READING, Pa. (CBS) — The Reading Fightin Phils will play as Los Peleadores, wearing special jerseys as they celebrate Fiesta Friday at FirstEnergy Stadium. The celebration recognizes Latino culture both within minor league baseball and around the Reading area.
Thick summer air is best sliced with the crack of a bat. The smell of concessions easily float in it and in that haze, moments seem to linger just a little longer.
“There’s about three, four generations of families who have come through the ballpark,” assistant general manager Matt Hoffmaster said.
FirstEnergy Stadium is the home of the Fightin Phils, the Philadelphia Phillies’ Double-A affiliate, located just about 60 miles northwest of Center City.
“Typically in the summertime we average around 6,500 fans a night,” Hoffmaster said.
Here, the home team provides a true hometown feel.
“It’s fun. It’s family-oriented,” Tony Odorisio, of Norristown, said. “You’re close to everything and it’s an enjoyable, enjoyable evening.”
Prior to the start of the game, fans have easy access to the players and the future of Major League Baseball.
“People have seen Mike Schmidt, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels play here,” Hoffmaster said.
Another wonder of minor league ball is found between innings.
Along with a flurry of mascots, the beloved crazy hot dog vendor character makes air born freebies feel as delightful as catching a foul ball.
And if that summer haze has you in a daze, a unique option is provided — a pool out by first base and right field.
Let’s talk about a deal. You can get general admission tickets to see the Fightin Phils for just $5 and you can still get a hot dog for $2.50.
The ballpark provides lots of options for chowing down, but on Fridays this summer, Minor League Baseball is celebrating Latino culture with Fiesta Fridays.
“All throughout Minor League Baseball one of their initiatives is to reach out to the Spanish culture,” Hoffmaster said.
Fiesta Fridays is a celebration of flavor and heritage.
“We have such a rich, diverse culture and it’s great to have an opportunity to expose and express it the way we do,” Mi Casa Su Casa Café owner Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz said.
It’s called America’s past time and America is a culmination of culture. In Reading, you can feel that magic in the air and it’s celebrated like a home run.