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The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are the minor league Triple-A baseball team affiliate of MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies and play in the International League. Their home park is Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which first opened in 2008 and seats up to 10,000. In the 2011 season, the IronPigs made it to the Governors’ Cup finals before losing to the Columbus Clippers, the most successful season in their four-year history. The IronPigs return with high hopes in 2012, so get your 2012 Lehigh Valley IronPigs tickets now, Spring Training is right around the corner. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs 2012 lineup includes manager Ryne Sandberg, pitchers Chance Chapman and Ryan Feierabend, and infielder Cody Overbeck. 2012 may see the promotion of RHP Trevor May to the Triple-A IronPigs. May is the Phillies’ top prospect and is listed in ESPN’s Keith Laws’ top 100 prospects. The 22-year-old May has above-average velocity at 91-95 mph, and an improved curveball and changeup. He pitched for Single-A Clearwater last season.
The unique team name “IronPigs” refers to pig iron, which is used in the manufacturing of steel that is the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania is known for. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs were founded in 1993, and were originally the Ottawa Lynx, playing in Ottawa Baseball Stadium in Ottawa, Ontario until 2007. The Lynx were previously affiliated with the Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies starting in 2007. The previous Phillies Triple-A affiliate was the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, who are now the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs defeated the Richmond Braves in their first win at Coca-Cola Park on April 14, 2008. Major leaguers who have played for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs include Shane Victorino Brett Myers in 2008, Kyle Kendrick and J.C. Romero in 2009, and J.A. Happ in 2010 (before being traded to the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt. In 2010, Coca-Cola Park hosted the Triple-A All Star Game and the IronPigs finished the season first in attendance among all Minor League Baseball. In 2011, All-Star closer Michael Schwimmer was 9-1 with a 1.88 ERA and was promoted to the majors. The IronPigs mascots are named Ferrous and FeFe (periodic table of elements for iron) after the original mascot name “Pork Chop” received numerous complaints for being racially insensitive to the area’s Puerto Rican population.