Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs - History - Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs were founded in 1993 as the Ottawa Lynx. The team previously played at Ottawa Baseball Stadium located in Ottawa, Ontario from 1993–2007 before moving to Allentown to become Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Known as the Lynx, the Lynx were affiliated with three MLB clubs which were the Montreal Expos from 1993–2002, the Baltimore Orioles from 2003–2006, and the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2007 season only which was also the last season for the Ottawa Lynx playing in Ottawa. The Lynx were the only International League franchise based in Canada at the time of their existence. Before the Philadelphia Phillies affiliated with the Ottawa Lynx, the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate was the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. The Red Barons existed from 1987–2006, and played their home games at PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania. Today, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons are known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and are now serving as the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Unhappy with the local management that owned the Red Barons (currently Yankees), the Phillies decided to pursue their interest in bringing professional baseball back to Allentown. In response, the Philllies switched their affiliation from the Red Barons to the Ottawa Lynx, right after the Orioles ended their affiliation with the Lynx. The Phillies signed a one-year Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Lynx while Coca-Cola Park was being constructed. After the completion of the new Coca-Cola Park, the team was then relocated to the Lehigh Valley area in 2008 to become the IronPigs after serving fifteen consecutive seasons in Ottawa as the Ottawa Lynx. During the club's last years as the Ottawa Lynx, the team had difficulty attracting fans, which was one of several factors why the team relocated. The relocation of the Lynx to Allentown to become the IronPigs has been extremely well received, since the Phillies have a large fan base in the Allentown area, and because the move to Allentown will permit Phillies' players to rehab in Allentown without significant transportation time as compared to Ottawa or Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Allentown is 60 miles (97 km) north of Philadelphia). The name IronPigs was well received by the fans in the Lehigh Valley.

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