State College’s minor league baseball team is preparing a formal sendoff for one of Penn State’s most prominent athletes of recent years.

The State College Spikes will host a “retirement party” for Sean Clifford, who just completed his final season as Penn State football’s quarterback. The event is scheduled as the game theme for the Spikes’ matchup with the Frederick Keys on Saturday, July 15, falling just one day after Clifford’s 25th birthday.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Sean Clifford bobblehead that will “depict Clifford coming up like a rose” following the Nittany Lions’ Rose Bowl victory over Utah back in January. A preview of the bobblehead will be released at a later date, the Spikes said.

Additionally, the Spikes said early fans will receive an edited copy of Penn State’s 1923 team photo to poke fun at Clifford’s long tenure as the Nittany Lions’ signal-caller. Clifford will also host a meet-and-greet and autograph-signing session before the first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

Early arrivals for the July 15 Spikes game will receive a copy of this 1923 Penn State football team photo, “which will show just how long Sean Clifford has been a part of our lives,” according to the team. Photo provided.

“All of us at the Spikes have watched Sean Clifford work his magic on the field for quite a long time, and we are honored to welcome him to Medlar Field to celebrate his career with us,” said Scott Walker, the Spikes’ president and general manager. “We are looking forward to giving Sean the sendoff he deserves at the ripe old age of 25, and we hope that in the end, our fans will say we rose to the occasion.”

In coordination with Spikes sponsors like Lion Country Kia, the team will present Sean with a handful of gifts that poke fun at his “old age” to later be given to fans in attendance. They include a rocking chair, a year’s supply of adult diapers and a one-way airline ticket to Florida.

Additionally, for one night only, fans 25 and older will be eligible for the Spikes’ senior discount at the Medlar Field ticket office. The team will also raffle off a pickleball set, sing retirement serenades like “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and offer chances to sign an oversized retirement card.

On the morning of July 15, the Spikes plan to invite local retirees for a stroll around the ballpark with Clifford, followed by a proper retirement party complete with cake, games and more.

“It’s been the greatest experience of my life to play in Happy Valley, and I’m looking forward to celebrating it with Nittany Nation at Medlar Field on July 15,” Clifford said in a statement “I’m pumped to be part of all of the fun the Spikes have planned, especially the bobblehead, and hopefully I can get some tips from my fellow retirees at the party.”

Clifford’s night with the Spikes comes through the team’s partnership with Limitless NIL, the student-run name, image and likeness agency he started while studying and competing at Penn State. According to its website, the group currently represents more than 40 student-athletes across Penn State, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and more.

Clifford etched himself into Penn State history with a four-year career as the Nittany Lions’ starting quarterback, all capped off with the team’s statement win over Utah at the 2023 Rose Bowl. The Cincinnati native ended his six-year tenure after setting program records in passing yards (10,661), passing touchdowns (86) and completion percentage (61.4%), among other key statistics.

Now competing in their third season with the six-team MLB Draft League, State Colleges Spikes will officially begin their 40-game campaign on Thursday, June 1, with a road matchup against the Williamsport Crosscutters. The team’s full schedule is available online.