Rain in Indianapolis put a damper on the RailRiders’ eight-game road trip finale and a stretch of 16 road contests out of 20.
The game against the first-place Indians wasn’t rained out, it started at 9:30 p.m. meaning when Scranton/Wilkes-Barre returns to PNC Field tonight to start perhaps the most intriguing homestand of the season, the team will be entering on little sleep after a 10-hour bus ride.
The eight-game stretch at PNC Field, which starts at 7:05 tonight against Norfolk, runs through June 10 and celebrates the 25-year anniversary of baseball in Northeast Pennsylvania. Tonight’s game can also be seen live on My Network TV (WQMY). Right-hander Zach Nuding (2-3, 6.23) takes the hill for the RailRiders tonight and will face Tides righty Josh Stinson (0-3, 5.23).
Tonight is free T-shirt Tuesday with the shirt featuring the 25th anniversary logo. In addition to Thursday being Thirsty Thursday, it also features Red Barons throwback ’80s night, while Friday is SWB Yankees flashback ’90s night.
Saturday is perhaps the biggest celebration of the season.
Not only is the 25th anniversary of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise being celebrated, but there’s a Hall of Fame induction slated as PNC Field hosts the Hall of Fame celebration for longtime manager Dave Miley, who was selected as an International League Hall of Famer during the offseason. The winningest skipper in franchise history will be immortalized with a curtain call statue that the first 2,500 fans entering the ballpark will receive. The statue was made in Miley’s honor due a fan vote for the most popular Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankee. Also on Saturday, the International League Hall of Fame plaque display, a traveling caravan for the league’s all-time best, will be on hand.
Those activities are just the start of Saturday’s festivities. During the game, the RailRiders will wear special jerseys commemorating the 25th anniversary with all three uniforms — Red Barons, Yankees and RailRiders — being symbolized then auctioned off benefiting the Dave Miley Hall of Fame Scholarship Fund. There’s also a tribute to 1989 on Saturday as there will be a feel of 1989 throughout the game and members of the 1989 Red Barons are scheduled to be on hand, including Wally Ritchie, Tommy Barrett and Brad Moore.
And, SWB is playing Toledo on Saturday night, and Mud Hens broadcaster Jim Weber — who will be on hand — is also an I.L. Hall of Fame inductee this year. Weber was officially inducted in the Hall on Thursday and was honored with a bronze statue by the Mud Hens. Now in his 40th season with the team, he has broadcast more than 5,000 consecutive games. Saturday night wraps up with a fireworks display.
Pirela lauded by I.L.
RailRiders second baseman Jose Pirela was named the International League Batter of the Week from May 26-June 1.
The 24-year-old led Triple-A with 13 hits in the week, including a franchise-record-tying five on Sunday when he fell a home run short of the cycle. Pirela is now sixth in the league with a .316 batting average and is tied for fourth in runs scored (34) and hits (61).