The Revs have played host to a military All-Star team. They have played All-Star teams from the York-area’s two amateur leagues. But the competition level just hasn’t been where it should be. So this year, the Revs went with a new idea, and potentially the best idea for their Fan Fest scrimmage scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, April 13. The 2013 Revs will play an Atlantic League alumni team anchored by former Revs.
Current Revs pitching coach — and longtime league vet — John Halama will manage the alumni team.
One-time Revs players Wayne Franklin (2007-2009), Daryl Harang (2009), Eric Ackerman (2010), Sean Stidfole (2010-2011), Kevin Kotch (2008), Rayner Bautista (2007, 2009), Travis Hake (2007), Enohel Polanco (2010), Jason Aspito (2007-09), Val Majewski (2010-2011) and Justin Singleton (2007) are expected to attend.
The Revs have also reached out to other former Atlantic League players inviting Matt Hagen (Somerset, Sugar Land), Vito Chiaravalloti (Road Warriors, Somerset) and Matt Cavagnaro (Long Island) to play for the alumni team. Matt Padgett (Revs 2008-09, Long Island, Southern Maryland) also hopes to attend.
The Revs have hesitated to schedule a scrimmage every preseason against the amateur league All-Stars, in part so it remains something fresh and somewhat different. Last year, however, it became apparent the amateurs were several former Revs away from actually making the game a tight contest. Aspito and Hake played for the amateurs, and Shawn Hedrick (Revs 2009-10) pitched.
This year’s event promises to provide something new. Although all of the players are recognizable names for Revs fan, many of these players haven’t stepped foot in Sovereign Bank Stadium for years. Some of them left the game near their peak, opting to begin a post-playing day career instead of hanging on for one or two more seasons.
In minor league baseball it’s easy to continue to do what works, and the annual exhibition game at Fan Fest always draws fans. But this year’s new idea should bring out fans for the chance to see a familiar face they haven’t had an opportunity to see in months or years.