If early season ticket sales are any indication of the excitement brewing around Northeast Pennsylvania's baseball team, the 2013 campaign will be on everyone's radar.
Sales of season tickets opened Monday morning at 10 and according to Rob Crain, the organization's president and general manager, 32 new accounts were sold in the first 90 minutes. That number adds to renewals and group sales. Crain said that, as of last week, the number of groups and returning season holders coming back for the 2013 season are already where they were on Feb. 1, 2011, prior to that season, so they are already six months ahead of that pace.
"It's all been so far so good," Crain said. "The community support has been wonderful and we're very appreciative of it."
Ticket sales for individual games will go on sale in February or March. Group sales can be purchased by calling 969-2255, visiting www.swbyankees.com or by visiting the offices on Glenmaura Boulevard in Moosic.
Crain was hired for his current position in July, a little over two months ago. And it's been a very busy 63 days for Crain.
In that time, the team has decided it will change its name from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees to a name more related to the area. The names were dwindled down to six last month and voting ended late last month. The possible names are the Blast, Black Diamond Bears, Fireflies, Porcupines, RailRiders and Trolley Frogs.
The president a GM said a logo and other logistics for the new name are currently being worked on, and that it will be a couple more months before the name is announced, but the publication of the name and logo will be made at a public event.
In his short tenure so far, Crain has also seen the nomad Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees finish a successful season in which they played all of their games on the road while PNC Field is renovated.
The Yankees won the International League North Division championship for the fifth time in six years before bowing out of the playoffs in the first round.
"To make the playoffs and being on the road the entire season is a great credit to manager Dave Miley and the coaching staff," Crain said. "This is a feat that no one will ever accomplish again in the minor leagues and to be a part of it is something special."
Speaking of the stadium renovations, Crain said that concrete steps were being poured and steel was being hung on Monday, and the project was right on schedule -- and on budget.
"We are so pumped for opening day 2013," Crain said. "Opening day is only 206 days away, but who's counting?
"It's exciting and I'm anxious to share (the stadium) and the team name with the entire Northeast Pennsylvania community."
Team president Rob Crain said a logo and other logistics for the new name are currently being worked on and that it will be a couple more months before the name is announced.