View Full Version : Minor League teams?
01-19-2008, 10:10 AM
We focus on the paid and pre-paid (aka college) athletic squads each year. Do any of you have stories to tell about those getting paid, but far less? Local teams with rehabbing stars, or just small town traditions and gimmick nights?
Where I live, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are a Single A affiliate of the Angels (used to be the Padres). They won the CA League title in '94 (with Derrick Lee, Matt Clement, and Raul Casanova as the big ones), Hideo Nomo pitched against them in one of his first USA games, they frequently have led their league in attendance (nice ballpark with views of the nearby mountains and valley). Many other MLBers have been on injury assignments (Erstad, Salmon, Colon, Edmonds, Rasmussen, et al) there, too.
I'm sure some of you have been to IHL (hockey), NBADL (basketball), or other such leagues.
01-19-2008, 10:58 AM
I have a few minor league Baseball eams around me. Pulaski Blue Jays, Salem Avalanche. Tey are single A teams. I guess you can say I am close enough for the Richmond braves team(3 hours) which is the Braves AAA team.
It's all about the Beloit Snappers (Twins) who used to be the Beloit Brewers (Brewers). The 2003 team included two sons of former major league players, Prince Fielder and Tony Gwynn, Jr. Jim Morris from the movie The Rookie played for the Beloit Brewers when he came out of college in the 1980s. Other former Snappers players who moved on to Major League ball include Geoff Jenkins, Jeff D'Amico, Ron Belliard and Ben Sheets.
Then there are also the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (formerly the Appleton Foxes).
The team has been affiliated with the Mariners since 1993. Previous affiliations have been with the Washington Senators (1958-59), the Baltimore Orioles (1960-65), the Chicago White Sox (1966-86), and the Kansas City Royals (1987-92). The most famous player to wear a Foxes/Timber Rattlers uniform is Alex Rodriguez, who played for the team for part of the 1994 season. David Ortiz played for the Timber Rattlers in the 1996 season and led them in hits that season. Ortiz was known as David Arias when he played here. Tom Gordon pitched for the Appleton Foxes between getting drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986 and his promotion to the majors in 1988.
01-19-2008, 12:19 PM
We used to have a few minor league teams in Albany, Albany-Colonie Yankees, AC Diamond Dogs, but now all we have is a AAA I believe, the Tri-City Valleycats. AC Yanks were great to watch when I was a kid, I remember Bernie Williams playing there way back when....but sadly that stadium has since been demolished....it's a shame really, I've never seen myself wanting to go to a Valleycats game even. We've also got an AHL2 team the Albany River Rats, and a CBA hoops team, the Albany Patroons.
01-19-2008, 09:02 PM
I've been to LA Clippers games - aren't they a minor league team? :p
01-20-2008, 07:13 AM
Back in the early 1990's London (my home town) got so lucky - we had the Detroit Tigers AA affiliate move from Glenns Falls NY up to our city for a couple of years. They weren't supported so they left, but during their short time with us I got to see Travis Fryman play a few times and Butch Husky (who went up to play 3B for the Mets for a little while) hit the longest homer ever recorded in our sweet little ballpark (Labatt's Stadium, anyone who like's Canadian beer might recognize that name ;) ).
Looking it up, we also had Scott Livingstone (played 3b for the Tigers briefly), Rico Brogna (traded to the Mets), Phil Clark (Tigers catcher for awhile) and the manager was Chris Chambliss. Didn't he go to the Yankees as a coach?
I LOVED going to those games - as a Tigers fan, it was real treat having our own minor league team in town. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
01-20-2008, 09:27 AM
We've got 3 local minor league teams in my area:
1. Great Lakes Loons - a relocated Lower A affiliate of the Dodgers. They are the hot new thing in the area. And they suck.
2. The Flint Generals of the IHL (a AA affiliate of the Red Wings). They've recently made local headlines by signing former Red Wing Daren McCarty.
3. Saginaw Spirit - An OHL team, made semi-famous by Stephen Colbert, who supports the team (and has the Spirit's only retired number - #1). Also have a mini-mascot named after Colbert, Steagle Colbeagle The Eagle. The best of our local teams.
01-20-2008, 02:10 PM
Like RB, there are three minor league teams in my town.
Baseball: Bakersfield Blaze, a High A team. Since 1946 the team has been affiliated with (chronologically): Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, LA Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and currently the Texas Rangers. Notable players on the franchise included: Don Drysdale, Hideo Nomo, and Mike Piazza, to name a few. The Blaze play BCJ's Quakes, who are in the Southern Division of the California League (we're in the Northern Division). The team was very consistent in 2007: it remained in last place in both the first and second halves of the season. The stadium in which they play sucks. It's old, run down, and the seats face due west, which is wonderful for burning your eyes in the summer with 105 degree heat. I used to go and watch as a kid with a little frequency, but now the team has very little support due to the ancient stadium's condition.
Basketball: Bakersfield Jam, an NBA Development Team in the Western Division. It's an affiliate of both the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings. The team just signed former LA Laker Sean Rooks as an assistant coach. (Side note: we arrested one of the team members last year for sexual assault....I'm still waiting for him to follow through on his threat to sue me and everyone else involved in the case. Seems he's been too busy in court).
Hockey: Bakersfield Condors, part of the ECHL. Used to be affiliated with the Buffalo Sabers, but that vaporized for whatever reason. As such, we're kind of a Charlie Brown team without affiliation. The other teams we play have NHL-caliber folks in development or on the mend and give us routine drubbings. HUGE community support, however, and a very nice facility (Rabobank Arena), great league rivalries. Normally a good time, as the community has become very hockey-savvy and has embraced the sport. (I'm glad because it's my favorite, too, next to baseball).
01-20-2008, 06:53 PM
I worked at the Quakes Stadium (nicknamed The Epicenter) the summer that TPM came out (1999), and they had a Star Wars night, wearing what they considered to be sci-fi type uniforms (I think they were just like the All-Star game jerseys worn when Fenway Paak had it (was that also '99?).
Other notable Quakes:
- Gary Matthews Jr.
- Howie Kendrick
- Homer Bush
- Francisco Rodriguez
- ? (memory fails me now)
Found out that my left-handed "fastball" clocked at 37 MPH at the pitching booth there, and I got Bob Feller's autograph one time, too.
Down I-15 from me, the Lake Elsinore Storm (I think they're now the Padres' Single A team) are a decent team, better than RC lately. And the Inland Empire 66ers (named for Route 66, which was actaully my choice for the Quakes when they had a name-the-team contest in '92 or so) and to the east, as well.
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