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Game Recap: Irish Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! It’s nice to have the ValleyCats back at “The Joe,” isn’t it? The team returned from a six-game road trip to take on the Hudson Valley Renegades at home for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday with Irish Night presented by the Irish 2000 Music & Arts Festival. It was a great night at the ballpark, as we began the night with a pregame concert by Hair of the Dog in our Picnic Pavilion. Fans gathered around to listen to live music and enjoy our Irish food and drink specials on the concourse at our specialty kiosk, Murphy O’Callahan’s!

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Many fans dressed up to show their Irish Pride, and were also able to see some Irish entertainment from the Columbia & District Pipe Band, and dancers from the Farrell School of Irish Dance. The mischievous Doubles O’Callahan made some appearances throughout the night after popping up in the latest episode of “The (Front) Office.” DSC_0640 DSC_0743 DSC_0682 DSC_0710 DSC_0618 DSC_0786 DSC_0600
On the field, the ‘Cats came up with a BIG 3-2 extra innings win against the Hudson Valley Renegades. Houston Astros outfielder Alex Presley began his first game during his rehab assignment here in Tri-City. Recent call-up Jason Martin hit a home run in his first at-bat at “The Joe,” and the ‘Cats came behind from a 2-1 deficit to tie it up in the 9th with Jamie Ritchie’s first home run of the season, followed by an extra innings victory with the help of Alex Hernandez. Both Ritchie and Hernandez earned our player of the game recognition as the team celebrated with a Gatorade Ice Bucket Challenge (well, sort of). The ‘Cats continue the homestand against the Renegades as they keep battling to be the best team in the New York Penn-League! See you soon, ‘Cats fans!


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A Story of Redemption: Ariel Ovando’s 10th Inning AB

By Brady Farkas

Man, baseball can be a frustrating sport. The failure can be overwhelming. And it often is. That’s why it’s so hard to get to the professional ranks.

But, when you overcome that failure and work around it, ah, what a sweet moment that is.
That was the case for Ariel Ovando during the 10th inning of Tuesday’s 3-2 ValleyCats win vs. the Hudson Valley Renegades, a win that propelled the ‘Cats to a tie for the best record in the New York-Penn League (39-19) with said Renegades.
Ovando had had a frustrating night to that point, flying out to the wall twice and looking below average on a three-pitch strikeout in a fifth inning at-bat against Renegades starter Chris Pike. 
When he came up with no out and a runner at first in the 10th, he had a chance to turn his night into a productive one by simply advancing Mott Hyde to second. 
Manager Ed Romero put the bunt sign on, and Ovando put down a great bunt that went just foul down the third-base line.
*Note to any bunters in need of executing a successful sacrifice: Ovando’s first attempt was TOO good. It danced on the chalk briefly before going foul. In that situation, just get it down in fair territory, and anywhere except directly to the pitcher.*
His second attempt also went foul, and with an 0-2 count, I found myself wondering if the ‘Cats were desperate enough to get Hyde to second that Romero would put the bunt on even with two strikes.
He didn’t. And after a ball made it 1-2, Ovando laced a double to the left-center field gap that advanced Hyde to third. And after Juan Santana was walked intentionally to load the bases, the stage was set for Alex Hernandez’s walk-off single.
Ovando had a tough night early, and after failing to the bunt down, it was in a position to get tougher. But he was able to clear his head and deliver when his team needed it most.
Baseball doesn’t lose the mental battle very often, often crushing its players in seas of repetitive failure. 
But not on Tuesday. Not for Ariel Ovando.

‘Cats Chat Episode Five

Tri-City ValleyCats media personalities Sam Sigal and Brady Farkas discuss how the ‘Cats rebounded from their first significant losing streak, while also talking about the players who they expect to make an impact during the stretch towards the playoffs.

Game Recap: Reality TV Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! We hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend as much as we have been here at “The Joe!” Last night, we held our first ever Reality TV Night at the stadium for the ValleyCats matchup against the Miami Marlins affiliate, Batavia Muckdogs! We spent a week of behind-the-scenes filming our very own webisode series, “The (Front) Office” and played the show on our video board during the pregame show. Fans were able to receive our 2014 Team Poster as a giveaway when they came through the front gates and into the park, and were also able to sign up for some reality TV themed on-field promotions!

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10576961_10152277088920098_7229150350708817641_nAfter we aired our reality TV clips, Colonel Schiller  from the Watervliet Arsenal threw a ceremonial first pitch and the ValleyCats Employees of the Month were recognized down on the field. We had a great crowd out to cheer on the ValleyCats in their first game in a three-game series against the Muckdogs!DSC_0581

DSC_0559 DSC_0530 DSC_0551 DSC_0534The ValleyCats offense lead the way again with Troy Scribner on the mound for the ‘Cats. Second baseman Alex Hernandez had a home run in the second inning to give the ‘Cats an early 7-1 lead. Terrell Joyce, Ariel Ovando, Jose Solano, Mott Hyde and Jaimie Ritchie all had big hits for the ‘Cats and with the support of some awesome pitching by Scribner, Raul Rivera and Jordan Mills, the ValleyCats took home an 8-4 victory in the first game of the series!

Tonight, the ‘Cats are back for the last Sunday Funday of the season presented by St. Peter’s Health Partners, and NFL Night/Wing Fest sponsored by AT&T. We hope to see our loyal ‘Cats fans out at the ballpark to finish off a perfect summer weekend at “The Joe!” Sunday Funday festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. with a 5 p.m first pitch! Vamos Gatos!

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Game Recap: Italian Night

Good morning, ‘Cats fans! We’re halfway through a six-game homestand here at “The Joe” after wrapping up a three-game series last night with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The ‘Cats came up big in the bottom of the 9th with a 3-run homer by Terrell Joyce to break the tie and give the ‘Cats a 7-4 walk-off win! The crowd brought the energy and cheered on the ValleyCats all the way through our Italian Night theme sponsored by Northeast Parent & Child Society.

We celebrated Notte Italiano! with Italian food specials on the concourse, from a pasta bar and meatball subs on the first base side, to baked ziti at Left Field Louie’s and a special Italian menu in our Picnic Pavilion. Mario and Luigi made some appearances throughout the night during the 5th Inning Drag, Hot Dog race and even during a pasta eating minute challenge!


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We had a pregame on-field check presentation with CDPHP, as well as several honorary first pitches. There was a wonderful performance of our National Anthem was sung by Life Group! Fans were able to participate in our in-game promotions, sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game in the 7th and enjoy a beautiful evening of fun and baseball at “The Joe!”
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After Terrell Joyce’s three-run homer, he celebrated with his teammates down on the field followed by a Gatorade-soaked player of the game interview with Chris Chenes. Tonight, the ValleyCats begin a new series against the Batavia Muckdogs on Reality TV Night here at the park! We’ll be having a 2014 Team Poster giveaway for our fans as well. We hope to see you out at the ballpark to cheer on the ‘Cats!

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Game Recap: Community Heroes/Stop DWI Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! We’re making our way through a six-game homestand here at “The Joe” and we’ve had some awesome promotions each night at the stadium. Last night, we honored the E. Stewart Jones Home Run Community Heroes on Community Heroes/Stop DWI Night. The skies cleared up after a rainy afternoon, and we were able to honor these special men and women down on the field and show support for their hard work in making the Capital Region a safe place to live.

The 2014 honorees were Shay Kerwin, Casey Predilitto, James Dorward, Jr., Brian Ragule and Brian Reith, Bakary Janneh, Roman Goddeau, Tara Hulett, Bailey Wind and Decky Lawson. Thank you again to our Community Heroes!DSC_0481 DSC_0517 DSC_0525 DSC_0544 DSC_0553


In the second inning, we honored the founders and honorees of Blue Friday of New York, a program that assists in providing resources needed by families or co-workers of law enforcement officers killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. Our fans were very supportive of our local heroes and continued to cheer on the ValleyCats all night!DSC_0563 DSC_0574 DSC_0577 DSC_0612 DSC_0624 DSC_0627 DSC_0638The ‘Cats dropped the second game of the series against Mahoning Valley, 7-6 after 11 innings of play. Tonight, we’re back for Italian Night/Spaghetti and Baseballs presented by Northeast Parent and Child Society! We hope to see our fans out to celebrate tonight’s theme and enjoy a postgame fireworks show!

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Game Recap: 50 Cent Hot Dog Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! We’re back at “The Joe” for a six-game homestand after the ‘Cats returned from Aberdeen to take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers last night for the first matchup in a three-game series. We celebrated Hot Dog Heaven here at the stadium with 50 Cent Hot Dog Night presented by Helmbold’s.

Controversy sparked early in the week as our hot dog mascots seemed unhappy with their price tag of 50 cents. A food fight broke out in our first episode of “The (Front) Office,” and the tensions ran high all throughout the night as they continued to picket and remind our fans, “hot dogs are friends, not food.” Relish almost got away with the first win in hot dog race history, but was later disqualified due to poor behavior earlier in the game.

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We had United Way in attendance with a table out front and members down on the field for an honorary first pitch, as well as an Upstate Ford vehicle display with a chance for fans to Upgrade with Upstate. The Uncle Sam Chorus sang our national anthem before the game began and an audience formed on the first base side for our Hot Dog Eating Contest in the early innings of the game.

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There was a great crowd cheering on our contestants in each of the three rounds of the Hot Dog Eating Contest, and Kevin and Shanna from 99.5 The River came out to commentate the race and motivate our competitors! Our winner, Jon Hindes took away $100 cash prize after eating 20 hot dogs throughout the night to make it to victory. The real Mayor McCarthy made an appearance in our Tri-City mayor’s race and came out with a victory of his own as our mayors tried to stop the hot dog protest during the race!DSC_0675 DSC_0681 DSC_0722 DSC_0734 DSC_0783 DSC_0839


Austin Chrismon pitched a solid game, but the ‘Cats fell 1-0 to Mahoning Valley in the first game of this three-game series. Tonight, the ‘Cats are back at 7 p.m. on Community Heroes/Stop DWI Night here at “The Joe!” We’ll be honoring local heroes from all walks of life within the Capital Region, and we hope to see all of our fans out to support these men and women who have made a great difference in our communities.

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‘Cats Chat Episode Four!

Tri-City ValleyCats media personalities Sam Sigal and Brady Farkas break down the ‘Cats most recent successful homestand, the promotions of A.J. Reed and Ryan Bottger, as well as what is upcoming at “The Joe” in this week’s episode of ‘Cats Chat!



Game Recap: Medieval Times at “The Joe!”

Hey, ‘Cats fans and happy Monday! We hope you all enjoyed your weekend and are easing back into the work week just as we are here at “The Joe.” The ‘Cats have hit the road for a few games after wrapping up an awesome series against the Staten Island Yankees on Saturday, July 26 for Medieval Times/Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger Night!

In partnership with Hannaford Supermarkets, we raised over 800 pounds of food to support the Food Pantries of the Capital District, and we welcomed representatives from Hannaford down on the field for a pregame check ceremony and honorary first pitch. ‘Cats fans donated non-perishable food items and were able to receive a free ticket voucher courtesy of Hannaford for supporting the cause.DSC_0410 DSC_0379 DSC_0517 DSC_0395 DSC_0429 DSC_0473

Our theme for the night was Medieval Times at “The Joe” and to celebrate, we brought out our four colored knights onto the field as well as our Queen of the ValleyCats castle! Each colored knight represented a section in the stadium and competed to win the most points for their section. The knights cheered on our contestants in the NY 529 puzzle contest, Bootlegger’s Chuck it in the Bucket competitions and competed against one another in our Medieval jousting pony hops competition and Time Warner Trivia. The Green Knight won the evening’s competition, and each member in the green section of the stadium won a ValleyCats ticket, hot dog and soda voucher for the ‘Cats game on August 2nd!DSC_0451 DSC_0469 DSC_0493 DSC_0571 DSC_0514The ValleyCats closed out the homestand against Staten Island with a 16-3 win! First baseman A.J. Reed hit his first professional grand slam here at “The Joe” and Ryan Bottger and Terrell Joyce hit home runs as well. Following the game, Reed and Bottger were promoted to the Quad City River Bandits and we wish them the best of luck on their journey to the show! The ValleyCats are now tied for the best league in the New York Penn-League at 30-13 and will return from a three-game road trip on July 30th for 50 Cent Hot Dog Night presented by Helmbold’s!

We hope to see you out at “The Joe” to kick off our next six-game homestand on July 30. The ‘Cats will take on the Cleveland Indians affiliate, Mahoning Valley Scrappers from July 30th to August 1st, followed by a three-game series agains the Miami Marlins affiliate, Batavia Muckdogs from August 2nd to August 4th. We’ve got a great list of nightly promotions coming up including 50 Cent Hot Dog Night, Italian Night, Community Heroes/Stop DWI Night and more! See you soon, ‘Cats fans and Vamos Gatos!

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Game Recap: Going Green Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! We’re almost through with a three-game homestand here at “The Joe” against the New York Yankees affiliate, Staten Island Yankees! ‘Cats fans and Yankees fans have been able to make it out to the ballpark to support some great teams and enjoy a fun evening at the ballpark. Last night, we celebrated the 7th Annual Going Green Night presented by our game sponsors National Grid and County Waste. NH Kelman had a scrap metal recycling station where fans could turn their scrap metal into cash, and County Waste gave away mini recycling toters!

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Our media broadcaster Sam Sigal held a pregame interview with ‘Cats pitcher Francis Ramirez, and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy threw a first pitch at the game. Some of our outstanding ValleyCats gameday staff employees were recognized with an Employee of the Month ceremony down on the field. Thank you to our loyal employees for all their hard work!DSC_0431 DSC_0465 DSC_0420Baseball: Tri-City ValleyCats vs Staten Island Yankees DSC_0497 DSC_0501

We had several themed on-the-field promotions to help raise awareness about energy conservation and going green through a recycling race challenge. Fans were able to watch the ValleyCats come back from a 5-1 deficit to top the Staten Island Yankees 9-7! Mott Hyde earned our player of the game recognition for the second night in a row, and the win puts the ‘Cats at a six-game win streak with 10 wins out of their last 11 games! The ValleyCats are currently tied for the best record in the New York Penn-League at 29-12.

Tonight, the ‘Cats will play the Staten Island Yankees once more to close out this three-game series on Medieval Times Night/Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger. If you bring a non-perishable food item to our box office today, you will receive one ticket for tonight’s game or a voucher for a future game. There will be a color theme within each section to cheer on the Knights in tonight’s competitions! We hope to see you out at “The Joe” to wrap up the homestand!

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Game Recap: Beach Party/Island Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! Last night, the ValleyCats kicked off a three-game series against the New York Yankees affiliate, Staten Island Yankees here at “The Joe!” We had a full crowd of loyal Yankees and ValleyCats fans who joined us for Beach Party/Island Night presented by our game sponsor TD Bank. It was an eventful night at the stadium to say the least, from our pregame band and opening ceremonies, all the way up to nine innings of beautiful baseball followed by our postgame tennis ball launch and fireworks show!

As gates opened, fans were greeted by the Upstate Ford car display just outside of the stadium, and had the chance to Upgrade with Upstate! One lucky fan was able to upgrade to a premium box seat, win a ValleyCats gift card and custom ValleyCats jersey! TD Bank had a table by our front entrance with some fun giveaways and the TD Bank van, which made its way out on the field for our t-shirt toss later in the game. Our pregame band, Benjamin Franklin Band, played near Brown’s and entertained fans all throughout the stadium.

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For our pregame ceremonies, we had Kelli Pry and Molly Aronsson from the Symetra Tour down on the field for first pitches and chipping challenge, as well as members from the New York State Industries for the Disabled. Our media broadcaster Sam Sigal held another great pregame show before the game and a wonderful National Anthem from John Schwartz.

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All of our kiosks and ValleyCats staff members dressed up for our island theme, and so did many of our fans! Our in-game promotions had a tropical twist, including a Spiedie the Chicken limbo contest  as well as our New York Lotto Cash for Life Challenge. We had a special performance of God Bless America from our ValleyCats box office intern Katherine Hutson in the 7th inning. Great job, Katherine!DSC_0507 DSC_0399 DSC_0683 DSC_0411 DSC_0665 DSC_0473DSC_0711DSC_0701

DSC_0785They ValleyCats had an awesome offensive night with a 14-o win over the Staten Island Yankees. A.J. Reed hit his fourth home run of the season, and Nick Tanileu hit his second. The ‘Cats are on a five-game win streak and have won 9 out of their last 10 games as they remain on top of the Stedler Division. Mott Hyde earned our player of the game recognition as the ‘Cats celebrated another great win! Tonight, the ‘Cats will play game two in this series against Staten Island at 7 p.m. on the 7th Annual Going Green Night sponsored by National Grid. We hope to see you out at the park! Vamos Gatos!

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‘Cats Chat Episode Three

The Tri-City ValleyCats just finished a six-game homestand by taking two out of three against the State College Spikes – and hold a commanding six-game lead in the Stedler Division. On Tuesday, ValleyCats media personalities Sam Sigal and Brady Farkas broke down the ‘Cats in episode three of “‘Cats Chat.”

Game Recap: Capital Region Baseball Heritage Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! It’s time for us here at “The Joe” to take a quick breather after finishing up a six-game homestand! The ‘Cats swept the Abderdeen IronBirds in the first three-game series, and won two out of three against the State College Spikes series after a 4-1 win last night. The ValleyCats look to continue their win streak as they hit the road for two days and match up against the Connecticut Tigers before returning to “The Joe” on July 24.

Last night we celebrated Capital Region Baseball Heritage Night with a Johnny Evers bobblehead giveaway. We continued the #EversGoldenBobble scavenger hunt by hiding clues around the park, and also placed 11 Golden Bobbles in the mix of giveaways for our fans and season ticket holders to win additional ValleyCats prizes. We were fortunate to have some of Evers’ relatives in attendance to join us for a pregame interview to talk about Evers’ legacy in the Capital Region and throw an honorary first pitch.

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Our media personality Sam Sigal also got to spend some time with Colonie High School graduate and starting catcher for the Spikes Brian O’Keefe. O’Keefe was able to return home and play at “The Joe” in front of friends, family and former teammates. The Velocity Horns performed our National Anthem, and we also had a special pregame appearance by Tim Wiles, who performed Casey at the Bat and provided some historical context to the evening. He joined us later in the game for the 7th Inning Stretch and Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

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The ‘Cats had an awesome 4-1 win over the Spikes, with righty Joe Musgrove throwing six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and a walk along with six strikeouts. The ValleyCats head into a two-game matchup against the Connecticut Tigers tonight and currently lead the Stedler Division by six games. On Thursday, the ‘Cats return home to take on the Baby Bombers, Staten Island Yankees!

Thursday, July 24 is our Beach Party/Island Night with fireworks presented by Price Chopper! July 25 is the 7th Annual Going Green Night presented by National Grid, and the final game of the Staten Island series is Medieval Times Night and Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger on the 26. We are currently accepting non-perishable food item donations to benefit Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger. If you participate, you’ll receive a ticket voucher to a ValleyCats game! See you soon, ‘Cats fans!

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Game Recap: SouthPaw’s Birthday Bash

Hey, ‘Cats fans! We hope you’ve been following the ‘Cats during this exciting six-game homestand and are having as much fun as we are at “The Joe!” Yesterday was a special day for the ValleyCats family and fans as we celebrated SouthPaw’s birthday on Sunday Funday! The morning began down on the field at 9 a.m. for the Chevy Youth Baseball clinic, where kids were able to learn baseball skills and practice drills with ValleyCats teammates set up in stations all around the field. Players stayed after the clinic for photos and autographs before the entire ValleyCats team and coaching staff made their way over to our ‘Cats Crew Kids Club event in the Field of Dreams.

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SouthPaw was so excited to see the ‘Cats Crew and ValleyCats players at the event and was able to introduce everyone to some of his mascot friends from around the Capital Region! We had the CAP COM ice cream truck out on the concourse and kids were able to sign a giant birthday card for SouthPaw. Our gates opened early for the traditional Sunday Funday activities including the Sunday Summer Readers event where Terrell Joyce and Alex Hernandez read “Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia” to the kids. After that, we held a pregame catch on the field presented by St. Peter’s Health Partners and continued our pregame ceremonies with a Survivors Lap from the American Cancer Society and some ceremonial first pitches.

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DSC_0459 DSC_0486We brought the mascots back down on the field for the rest of our pregame ceremonies with a birthday cake presentation to SouthPaw donated by Hannaford Supermarkets. Mascots also stuck around for the Birthday Base Race, Spiedie the Chicken Challenge and the t-shirt toss! We held the second jersey auction of the year during the game and had a player presentation with the jerseys and auction winners following the game.

Kids were able to run the bases following the ValleyCats 12-2 victory over the Spikes! ‘Cats pitcher Austin Chrismon earned our player of the game recognition and struck out six straight batters to start off the game. Juan Santana had a great game with 5 RBIs and helped lead the ValleyCats to the victory! Kids came up to the concourse after running the bases to enjoy SouthPaw’s birthday cake to end the night. Thank you Hannaford!

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Tonight, the ‘Cats finish off the homestand with the final matchup in their three-game series against the State College Spikes. The first 1,500 fans into tonight’s game will receive a Johnny Evers bobblehead and the chance to receive one of twelve hidden golden bobbleheads in the mix of giveaways to win additional ValleyCats prizes! We look forward to celebrating the rich baseball history in the Capital Region on Capital Region Baseball Heritage Night here at “The Joe!” See you soon, ‘Cats fans!


Game Recap: Star Wars Night

Hey, ‘Cats fans! Last night we celebrated Star Wars Night here at “The Joe” presented by Eddy DayBreak! We had a great crowd of enthusiastic Star Wars fans at the stadium dressed up as characters and in Star Wars apparel. We’d like to say a big thank you to The 501st Legion’s Garrison Excelsior group who provided characters and a table on the concourse and interacted and posed for photos with our fans. There were many cool characters roaming around the stadium throughout the night as well as plenty of light sabers and Star Wars themed events down on the field and up on our video board!

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We had a fun pregame show with a Star Wars fan family down on the field, and Darth Vader made an appearance to throw an honorary first pitch to start off the game. SouthPaw was excited to meet his new friends on the field! We displayed some themed graphics on the video board during our lineup and player introductions and our postgame fireworks display was set to Star Wars music.DSC_0062 DSC_0071 DSC_0105 DSC_0107 DSC_0121 DSC_0127 DSC_0129 Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 11.09.17 AM

The ‘Cats dropped the first game of the three-game series against the State College Spikes 9-2. Colonie High School graduate Brian O’Keefe returned back to the Capital Region as the starting catcher for the Spikes. Many fans came out to support a local ball player, a 7th round draft pick in this year’s MLB draft coming from St. Joseph’s University. Tonight, the ‘Cats take on the Spikes at 5 p.m. for SouthPaw’s Birthday Bash and Sunday Funday! There will be many fun birthday activities going on throughout the park today, including a specialty jersey auction for SouthPaw’s jerseys following the game.

And on Monday, July 21 we will celebrate Capital Region Baseball Heritage Night with a Johnny Evers bobblehead giveaway! On Saturday, we hid three Evers Golden Bobbleheads in local, historic places that related to Evers’ baseball career in the Capital Region and fans were able to search for the bobblehead to win ValleyCats prizes! On Monday, the first 1,500 fans will receive an Evers bobblehead and will have the opportunity to receive one of 12 hidden Golden Bobbleheads in the mix of giveaways to win additional prizes. Visit us at “The Joe” and help us cheer on the ValleyCats!



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