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Interesting and Exciting Season For The Williamsport Crosscutters in 2024

The Bowman Field faithful will have lots to look forward to this year as the Williamsport Crosscutters begin their fourth season in the MLB Draft League. As usual, there will be the fantastic line-up of interesting and unique promotions.

One of the most interesting will be an appearance by WWE Wrestling Hall of Famer Tito Santana on Friday, July 5. The noted grappler will also be given away as a free bobblehead.

The legendary and beloved Phillie Phanatic will appear on Friday, July 19.

For those who are fans of the television show “The Office,” a star from that show, Kate Flannery, who played “Meredith” on the show, will grace Bowman Field on June 12.

On July 26 and August 8, “Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act” will delight fans.

Former World Yo-Yo Champ John Higby will appear on June 6.

This year will also feature several jersey auctions, including a Rhashan Half Birthday jersey that will be worn by players on June 28. Proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit Lycoming County Special Olympics.

July 20 with be Salute to Pop-Tarts Night. A night celebrating this iconic treat! Lots of fun is planned, plus players will wear special Pop-Tarts theme jerseys and caps to be auctioned to benefit the Central PA Food Bank. With the cooperation of Kellanova (formerly Kellogg’s), This is the first time any team has EVER worn fully sanctioned Pop-Tarts jerseys in organized baseball!

Other Highlights include:
– Fireworks after all five Saturday night home games
– June 21 – Blue & White Night with PSU Football ticket giveaways EVERY inning
– July 4 – Cutters Bucket Hat Giveaway
– July 21—Family Movie Night. Fans are invited to stay after this Sunday afternoon game and enjoy the movie Wonka on the Cutters video board. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free chocolate bar, with five containing a special Golden Ticket for special prizes.
– August 9 – Potato Capers socks giveaway
– August 23 & 25- Special pin giveaways

There will be some new exciting food and drink available to Cutters’ fans this year at the uptown ballpark.

This season, Gunzey’s is teaming up with the Cutters to offer “Gunzey’s at the Game.” For over 60 years, Gunzey’s has perfected its craft, delighting friends and fans at county fairs across central Pennsylvania. Gunzey’s at the Game will feature Gunzey’s famous hot sausage along with cheesesteaks, gyros, smoked brisket, and mac and cheese bowls at every Williamsport Crosscutters home game in 2024.The stand is in The Lumberyard, just off the stadium’s main concourse.

In addition, the Cutters have teamed up with Bullfrog Brewery to create a new signature beer called Cutters Original Lumberjacked Cream Ale. This American-style cream ale is pleasantly dry and mild with a light body, malty semi-sweetness, and modest hop presence. Lumberjacked is brewed with a 4.8% ABV with pale malt, rice, corn, and a pinch of Willamette hops. The name refers to the home run call, “That ball is Lumber Jacked,” made by team broadcaster Ian Catherine after the Cutters’ home runs.
The new brew will be available at all beer locations inside the ballpark.

Now, here’s a little about this year’s Cutters coaching staff.

Manager – Ryan Hanigan

He makes his professional coaching debut with Williamsport in 2024. He is a former catcher. He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2002, and made his Major League debut with the Reds in 2007. He played 11 seasons in the big leagues with Cincinnati (2007-2013), Tampa Bay (2014), Boston (2015-2016) and Colorado (2017). Hanigan appeared in 680 Major League games, hitting .251 with 30 home runs and 214 RBIs. In 2009, he led all catchers in MLB with a .998 fielding percentage and the second-best caught-stealing rate at 42.9%. He has the distinction of catching two MLB no-hitters in his career, both by Reds’ pitcher Homer Bailey, in 2012 and 2013. His Australian Shepherd won a Best in Breed award at the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Bench Coach/Hitting Coach – Kenny Thomas

Thomas spent 34 seasons as a college head coach, 12 at Volunteer State CC (TN) and 22 at Division II USC Aiken (SC), compiling an overall record of 1,279-639. He led USC Aiken to a national No. 1 ranking during 2013 & 2017 regular season. He is a 2-time National Junior College Athletic Association Eastern District Coach of the Year, and has coached over 60 players who have gone on to be drafted professionally. He served as a local scout for the New York Yankees (1980-81), Cincinnati Reds (1981-82), and St. Louis Cardinals (1982-88). As a player, Thomas earned NAIA All-American honors during his senior year as a catcher at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

Pitching Coach – Anthony Markle

He returns for his 2nd season as Cutters’ pitching coach. He’s a 2005 graduate of Williamsport Area High School. He was the head baseball coach of Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Markle was the hitting and defensive coach for the Empire State Greys of the Frontier League in 2022 and served as an assistant coach at both Calvary Christian and Dunedin High School in Clearwater, Florida, from 2017-2022. He played college baseball at Allegany Community College (MD), helping the team to a Division II JUCO World Series appearance in 2006. Markle served as the bullpen catcher for the Crosscutters during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

Coach – Sean Miller

Miller makes his professional coaching debut with Williamsport this season. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 10th round of the 2015 draft out of USC Aiken, where he played under fellow Cutters’ coach Kenny Thomas. An infielder, he played in the Twins and Orioles organizations from 2015-19, reaching as high as Triple-A. He was a versatile defender who saw action at all infield positions in his career. Since 2020, he has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, USC Aiken.

Also new this year, Bowman Field has a new commercial sponsor designation. The sponsor hasn’t changed, but their name has.

In November, Muncy Bank & Trust and First Columbia Bank merged to form the new Journey Bank, which created a new name for the stadium, which is now known as Journey Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

The MLB Draft League, which the Crosscutters are a member of, has proven to be a pretty good incubator of young baseball talent. In the first three seasons of the MLB Draft League, over 230 players have signed pro contracts. Over 130 players have been drafted by MLB clubs in the annual MLB Draft (including 21 Cutters), with another 98 signing as undrafted free agents.

MLB recently extended the agreement with the six teams in the MLB Draft League through the 2030 season.

The team will hold its annual “Meet the Cutters” event on Sunday, June 2, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at the ballpark. Fans will have the opportunity to meet all the 2024 Cutters players and coaches. Admission is free. Fans will be treated to free hot dogs, refreshments, and a chance to win prizes.

See you at the ballpark!