I live in the Lehigh Valley, so anytime we are able to make national headlines, it’s pretty awesome. Ever since the creation of the Ironpigs in 2008, they have made national headlines—just not for conventional reasons.
The Phils’ AAA affiliate originally made headlines by naming themselves after pig iron, which the Lehigh Valley used in it’s world-renowned steel making in the mid-1950’s. Locally, the name makes complete sense. Nationally the name doesn’t make a ton of sense, but locally it is a pretty cool name.
Shortly after naming themselves the Ironpigs, the team held a write-in contest through the Allentown Morning Call, in which they allowed fans to name their new mascot. Originally, the name “Porkchop” was selected. Unfortunately, while I’m sure the intention of the name wasn’t to be racist, the team w as forced to pull the plug on that name, because it was pointed out that it was a racial slur used against Puerto-Ricans. Ultimately the team chose to name the pig mascot, Ferrous, because the chemically symbol for Iron, is FE. Don’t ask me how I know that, because I passed Chemistry by the skin of my teeth.
Prior to last season, the ‘Pigs even introduced, an insanely unique game that drives up beer sales, in which you pee to play. Per the Morning Call, this is how it works.
It works this way: As a patron approaches the urinal, sensors detect his presence. A quick video or message appears on the screen, but as the individual steps forward, it’s “bladder up.” The game kicks in. The sensors track the individual’s stream, and when that stream hits a target, points are earned. The first will be a downhill skiing game where the goal is to hit penguins. Now, those must be some angry birds.
As unique as that sounds, it seems more like a marketing technique to get people to buy more beer, rather than an intention to enhance your ballpark experience. Saturday’s this year, the team, which embraces both the iron and pigs parts of it’s name, will be dawning these uniforms that feature bacon on both the hats and on the jerseys.
I’m not sure if this is a marketing ploy to get fans to the park on Saturdays or to sell merchandise, but it’s genius. Sure, no one with any sense of—dare I say— swag, would wear these, but their will be fool’s all over the Lehigh Valley lining up to buy these.
The jersey was just one of the many new jerseys that the club unveiled yesterday afternoon as part of their #smellthechange campaign.
While fans may not exactly be smelling the change at the big-league level with a Phillies team that seems allergic to change, the Ironpigs may be welcoming future Phillies Jesse Biddle and Maikel Franco this year (hopefully not Miguel Gonzalez), and they better be ready to rep the bacon hats on Saturday nights.