The Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Say it a few times. You'll get used to it. The IronPigs will be the name of the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate scheduled to play in Allentown, Pa., beginning in 2008, the Minor League announced on Sunday. A new stadium in East Allentown is under construction.
The new nickname was selected from 3,500 entries in a contest to name the team. The winning submission was from Ron Steele, a 31-year-old circuit layout designer from Northampton, Pa., who described himself to the Associated Press as a casual baseball fan. For his contribution, Steele won VIP game tickets and assorted memorabilia. "It was the weirdest name out there, I guess," Steele told the AP. "I think the uniqueness got a lot of people into it." The contest began in October and was co-sponsored by the marketing department of The Morning Call, a daily newspaper based in Allentown. Eight finalists were selected from those submissions: Crushers, Gobblers, IronPigs, Keystones, Phantastics, Phillies, Vulcans and Woodchucks. The team is scheduled to move to Allentown for the 2008 season, after playing 2007 as the Ottawa Lynx. The Phillies ended their 18-year run with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the 2006 season. The Red Barons are now affiliated with the New York Yankees, beginning in 2007.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.