When it comes to baseball events in Northeast Pennsylvania, this week will be as big as they get.
Festivities for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ biggest week in team history, will begin on Tuesday when the brand new team store opens up for business to the public. The establishment, which contains all types of RailRiders merchandise, is located on the outside of the PNC Field plaza, unlike the previous location which was inside the park.
It will be easy to notice the team store because the approximately 2,000-square foot lot consists of an enormous RailRiders jersey blown up in the upper part of a window. The size of the store by far dwarfs the previous one which was just 549 square feet.
The next day, the RailRiders are hosting a free sneak peak of restructured PNC Field for fans to get an early look at the new structure. The festivities, which will include open concession stands, entertainment at the family fun zone and a workout for players, begins at 5:30 Wednesday night.
If you can’t make it out to the ballpark for the free preview on Wednesday, that’s OK there’s still 72 other chances this season — or more if the RailRiders advance to the playoffs — to see the rebuilt stadium. The first chance comes on Thursday for the first game in RailRiders’ history.
This is something you won’t want to miss as plenty of festivities are planned throughout the game to make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One of the highlights of the festivities will be when former New York Yankee and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson throws out a ceremonial first pitch. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday with entertainment beginning that time as well. First pitches are set to begin at approximately 6:30 and the game against the Pawtucket Red Sox begins at 7:05.
Jackson, who was born and raised in Wyncote, just a two-hour drive from PNC Field, was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993 as a Yankee after ending his career with 563 career home runs, five World Series championships, two World Series MVP awards and 14 All-Star Game appearances among many other achievements in a long and storied career.
The RailRiders will play Pawtucket for four games beginning Thursday kicking off a seven-game homestand.