#SaveOurSpikes Campaign Hopes To Preserve State College Summer Tradition

The State College Spikes were listed among 42 minor league baseball teams that were named this past November as being at risk of having their affiliation with Major League Baseball severed in an upcoming proposal for the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between the MLB and the minor league system.

The 10-year PBA is set to expire after the 2020 baseball season, and if this proposal remains intact, the Spikes — along with other Pennsylvania minor league teams Erie SeaWolves and Williamsport Crosscutters — would cease to exist after the upcoming season.

On January 16, elected officials and community leaders joined the Spikes in unveiling the #SaveOurSpikes initiative, which will focus on ways that fans and members of the State College community can combat this proposal and keep the Spikes in State College.

According to Spikes general manager Scott Walker, Major League Baseball originally claimed the Spikes were placed onto the list of 42 teams due to “facility standards.”

“Have you been to a game here before?” Walker said in a statement. “We have a state-of-the-art facility.”

It’s true. When Medlar Field at Lubrano Park was built in 2006, it became the first baseball stadium in the world to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at its completion.

The LEED certification is considered the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

However, Walker and communications manager Joe Putnam made it clear that the focus of the #SaveOurSpikes campaign is not to question why the MLB is considering the proposal, but rather to galvanize the State College community into action.

“We’re really just trying to rally the Happy Valley community together to show their support of the Spikes through very specific ways,” Walker said. “A lot of folks have been reaching out and asking how they can help, so we wanted to present them with very tangible ways they can help.”

“We basically want to send the strongest possible message to the entire baseball world and show just how much Happy Valley cares about the Spikes and loves having them in the community,” Putnam said.

Since the Spikes’ inception in 2006, they have raised more than $5 million — including more than $500,000 in 2019 alone — to give back to the State College community.

Fans are encouraged to head to the #SaveOurSpikes website to find out all of the ways to keep the Spikes on the MiLB roster for beyond their upcoming 15th season.

The website gives visitors information about writing to Centre County elected officials, ticket plans, group and hospitality outings, and corporate sponsor opportunities.

#SaveOurSpikes signage is available at places such as Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the Centre County Visitor Center, and the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (CBICC.) Fans are encouraged to collect as much signage as possible in order to get the word out.

The Spikes’ 2020 season will feature 38 home games and will kick off on Thursday, June 18.

In March, the Spikes will hold SpikesFest 2020 at the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility. Admission is free to the indoor carnival that features family-friendly activities that are designed to bring the summertime fun of a Spikes game indoors.

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About the Author

Matthew Ogden

Matthew Ogden is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Journalism. He resides in South Jersey and is the cohost of Onward State's podcast, Podward State. Email him your favorite Spotify playlists to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MattOgden98.

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