Greenville Drive

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Greenville Drive
Founded in 1977
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville Drive.pngGreenville Drive (cap insignia).png
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentA
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League
DivisionSouthern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentBoston Red Sox (2005–present)
Previous

New York Mets (1981–2004)

Minor league titles
League titles3 (1986, 1991, 1998)
Team data
NicknameGreenville Drive (2006–present)
Previous names

Greenville Bombers (2005)

  • Capital City Bombers (1993–2004)
  • Columbia Mets (1983–1992)
  • Shelby Mets (1981–1982)
  • Shelby Pirates (1979–1980)
  • Shelby Reds (1977–1978)
BallparkFluor Field at the West End
Previous parks

Greenville Municipal Stadium

Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Craig Brown, Roy Bostock, Paul Raether
ManagerDarren Fenster
General managerMike deMaine
 
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Greenville Drive
Founded in 1977
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville Drive.pngGreenville Drive (cap insignia).png
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentA
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League
DivisionSouthern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentBoston Red Sox (2005–present)
Previous

New York Mets (1981–2004)

Minor league titles
League titles3 (1986, 1991, 1998)
Team data
NicknameGreenville Drive (2006–present)
Previous names

Greenville Bombers (2005)

  • Capital City Bombers (1993–2004)
  • Columbia Mets (1983–1992)
  • Shelby Mets (1981–1982)
  • Shelby Pirates (1979–1980)
  • Shelby Reds (1977–1978)
BallparkFluor Field at the West End
Previous parks

Greenville Municipal Stadium

Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Craig Brown, Roy Bostock, Paul Raether
ManagerDarren Fenster
General managerMike deMaine

The Greenville Drive is a minor league baseball team that plays in Greenville, South Carolina. They are a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member of the South Atlantic League. Prior to the 2005 SAL season, the team played in Columbia, South Carolina, was affiliated with the New York Mets from 1983 to 1992, and was known as the Capital City Bombers. Their mascot is a frog named Reedy Rip'it.

History[edit]

The Drive began their history in 1960 in Shelby, North Carolina, as the Shelby Reds. In 1983, the team moved to Columbia, which had lacked a minor league team since the departure of the Columbia Reds in 1961. The team was originally known as the Columbia Mets and made their home at Capital City Stadium. In 1993, the team changed its name to the Bombers to honor members of the Doolittle Raiders, who had conducted their initial training in Columbia.

Following the 2004 season, the Bombers changed affiliations and became the affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, who had previously been affiliated with the Augusta GreenJackets, also of the South Atlantic League. On February 11, 2005, Minor League Baseball announced that the Bombers had been granted permission to move to Greenville, where a new park opened in 2006. The Bombers would play in Greenville Municipal Stadium in 2005.

On October 27, 2005,[citation needed] the Bombers announced the team's name would change to the Drive. The name was chosen due to the presence of BMW US Manufacturing and Michelin in the area and, more generally, due to Greenville's rich automotive past.[1] Residents have criticized the new name for its lack of historical relevance and failure to reflect community traditions.[citation needed] In fact, team owners reportedly wanted to call the team the "Joes," after Greenville County native Shoeless Joe Jackson. But Jackson is on Major League Baseball's permanent ineligibility list due to his role in the Black Sox Scandal in 1919.

The Bombers won the South Atlantic League championship in 1986, 1991, and 1998.

In 2008, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin became the first Drive player to be selected to the annual All-Star Futures Game, which took place on July 13 at Yankee Stadium. Lin hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw that helped the World team beat the US Team, 3–0. He finished 2-for-2 and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Former pitcher Clay Buchholz participated in the 2007 edition, a season after playing for the Drive.[2]

In 2009, Ryan Lavarnway played for the Drive, hitting 21 home runs and a .540 slugging percentage (both tops for Red Sox minor leaguers) and 87 RBIs in 404 at bats.[3][4]

On May 8, 2012 Greenville made history as three pitchers combined to toss the club's first ever no-hitter. Miguel Pena (six innings), Hunter Cervenka (two) and Tyler Lockwood (one) joined forces to defeat the Rome Braves (Atlanta), 1–0. A solo home run by Keury De La Cruz off David Filak in the sixth inning counted for the only run of the game.[5]

Stadium[edit]

Logo of the former Columbia/Greenville Bombers

Capital City Stadium in downtown Columbia, was the home of the Bombers. The stadium was originally built in 1927, but was completely rebuilt in 1991. Capital City Stadium has a seating capacity for 6,000 spectators, has a grass surface and features the following fence dimensions: (LF) 330 ft., CF 400 ft., RF 320 ft.

The stadium often proved inadequate for baseball due to poor field conditions.[citation needed] Situated in a low-lying area, Capital City Stadium features poor drainage and heavy rains often resulted in a flooded infield.

The Bombers had sought assistance from the City of Columbia in building a new stadium located in the Congaree Vista area of Columbia. Efforts to construct a stadium to be shared with the University of South Carolina's baseball team fell through when the University demanded the Bombers pay $6 million in fees upfront.[citation needed] Following this, Bombers owner Rich Mozingo sought to relocate the team.

Mozingo's efforts paid off when, in 2005, the Bombers relocated to Greenville, South Carolina, (see above). Following the move, the Bombers played their home contests in Greenville Municipal Stadium in Greenville, then moved to Fluor Field at the West End, in the heart of downtown Greenville. The stadium was named "Ballpark of the Year" for the 2006 season by Baseballparks.com, beating out such stadiums as St. Louis's Busch Stadium and Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, Pa.[6]

The stadium shares the dimensions of their parent club's major league park, Fenway Park, and boasts its own "Green Monster" complete with manual scoreboard and "Pesky's Pole" in right field.[7]

Marquee Sign
Greenville Drive Scrolling Marquee Welcome Sign 
Seating
Seating at Fluor Field 
Entrance at Fluor Field
Entrance at Fluor Field 
Team Store
Greenvile Drive Team Store 
Snowy entrance
Snow-covered entrance at Fluor Field 
Snowy field
Fluor Field covered with snow, February 12, 2010 

Active roster[edit]

Greenville Drive roster
PlayersCoaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 34 Jacob Dahlstrand
  • -- Jason Garcia
  • 18 Sergio Gomez
  • 38 Justin Haley
  • 28 Kyle Kraus
  • 25 Cody Kukuk
  • 19 Pat Light
  • 13 Austin Maddox
  • 47 Kyle Martin
  •  2 Rob Smorol
  • 39 Francisco Taveras
  • 31 Raynel Velette

Catchers

  • 35 Leonel Escobar
  • 12 Jason Hernandez
  • 15 Tim Roberson
  • -- Jordan Weems

Infielders

  • 11 Keaton Briscoe
  •  7 Reed Gragnani
  • 26 Dreily Guerrero
  •  2 Mike Miller
  • 36 José Vinicio

Outfielders

  • 17 Jesus Loya
  • -- Brandon Magee
  • 16 Kendrick Perkins
  •  5 Aneury Tavarez
  • 22 Drew Turocy

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Boston Red Sox 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated January 3, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Boston Red Sox minor league players


Season-by-season records[edit]

The following is a list of the Greenville Drive's record for each season.[8]

Year by Year Record as Columbia Mets[edit]

YearRecordFinishManagerPlayoffs
198388–541stJohn TamargoLost League Finals
198482–571stRich Miller
198579–572ndBud Harrelson / Rich MillerLost in 1st round
198690–421stTucker AshfordLeague Champs
198764–7510thButch Hobson
198874–635thButch Hobson
198973–674thBill Stein
199083–601stBill SteinLost in 1st round
199186–542ndTim BlackwellLeague Champs
199279–591stTim Blackwell

Year by Year Record as Greenville Bombers/Drive[edit]

YearTeam NameWinsLossesW-L %Manager
2005Greenville Bombers72660.453%Chad Epperson
2006Greenville Drive67730.479%Luis Alicea
2007Greenville Drive58810.417%Gabe Kapler
2008Greenville Drive70690.504%Kevin Boles
2009Greenville Drive73650.529%Kevin Boles
2010Greenville Drive7762.554Billy McMillon
2011Greenville Drive7862.557Billy McMillon

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], Sox Prospects Wiki. Retrieved on 2008-06-22
  2. ^ http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3668382
  3. ^ "Ryan Lavarnway Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ Michael Vega (June 17, 2011). "Lavarnway swings into action with Pawtucket". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ MiLB.com – Rome 0, at Greensville 1 box score
  6. ^ [2], GreenvilleDrive.com Westend Park. Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  7. ^ [3], GreenvilleDrive.com 2006 Stadium of the Year Article . Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  8. ^ Baseball Reference

External links[edit]