Back on the road in Reading

Hello, hello, mic check, one, two. Is this thing on? Does this still work? Check. Check.

Bless me folks, for I have been lazy. It’s been nearly 1,035 since my last baseball blog post. Since that last time, I’ve only been to a handful of minor league and indy games, and while I have taken pictures and tweeted out, I haven’t done an official post (wrestling posts not withstanding).

So I am back. And what better way to be back is a report from one of my first stadium visits when I started this little blog, FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Reading Fightin Phils!

Not much has changed since my first visit in 2015. But in this case, that’s a good thing! It’s still a baseball museum doubling as a stadium. It still has a great pre game vibe in their food court. And yes, they still have the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor! Everything that I was looking forward to. Just what was needed to jump start the blog again.

HISTORY
FirstEnergy first opened in 1951 as Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium, and has been home to the Reading Indians (1952-1961), the Reading Red Sox (1963-1964), and since 1967, the Fightin Phils. Under the grandstand is a literal museum of all the teams and players that have gone through Reading. I have to admit, the lighting and the crowds really weren’t too conducive to taking great pics, but here are a couple of examples:

Even the seats are old timey. Yep, reserved seats, but no cup holders. I didn’t mind, the fans and the view were great!

Its nickname is well deserved!

PRE GAME

There are plenty of pre game and in game eat and drink options! When you enter the ballpark, you move along the first base side along a few vendors, then it opens up to a wide courtyard with more options and a bandstand. In my first visit, there was a live band playing, not sure if I missed it but nothing going when I arrived. Still, plenty of food and drink options for the game!

I know I woud blow my arm out if I tried this!

Instead of doing something that would require Tommy John surgery, I checked out all the food and drink options. Pretty amazing stuff! I have to say that the Churger sounded pretty good, but it sounds like enough to feed a small refuge family!

In the end, I went with the basic hot dog and some delicious crabby fries!

FRIENDLY CONFINES

FirstEnergy really is a family friendly park. Unlike a couple of parks I’ve been to, I didn’t witness any heckling of the other team, which is a big plus in my book. Folks are there to see a game, take in the sights, maybe swim in the pool, and meet the famous Crazy Hot Dog Vendor!

Pups in the park NEVER gets old!

They do have a pool in right field and everyone was having a great time! Although I didn’t see any homeruns hit the splash zone.

Love it when you see someone wearing the shirt of your favorite ballplayer at the park!

The obligatory outfield selfie.

Raise your kids right, take them to the ballpark!

IN GAME ACTION

I was able to get a few good snaps during the game. The Phils were hosting the Rumble Ponies, and the Phils were wearing their special Hot Dog jerseys. The visitors put up a 6 spot in the second inning, but couldn’t get the shut down inning as Reading scored 1 in the bottom of the frame. Top of the third, Binghamton scores again to make it 7-1, but Reading scored 2 in the third and 2 in the fourth to close the gap to 7-5. In the sixth, the Ponies struck again for 2 more, but Reading rallied for another, making it 9-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Rumble Ponies RF makes a great throw to save a run.

Reading rallied for one run in the ninth, with the entire bullpen looking on. But that’s all they could come up with as Binghamton wins 9-7.

WRAP UP

Although this was my second trip to Reading, it felt like visiting an old friend. This is a great venue to see a game, and close enough to the DC area that it’s definetely worth the drive! Oh, and the swag is pretty sweet too!

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