The Reading Fightin’ Phils are preparing to celebrate their 50th season of affiliation with the Philadelphia Phillies, and they are inviting fans to join the action.

The 50th season officially starts in April 2016, but fans don’t have to wait for the excitement.

In a time when minor league teams are frequently switching parent club affiliations, 50 years is a relationship to be proud of. In the 114-year history of Minor League Baseball, only 3 teams have reached the 50-year mark. The affiliation is the longest current affiliation in professional baseball, and only 3 years shy of the all-time longest affiliation mark. The Bluefield Orioles were affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles for 53 years.

The Fightin's "50 Seasons in Reading" logo Photo from www.fightins.com

The Fightin’s “50 Seasons in Reading” logo
Photo from www.fightins.com

The Fightin’s will spend all season commemorating the relationship between the two teams, and recently unveiled the logo that will be used to represent the historic season. The “50 Seasons in Reading” logo will be visible throughout the ballpark and on merchandise during the upcoming season. The logo was designed by Fightin’ Phils Director of Graphic Arts Matt Jackson and Brandiose, which is based in San Diego, California.

The Fightin’s are asking fans to help with the celebration by selecting the 50 greatest players to have played in Reading. In a city that has watched countless great players come through, including the cores of two World Series Champion Philadelphia teams, fans will have a tough decision to make.

Fans will have to choose from all-time greats such as Robin Roberts and Ryne Sandberg, hometown favorites such as Darin Ruf, Ken Giles, and Mike Spidale, and Philadelphia heroes such as Jimmy Rollins, Darin Daulton, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard and many more. Currently Philadelphia favorite Mike Schmidt is leading the voting.

The top prospects expected to begin the season in Reading will also be an integral part of the 50th season. Fans will have the opportunity to see the core of the next great Philadelphia team play every night. Reading is giving fans a chance to celebrate the past while watching the future.

The 50th season officially begins on March 31st with the Phillies Future game, an exhibition featuring the organizations top prospects facing-off with the major league team.

Reading fans will then get to see many of those same prospects compete in the 222 Showcase, the annual exhibition game between the Fightin’s and the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, on April 5.

The Fightin’ Phils will play their home opener of the 2016 season on April 7 against the Portland Sea Dogs, AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Season tickets, mini-plans, group tickets and individual game tickets are now available at fightins.com. The Fightin’s “Cheaper by the Dozen” ticket books are also available, and make a great stocking stuffer for the Phillies or baseball fan on your list. Each book contains 12 general admission tickets good for any game throughout the 2016 season, as well as two tickets for opening night. The general admission tickets can be upgraded to reserved seats at any time throughout the season.

Baseball season may seem far away, but Fightin’s fans can already get involved and begin to celebrate 50 seasons in Reading!