If there ever was a jersey that inspired nostalgia in me it would be this one from the State College Spikes:
Paying homage to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, one of the few shows I followed religiously while growing up as a kid. The show was my favorites and I felt a connection to it, that is I wanted to be a kid who ended up in Beverly Hills (I’m still waiting for that to happen…). Alfonso Ribiero even showed up (he played Carlton if you’ve been living under a rock this whole time) to make the event even cooler than it already was.
As is the case with every themed jersey the SC Spikes ended up signing and auctioning off the game-worn jersey for the Children’s Miracle Network. Night at the ballpark generally sees a Star Wars themed jersey and this is a cool break away from the norm, and only in the MiLB can do you a themed jersey and get away looking cool with it.
The State College Spikes are a Class-A Short Season Affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals in the New York- Penn League playing their games at Medlar Field in Lubrano Park, in State College Pennsylvania. The Spikes have deep roots in MiLB history, founded in 1985 in Auburn, New York as the Auburn Yankees, an affiliate of the New York Yankees.
From 1958-1980 they played their home games at Falcon Park becoming a cornerstone of the community. The Yankees were the first affiliates but were followed by the Mets, Twins, and Phillies. However, in 1978, they fielded as the Auburn Sunsets, an independent team with no affiliation. The next season they found themselves again without affiliation and fielded as the Auburn Red Stars, the same thing happened again in 1980 except they called themselves the Auburn Americans.
In 1981, the Auburn Americans found themselves finally being affiliated, this time with the St. Louis Cardinals, and moved to Erie, Pennsylvania for the 1981 season. From 1981-1987, the Erie Cardinals played their home games at Ainsworth Field.
In ’88, the Erie Cardinals were purchased businessman Joe Vellano who moved the team to Hamilton, Ontario and renamed them the Hamilton Redbirds where they played their home games at Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium.
In ’91, Vellano sold the Redbirds to a limited partnership of businessmen who played to relocate the team to New Jersey after the season was over. However, they spent ’91 and ’92 in Hamilton, and in ’92, they set an organization record for winning percentage going 56-20 (.651).
In ’93, the team relocated to Glenn Falls, New York to become the Glenn Falls Redbirds (still affiliated with the St.Louis Cardinals). This was only a lame duck season for the Redbirds, as they planned to relocate to Sussex County, New Jersey after the season ended. ’93 found the Redbirds playing their home games at East Field. For that brief season in Glenn Falls, they led the league in attendance, posting an attendance of 78, 725.
In ’94, the team finally located to Augusta, New Jersey becoming the New Jersey Cardinals and maintained their affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals while playing their home games at Skyland Park. The team would go 43-32 and win the league title. From ’94-’02 they would only have one more winning season (in 2002), despite the lack of winning seasons they boasted numerous attendance records. In their inaugural season 142, 417 fans attended their games. In ’95, they drew 157,557 fans and in ’04 114, 342 people.
(NJ Cardinals Cap Insignia)
(NJ Cardinals Logo)
In 2006, the New Jersey RedBirds were sold, relocated to State College, Pennsylvania, and became the State College Spikes. The Spikes then became affiliated with the Pirates but switched back to their Cardinal affiliation in 2012.
(SC Spikes Current Logo)
(SC Spikes Current Cap Insginia)
2013 was their best in their history with the Spikes going 48-27. Jimmy Bosco hit for the cycle with the Spikes, David Washington set the single-season record for home runs (10) and RBIs (50). Steven Amos won the New York-Penn batting average title (.341) and the bullpen boasted the lowest ERA between both MLB and MiLB. The Spikes eventually finished 2013 as runner-up in the league.
In 2014, the Spikes won the New York-Penn League title and as well was their first New York-Penn League title in the Spikes’ history. 2015 saw the Spikes posting a disappointing season finishing 41-35 and third in the New York-Penn League.