Hagerstown Suns

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Hagerstown Suns
Founded in 1981
Hagerstown, Maryland
HagerstownSunsNew.jpgSuns.png
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentSingle-A (1981-1988) (1993–present)
PreviousDouble-A (1989[1] -1992)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League (1993–present)
DivisionNorthern Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
CurrentWashington Nationals (2007–present)
Previous

New York Mets (2005-2006)

Minor league titles
League titles1981
Division titles1981, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2005, 2013
Team data
NicknameHagerstown Suns
ColorsRed, white, blue
BallparkMunicipal Stadium
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Hagerstown Baseball, LLC
ManagerPatrick Anderson
General managerChris Easom
 
  (Redirected from Hagerstown Blues)
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Hagerstown Suns
Founded in 1981
Hagerstown, Maryland
HagerstownSunsNew.jpgSuns.png
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentSingle-A (1981-1988) (1993–present)
PreviousDouble-A (1989[1] -1992)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League (1993–present)
DivisionNorthern Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
CurrentWashington Nationals (2007–present)
Previous

New York Mets (2005-2006)

Minor league titles
League titles1981
Division titles1981, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2005, 2013
Team data
NicknameHagerstown Suns
ColorsRed, white, blue
BallparkMunicipal Stadium
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Hagerstown Baseball, LLC
ManagerPatrick Anderson
General managerChris Easom

The Hagerstown Suns are a Minor League Baseball team based in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States. They play in Municipal Stadium, which was opened in 1930 and seats 4,600 fans.

The team, which plays in the South Atlantic League, is a Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

History[edit]

Early Teams[edit]

[3] Baseball has been a staple in Hagerstown for the better part of the past century. In 1915, the Hagerstown Blues joined the Class D Blue Ridge League, where they remained for the next 16 seasons. Throughout this time, they won five pennants and donned four different names: the Blues, the Terriers, the Champs and the Hubs. One month into the 1931 season, the league disbanded and the Hubs moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia

Professional baseball returned to Hagerstown in 1941 when Owen Sterling moved his Detroit Tigers affiliate to town. The newly named Hagerstown Owls (Owen, Win, Luck and Sterling) joined the Class B Interstate League. Gene Raney purchased the team from Sterling in 1950, and the renamed Hagerstown Braves became an affiliate of the Boston Braves.

The team moved to the Piedmont League in 1953 and once again had a name and affiliation change. The new Washington Senators affiliate, the Hagerstown Packets, competed until the league disbanded after the 1955 season.

Carolina League[edit]

Hagerstown was without a professional team until 1981 when Lou Eliopulos purchased the Rocky Mount Pines Class A Carolina League franchise, moved them north and signed an affiliation deal with the Baltimore Orioles. The newly named Hagerstown Suns proceeded to win the Carolina League championship in their inaugural season. The Suns still hold several Carolina League one game individual and team records.[4]

Eastern League[edit]

In 1989, Hagerstown moved up to the Double-A Eastern League, taking over the Williamsport Bills franchise and again affiliating with the Orioles. (The Carolina League franchise would relocate just down Interstate 70 as the Frederick Keys, maintaining the Orioles' Class A affiliation.) Hagerstown would not be able to maintain AA standing, though; after the Suns' and Keys' owners failed to claim an Eastern League expansion franchise for Bowie in 1993 (coinciding with the Florida Marlins' and Colorado Rockies' addition to the majors), they instead chose to move their existing franchise there as the Bowie BaySox.

South Atlantic League[edit]

Hagerstown would not go without, though; Winston Blenckstone immediately relocated his Myrtle Beach Hurricanes franchise in the South Atlantic League to Hagerstown after the 1992 season and promptly renamed them the Suns. The SAL Suns would be a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate until 2000, when a four-year partnership with the San Francisco Giants began under the new ownership of Andy Rayburn. Mandalay Entertainment Group purchased the team in 2002.

Hagerstown once again changed affiliates in 2005, a two-year stint with the New York Mets. The Suns qualified for the playoffs in dramatic fashion during the 2005 season. Pitcher Gaby Hernandez's masterful outing, a 115-pitch no-hitter in a 1-0 win over the West Virginia Power on June 19th, set up a one-game playoff between the Suns and Lexington Legends on Saturday, June 25, for the first-half crown. Both teams completed the first half regular schedule with 42-28 records. In the one game playoff, the Suns defeated the Legends 9-4, with Hernandez again taking the mound and the win. [5] The Suns slumped badly during the second half of the season, finishing last in the Northern Division. However, Hagerstown did manage to win the Northern Division by defeating the 2nd half Northern Division champion Delmarva Shorebirds two games to one. The Suns were ultimately unsuccessful in their quest for the South Atlantic League championship, losing to Kannapolis Intimidators three games to one.

In 2007 the Suns became a member of the Washington Nationals farm system, which continues to the present day. A new ownership group with local ties, Hagerstown Baseball, LLC, purchased the Suns in September 2010. The group is led by Florida businessman and general manager of Polo Trace Country Club Bruce Quinn. Tony Dahbura, corporate vice president of Hub Labels in Hagerstown, Dr. Mitesh Kothari of Hagerstown, and Quinn's sister, Sheri, complete the group. Following the announcement of the new ownership, the Nationals renewed their affiliation with the Suns through 2012.

2012 proved to be a banner year for Suns third baseman Matt Skole. He led the South Atlantic League in home runs (27), bases on balls (94), on base percentage (.438) and slugging percentage (.574).[6] The Suns made the divisional playoffs; however, they were swept by the defending South Atlantic League champion Greensboro Grasshoppers two games to none.

In 2013, Hagerstown led the South Atlantic League in the offensive categories of runs scored (692), runs batted in (608) and on base percentage (.341).[7] The Suns had several players named to the South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Star roster (Pedro Severino, Tony Renda, Brandon Miller, Dixon Anderson, Robert Benincasa and Pedro Encarnacion), as well as coach Franklin Bravo and manager Tripp Keister.[8] The Suns again qualified for the divisional playoffs as the first half Northern Division champions. Improving over 2012, the Suns won the Northern Division championship, defeating the West Virginia Power two games to one. In the league championship, the Suns fell to the Savannah Sand Gnats three games to one. Another highlight was the selection of Tony Renda as the initial recipient of the Bob Boone award, granted to the Washington Nationals' minor league player "who best demonstrates the professionalism, leadership, loyalty, passion, selflessness, durability, determination and work ethic required to play the game the Washington Nationals way."[9]

Relocation[edit]

In October 2013 the Suns formally applied to relocate to Fredericksburg, Virginia for the 2015 season.[10] The Suns and their partners, New Jersey-based Diamond Nation and a Fredericksburg-area automotive company,[11] agreed to purchase a 38-acre stadium site inside the Fredericksburg city limits.[12] The facility is planned to be ready for the start of the 2015 season.[13] Groundbreaking was scheduled for March 2014,[13] but the land purchase hadn't been completed by then.[14] The Suns are seeking to modify their Municipal Stadium lease with options for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.[15]

History of Municipal Stadium[edit]

[16] The Hagerstown Suns Municipal Stadium boasts the honor of being one of the three oldest Minor League baseball stadiums in the country.

From 1915-1929, Hagerstown's minor league teams played at Willow Lane Park, where Bester Elementary School is now located. When the city made the decision to build the school, the need for a new stadium was urgent. The Field and Athletic Association was created to find land and build a stadium. The organization struck a deal with the city, leasing a tract of land for 99 years at $1 per year. Municipal Stadium was quickly built on the land in a mere six weeks, just in time for the first home game on May 8, 1930. Since then, the stadium has undergone two major renovations.

The first took place in 1981, when Minor League baseball returned to Hagerstown after a 26-year absence from the city. About $546,000 was put into the stadium overhaul, which included the installation of a public address system, stadium lights, underground electricity, and new seats and bleachers.

In 1995, $500,000 worth of improvements to the stadium were made, such as the installation of new seats, and upgrading the VIP section to include cup holders. The Sunset Grille and bar area was also added at this time.

The playing surface was renovated following the 2010 season. In addition, seating improvements and the installation of a state-of-the-art video board enhanced fans' experiences in 2011.

Major League Players Who Played for the Suns[edit]

All-time team season records[edit]

Double-A Batting[edit]

Single-A Batting[edit]

Double-A Pitching[edit]

Single-A Pitching[edit]

Rivals[edit]

The Suns have an in-state rivalry with the Delmarva Shorebirds, an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. This particular rivalry is also fueled by the regional rivalry between the two parent clubs.

Radio[edit]

Hagerstown Suns home games are broadcast online via streaming audio on the team's website. Away games are handled through the other team's media outlet.

Season-by-season record[edit]

SeasonClassLeagueDivisionAffiliationManagerRecordFinishPostseason
1981ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreGrady Little70-681st Half: 1st (37-31)
2nd Half: 3rd (22-27)
Defeated Salem 1-0 Northern Division Championship
Defeated Peninsula 3-0 in league championship
1982ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreGrady Little71-651st Half: 2nd (38-29)
2nd Half: 3rd (33-36)
-
1983ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreJohn Hart84-521st Half: 2nd (41-25)
2nd Half: 2nd (43-27)
-
1984ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreGrady Little
Len Johnston
John Hart
60-801st Half: 3rd (32-38)
2nd Half: 4th (28-42)
-
1985ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreGreg Biagini65-721st Half: 2nd (41-28)
2nd Half: 4th (24-44)
-
1986ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreBob Molinaro91-481st Half: 1st (46-24)
2nd Half: 1st (45-24)
Lost to Winston-Salem 3-1 in league championship
1987ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreBob Molinaro72-681st Half: 1st (40-30)
2nd Half: 3rd (32-38)
Lost to Salem 2-0 in Northern Division Championship
1988ACarolinaNorthernBaltimoreMike Hart79-611st Half: 2nd (37-33)
2nd Half: 2nd (42-28)
-
1989AAEastern-BaltimoreJimmy Schaffer67-725th-
1990AAEastern-BaltimoreJerry Narron67-716th-
1991AAEastern-BaltimoreJerry Narron81-592ndLost to Albany-Colonie in First Round 3-0
1992AAEastern-BaltimoreDon Buford59-807th
1993ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoJim Nettles74-684th
1994ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoOmar Malave80-562ndDefeated Hickory in first round
Lost to Savannah in league championship
1995ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoOmar Molave73-685th-
1996ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoJoe Cannon70-713rd-
1997ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoJoe Cannon65-734th-
1998ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoMarty Pevy81-601stLost in semi-finals to Capital City
1999ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoRolando Pino84-561stLost to Cape Fear in first round 2-0
2000ASouth AtlanticNorthernTorontoRolando Pino63-7411th-
2001ASouth AtlanticNorthernSan FranciscoBill Hayes83-572ndLost to Lexington 2-0 in Northern Division championship
2002ASouth AtlanticNorthernSan FranciscoMike Ramsey63-777th-
2003ASouth AtlanticNorthernSan FranciscoMike Ramsey68-673rd-
2004ASouth AtlanticNorthernSan FranciscoMike Ramsey40-888th-
2005ASouth AtlanticNorthernNew York MetsGene Richards71-661st Half: 1st (tie) (42-28)
2nd Half: 8th (29-38)
Defeated Lexington 1-0 in Northern Division 1st half playoff
Defeated Delmarva, 2-1 in Northern Division championship
Lost to Kannapolis 3-1 in league championship
2006ASouth AtlanticNorthernNew York MetsFrank Cacciatore58-828th-
2007ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonTom Herr55-811st Half: 7th (29-38)
2nd Half: 8th (26-43)
-
2008ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonDarnell Coles61-781st Half: 5th (34-35)
2nd Half: 6th (27-43)
-
2009ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonMatt LeCroy56-781st Half: 6th (31-36)
2nd Half: 8th (25-42)
-
2010ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonMatt LeCroy65-751st Half: 3rd (36-34)
2nd Half: 6th (29-41)
-
2011ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonBrian Daubach56-781st Half: 3rd (40-30)
2nd Half: 4th (35-34)
-
2012ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonBrian Daubach82-581st Half: 2nd (42-37)
2nd Half: 1st (40-28)
Lost to Greensboro, 2-0 in Northern Division championship
2013ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonTripp Keister80-571st Half: 1st (38-29)
2nd Half: 2nd (42-28)
Defeated West Virginia, 2-1 in Northern Division championship
Lost to Savannah, 3-1 in league championship
2014ASouth AtlanticNorthernWashingtonPatrick Anderson

Roster[edit]

Hagerstown Suns roster
PlayersCoaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 40 Dixon Anderson
  • 37 Andrew Cooper
  • 19 Cody Davis Injury icon 2.svg
  • -- Wirkin Estevez Injury icon 2.svg
  • 27 Lucas Giolito
  • 21 L. J. Hollins
  • 36 Jake Johansen
  • 44 Nick Pivetta
  • 47 Hector Silvestre
  • 13 John Simms
  • 40 Matthew Spann
  • 48 Wander Suero
  • 45 Justin Thomas
  • 12 Kylin Turnbull Injury icon 2.svg
  • 30 Austin Voth
  • 35 Jake Walsh

Catchers

  • 20 Spencer Kieboom
  • 10 Craig Manuel

Infielders

  •  6 Wilmer Difo
  • 14 David Masters
  • 17 Khayyan Norfork
  • 11 Drew Ward
  •  8 James Yezzo

Outfielders

  • 23 Isaac Ballou
  • 12 Rafael Bautista
  •  7 Estarlin Martinez
  • -- Narciso Mesa Injury icon 2.svg
  •  2 Wilman Rodriguez
  • 22 John Wooten

Manager

  • 15 Patrick Anderston

Coaches


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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "30 Teams in 30 Days 1989". 
  2. ^ "30 Teams in 30 Days 1988". Blogger. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Hagerstown Suns History". Team History. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  4. ^ "2014 Carolina League Media Guide and Record Book". 
  5. ^ "South Atlantic League Notebook for June 22, 2005". 
  6. ^ "South Atlantic League 2012 Batting Leaders". 
  7. ^ "South Atlantic League 2013 Team Batting". 
  8. ^ "It's Power vs. Contact for SAL All-Stars". 
  9. ^ "Nationals name OF Billy Burns & RHP Taylor Jordan Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year". 
  10. ^ Freehling, Bill (1 October 2013). "Hagerstown Suns apply to relocate to Fredericksburg". Business Insider. Fredericksburg.com. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Shok, Holly (6 November 2013). "Hagerstown City Council agrees to pay for upgrades to Municipal Stadium". The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Freehling, Bill (21 October 2013). "Slavery museum gives up city land; stadium backers reach deal on Celebrate Virginia site". The News Desk. Fredericksburg.com. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Freehling, Bill (3 January 2014). "Stadium groundbreaking planned for spring". The News Desk. Fredericksburg.com. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Freehling, Bill (15 March 2014). "Baseball investors receive 90-day extension to buy land". Business Insider. Fredericksburg.com. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Shok, Holly (5 February 2014). "Hagerstown Suns ask for lease extension". The Herald Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland). Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "History of Municipal Stadium". 

External links[edit]