Unlike many teams the Philadelphia Phillies and their AAA farm team, the Leghigh Valley IronPigs have extended their player development contract with four years through the 2020 season.
Both clubs announced the news in an on field presentation before the final game of the season at Coca Cola Park. The four years is the maximum number of years that a PDC can be extended. The rules between MLB and MiLB do not allow longer extensions.
“We’re excited to partner with the IronPigs for four more years. These are the best fans in Triple-A Baseball and now let’s go out and win the Governors’ Cup this September!” said Phillies Assistent Director of Player Development,Steve Noworyta.
IronPigs President & General Manager Kurt Landes stated: “Our relationship with the Phillies has played a large role in our organization’s overall success. Our fans have enjoyed watching some of the brightest stars in the Minor Leagues graduate to Philadelphia and we’re excited to have that continue for many years to come.”
It is remarkable that nineteen players of the current Philies roster have played for the IronPigs. Various players like Peter Bourjos, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Roy Oswalt, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley had rehabs with the IronPigs.
The IronPigs are the most successful club in the minors attendance wise. In the past nine seasons the club managed to draw 600,000 fans per season.
The history of the IronPigs goes back to 1993 when the Ottawa Lynx started to play in the International League. For the biggest part of their existence, the Lynx were the AAA affiliate of the Montreal Expos. But in 2003 the Baltimore Orioles jumped in and this affiliation lasted through the 2006 season. In 2007 the Phillies became the parent club. The team was sold and moved to Allentown PA, only 69 miles away from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.