|Chronological Tour: Stop 330|
First-base (main entrance) side of Coca-Cola Park, Jun-2008.
A look at the seating bowl from the wrap-around concourse.
The view from behind the plate.
The Lehigh Valley had been waiting for affiliated baseball for decades. Allentown’s last team had been in the Interstate League in 1952. The independent Northeast League had played for seven years in a substandard facility off Lehigh Street, but that team had collapsed after the 2003 season. Another park was started just south of Easton off I-78 for a different independent team, but that facility was never completed.
The Coke bottle is ready to explode.
The Ottawa Lynx played one final season of Triple-A ball as a Phillies farm club, while Domino’s team built a new park off Airport Road, just inside Allentown city limits on the south side of the Lehigh Valley Thruway (Route 22). The park was ready for the home opener of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (the name is a play on the term “pig iron”, iron that comes straight out of the blast furnace before being refined into steel) in April 2008.
An Ambassadors fan!
The park features the requisite number of freestanding concession stands, the Blast Furnace Grill in right field, a kids’ play area in left field, a walk-around concourse which is sufficiently wide behind the main seating bowl, and a scoreboard with an exploding Coke bottle (a firework shoots off behind it whenever the IronPigs score).
By the way, the IronPigs’ main mascot, Ferrous the pig, wears No. 26. Why? Because that’s the atomic number of iron. Extra credit if you remembered that from chemistry class (I didn’t).
For the 2013 season, Coca-Cola Park was tabbed to host the Triple-A National Championship Game, which has rotated around various sites since its inception as a one-game showdown between the International League and Pacific Coast League champions in 2006. In the game, Chris Dwyer of the Omaha Storm Chasers retired the first 20 batters he faced and earned the 2-1 victory over the Durham Bulls.
|921||Sat 7-Jun-2008||International||AAA||LEHIGH VALLEY 8, Rochester 2|
|988||Sun 12-Apr-2009||International||AAA||Scranton 14, LEHIGH VALLEY 4|
|1063||Thu 29-Jul-2010||International||AAA||Durham 2, LEHIGH VALLEY 1, 11 inn|
|1147||Wed 17-Aug-2011||International||AAA||LEHIGH VALLEY 3, Rochester 1|
|1175||Fri 16-Sep-2011||International||AAA||Columbus 4, LEHIGH VALLEY 1|
|1188||Tue 3-Jul-2012||International||AAA||LEHIGH VALLEY 6, Scranton 5|
|1195||Sun 22-Jul-2012||International||AAA||Columbus 5, LEHIGH VALLEY 3|
|1289||Mon 2-Sep-2013||International||AAA||Pawtucket 4, LEHIGH VALLEY 0|
|1296||Tue 17-Sep-2013||International *||AAA||Omaha 2, DURHAM 1|
|1341||Sun 17-Aug-2014||International||AAA||LEHIGH VALLEY 3, Buffalo 2|
|1430||Mon 7-Sep-2015||International||AAA||Rochester 8, LEHIGH VALLEY 1|
|1453||Wed 4-May-2016||International||AAA||Pawtucket 7, LEHIGH VALLEY 2|
|1457||Mon 30-May-2016||International||AAA||LEHIGH VALLEY 6, Norfolk 4|
|* Interleague play (with Pacific Coast League).|