Harrisburg Senators Announce 2017 Promotional Schedule

2017-promos

Matt LeCroy Santa Bobblehead giveaway (July 29); Phillie Phanatic appearance (July 20); Steve Hytner (Kenny Bania) on Seinfeld Night (July 21)

The Harrisburg Senators announced their 2017 promotional schedule today which includes something for everyone in the family. The 2017 promo schedule has 17 special appearances by celebrities, cartoon characters, dogs, and more.  There are 23 games when fans of varying ages can receive a giveaway item. If you like fireworks, FNB Field is where it’s at with 15 fireworks and flatscreen nights on the schedule.

The Senators open the 2017 season on Thursday, April 6, against the Altoona Curve. That night, fans will receive a preview of several of the Senators daily promotions including Military Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Wet Nose Wednesday, Fireworks & Flatscreens and Thirsty Thursday (descriptions below). The first 1,500 fans 13 and older entering the park receive a Senators Hat. Youth baseball and softball players can get a free ticket to the game opening night if they are in uniform.

The special appearances are highlighted by Steve Hytner (“hack comedian” Kenny Bania) of Seinfeld fame on July 21 as part of Seinfeld Night. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Phillie Phanatic appears on City Island when he entertains Senators fans with his shenanigans on Thursday, July 20. The Senators welcome long-time soap opera star William deVry (Julian Jerome on General Hospital since 2013) on Thursday, July 6. For the first time, Mutts Gone Nutz is appearing at FNB Field on Saturday, June 10. They were the half-time stars at the Pittsburgh Steelers Christmas Day game against the Baltimore Ravens.  The Cowboy Monkey Rodeo returns to Harrisburg for one show this season on Friday, May 26. BirdZerk! and the ZOOperstars! will each appear at two games this season on back-to-back nights. They’ll be at FNB Field on June 8 and June 9 and then again on August 17 and August 18.

For a third straight season, kids 12 and under can receive passes to Hersheypark this year with 2,000 passes given away on April 23. Passes are also included in the Trick or Treat Backpack giveaway to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under on April 22. On May 7, the first 1,000 women 18 and older receive a Senators Picture Frame as the Senators celebrate Mother’s Day a week early. If you like jerseys, the Senators are taking care of you. On May 27, there’s a Senators Youth Jersey giveaway to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under. Adults are the priority on Saturday, August 19, when the first 1,000 adults 13 and older receive a Pink Jersey that night.

There are a trio of games designed to help when you hit the beach. Sunday, July 9, the first 1,000 fans 13 and older receive a Tim Raines Jersey Cooler Bag. Then on Sunday, July 23, the first 1,000 fans 13 and older receive a Fedora Straw Hat. Finally, on Sunday, July 30, the first 1,000 fans 13 and older receive a Beach Towel.

Kids get in on the giveaway fun on Sunday, June 11, when the first 1,000 kids 12 and under receive a Senators Baseball. On July 22, the first 1,000 kids 12 and under get a Super Hero Cape! On August 6, the Senators go back in time to an old baseball staple and hand out Batting Helmets to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under. As the youngsters get ready for school and all their fall sports, the Senators are giving away 1,000 pairs of Performance Socks to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under on August 20.

For those that love bobbleheads, have no fear, the Senators are giving away three this season. On Saturday, May 6, Matt Stairs bobbleheads will be given to the first 1,000 fans all ages and he’ll be inducted into The One & Only World Famous, Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame. The next entry into the One & Only World Famous, Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame is Saturday, August 5, with Brandon Phillips’ induction with the first 1,000 fans all ages receiving his bobblehead. The third bobblehead giveaway is Saturday, July 29, when the first 1,000 fans all ages will receive a Matt LeCroy Santa Bobblebelly.

Coming back this year is the popular Fireworks and Flatscreens Friday nights. Every Friday home game this year three lucky fans will win a 32” Flatscreen TV. In addition to our eleven Friday Fireworks & Flatscreen games, there are four more including opening night April 6; Sunday, May 28; Tuesday, July 4; and Saturday, July 22. Every fan 18 and over can enter the drawing to take a Flatscreen TV home with them on the night of the game!

The Senators will wear special jerseys for six games and those jerseys will be raffled during the game with several live-auctioned after the game. The first special jersey night is on Saturday, April 22, when the Senators celebrate Halloween Night with the players wearing Halloween themed uniforms. On Saturday, June 17, the Senators are wearing Blue jerseys as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Weekend. Tuesday, July 4, the Senators are wearing Patriotic jerseys. On Saturday, July 22, they’ll be wearing Super Hero jerseys. The Senators are celebrating Star Wars on Saturday, August 4, with the players wearing Star Wars jerseys. Last, but certainly not least, the Senators will wear Pink jerseys on Saturday, August 19.

The Senators again this year have two special nights for women. The first is Thursday, June 29 with the Diamond Dig. The second is the Senators Annual Pink Night which is Saturday, August 19.

The ballpark opens an hour before game time to fans Sunday through Friday, and on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Season ticket holders are allowed in the park 15 minutes before general gate opening.

DAILY PROMOTIONS

  • Sunday is Rite Aid wellness+ Family Day & Signature Sunday
    • Pregame every Sunday Senators players will sign autographs on each teams’ dugout
    • Postgame Kids Run the Bases presented by Stauffers
  • Military Monday presented by WHP 580
    • Free tickets, excluding club seats, for military members and their families can purchase half-price tickets
  • Karns Max Saver Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday
    • 2 for 1 ticket deal with Karns receipt (excludes all you can eat seats)
    • Add on the $8 Tasty Tuesday card to your ticket every Tuesday and receive a hot dog, popcorn, order of nachos, soda and a mighty mini ice cream sandwich!
  • Wet Nose Wednesday & Winning Wednesday
    • Bring your dog to the park
    • If the Senators win, you win, your ticket is good for a free ticket (in the Ollie’s Cheap Seats or the LB Smith Value Seats) to the Senators next Friday night game! PLUS, one lucky fan will win a PA Lottery / Senators Prize Pack!
  • Thirsty Thursday
    • Free Parking with a full bag of Clothing Donation (Community Aid)
    • $2 Coors Light Drafts
  • Friday Night Fireworks & Flatscreens
    • Postgame Fireworks
    • Enter and Win one of three Flatscreens
  • Saturday – giveaways each Saturday Night

2017 HARRISBURGSENATORS PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS

April

4/6 – Opening Night; Senators Hat giveaway to the first 1,500 fans 13 and older; Thirsty Thursday; Fireworks & Flatscreens; Military Night; Bring Your Pet Night; Tasty Night; Youth Baseball & Softball Players are Free in their Uniforms

4/7 – Fireworks & Flatscreens

4/8 – Performance T-Shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 13 and older

4/9 – Magnet Schedule giveaway to the first 3,000 fans all ages; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Easter Egg Hunt; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

4/10 – Military Monday

4/11 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

4/12 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday; Special Noon Start Time

4/21 – Fireworks & Flatscreens

4/22 – Halloween Night featuring special jerseys worn by the Senators; Trick or Treat Backpacks giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 12 and under including a Hersheypark Pass in the backpack

4/23 – Hersheypark Passes giveaway to the first 2,000 kids 12 and under; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

4/24 – Military Monday

4/25 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

4/26 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday

May

5/4 – Thirsty Thursday;

5/5 – Fireworks & Flatscreens; Cinco de Mayo

5/6 – Matt Stairs Bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans all ages; Matt Stairs induction into the One and Only Life Sized Bobblehead Hall of Fame

5/7 – Picture Frame giveaway to the first 1,000 women 18 and older; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

5/8 – Military Monday

5/9 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

5/10 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday; Education Day with a special 10:30 a.m. Start Time

5/16 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

5/17 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday

5/18 – Thirsty Thursday; Education Day with a special 10:30 a.m. Start Time

5/26 – Cowboy Monkey Rodeo; Fireworks & Flatscreens

5/27 – Senators Youth Jersey giveaway to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under

5/28 – Fireworks; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Special 6:30 p.m. Start Time

5/29 – Military Monday with a Special 12:00 p.m. Memorial Day Start Time

5/30 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

5/31 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday

June

6/1 – Thirsty Thursday;

6/6 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

6/7 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday

6/8 – BirdZerk! Appearance; Thirsty Thursday;

6/9 – Fireworks & Flatscreens; ZOOperstars! Appearance

6/10 – Mutts Gone Nutz Appearance; Kids Cartoon Character Appearance; Green Senators Hat giveaway to the first 1,000 adults 13 and older; Faith Day with a pregame concert by Seven from Messiah College and a postgame concert by True Heart.

6/11 – Baseball giveaway to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases; Special 3:30 p.m. Start Time

6/16 – Fireworks & Flatscreens; Blue Weekend (Prostate Cancer Awareness)

6/17 – Foam Finger giveaway to the first 1,000 fans; Kids Cartoon Character Appearance; Blue Night featuring special jerseys worn by the Senators

6/18 – Father’s Day Seat Cushion giveaway to the first 1,000 men 13 and older; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Blue Weekend (Prostate Cancer Awareness); Postgame Kids Run the Bases

6/26 – Military Monday

6/27 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

6/28 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday; Special 12:00 p.m. Start Time

6/29 – Diamond Dig; Thirsty Thursday

July

7/4 – Independence Day Fireworks; Independence Day Celebration featuring special jerseys worn by the Senators; Mini American Flags to the first 3,000 fans all ages; Hot Dog Eating Contest; Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

7/5 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday

7/6 – Soap Opera Star William deVry Appearance; Thirsty Thursday

7/7 – Fireworks & Flatscreens

7/8 – Fanny Pack giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 13 and older; Kids Cartoon Character Appearance; Scout Sleepover

7/9 – Tim Raines Jersey Cooler Bag giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 13 and older; Super Splash Sunday; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

7/20 – Phillie Phanatic Appearance; Thirsty Thursday

7/21 – Fireworks & Flatscreens; Seinfeld Night featuring an Appearance by Steve Hytner (Kenny Bania on Seinfeld)

7/22 – Super Hero Night featuring a Super Hero Cape giveaway to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under; Super Heroes Appearance; Super Hero jerseys worn by the Senators; Fireworks

7/23 – Fedora Straw Hat giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 13 and older; Super Splash Sunday; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

7/27 – Thirsty Thursday; Postgame Midget Wrestling

7/28 – Fireworks & Flatscreens; Negro League Appreciation Night

7/29 – Christmas in July featuring Matt LeCroy Santa Bobblebelly giveaway to the first 1,000 fans all ages; Kids Cartoon Character Appearance; Player Ornament Auction for Charity; Christmas Themed Game

7/30 – Beach Towel giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 13 and older; Super Splash Sunday; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

August

8/4 – Fireworks & Flatscreens; Star Wars Night featuring special jerseys worn by the Senators

8/5 – Brandon Phillips Bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans all ages; Brandon Phillips induction into the One and Only Life Size Bobblehead Hall of Fame; Kids Cartoon Characters Appearance

8/6 – Batting Helmet giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 12 and under; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Princesses in the Park; Touch a Truck; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

8/15 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

8/16 – Wet Nose Wednesday; Winning Wednesday

8/17 – BirdZerk! Appearance; Thirsty Thursday

8/18 – Bring Your Own Instrument Night; Fireworks & Flatscreens; ZOOperstars! Appearance

8/19 – Adult Jersey giveaway to the first 1,000 adults 13 and older; Breast Cancer Awareness Night featuring the Senators wearing special Pink jerseys

8/20 – Performance Socks giveaway to the first 1,000 fans 12 and under; Rite Aid wellness+ Family Sunday; Signature Sunday; Postgame Kids Run the Bases

8/28 – Military Monday

8/29 – Karns Max Saver Tuesday; Tasty Tuesday

8/30 – Wet Nose Wednesday

8/31 – Fan Appreciation Day; Thirsty Thursday

** This schedule subject to change.

The Senators offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily during the off-season. The 2017 home opener is Thursday, April 6th against the Altoona Curve.  For information about season tickets, ticket plans, group tickets please call the Senators at 717-231-4444 or visit the Senators online at http://www.senatorsbaseball.com.You can find the Senators on Facebook at facebook.com/senatorsbaseball or @hbgsenators on Twitter. You can also find Senators information at The Island Chronicles blog which is updated frequently. It’s located at harrisburgsenatorsmlb.wordpress.com.

The Island to the Show: Koda Glover

Will Bentzel/MiLB.com

Will Bentzel/MiLB.com

MLB Debut: July 20

Harrisburg stats (2016)
2-0, 3.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .238 BAA
22.1 IP, 7 BB, 29 K

Glover’s meteoric rise through the Washington system culminated in his debut with the Nationals on July 20 when he recorded three outs on four pitches to secure an 8-1 victory over the Dodgers.

Glover was the Nationals’ eighth round selection in the 2015 draft and spent little over a year in the minor leagues across five teams. The 6’5″right-hander was used as a closer with the Doubledays, Suns, P-Nats, Senators, and Chiefs to the tune of a 2.09 ERA in 59 games. Glover struck out 104 batters while walking only 16 over 86 innings.

The Oklahoma native impressed in 19 appearances with the Nationals while pitching through a labrum tear in his hip. Glover has been mentioned as an internal option to close games in 2017 or the future.

LeCroy, Michalak, and Rupp returning to Harrisburg in 2017

LeCroy Matt 04012013 - 4415 (Will Bentzel)

The Nationals’ minor league managerial and coaching assignments for the 2017 season were announced by the club on Tuesday afternoon.

Manager Matt LeCroy, pitching coach Chris Michalak, and hitting coach Brian Rupp will form the nucleus of the Senators’ brain trust for the upcoming season. The trio returns to Harrisburg after leading the Senators to a 76-66 record last year, falling just short of the playoffs by one game.

Athletic trainer Eric Montague and strength and conditioning coach R.J. Guyer complete the staff.

LeCroy, the franchise’s all-time winningest manager, will be skippering the team for a record fourth season including the 2013 campaign when he led the Senators to its first Eastern League championship series appearance since 2002.

Michalak enters his fourth straight season as Harrisburg’s pitching coach. The former Major League southpaw shepherded Koda Glover, Reynaldo Lopez, and Lucas Giolito from Harrisburg to DC last year and oversaw the development of Erick Fedde.

Rupp returns for his second season on City Island and sixth in the Nationals’ organization.

*************************************************************************

The Nationals also retained coaches and coordinators in the system with ties to Harrisburg:

Triple-A Syracuse: Hitting Coach – Brian Daubach (MGR 2014-15)
Short-Season Auburn: Manager – Jerad Head (2013)
Short-Season Auburn: Hitting Coach – Mark Harris (HC 2014-15)
Rookie GCL Nationals: Manager - Josh Johnson (2010-13)

Senior advisor to the GM, player development - Randy Knorr (MGR 2010)
Senior advisor, player development – Spin Williams (PC 1987-88, 90)
Co-field Coordinator - Tommy Shields (1988-89)
Pitching Coordinator - Paul Menhart (PC 2012-13)
Hitting Coordinator - Troy Gingrich (2001-03; HC 2008-11)
Catching Coordinator – Michael Barrett (1998)
Rehabilitation Pitching Coordinator - Mark Grater (PC 2004)

Harrisburg Senators Announce Annual Job Fair

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Team and Food Service partner looking for seasonal part-time workers

The Harrisburg Senators annual job fair is set for Saturday, February 11 at FNB Field. The Senators and their food service partners are hiring part-time and game day seasonal employees. The job fair runs from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. with every applicant guaranteed an interview.

The Senators have several positions available including ushers, kids’ game operators, club seats attendants, ticket sellers, ticket scanners, utility positions, stadium maintenance, team merchandise, clubhouse attendant and a game day computer operator.  Additionally, the Senators game entertainment department will be interviewing for openings with the promo team and video board/camera operators.

Those interested in more information on the Senators job fair can contact Ashley Grotte by calling 717-231-4444, extension 123, or by emailing agrotte@senatorsbaseball.com. It is not necessary to register in advance for the job fair. If you are interested, please note that no full-time positions are available and none are likely to come from part-time employment. The Senators home season is 70 games from April 6 through August 31 with playoffs possible the first two weeks in September. There could be additional dates due to additional events at the ballpark.

Additionally, the Senators food vendor, Sportservice has positions available including warehouse, food runner, stand attendant, stand lead, cooks, kitchen/prep staff, picnic attendants, experienced servers and vendors. Most Sportservice positions have a starting rate well above minimum wage with little experience required. Any interested may apply online prior to the job fair and avoid the paper application process. For more information regarding the Sportservice positions please contact Lewis LaBar at 717-231-4444 ext. 131 or via email at llabar@delawarenorth.com.

To expedite the process the Senators and Sportservice have applications on the Senators website.  They are located under the “about” tab on the Senators website. We are asking applicants to print, if possible, and complete the application before coming to the job fair. The Senators and Sportservice are equal opportunity employers. Each applicant should plan to be at the ballpark for a minimum of an hour.

Parking for this event is in the south parking lot, unless you have handicapped parking and that is available closer to the ballpark.

The Senators offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily during the off-season. The 2017 home opener is Thursday, April 6th against the Altoona Curve.  For information about season tickets, ticket plans, group tickets please call the Senators at 717-231-4444 or visit the Senators online at www.senatorsbaseball.com. You can find the Senators here on Facebook or @hbgsenators on Twitter. You can also find Senators information at The Island Chronicles blog which is updated frequently. It’s located at harrisburgsenatorsmlb.wordpress.com.

The Island to the Show: Reynaldo Lopez

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

MLB Debut: July 19

Harrisburg stats (2016)
3-5, 3.18 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .235 BAA
76.1 IP, 25 BB, 100 K

The book on Reynaldo Lopez before he came to Harrisburg was that his right arm had the power of a lightning bolt, but also the unpredictability of one.

The 22-year-old broke spring training camp with the team and headed north in April for the first time in his professional career. Before this season, the earliest Lopez had thrown in a game was May 7, 2015 and it did take a while for the Dominican righty to heat up. But starting in late May, Lopez shredded his way through the Eastern League as he struck out 55 batters over five full starts including setting or matching a career-high three times. During that same stretch, he held opponents to a 1.60 ERA and a .358 slugging percentage.

For his efforts Lopez earned a promotion to Triple-A Syracuse and two starts later was called upon to make a spot start for the Nationals. The 6’0″ right-hander would go on to make 12 appearances at the Major League level including one in the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.

The Island to the Show: Lucas Giolito

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

MLB Debut: June 28

Harrisburg stats (2015-16)
9-5, 3.42 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .254 BAA
118.1 IP, 51 BB, 117 K

Lucas Giolito arrived on City Island in late July 2015 with the anticipation and expectation of other first round draft picks in recent memory. Following the success of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, Giolito was another in the line of prospects that carried an air of inevitable superstardom before they even suited up for the Senators.

The Los Angeles native had numerous flashes of brilliance including a one-hit, 11 strikeout performance last season or the career-high 12 batters he fanned this year, both against the eventual Eastern League champions, but the sustained dominance that was expected was absent. Like a lot of tall pitchers, the 6’6″ right-hander struggled with an inconsistent release point and that in turn affected his command and effectiveness.

Fast-forward to this off-season and the suddenly untouchable Giolito was being mentioned in every trade rumor involving the Nationals culminating with being the prime piece sent back to the White Sox in exchange for outfielder Adam Eaton last week. In Chicago, Giolito will work under the tutelage of noted pitching guru Don Cooper and will hopefully get back to the hurler he once was and still could be.

The Island to the Show: Richard Bleier

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

MLB Debut: May 30

Harrisburg stats (2015)
8-3, 2.45 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, .247 BAA
103.0 IP, 9 BB, 40 K

Richard Bleier always seemed like his style of pitching was better suited to the 1970s. Nowadays, baseball has become all about velocity in the high 90s and strikeouts. Bleier is a guy who is much happier keeping the ball down and inducing a groundout on one pitch.

In today’s landscape, pitchers like him rarely get a chance.

But the 6’3″ southpaw got the call he had waited nine professional seasons to receive when he was called up to take the place of injured Chasen Shreve in the Yankees’ bullpen. So much about who makes it and who doesn’t on the fringe of Major League rosters is about timing and opportunity.

Who knows what the future holds for Bleier? But his last 13 appearances in pinstripes were scoreless and he posted the lowest ERA and lowest WHIP for Yankees’ pitchers. Bleier also walked only four, didn’t allow a home run, and lefties hit .150 off him.

The Eastern League Roundtripper: November 21

Welcome back to our bi-weekly tour around the Eastern League this off season…

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• Greg Legg is returning as the Reading Fightin Phils’ manager 13 years after helming the club for three seasons. Legg had a winning record in 2002 but only accumulated 126 more wins in the next two campaigns. Legg also played in Reading as a Phillies’ farmhand in 1983-84 and 1988. “I was thrilled about it when I found out I was coming back,” Legg told the Reading Eagle’s Mike Drago. “There’s no place like ‘Baseballtown.’ They have great crowds to play in front of. I remember how well I was treated the last time I was there. I remember (Ryan) Howard tearing up the league. I remember getting to tell Carlos Ruiz that he was going to be our No. 1 catcher. And I remember the year (Ryan) Madson had. It was fun.”

• The name change to Rumble Ponies isn’t the only modification happening to Binghamton in 2017. NYSEG Stadium will undergo $2.5 million in renovations before Opening Day including new stadium lighting, bullpen and batting cage, right field entrance gate, picnic party deck, and third base terrace. “It’s an amazing honor to have this kind of community support as we grow NYSEG Stadium into a regional sports and entertainment destination,” said John Hughes, Binghamton Rumble Ponies owner. “Because of support from Mayor David, Sen. Akshar and Leader Flanagan, we are building an environment for fans to enjoy the best experience Minor League Baseball has to offer. Our investments in player development facilities will ensure the New York Mets have a stadium built to host their Double-A franchise for decades to come. This is the latest step on our journey to bring fun and excitement to the Rumble Ponies franchise. I look forward to seeing everyone next season in Rumble Town.”

• The New Hampshire Fisher Cats announced a new leadership team including Mike Ramshaw as the newly appointed President, Jim Flavin as General Manager, and Jenna Raizes as Deputy General Manager. The trio all has roots in New Hampshire and Massachusetts as Ramshaw and Raizes were both internal promotions and Flavin was born and raised outside of Boston. “I am pleased to have watched Mike, Jim and Jenna grow as individuals and leaders. They’re a strong team and have assembled a staff of creative, energetic professionals poised to bring the best possible Fisher Cats entertainment experience to fans in the upcoming season,” said Fisher Cats’ owner Art Solomon.

Senators Annual Hot Stove Dinner Set for February 4

hotstove

Pitchers Tyler Mapes and Greg Ross and outfielder Andrew Stevenson expected to attend

The Harrisburg Senators announce that their seventh annual Hot Stove Dinner presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is Saturday, February 4.  For a third year in a row the dinner is at the Central Hotel and Conference Center Best Western Premier. The evening allows fans a chance to interact with players and Nats front office staff members as well chatting about baseball in the middle of winter.

Special guests this year include the Senators 2016 manager, Matt LeCroy, pitchers Tyler Mapes and Greg Ross and outfielder Andrew Stevenson.   The Washington Nationals will also be represented as Doug Harris, Assistant General Manager and Vice President Player Development; Mark Scialabba, Director, Player Development; and Ryan Thomas, Assistant Director, Minor League Operations will also be in attendance.

The evening begins with a cocktail hour at 6:00pm, followed by dinner at 7:00pm. The program begins after dinner at about 8:00 p.m. There is a silent auction and raffle with the winners announced at the end of the evening.  The three players and Matt LeCroy will be available for pictures and autographs from 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

The seated-dinner is $45 per person through December 31 and then $55 after January 1 through the ticket deadline, which is Friday, January 20. To purchase a table of eight prior to January 1 is $280 with the price increasing after January 1. Tickets are available online through the Senators website at www.senatorsbaseball.com or by calling Blair Jewell at 231-4444 ext. 122.

The Senators offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily during the off-season. The 2017 home opener is Thursday, April 6th against the Altoona Curve.  For information about season tickets, ticket plans, group tickets please call the Senators at 717-231-4444 or visit the Senators online at http://www.senatorsbaseball.com.You can find the Senators on Facebook at facebook.com/senatorsbaseball or @hbgsenators on Twitter. You can also find Senators information at The Island Chronicles blog which is updated frequently. It’s located at harrisburgsenatorsmlb.wordpress.com.

The Island to the Show: Matt Purke

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

Photo courtesy Will Bentzel / MiLB

MLB Debut: May 20

Harrisburg stats (2014-15)
2-9, 7.28 ERA, 1.796 WHIP, .350 BAA
55.2 IP, 25 BB, 41 K

The question with Matt Purke was always about his health. After an unbelievable freshman season at TCU where he went 16-0, Purke only started 11 games the next season. The Washington Nationals weren’t deterred by that though and drafted the southpaw in the third round of the 2011 draft.

Purke made just three starts in 2012 with Hagerstown before needing shoulder debridement surgery that caused him to miss the remainder of the season. After a disastrous stint in Harrisburg in 2014, Purke once again went under the knife but this time for Tommy John surgery. The Nationals released the lefty that off-season (removing him from their 40-man roster in the process) but re-signed him to a minor league deal for 2015. A year later, the Nationals cut bait on him this time for good.

“I really never got a chance to actually showcase myself fully because if it wasn’t one [injury] it was another thing, so I was really kind of handcuffed,” Purke told The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes. “The biggest thing I got from that was I was able to mentally stay focused and understand that it was going to end. Eventually I was going to get out of the tunnel. I just had to keep progressing and doing what I knew was the right thing to do.”

The Chicago White Sox took a chance on the Texas native’s health in 2016 and the gamble paid off. Purke was placed in the Triple-A Charlotte bullpen out of spring training and flourished in 10 appearances pitching to a 2.30 ERA before getting the call to the Majors. After his debut on May 20 where he tossed 1.1 scoreless innings against the Kansas City Royals, Purke appeared in 11 more games for the White Sox before getting sent back to Charlotte for the remainder of the season.