York Revolution's Fan Fest revs things up with new baseball season ahead

Revs fans got a chance to see new players and a new manager in action for the first time Saturday.

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

John Miller is a brand new season ticket holder for the York Revolution. With 8-year-old Camden Miller in tow, Fan Fest 2023 gave the pair an opportunity for the first time to see the team they will be rooting for this year up close. 

Camden got a few autographs from players before the Revs took the field to play an exhibition game with the Ridgewood Black Sox at WellSpan Park. 

John Miller wanted to come out and support the team as players get ready to embark on a new season Friday, April 28, on the road against Lexington. The Revs' home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 5, against Staten Island.

York Revolution's Nellie Rodriguez (25), on left, signing a baseball for Zeiden Smith (10), from Wrightsville, on right,  at the Fan Fest at WellSpan Park in York on Saturday, Apr. 22, 2023.

“I just like coming out to the ballpark, having a beer and enjoying baseball,” John Miller said. 

He won’t be the only new face at WellSpan Park this season. The Revs have a new manager in Rick Forney and only three players returning from 2022’s team. 

One of the new faces on the Revs roster this season is outfielder Trey Martin, who had the opportunity to have breakfast and mingle with some of the season ticket holders earlier in the day.

Coming to York gave Martin the opportunity to continue his baseball career after playing for Sioux City in the American Association last season. 

“I’m happy for the opportunity to play baseball and get ready to win a lot of games,” Martin said. 

York Revolution's Trey Martin (2) against the Black Socks during their game at Fan Fest at WellSpan Park in York on Saturday, Apr. 22, 2023.

Outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. is getting ready to spend his second season with York after hitting 19 home runs and stealing 31 bases in 2022. The 27-year-old from Columbia, Maryland, enjoys the opportunity to interact with the fans. 

“It’s pretty cool,” Stokes said. “It gets you back into the baseball feel seeing the fans, here especially this being my second year here and seeing returning fans or fans that I recognize from last year and them saying ‘Welcome back, Troy.’” 

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Fan Fest has been a part of the baseball experience in York since the team joined the Atlantic League back in 2007. Doug Eppler, the Revolution’s director of marketing and communications, said it's become an important part of the buildup to the season.

“This is an annual tradition people look forward to,” Eppler said. “It’s a great opportunity to get a sneak peek at the new roster and how well the team looks early on. When we can, it’s great opportunity for fans to get some one-on-one time with players and coaches.” 

York Revolution's Fan Fest at WellSpan Park in York on Saturday, Apr. 22, 2023.

Fan Fest, Eppler said, also serves as a reunion for some of those longtime fans who come back after a long offseason and reconnect with the team. 

“It’s always great to welcome new fans,” Eppler said, “but we’re really honored that there’s a large contingent of diehard fans who have been watching Revolution games since Day 1. They love them and they cannot wait to come out for more of them. They come out as early as Fan Fest.” 

Dennis Christensen is one of those diehard fans. Christensen, 68, has been rooting for the Revs since their inception and came out to Fan Fest to get ready for the excitement of the season. 

“I want to see how the new guys do and see what the team looks like,” he said. “I going to try and meet some of the new guys and get to know them a little bit.” 

Mikey Reinhardt with Downtown befrore the start of the game at York Revolution's Fan Fest at WellSpan Park in York on Saturday, Apr. 22, 2023.

This will be the 14th season Freed Strickler has come to Revolution games. The 86-year-old season ticketholder is ready for another campaign. 

“I just love baseball,” Strickler said, “and I am just anxious to see the new guys.” 

Committed fans like Strickler, Eppler said, are what makes Revolution baseball and Fan Fest so special. 

“They are like an extension of the Revolution family that way,” he said. “It really is kind of a reunion this time of year each year to go back into the stands and catch up with people we’ve been getting to know over the years.”