Another milestone to note: the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Class AAA; International League) are celebrating 25 years of MiLB in SWB this coming season.
“Year one of the RailRiders was one of success and fun,” said RailRiders president/GM Rob Crain. “But 2014 will allow us to reflect on 25 great seasons as NEPA’s modern-day pro baseball franchise. This salute will be fantastic.”
Starting today, fans will have their say in part of that fun with NCAA-tournament style month-long voting brackets linked through swbrailriders.com. It will feature the best players during each SWB era: Red Barons, Yankees and RailRiders. The winner in each field will have a figurine made in his likeness as one of the season’s 25 giveaways to celebrate 25 seasons. Due to the different length of those eras, the respective tournament sizes vary commensurately. The Red Barons field consists of 16 names highlighted by No. 1 overall seed Chase Utley. The Yankees bracket is made up of eight names with Shelley Duncan sitting atop the field as the No. 1 overall seed. And the RailRiders tournament includes four names with Derek Jeter serving as the top seed.
Players in each field represent a variety of interests including SWB success, MLB success and fan favoritism. The team has created a bracket reveal video that runs through the entrants, highlights their strengths and includes panel debate for predictions, omissions and overall analysis with multiple members of the RailRiders’ front office and Scranton Times-Tribune writer Donnie Collins. Much like our nation’s president has done with the NCAA field, Crain, the RailRiders’ president/GM, has his own video with his predictions in each field that will be unveiled next week.
In kicking off the celebration, the team has created a special logo (shown above) consisting of the RailRiders’ official primary colors: Electric Gold, Rich Maroon and Yankee Navy with white lettering and numerals. The RailRiders are the first professional sports team to use this unique color combination.
In concert with the celebratory logo’s release, the team’s official website, swbrailriders.com, will also integrate the artwork into the outer shell that frames every page.
The RailRiders’ homage to the franchise’s illustrious history will run throughout the season, but apexes the first week of June. From June 3-7, each night will sport significant acknowledgement of the team’s history. The run starts with the homestand opener on Tuesday, June 3 against the Norfolk Tides. That is scheduled to be the team’s 25th home game of the season and it comes against the franchise SWB faced in its first home game in the inaugural 1989 season, the then-Tidewater Tides. The Saturday, June 7 affair that caps off the week will include one of the figurine giveaways decided by the fan bracket voting. Other specific activities for the week will be announced at a later date.
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