June 26, 2017
By: Gwen Begley
I need to reserve some time to express my love for Hambone, everyone’s favorite loser. If you have ever been to an IronPigs game, you absolutely cannot escape the most important and entertaining portion of the contest. Yes, it is fascinating watching Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins go yard like a million times, but the Pork Race is where the real heroics come in.
Four really goofy looking mascots each representing a different form of meat race around the warning track. It’s Chris P. Bacon, Barbie Q, Diggity and the most beautiful of all, Hambone. Each season each mascot wins quite a few times, as there are a little over 70 home games in a season. This is the case for all but one of those mascots, as poor Hambone is only awarded about two or three wins per SEASON.
My friends, co-workers, and the IronPigs staff all know my love for Hambone, and I have relentlessly tried to get the staff to fill me in on when he will be crossing that finish line first so that I can witness this great feat. Apparently, this is super top-secret information because my efforts have been unsuccessful, up until a few weeks ago. He, who shall not be named, did not necessarily tell me that Hambone was going to win, but rather said “the Pork Race might make you very happy tonight”. That was all I needed to hear.
I’ve been to many IronPigs games the past three seasons since I started working at TV2, and not once did I witness a Hambone victory during any of these visits to the beautiful Coca-Cola Park.
The date was Friday June 9th, 2017 when all of my pork race dreams came true. I was having a less than pleasant day when I attended that IronPigs game with my father, eagerly awaiting those four pieces of meat to hit the warning track. The moment came when the gates opened and the mascots were released; phone in hand ready to capture the moment.
Right off the bat, in typical Hambone fashion, he suddenly exits the race and disappears completely. I was not happy. Then, all of a sudden out comes hambone from the Pigs clubhouse entrance to take a commanding lead. Clearly I am not the only one who loves Hambone, because the place erupted in cheers and applause. Hambone did it! He won in glorious fashion and could not contain his excitement, nor could I. He was jumping up and down and flailing his little arms as the sell out crowd roared. That was his first win of the season, and will probably be one of only a few. With only 34 home games left, I think I speak for all Pigs fans in saying… “Let’s go Hambone!”