State College Spikes: Reviews good for Spikes’ ‘Fresh’ look

gbrunskill@centredaily.comJune 29, 2014 

— The show may have stopped airing original episodes a generation ago, but the inspiration lives on.

The State College Spikes were inspired — and the reviews were good.

With splashes of color and design looking like graffiti on brick walls, the team showed off special uniforms inspired by “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” at its game Sunday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

“I think they’re kind of funny,” said Jack Clark, 12, of State College. “They have all those creepy, and kind of cool, designs on them.”

“They’re cool — better than the last ones,” said Matthew Labosky, 10, also from State College, referring to the team’s normal uniforms. “They have a fun design on it.”

The boys, joined by 8-year-old Carter Marshall, of Williamsburg, Va., all agreed they preferred the Spikes’ look Sunday to their Little League uniforms.

Their opponent, the Williamsport Crosscutters, also wore special jerseys — ugly Christmas sweaters they planned to wear June 25.

But that game was rained out.

The special duds, which were auctioned off during a game that drew 4,829 fans with proceeds benefiting Children’s Miracle Network, accompanied an appearance by one of the stars of the 1990s sitcom, Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton.

“I like it,” Ribeiro said. “It’s very ‘Fresh Prince-y.’ ”

Ribeiro, who makes only a handful of appearances at games each year, was encouraged to go to State College because his manager is a Penn State alumnus.

When he arrived at the ballpark, he met with the team, with hitting coach Ramon “Smokey” Ortiz greeting Ribeiro with the “Carlton dance” from the show.

He later judged three fans attempting the dance on the dugout roof, signed autographs and posed for plenty of pictures — all while wearing the special jersey.

“I think it’s great,” Ribeiro said.

“I think it’s cool to kind of do something just a little different. Obviously you just go, do the first pitch, sign some autographs and it is what it is. To come up with a jersey and make it kind of cool, make it a little bit more of a special night and bring more people out — pretty cool.”

He also threw out the first pitch, a little high and outside, but he was feeling he could deliver a good pitch before the game and trump the performances of some other celebrities.

“At the end of the day, I know I can do better than 50 Cent,” Ribeiro said.

“I feel pretty confident.”

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