Five Games, Five Days, Five Parks - Akron Over Reading

The two teams were in first place in their respective divisions. Reading had the best record in professional baseball at 49-20, a couple games better than the Cubs. The Akron Rubber Ducks used a couple two run homeruns in the opening two frames to beat the Reading Fightin Phils 5-2.

The Fightin Phils had recently called up Tyler Viza from Clearwater. This would be his third start at AA, winning his first and getting a no decision in his second. The big bats got to him early in his third AA start with Clint Frazier bombing a pitch into straight away centerfield to give Akron an early 2-0 lead. Todd Hankins pulled a pitch into the leftfield bleachers for another two run homer to extend the Akron lead to 4-0.

Viza settled down for the remaining five innings, giving up just two hits, both of them in the fifth inning. Todd Hankins led off the inning with a single but was thrown out by five feet trying to steal second. Clint Frazier roped a two out double into right centerfield but when he slid into second he bounced off the bag and the Phillies Valentin was there to make the tag for the third out.

D.J. Brown did not allow a hit in the first three innings, walking one. In the fourth he gave up a leadoff single to Jesmuel Valentin. Jorge Alfaro lined one into the left field bleachers to score the Fightin Phils first two runs. A walk to Dylan Cozens, who is leading the minor leagues in homeruns with 19 sent slugger Rhys Hoskins to the plate representing the tying run. He skied one into left field, raising gasps of expectations from the fans, but falling short of the fence, caught by Jordan Smith at the warning track.

The Phillies had one more opportunity to score in the sixth, loading the bases with one out on two walks and a single. Christian Marrerro grounded a ball to second, and despite a bobble by Ivan Castillo prior to his flip to second Akron was still able to complete the double play. For the fans in the deck head section of the left field bleachers, there would be no free pretzels tonight. They had a couple two out hits in the seventh and eighth but their day was done after the sixth.

Akron scored an insurance run off Joely Rodriguez in the eighth. A one out walk to Bradley Zimmer led to the run. Clint Frazier grounded what could have been a double play ball to third but Harold Martinez dropped the ball. He was able to pick the ball up quickly to get Frazier at first, but Zimmer advanced to second. Zimmer scored on a single by Nellie Rodriguez, who beat the shift by grounding a single just to the right field side of the second base bag.

Reading Phacts (at least from Wikipedia)

Reading is the fifth largest city in Philadelphia. The 2010 census showed they had the largest share of citizens living in poverty in the nation. A drive around Reading by myworld shows this may be changing as there a number of nice housing developments in the city.

John Phillip Souza died here in 1932 but Taylor Swift was born here. Wikipedia shows she was born in Berks County where they have Dieffenbacks potato chips, which began in 1964, 15 years before Taylor was born. Someone at the ballgame confirms that Taylor lived in two houses in Reading before the family moved to Nashville.

Wal Mart is the seventh largest employer in the city. The largest is Reading Hospital. A lot of cities seem to depend on hospitals or medical facilities for their employment, relying on the fact that in this day and age people will seek medical care when they are sick. The medical industry seems to be thriving on our abilities not to stay healthy.

My favorite candy bar, the York Peppermint Patty was invented here. Vanity Fair was also founded here in 1899 but under the name Reading Glove & Mitten Manufacturing Company. They changed their name to Vanity Fair in 1911. They are not listed as one of the top ten employers in the city since all of their manufacturing base has moved to China or the Caribbean. Now they are just an outlet mall where they sell their clothes that are now made overseas.

Game and Stadium Notes: Reading may not be a pretty stadium but it has beautiful ambience. It is like the plain girl who has the great personality. You just have to love her despite all her faults. The food selections are more varied than at the Phillies major league park, even though they have less room for concessions. Where is the imagination of major league parks. They have soup, corn on the cob, stuffed pretzels and your typical fare of hot dogs, hamburgers and cotton candy. Myworld tasted the ham and cheese stuffed pretzel since one of the things Reading is known for is their pretzel manufacturing. It was good but myworld would have taken more ham and cheese and less pretzel…It was Ryan Howard bobblehead night. They also handed out a bag of potato chips from Dieffenbacks, a local potato chip manufacturer (Berk County)…The park has a pool out in right field, but it is reserved for groups who pay a little extra to splash in the water and watch the game from the right field pool area…They have a number of small free parking lots surrounding the ball park. It is recommended you get there early to get a prime parking spot. Exiting the stadium can take awhile because they only have two ways you can leave and a number of cars feeding into the same area…If you go to a day game the only shade in the stadium appears to be behind home plate in the upper levels. They also have left field bleacher seating. The 67 club, along left field has a number of picnic tables where you can sit and eat while you watch the game. There is also a deck head in the left field bleachers. If the left fielder gets on base every fan in the bleachers gets free pretzels. A homerun and one fan gets a special gift pack…There are a number of team pictures over the last 50 years behind the home plate area, including the 1955 team who had a player by the name of Roger Maris on the team…The hot dog man rides out in his toy ostrich once an inning and throws skinny hot dogs out into the stands. Today he went out in the second inning…Clint Frazier appeared smoother gliding toward the ball than Bradley Zimmer. Myworld thinks Zimmer will fit better at a corner outfield…Clint Frazier has a lot of flowing hair stuffed under his hat…There was a veggie race in the fifth inning. Lettuce defeated carrot, cauliflower and broccoli.

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