.
The Spikes' 2018 theme nights will honor our heroes throughout the season as well, with First Responders Appreciation Night on Tuesday, July 3 and Military Appreciation Night, presented by Lion Country Kia, on Sunday, July 15.
The Spikes' schedule of Community Nights, presented by CATACOMMUTE, also returns for 2018. Younger Spikes fans can enjoy a FREE Kids Zone! presented by Friends of Jake Corman during Huntingdon County Night on Saturday, July 21, Philipsburg-Osceola Community Night on Sunday, July 22, the Inaugural Lemont Night on Thursday, August 2, Bellefonte Community Night presented by Swartz Fire & Safety on Saturday, August 4, Penns Valley Community Night on Friday, August 10, and Mifflin & Juniata County Night on Saturday, August 25. In addition, the FREE Kids Zone! is available during Clearfield County Night on Friday, June 13.
The Spikes' popular slate of Daily Value Promotions returns intact for 2018 as well, offering fans a different money-saving promotion, giveaway or fun experience every day of the week during the season.
More theme nights and special events include:
• A trio of State College Borough Water Authority Water Conservation Awareness Nights on Wednesday, June 20, Friday, July 20, and Monday, August 20
• Ag Night on Sunday, June 24
• Three BB&T Books and Baseball Nights on Tuesday, June 26, Wednesday, July 11, and Wednesday, August 8, honoring readers who hit a home run in the BB&T Books and Baseball program
• Bellies & Baseball Nightpresented by Pregnancy Resource Clinic, on Friday, June 29
• Salute to Sports Movies on Thursday, July 12
• National Mac and Cheese Day Celebration on Saturday, July 14
• The Spikes' Youth Baseball Clinicon Saturday, July 14 at 11 a.m., presented by Penn State Health, Official Healthcare Provider of Penn State Athletics, which is free with a ticket to that night's game
• Super Splash Day, a special noon game where Ike's Kids Zone turns into a water park, on Monday, July 16 and Wednesday, August 1
• Medical Professionals Appreciation Night presented by HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital on Friday, July 20
• TEAM REAM Night on Saturday, July 21
• Halloween Night on Tuesday, July 31
• Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State Night, presented by HRI, Inc., and American Cancer Society Sun Safety Night on Friday, August 3
• Ladies Night and Paint the Park Purple Night, presented by Home Instead Senior Care & Juniper Village at Brookline, on Thursday, August 9
• Scout Night, featuring a post-game sleepover on the field, on Friday, August 10
• The return of Way Back Wednesday, featuring a retro in-game presentation, on Wednesday, August 15
• Princess & Pirates Night on Thursday, August 16
• THON Night on Thursday, August 30.
Single-game tickets for these special nights, as well as all 39 games on the Spikes' 2018 home schedule, will go on sale Thursday, May 10 at 9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at StateCollegeSpikes.com, by phone at (814) 272-1711, or in person at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Season Ticket memberships, Value Plan and Flex Book purchases, as well as 2018 schedule information and team news, are now available online at StateCollegeSpikes.com. An array of group hospitality options for the 2018 season are also currently on sale by calling the Spikes at (814) 272-1711.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.