Bridgeport Bluefish

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Bridgeport Bluefish
Park City Blues.PNG Bluefish cap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
League Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Liberty Division)
Location Bridgeport, Connecticut
Ballpark The Ballpark at Harbor Yard
Year founded 1997
Nickname(s) Park City Blues, Park City Nine, The Fish
League championships 1 (1999)
Division championships 5 (1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2010)
Colors

Navy blue, aqua, silver, white

                   
Retired numbers 42, 21
Ownership Frank Boulton
Manager Willie Upshaw
General Manager Ken Shepard
Media Connecticut Post
Website www.bridgeportbluefish.com

The Bridgeport Bluefish is an American professional baseball team based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The team is a member of the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. They play their home games at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard.

History of Bridgeport baseball[edit]

The game of baseball was first played in Bridgeport, Connecticut soon after the Civil War ended. Teams that called the city home were the Victors, Soubrettes, Orators, Crossmen, Mechanics, Hustlers, Bolts, Americans, Bees and the Bears. Bridgeport was the home of Major Leaguer, James "Orator" O'Rourke, who signed the first African-American to play for a professional baseball team in 1895. Visiting Major League and Negro League teams often played exhibition games in Bridgeport in the shadow of the city's smokestacks. The last affiliated minor league baseball team, the Bridgeport Bees, played in the Interstate League and the Colonial League from 1941 to 1950. Professional baseball would not be played in Bridgeport for about another half-century, until the arrival of the Bluefish in 1998.

Bridgeport Bluefish[edit]

The first game of the Bridgeport Bluefish was May 21, 1998, and the team has had many winning seasons. The team has been to five Atlantic League Championship Series, and won in 1999 versus the Somerset Patriots. They lost to Atlantic City (1998), Newark (2002) Lancaster (2006) and to York (2010).

The Bluefish, and the Atlantic League itself, tend to attract veteran minor leaguers as well as the occasional Major Leaguer at the end of their careers. Some of the former major-leaguers who have sported Bluefish jerseys include Shea Hillenbrand, Alex Hinshaw, José Offerman, Edgardo Alfonzo, Deivi Cruz, Junior Spivey, Quinton McCracken, Antonio Alfonseca, Willy Mo Pena, Joey Gathright and Mariano Duncan.

The Bluefish won their first league championship in 1999, and have won the most games in Atlantic League history. The land under The Ballpark at Harbor Yard was purchased by the city of Bridgeport from Donald Trump for $1 and with the forgiveness of back taxes owed on the property. The Jenkins Valve plant was demolished to make way for the stadium. The success of the Bluefish led to major redevelopment of the South End, including construction of the Arena at Harbor Yard and a multi-use parking garage.[1] In many ways, the renaissance of Bridgeport was started by the Bluefish.[2]

The original founders of the Bluefish were Mickey Herbert, Jack McGregor, Mary-Jane Foster, and the Bridgeport Waterfront Investors. Herbert anchored the team through a mayoral scandal and difficult financial circumstances. Prior to the 2006 season, the franchise was purchased by Get Hooked, LLC, a group of investors from Fairfield County that included McGregor and Foster. However, Get Hooked dropped the Bluefish prior to the 2008 season in favor of seeking a new ballpark for the city of Yonkers, New York. The Bluefish were purchased by Frank Boulton, who is also the owner of the Long Island Ducks and the founder of the Atlantic League.

Before the 2009 season, the Bluefish hired Willie Upshaw, a Major League Baseball alumnus and Fairfield County native, as their bench coach. He was Bridgeport's first manager from 1998 to 2000, as well as the first base coach for the Cleveland Indians from 2000 to 2005, and the San Francisco Giants for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Upshaw spent nine of his ten playing seasons in the Majors with the Toronto Blue Jays. He led the team twice in home runs and RBI. First in 1982 with 21 home runs and 75 RBI and also in 1983 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI. During the 1983 season, Upshaw became the first Toronto player to top 100 RBI in a season.[3] On July 8, 2009 manager Tommy John announced he was stepping down and Willie Upshaw was picked to take his place.[4]

The Bluefish became the first team in Atlantic League history to record 1,000 victories as a franchise. On June 27, 2012 the Bluefish defeated the York Revolution 2-1 at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard to capture the victory.[5][6]

Logos and uniforms[edit]

The official colors of the Bridgeport Bluefish are navy blue, aqua, and silver. The primary logo consists of the "Bluefish" wordmark in navy blue with aqua outline superimposed over a depiction of a cartoon bluefish holding a baseball bat.

The home cap is navy blue with aqua trim on the ventilation holes and an aqua button, with the cap logo depicting a bluefish interwoven with a capital "B" centered on the front. The away cap is navy blue with a gray brim and button, with the same cap logo. The home jersey is white with traditional navy blue piping below the collar and around the sleeves. The "Bluefish" wordmark is centered across the front in navy blue with silver outline and aqua drop shadow. The number on the back is in solid navy blue. The away jersey is grey with navy blue piping, and the "Bridgeport" wordmark centered across the front in navy blue with white outline. The Bluefish also have teal alternate jerseys, with navy piping. The interlocking "BB" logo is centered on the left-side chest, with the number on the back in navy outlined in white.

Season-by-season records[edit]

Bridgeport Bluefish - 2006 to 2013[7]
Season First Half W - L Record First Half Winning Percentage First Half Finish Second Half W - L Record Second Half Winning Percentage Second Half Finish Overall W - L Record Overall Winning Percentage Overall Finish Playoffs
2006 38-25 .603 2nd in North Division 37-24 .607 1st in North Division 75-49 .605 1st in North Division 2-3

Division: def. Long Island Ducks 2-0; Championship: lost to Lancaster Barnstormers 3-0

2007 35-28 .556 2nd in North Division 25-38 .397 4th in North Division 60-66 .476 3rd in North Division Did not qualify for the playoffs
2008 33-37 .471 3rd in Liberty Division 34-36 .486 3rd in Liberty Division 67-73 .479 3rd in Liberty Division Did not qualify for the playoffs
2009 33-37 .471 3rd in Liberty Division 32-38 .457 3rd in Liberty Division 65-75 .464 3rd in Liberty Division Did not qualify for the playoffs
2010 36-34 .514 3rd in Liberty Division 47-23 .671 1st in Liberty Division 83-57 .592 1st in Liberty Division 3-4

Division: def. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 3-1; Championship: lost to York Revolution 3-0

2011 32-31 .507 3rd in Liberty Division 36-28 .671 2nd in Liberty Division 68-59 .535 2nd in Liberty Division lost play in game to Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
2012 31-39 .443 3rd in Liberty Division 36-33 .522 2nd in Liberty Division 67-72 .482 2nd in Liberty Division Did not qualify for the playoffs
2013 23-47 .329 4th in Liberty Division 15-19 .441 2nd in Liberty Division 38-66 .365 3rd in Liberty Division Did not qualify for the playoffs
Totals (1998–2013) 542-499 .520 - 538-464 .536 - 1080-963 .528 - 13-18
  • 1 Atlantic League Championship (1999)
  • 5 Division Championships (1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2010)

Ferry Cup[edit]

The Bridgeport Bluefish contend with the Long Island Ducks over the Ferry Cup, which is sponsored by the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. The two teams border on Long Island Sound, and many fans of both teams regularly cross it to support them. The Ducks currently hold the Ferry Cup by winning the 2011 season series 12-6. As of 2011 the Bluefish-Ducks rivalry record is 114-112, in favor of Bridgeport.[8]

Mascots[edit]

One of the Bridgeport Bluefish official mascots is an anthropomorphic bluefish named B.B. He wears the team's alternate jersey (number 98) with white sneakers. B.B. was born on May 29, 1997 in Cape Hatteras. He later migrated to the Long Island Sound, and joined the Bluefish soon after. The mascot's name alludes to the initials of the team and its nickname.[9]

Cap'n L.I. Sounder was another source of entertainment at Harbor Yard. He donned the uniform of a sailor, and has a short beard. Cap'n L.I. Sounder's name referred to the nautical rank of captain and a name for a Long Island Sound resident. Cap'n L.I. Sounder no longer appears at Bluefish home games.

Current roster[edit]

Bridgeport Bluefish roster
Active (25-man) roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers



 

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

 

Manager

Coaches

Injury icon 2.svg Disabled list
‡ Inactive list
§ Suspended list

Roster updated April 26, 2014
Transactions


Retired numbers[edit]

Roberto Clemente BRG.PNG Jackie Robinson BRG.PNG
Roberto Clemente[10] Jackie Robinson
OF
Retired by the
Brigeport Bluefish
on August 14, 2008
2B
Retired throughout
professional baseball
on April 15, 1997

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bridgeport Renewal" (PDF). EPA. Retrieved 2006-05-26. 
  2. ^ "Bridgeport's Renaissance" (PDF). EPA. Retrieved 2006-05-26. 
  3. ^ "Willie Upshaw". Bridgeport Bluefish. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Tommy John Steps Down as Bluefish Manager". Bridgeport Bluefish. July 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  5. ^ http://bridgeportbluefish.com/news/index.html?article_id=1033
  6. ^ http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscore.html?gameid=76514
  7. ^ Atlantic League information
  8. ^ "Bluefish and Ducks introduce Ferry Cup". Bridgeport Bluefish. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Mascot Biographies". Bridgeport Bluefish. Retrieved October 2, 2008. 
  10. ^ Roberto Clemente Night, Bridgeport Bluefish, August 14, 2008. Accessed March 5, 2009. "Roberto Clement Night."

Related[edit]

Professional baseball in Connecticut

External links[edit]

Official websites[edit]

Blogs[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Atlantic City Surf
1998
Atlantic League Champions
Bridgeport Bluefish

1999
Succeeded by
Nashua Pride
2000
Achievements
Preceded by
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
2009
Liberty Division Champions
Bridgeport Bluefish

2010
Succeeded by
Long Island Ducks
2011
Preceded by
Nashua Pride
2005
North Division Champions
Bridgeport Bluefish

2006
Succeeded by
Newark Bears
2007
Preceded by
Newark Bears
2001
North Division Champions
Bridgeport Bluefish

2002
Succeeded by
Nashua Pride
2003
Preceded by
New League
Atlantic League
Best Regular Season Record
Bridgeport Bluefish

1998, 1999
Succeeded by
Nashua Pride 
North Division 2000
Somerset Patriots
South Division 2000