Dylan Cozens and Nick Pivetta to make return to Baseballtown
Current Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Dylan Cozens and pitcher Nick Pivetta, both former Reading Fightins, will headline the Phillies Caravan on Tuesday, January 22nd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel as part of the Phillies Caravan.
Dr. Richard Kratz will be crowned the 2019 King of Baseballtown.
More special guests from the Phillies organization are expected to be announced at a later date.
Cozens made his major-league debut this past season on June 1st in San Francisco. Cozens appeared in 26 games with the Phillies last season and hit his first career home run against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 7th. He also played in 88 games for the triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He hit .246 with 17 doubles, 21 home runs and 58 RBI while scoring 49 runs.
During the 2016 season with the R-Phils, Cozens became the all-time single-season home run record holder with 40 home runs. He also holds the single-season record for RBI (125), total bases (308) and strikeouts (186). He played in 134 games with Reading in 2016 and hit .276 with 38 doubles, 21 steals and 106 runs scored. He was named Eastern League Most Valuable Player. Cozens was also a part of Reading’s playoff run during the 2015 season, when Bowie defeated them in the Eastern League Championship Series.
Pivetta has been with the Phillies since April 30, 2017 when he made his major league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park. He has made 58 starts over two seasons for the Phillies and has made one relief appearance. This past season he logged 188 strikeouts in 164 innings pitched while appearing in 33 games (32 starts). He won seven games and only issued 51 walks.
The right-handed starter joined the Phillies organization late in 2015 season, when he was traded from the Washington Nationals for Jonathan Papelbon. He made seven starts for the R-Phils that season and started the 2016 season with Reading before being promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley. He went 11-6 in 22 starts with Reading in 2016, while striking out 111 batters in 124 innings pitched.
Kratz, a long-time resident of Baseballtown, played five seasons with the Boston Red Sox organization from 1965-1969. Baseballtown native and Hall of Famer Charlie Wagner signed Kratz to a professional contract with the Red Sox. Kratz played in over 400 career minor league games, spending one season with Winston-Salem of the Carolina League and two seasons with Pittsfield of the Eastern League. He reached as high as triple-A, Louisville during the 1968 and 1969 seasons.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award from Baseballtown Charities and the Reading Fightin Phils”, Kratz said. “It means a great deal to me!”
From 1967-1973, Kratz also served in the United States Army Reserve, HHC, 358th Civil Affairs Unit in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Kratz also began his career in education while playing baseball and also serving in the army. Dr. Kratz was a health and physical education teacher at Eddystone Junior High School in Eddystone, Pennsylvania. He held several other elementary, junior and senior high teaching positions through 1969.
After his playing career, Kratz turned his full attention to education. He worked at Bucks County Community College from 1969-1987. During his 18 years there, he held the positions of assistant director of admissions, director of admissions and records, director of admissions, records and student services and assistant dean of student services. In 1987, Dr. Kratz joined Reading Area Community College as the dean of student services and institutional planning. Later he became the vice president and dean of academic affairs, and finally in January of 2003, he was named the fourth president of Reading Area Community College.
The Phillies Caravan, “Not Your Father’s Chicken Dinner Banquet…This is a Baseball Celebration!” is an exciting format sure to excite hard-core baseball fans, Phillies fans, families and community-minded citizens of Baseballtown. The 2019 Baseballtown Caravan and Phillies Winter Tour, is presented by Baseballtown Charities.
The program will not only include the crowning of Dr. Richard Kratz as the 2019 King of Baseballtown, but will also include: a family-friendly cocktail party from 5:30 until 7:00 pm, with an opportunity to meet other Baseballtown figures.
Individual tickets are $25. Tickets are $20 when you purchase ten or more tickets. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the program gets underway at 7:00 pm. The event will include 2019 Philadelphia Phillies players, coaches and front office staff members that will speak to the crowd and answer questions about the 2019 Philadelphia Phillies.
The event will also feature an auction featuring sports collectibles and other items, raffles, highlight videos, and more.
Those who wish to attend can call 610-370-BALL to purchase tickets or go online at fightinphils.tix.milbstore.com.