There will be ostriches in the outfield this season at FirstEnergy Stadium. No...this isn't an April Fool's joke. This is really happening.
It seems like the minor league affiliates of the Phillies are getting really creative now-a-days. First the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will offer a pee-controlled video game in their restrooms and now, the Reading Fightin Phils will be the proud owners of two of the world's largest flightless birds.
That's right, FirstEnergy Stadium will be the home of two female ostriches this summer. GM Scott Hunsicker is excited about the new attraction, which represents the team's new image as well.
"Fans can now experience and learn about farming and these unique animals from Africa just by attending a Fightin Phils game," said Fightin Phils General Manager Scott Hunsicker. "We hope that families can fall in love with both farming and baseball from the allure of these magnificent ostriches."
The ostriches will be housed in America's Classic Ballpark in the raised outfield pasture that sits behind the centerfield walls. Before and after each home game at FirstEnergy Stadium, the ostriches will be on display for Fightins fans. The connection that the team has with the farming community in Berk's County means a lot to the fans and the organization.
Fans will be also be able to name the ostriches via contest on Fightins.com.
Fans must be a member of the Baseballtown Insider to submit their name choices. Once signed up for the Baseballtown Insider, you will be e-mailed a contest link to submit your name suggestions. All names should be submitted as a pair prior to by Thursday, April 4. Name finalists will be chosen and announced on Friday, April 5. Fightins fans can then vote for their favorite pair of names for the selected finalists.
Maybe next the Phillies will put live snakes in the outfield and Roy Halladay can wrestle them before every game.
You can read the full press release here.
Erik Seybold is a writer for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.