From the Allentown Morning Call’s Daniel Patrick Sheehan.

After 3,500 contest entries, 10,000 online votes, 10 focus groups and plenty of second-guessing, it came down to this:

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

That will be the name of the Lehigh Valley’s Triple-A minor league baseball club when it begins playing in 2008 in the stadium under construction in east Allentown — the first affiliated team to play in the Lehigh Valley in 46 years.

The name, submitted by Ron Steele of Northampton, was disclosed in an advertisement in an earlier edition of The Morning Call today.

“It was the weirdest name out there, I guess,” said Steele, whose reward, in addition to a taste of baseball immortality, includes VIP game tickets and assorted memorabilia.

“I think the uniqueness got a lot of people into it,” said Steele, 31, a circuit layout designer at Agere Systems who was inspired to enter the contest because the stadium is being built on former Agere headquarters property near his office.

Steele, a casual baseball fan, said he came up with the name as he reflected on the Lehigh Valley’s steelmaking history. Steel is made from refined pig iron; Steele, imagining logos, envisioned a pig swinging a bat shaped like an I-beam, and the name was born.