Charlotte Stone Crabs
|Charlotte Stone Crabs
Founded in 1980
Port Charlotte, Florida
Based in Port Charlotte since 2009
|Current||Class A Advanced (1980–present)|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Florida State League (1980–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Tampa Bay Rays (2007–present)|
|Previous||Los Angeles Dodgers (1980–2006)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1983, 1990|
|Division titles||1983, 1990, 2009, 2010, 2013|
|Nickname||Charlotte Stone Crabs (2009–present)|
Vero Beach Devil Rays (2007–2008)Vero Beach Dodgers (1980–2006)
|Ballpark||Charlotte Sports Park (2009–present)|
|Holman Stadium (1980–2008)|
|Cal Ripken, Jr., Ripken Baseball|
|General manager||Jared Forma|
The Charlotte Stone Crabs are a minor league baseball team based in Port Charlotte, Florida. They are members of the Florida State League and are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball (MLB) team.
The Stone Crabs were originally the Vero Beach Dodgers (later Vero Beach Devil Rays), who played in Vero Beach, Florida from 1980 to 2008. The team relocated to Port Charlotte after being purchased by Ripken Baseball. They play their home games at Charlotte Sports Park and are named for the Florida stone crab, which is indigenous to the Charlotte County region.
Originally founded in 1980, the Vero Beach Dodgers were the Advanced A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1980-2006. Their games were played at at Holman Stadium, which also hosted Dodgers spring traning from 1953-2008.
In 2007 the franchise's affiliation changed to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the team was renamed the Vero Beach Devil Rays. Under their new name they won the 2007 Florida State League championship. On August 25, 2008, it was announced that the Vero Beach franchise was sold to Ripken Baseball, which resulted in a relocation of the franchise to Port Charlotte, Florida and another name change, becoming the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
In preparation for the new team's arrival, Charlotte County Stadium, which last housed the Charlotte County Redfish of the now defunct South Coast League, underwent a $27 million renovation, which was completed in January 2009. Re-named Charlotte Sports Park, it became the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays as well as the regular season home of the Stone Crabs.
On April 9, 2009, with the Ft. Myers Miracle as opponents, Alex Cobb threw the first pitch in Stone Crabs history. A rehabbing B.J. Upton was the first Stone Crabs batter, but Matt Fields belted a homerun to lead off the 2nd inning, laying claim to the first Stone Crabs hit, homerun, and RBI. After starting the season 0-3, the franchise notched its first win on April 13th in Ft. Myers.
The Stone Crabs won the Florida State League South Division title in 2009, but lost the league championship to the Tampa Yankees three games to two. In 2010 and 2013, they again won the FSL South and returned to the league championship series, but lost to the Tampa Yankees ('10) and Daytona Cubs ('13).
In 2012, the Stone Crabs hosted the Florida State League All-Star Game. The South came from behind for a 6-3 win over the North with Stone Crabs pitchers bookending the game. C.J. Riefenhauser started the evening with a perfect inning and Chris Rearick threw a scoreless 9th for the save. St. Lucie Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores took home MVP honors and Lakeland Flying Tigers outfielder Avisail Garcia won the Homerun Derby.
The Stone Crabs have four uniform tops and two hats that they wear during the season. The uniforms are manufactured by Rawlings and the hats are made by New Era. Navy socks are worn high with all uniforms, per team policy. Player names are not worn on the jersey backs.
The home white has "Stone Crabs" across the chest with navy piping around the neck, down the center of the jersey, and around the two sleeves. There is also a thin navy line down both white pant legs. The number on the back is navy with a light blue outline.
The road grays have "Charlotte" written across the chest with navy piping around the neck, down the center of the jersey, and around the two sleeves. There is also a thin navy line down both gray pant legs. The number on the back is navy with a white outline. There is also a crab patch on the left sleeve.
The alternate uniform is light blue with the alternate logo (a crab claw grasping a capital C) on the left side of the chest. Parallel navy stripes run along the shoulders, navy piping circles each sleeve, and navy bars run from the armpits down the side of the jersey to the base. The number on the back is navy with a white outline. New for the 2014 season and made of a lightweight material, these jerseys were worn nearly every game.
The 4th jersey was the alternate prior to 2014, but is now used exclusively for warm-ups. Made of a mesh material, these navy blue, two button pullovers have "Stone Crabs" across the chest with light blue piping that runs from the collar bone down both sleeves. There is also a light blue semi-circle that runs from the shoulders under each armpit. The numbers on the back are light blue with a white outline.
The primary hat is navy blue with a matching navy brim and button, the "SC" logo on the front, and a white New Era flag logo on the left side.
The alternate hat is light blue with a navy blue brim and button, the alternate crab claw logo on the front, and a navy New Era flag logo on the left side.
2014 saw a new hat added to the rotation, which is used exclusively for warm-ups. It is made of a navy blue, lightweight material with the crab logo on the front, a light blue brim and button, and a light blue New Era flag logo on the left side.
A mass of blue fur, two yellow antennas, and an orange nose, Stoney is the official team mascot of the Stone Crabs. Many things about him are unknown, however. Why does he wear #43? Why can't he talk? Where did he come from? What is he exactly? Why doesn't he wear any pants?
Some legends say he was found under the stadium boardwalk during the 2008 renovations. He lost his old memories and the ability to speak when he was accidentally struck in the head with a 2x4 during construction. Instead of kicking him out, Stoney was offered a contract to stay on as the team mascot. Others say he hatched from an egg in center field on Opening Day 2009. Because his background is so mysterious, his exact birth date is unknown. As a result, Stoney likes to celebrate his birthday on different days each year.
Whatever his origins may be, there is no question that Stoney loves baseball. In addition to being seen at every Stone Crabs home game, he also visits schools, hospitals and community events in and around the Port Charlotte area. He frequently participates in Christmas parades, has his own reading club, and takes a lot of naps under the boardwalk. Stoney sports a Stone Crabs cap, white team jersey, yellow gloves, and blue cleats, complete with stirrups.
On December 20, 2008, the team announced that current Vero Beach manager Jim Morrison would follow the team to Port Charlotte and become the first skipper of the Stone Crabs, a position he would retain through the 2012 season. In 2013, managing duties were passed to Brady Williams, who had managed the class A affiliate Bowling Green Hot Rods for the previous 3 seasons. Williams was promoted to the AA Montgomery Biscuits for the 2014 season and a Hot Rods manager was again called on to fill the vacancy, this time former Tampa Bay Devil Ray Jared Sandberg.
|2009||2||34–35||.493||2nd||3.0||3-4||.429||Won South Division title vs Ft. Myers Miracle, 2–1
Lost FSL Championship vs Tampa Yankees, 3–1
|2010||2||37–33||.529||3rd||1.0||3-4||.429||Won South Division title vs Bradenton Marauders, 2–1
Lost FSL Championship vs Tampa Yankees, 3–1
||2||38-27||.585||1st||-||3–3||.500||Won South Division title vs Ft. Myers Miracle, 2–0
Lost FSL Championship vs Daytona Cubs, 3–1
|Totals||—||403–414||.493||—||—||9–11||.450||3 Division titles|
In Minor League baseball, each season is divided into two halves. The division winner of the first half plays the division winner of the second half in the 1st round of the playoffs. If the same team wins both halves, the team with the next best record in the overall season standings will be awarded the playoff spot.
- Blake Snell, August 2, 2014: The first no-hitter in Stone Crabs history was a rain shortened one, as lefty Blake Snell stumped the Daytona Cubs for 5.1 innings before heavy rains washed away the final frames at Charlotte Sports Park. The Stone Crabs won 10-0.
Single Season Records
Hits: 145.....Tyler Bortnick '11
Doubles: 38.....Mike Sheridan '11
Triples: 11.....Hak-Ju Lee '11
Homeruns: 14.....Alejandro Segovia & Jeff Malm '13
RBIs: 73.....Richie Shaffer '13
Walks: 79.....Tyler Bortnick '11
Stolen Bases: 43.....Tyler Bortnick '11
Wins: 14.....Jeremy Hall '09
Strikeouts: 208.....Matt Moore '10
Saves: 25.....Zach Quate '10
Florida State League All-Stars
The following players were named to the Florida State All-Star team in each particular season. An asterisk (*) indicates the player participated in the Homerun Derby. A cross (†) indicates the player won the Homerun Derby.
- Nevin Ashley (C)
- Cody Cipriano (INF)
- Darin Downs (LHP)
- Matthew Gorgen (RHP)
- Gregory Sexton (INF)
- Chris Andujar (RHP)
- Nick Barnese (RHP)
- Marquis Fleming (RHP)
- Zach Quate (RHP)
- Josh Satow (LHP)
- Neil Schenk (LHP)
- Isaias Velasquez (OF)
- Stephen Vogt (C)
- Henry Wrigley† (DH)
- Tyler Bortnick (INF)
- Alex Colome (RHP)
- Hak-Ju Lee (INF)
- Brett Nommensen (OF)
- Josh Satow (LHP)
- Gregory Sexton (INF)
- Derek Dietrich* (INF)
- Mike Mahtook (OF)
- Chris Rearick (LHP)
- CJ Riefenhauser (LHP)
- Ryan Carpenter (LHP)
- Curt Casali (C)
- Jake Hager (INF)
- Jesse Hahn (RHP)
- Richie Schaffer (INF)
- Kevin Brandt (LHP)
- Patrick Leonard* (INF)
- Justin O'Conner* (C)
- Leonardo Reginatto (INF)
- Maxx Tissenbaum (C)
Notable Stone Crabs Alumni
Charlotte Stone Crabs roster
7-day disabled list
|Major League||Tampa Bay Rays||American League||St. Petersburg, FL|
|AAA||Durham Bulls||International League||Durham, NC|
|AA||Montgomery Biscuits||Southern League||Montgomery, AL|
|Advanced A||Charlotte Stone Crabs||Florida State League||Port Charlotte, FL|
|A||Bowling Green Hot Rods||Midwest League||Bowling Green, KY|
|Short Season A||Hudson Valley Renegades||New York-Penn League||Fishkill, NY|
|Rookie||Princeton Rays||Appalachian League||Princeton, WV|
|Rookie||GCL Rays||Gulf Coast League||Port Charlotte, FL|