Down East Wood Ducks Moving to Spartanburg, SC

The Down East Wood Ducks have been sold and will be moving to Spartanburg, SC.  They will be building a new stadium with current plans to open in 2025.

There hasn’t been a franchise move since 2021, but it looks like things are starting to return to how they used to be where teams with stadiums in need of upgrades move to a new location with a new stadium being built for them.  With the new minor league baseball structure, there’s less need for major league teams to own their minor league affiliates, so the Rangers felt they could sell the team as they no longer needed to lock in a Carolina League spot and stay out of the California League as they did when they bought the team.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aberdeen IronBirds vs Hickory Crawdads – September 4, 2022

I was able to squeeze in another game Labor Day weekend by going to see the Aberdeen IronBirds.  Aberdeen pitchers held the Hickory bats to just 4 hits and racked up 12 strikeouts en route to a 4-2 victory.  IronBirds C Connor Pavolony went 2-3 with a 3-run home run and all 4 RBIs for Aberdeen.

The game featured the following prospects:
DH Evan Carter (Rangers #3) – 0-3, run, reached on error, HBP
2B Thomas Saggese (Rangers #20) – 2-3, RBI double, HBP
SP Dane Acker (Rangers #25) – Loss, 3 2/3 innings, 4 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
RF Heston Kjerstad (Orioles #10) – 1-4, 2B
SS Frederick Bencosme (Orioles #28) – 1-3, BB, CS

Posted in Ballpark Quest | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philadelphia Phillies vs New York Mets – August 21, 2022

I had an opportunity to go to another Phillies game this year and this was definitely an exciting one.  Both the Phillies and Mets appear to be headed to the postseason, and this game had a pretty intense atmosphere.  Maybe it was the large number of Mets fans at the game since the Phillies fans still aren’t showing up the way they have in the past when the team was playing well, but it was still a good crowd.

The game started with the Phillies jumping on Mets starting pitcher Jose Butto, who was making his major league debut, as they went up 4-0 in the 1st.  The Mets came back with 4 runs of their own before the Phillies tacked on another 3 in the 4th, taking a 7-4 lead at that point.  They gave up the lead in the top of the 7th with a Mark Canha home run, making it 7-7.  Jean Segura hit a solo home run in the 8th making it 8-7.  But the top of the 9th featured another Canha home run, and while the Phillies managed a run in the bottom of the 9th, they ended up losing to the Mets, 10-9.

Another interesting item is that there were two other pitchers making their debuts in this game, Nate Fisher for the Mets and Tyler Cyr for the Phillies.  Fisher’s story got some publicity as he was recently working in a bank thinking his baseball career was over, but finally made his major league debut.  Cyr made his debut at 29, so he was also a good story after finally making it after 7 years in the minors.  Unfortunately for both, they were each designated for assignment the following day and may end their major league careers with just one appearance in the majors.

Posted in Ballpark Quest | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fredericksburg Nationals vs Delmarva Shorebirds – July 3, 2022

I made it to stadium #126 yesterday seeing the new Fredericksburg Nationals stadium.  The game was similar to the last where it was a pitching duel at the beginning, but then the runs started towards the end.  The Shorebirds scored 2 in the top of the first, but that was all they were able to muster against Nationals 2019 1st round pick Jackson Rutledge.  Shorebirds SP Juan De Los Santos shut the Nationals down while he was in there with 5 strikeouts, but was removed after going through the lineup once.  The Nationals scored one in the 4th and took the lead in the 7th on a two-run home run by RF Andry Arias.  In the 8th, the Nats put up 6 more featuring the second home run by 2B Viandel Pena, for a 10-2 final score and sweep of the 6 game series.  The Shorebirds stole 5 bases in the game, but weren’t able to turn any of those into runs.

The game featured the following prospects:
DH Anthony Servideo (Orioles #30) – 0-4
SP Jackson Rutledge (Nationals #4) – 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 7 K
CF Jeremy De La Rosa (Nationals #13) – 0-5
LF T.J. White (Nationals #26) – 1-4
SS Yoander Rivero (Nationals #28) – 1-4, 3B, run, walk

Posted in Ballpark Quest | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somerset Patriots vs Hartford Yard Goats – June 26, 2022

As far as minor league games go, this was one of the most critical and exciting games that I’m sure I’ll ever attend.  Somerset and Hartford were tied for first-place in the Eastern League Northeast Division and the winner of this game would be the first-half champion, as this was the last game of the half.  It was a hot day in the stadium, as the temperature was in the 90’s for most of the game, and an exciting pitching matchup as two top 30 prospects faced each other (Hartford’s Noah Davis and Somerset’s Luis Medina).

The game was a pitching duel through 6 1/2 innings.  Davis gave up 3 singles and no runs for the Yard Goats and Medina gave up a single and no runs through 6 innings for the Patriots, with Aroldis Chapman making a rehab appearance pitching a perfect 7th.  After that, the Patriots broke through with a 4 run inning capped off by a bases loaded double by LF Elijah Dunham.  However, the Yard Goats answered with 4 in the top of the 8th which started with an error and ended with a two-run double by LF Jimmy Herron.

And then as most games seem to go when there is uncomfortable weather, the game was tied after 9 and the fans were treated to bonus baseball.  In the top of the 10th, the Yard Goats plated a run on a fielder’s choice to take the one-run lead.  But in the bottom of the 10th, Yankees top prospect, SS Anthony Volpe hit a two-run homer to win the game for the Patriots.  Definitely a fitting end to a penultimate game.

This was also a Copa de la Diversion game where the Patriots played as Zorros de Somerset with special orange jerseys.  This was also my first visit to see the Somerset Patriots and marks stadium #125 for me.

The game featured the following prospects:
SS Ezequiel Tovar (Rockies #3) – 0-5, RBI fielder’s choice
CF Brenton Doyle (Rockies #7) – 0-4, run, reached on error
1B Michael Toglia (Rockies #8) – 0-3, walk
3B Aaron Schunk (Rockies #19) – 0-4
SP Noah Davis (Rockies #25) – 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 7 K
RP Gavin Hollowell (Rockies #26) – L, 0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 HR
SS Anthony Volpe (Yankees #1) – 1-4, 2R, 3 RBI, walk-off 2-run HR
SP Luis Medina (Yankees #11) – 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 K
CF Brandon Lockridge (Yankees #17) – 0-4
DH Josh Breaux (Yankees #25) – 0-4
LF Elijah Dunham (Yankees #26) – 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Posted in Ballpark Quest | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wilmington Blue Rocks vs Aberdeen IronBirds – May 29, 2022

For my first minor league game of the year, I saw my closest team, the Blue Rocks.  I actually hadn’t been since 2018, but not much has changed at Frawley Stadium.  The game featured 13 walks, including 9 issued by the Blue Rocks pitchers, but the game still only took 2:39.  And that also includes 13 strikeouts.  For the IronBirds, Connor Norby and Darell Hernaiz, each had two hits.  Blue Rocks LF Gage Canning went 2-4 with an RBI single and two-run home run.  Blue Rocks RP Jose Ferrar also made his High A debut in this game.  Final score was IronBirds 6, Blue Rocks 4.

The game featured the following prospects:
LF Colton Cowser (Orioles #4) – 0-2, 3 walks
DH Connor Norby (Orioles #11) – 2-4, 2 runs, walk, SB
3B Darell Hernaiz (Orioles #30) – 2-4, RBI, run, walk, 6th game at High A
C Israel Pineda (Nationals #24) – 1-4, RBI double, reached on error
CF Ricardo Mendez (Nationals #25) – 0-5, reached on error
SS Jordy Barley (Nationals #27) – 0-4

Posted in Ballpark Quest | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philadelphia Phillies vs Colorado Rockies – April 27, 2022

Usually I don’t go to games when gametime temperature is below 50 degrees, but I was offered a ticket to this April Phillies game.  While I had to be bundled up, it was still a fun game to watch.  The Phillies jumped out to an early lead and while they let the Rockies come back to tie in the third inning, they were able to hold on for a 7-3 win.  Odubel Herrera provided a leadoff home run to start the Phillies scoring.

I don’t know if others noticed what a great guy Jose Iglesias is, and not just because he went 4 for 4 in this game.  You may have noticed that when Miguel Cabrera got his 3000th hit, Iglesias ran over to him to congratulate him.  But in this game, it was announced that it was Didi Gregorius’ 1000th game at SS, and during a pitching change, Iglesias also made sure to give Didi a hug also.  Things like that aren’t attention grabbers, but it’s nice to see the respect that they players have for each other.

Posted in Ballpark Quest | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Previous League Names Have Returned

MiLB announced that they are returning to the league names that were used prior to the 2021 season.  While some of us were speculating that MiLB was using the generic league names as a placeholder until they were able to obtain corporate sponsored league names, they said that it’s because MLB didn’t have the rights to the historical names.  I’m glad that they are back to the names that were used in 2019 and prior, but it’s disappointing that they have the gap in the records where the names weren’t officially used.

One other item of note is that they are considering the South Atlantic League as the High A league and Carolina League as the Low A league.  I was tracking the team shifts and didn’t realize that moving those two leagues between levels was also part of the plan.  And they are officially changing the term Low A to Single A, although having High A and Single A as terms for the two different levels doesn’t really make as much sense.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sugar Land Changes Name to Sugar Land Space Cowboys

The Sugar Land Skeeters have changed their name to the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.  After one season as an affiliated minor league team, the Astros decided to change their name to something that better aligned with the space theme they have.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Smokies To Change Name to Knoxville Smokies in 2024

The Tennessee Smokies have announced that they will change their name to the Knoxville Smokies in 2024 when they open their new ballpark.  This means they will be going back to the name that they used from 1993-1999, which they changed in 2000 when they opened the ballpark in Sevierville, TN.  I’ve never liked the names that use state names, so I’m glad that they are going back to using Knoxville.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment