It’s a gimmick, but a cute one: the York Revolution (independent; Atlantic League) are using the Ryan Howard/Philadelphia Phillies situation to raise funds for a local charity and an opening-day attendance boost.
As reported elsewhere, the Phillies are looking to shed Howard and a small portion of his contract, with the team willing to pick up $50 million of the $60 million remaining. While it’s debatable whether a trade could happen — Howard’s contract limits the number of teams he can be traded to to nine or so — that didn’t stop the Revolution from issuing a tongue-in-cheek press release about Howard joining the Rev:
After a quick look at the numbers, this left the York Revolution of the Atlantic League roughly $9,997,000 short of the funds required to put Howard in a Revolution uniform for the 2015 season. An Atlantic League maximum salary is roughly $3,000 per month.
The Revolution, whose fans responded to such time-honored baseball traditions as monkeys dressed as cowboys riding dogs to raise the team’s attendance by 5% in 2014, has turned back to those fans hoping the support will continue.
“If there are roughly 400,000 people living in York County, we only need $25 from each of them to have the funds necessary to put Ryan Howard in a Revolution uniform,” surmised York General Manager John Gibson. “Some dads might have to dock a kid’s allowance for a couple weeks, big deal,” Gibson continued.
Hoping the campaign will spread beyond the York area and statewide, the Revolution has lowered the donation amount they are asking for to $10. As a thank you, each fan who donates will be provided with two complimentary ticket vouchers to the Revolution’s Opening Night game at Santander Stadium in Downtown York, on Friday, April 24 against the Long Island Ducks at 6:30 p.m.
Should the Revolution fall short of the $10 million required to add Howard, the team has agreed to donate 83% of the funds raised to Penn-Mar Human Services, the presenting partner of the 2015 York Revolution season. Fitting, considering the Phillies are willing to pay 83% of Howard’s remaining owed salary, for him to play for someone else.
The Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office at Santander Stadium is open weekdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Fans may make their donations and pick up their ticket vouchers anytime the ticket office is open.
It remains to be seen whom Philadelphia might be interested in on York’s roster, in exchange for Howard if the money can be raised. If acquired, the Revolution intends to honor both remaining years of Howard’s deal. He will turn 36 following the season.