Erie SeaWolves

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Erie SeaWolves
Founded in 1989
Erie, Pennsylvania
Erie SeaWolves new logo.png Erie SeaWolves cap logo.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Double-A (1999–Present)
Previous Short-Season A (1989–1998)
Minor league affiliations
League Eastern League (1999-Present)
Division Western Division
Previous leagues New York–Penn League (1989–1998)
Major league affiliations
Current Detroit Tigers (2001–Present)
Previous

Anaheim Angels (1999–2000)

Pittsburgh Pirates (1989–1998)
Minor league titles
Division titles 1997, 1999, 2001, 2007
Team data
Nickname Erie SeaWolves (1995–Present)
Previous names Welland Pirates (1989–1994)
Colors Black, red, white, gray, yellow
                        
Ballpark Jerry Uht Park (1995-Present)
Previous parks Welland Stadium (1989–1994)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Mandalay Sports Entertainment
Manager Lance Parrish
General manager Greg Coleman

The Erie SeaWolves are a Minor League Baseball team based in Erie, Pennsylvania. They play in the Eastern League as the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The "SeaWolves" name refers to Erie's location along Lake Erie and their original affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates, especially since the term "sea wolf" is a historical synonym of "pirate."[1] The team plays at downtown Erie's Jerry Uht Park, which opened in 1995 and is part of the Louis J. Tullio Plaza along with Erie Insurance Arena and the Warner Theatre.

The SeaWolves' first game at Jerry Uht Park happened on June 20, 1995 with an Erie win over the Jamestown Jammers. José Guillén, now a Major League Baseball alumnus, hit the decisive home-run for the team.[2]

History[edit]

The Erie SeaWolves were founded in 1989 in Welland, Ontario as the Welland Pirates as a member of the Short-Season New York–Penn League. The team played at Welland Stadium from 1989 to 1994 and were affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. When the Welland Pirates relocated to Erie, Pennsylvania in 1995, they were renamed the "Erie SeaWolves." The relocation of the team from Welland to Erie forced the Frontier League incarnation of the Erie Sailors to relocate Johnstown, Pennsylvania where they became the Johnstown Steal (this team is now known as the Florence Freedom, based in Florence, Kentucky). Before that, there was another team called the Erie Sailors which played in the New York - Penn League. However, they relocated to Wappingers Falls, New York (becoming the Hudson Valley Renegades) because the team's owner Marvin Goldklang did not upgrade Ainsworth Field to Major League Baseball specifications. Once the civic government secured an $8 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to build Jerry Uht Park, the Welland Pirates moved to Erie.[3] While Erie lacked affiliated baseball in 1994, the city fielded a new independent baseball franchise in the Frontier League and reused the "Sailors" name. The SeaWolves succeed various Erie-based baseball franchises, namely every version of the Erie Sailors (the New York–Penn League franchise was also known as the Erie Orioles) and the Erie Cardinals (now known as the State College Spikes).

The SeaWolves served as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate from 1995 to 1998. In 1999, the Double-A Eastern League added two expansion franchises, with Erie gaining one of them. The team joined the Eastern League after it moved up from the Short-Season A level to the Double-A level. Therefore, the current SeaWolves organization is considered a continuation of the former one even though it changed classes. Minor League Baseball allowed Erie to keep their New York–Penn League records and history as a member of the Eastern League. Subsequently, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers replaced them in the New York-Penn League, which is officially considered an expansion franchise rather than a continuation of the SeaWolves.

The SeaWolves became an affiliate of the Anaheim Angels after moving to the Double-A level. The team switched to the Detroit Tigers in 2001, with whom they continue to be affiliated.

Standing their ground[edit]

Since Mandalay Sports Entertainment purchased the Erie SeaWolves in 2003, the team has been the object of several relocation rumors. In 2005, investors from Holyoke, Massachusetts hoped to lure the team to a brand new ballpark there. However, the Erie County Convention Center Authority heavily renovated Jerry Uht Park with modern amenities, thus anchoring the SeaWolves in Erie through 2012. In 2009, officials from Richmond, Virginia speculated that the SeaWolves would replace the departing Richmond Braves (now the Gwinnett Braves) in time for the 2010 season. Yet, it was the former Connecticut Defenders that filled the void. In 2011, representatives from Ottawa posited that the Canadian capital city would gain the Erie SeaWolves after their contracts for Jerry Uht Park and the Detroit Tigers end prior to the 2013 season. Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr. weighed in on the rumor in November 2011 and pleaded for Mandalay Sports Entertainment to keep the SeaWolves in Erie. In his plea, Senator Casey remarked, "The SeaWolves are an important part of the region’s economy, and it’s absolutely essential they stay in Erie and not move to Ottawa. In 2005, County of Erie taxpayers made a multi-million dollar commitment to improving the stadium; the team’s ownership should honor that commitment and keep the team where it belongs, in Erie."[4] In April 2012, the Tigers extended their Player Development Contract with the SeaWolves through the 2014 season. Dan Lunetta, the Tigers' director of minor league operations, stated:

We are very pleased to be entering into this extension agreement through 2014 with the SeaWolves. Our partnership with the Mandalay ownership group since 2005 and the SeaWolves organization since 2001 has been a strong relationship. The strength of that partnership combined with continued improvements at Jerry Uht Park, the ongoing effort to grow fan support and Erie's proximity to Detroit and our other clubs makes this an easy decision.

The Erie Times-News cited a report by the Ottawa Citizen on September 12, 2012 that the SeaWolves are on the short-list for relocation to Ottawa along with the Binghamton Mets. However, Eastern League president Joe McEacharn indicated that there are relocation candidates under consideration for the 2014 season, but has not outlined which teams or when an announcement would be made.[5] SeaWolves' general manager, Greg Coleman, denied that the team has been negotiating a move to Canada on September 19, 2012, indicating that "it's business as usual." Furthermore, he responded, "Nothing has changed on our part and it would be irresponsible for me to speculate. We won't allow (the announcement) to impact our business."[5]

Logos and uniforms[edit]

The Erie SeaWolves' primary colors are black, red, yellow, gray and white. The primary logo comprises a stylized "pirate wolf" superimposed over two crossed baseball bats complete with sword hilts. Centered above it is the "Erie SeaWolves" wordmark in white, black, and yellow. The team also has various alternate logos, most of which derive from elements included in the primary logo. However, a distinctive one similar to secondary marks by the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers features a weathered black flag on a "sword-bat" with a red "E" on it. This logo alludes to the city of Erie's reputation as the "Flagship City," a reference to the USS Flagship Niagara that Oliver Hazard Perry commandeered during his 1813 victory over the British Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie.[6]

The home uniforms include an all-black cap complete with the "pirate wolf" logo and white jerseys featuring black piping. The "SeaWolves" wordmark is centered across the front in black letters with red outline and the "sword-bat" logo on the left sleeve. The away uniforms feature a gray jersey with black piping, the "Erie" wordmark in red with black outline, and the "sword-bat" logo on the right sleeve. The alternate jersey is red with black piping and includes the "Erie" wordmark in white with black outline. The "pirate wolf" logo is centered on the left sleeve.[6]

When the Erie SeaWolves debuted as a New York-Penn League team in 1995, their original colors were Columbia blue, black, and orange. However, their primary logo looked much like the one the team used from 2001 through 2012. The SeaWolves caps from 1995 to 1998 were Columbia blue with black brims and buttons, charged with the "pirate wolf" and crossed-bats logo. The home uniforms featured Columbia blue pinstripes with the "SeaWolves" workmark centered across the front of the jersey in orange script with black outline and the "pirate wolf" logo located below it. The numbers were Columbia blue with black outline, both on the left sleeve and on the reverse. The away jersey was gray with the "Erie" workmark in orange with black outline, also featuring the "pirate wolf" logo offset below. The numbers were of a similar arrangement. The alternate jersey was Columbia blue with the "pirate wolf" logo centered on the left-side chest with black numbers on the back with white outline.

When the team graduated to Double-A ball and affiliated with the Angels, they adopted a navy blue, dark red, and gray arrangement. The logo during this period featured a sailing wolf with other maritime-themed elements. The caps were navy blue with gray brims, branded with a stylized wolf-head howling at a yellow moon. The home jersey featured navy blue piping and the "SeaWolves" wordmark in dark red with navy blue and white outline and the "howling wolf" logo on the left sleeve. The away jersey was gray, also with navy blue piping and the "howling wolf" logo on the left sleeve. The "Erie" wordmark was centered on the jersey in dark red with navy blue dropshadow. The numbers on the reverse were similar.

From 2001 to 2012, the Erie SeaWolves used a modified version of their original "pirate wolf" logo but with black and orange as the primary colors. The home cap was black charged with the "pirate wolf" logo. The home uniform from 2001 to 2011 featured white home jerseys with black pinstripes and the "SeaWolves" wordmark in black letters with orange dropshadow. The away jerseys originally featured the "Erie" wordmark in orange block letters with black dropshadow. In 2012, the SeaWolves changed to vintage white home uniforms with black and orange trim and the previous "SeaWolves" wordmark. The away jersey were gray with a stylized "Erie" wordmark in orange with white and black trim. There was also two alternate jerseys: 1) A black one with orange piping charged with the "pirate wolf" logo. 2) An orange one with black paneling featuring the "Wolves" wordmark in black with white dropshadow.[7]

Culture[edit]

Mascots[edit]

C. Wolf with students at an Erie-area elementary school.

The Erie SeaWolves' official mascot is an anthropomorphic, gray canidae named C. Wolf, the only talking character in the world of professional sports. He wears the team's official home jersey with pirate hat, orange and white bandanna, and eye patch. During the SeaWolves home games, C. Wolf is generally presented with the song Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran. His friends include Paws (the Detroit Tigers' official mascot) as well as three anthropomorphic sausages from an Erie restaurant called Smith's Wieners: Kenny Kielbasa, Herbie Hot Dog, and Santino the Italian Sausage.[8] In 2012, the SeaWolves introduced a new mascot named Perry (presumably after Oliver Hazard Perry), a nine-foot inflatable fish, to work alongside C. Wolf. The name was decided by a fan poll.[9]

Promotions[edit]

"Buck Night" is a highly celebrated promotion by the Erie SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park. It is held several times each season, allowing fans who have paid for reserved seats to purchase specified food items for only $1.00 each.[10] The menu includes hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks, and American-made beer.[11]

Philanthropy[edit]

The Erie SeaWolves engage in many philanthropic efforts throughout Erie and its surrounding communities. Since December 2008, they have partnered with Erie's United States Marine Corps Reserve for an annual fundraiser called "Fill A Truck at the Uht," in which players and Marines work to fill a seven-ton military truck with Christmas presents for underprivileged children in support of Toys for Tots.[12] The SeaWolves benefit Northwestern Pennsylvania high school students by facilitating a Student Ambassador Program, which is backed by Gannon University's Sports Management and Marketing. It allows adolescents to see how a professional baseball team operates.[13]

Season By Season Results[edit]

Season Results in New York–Penn League[edit]

Regular Season[edit]

Welland Pirates – 1989 to 1994
Season Affiliation Manager Record
1989 Pirates U.L. Washington 32-44, 5th place Stedler
1990 Pirates Jack Lind 36-42, 3rd place Stedler
1991 Pirates Lee Driggers 30-47, 6th place Stedler
1992 Pirates Trent Jewett 31-46, 6th place Stedler
1993 Pirates Larry Smith 35-42, 5th place Stedler
1994 Pirates Jeff Banister 30-44, 4th place Stedler


Erie SeaWolves – 1995 to 1998
Season Affiliation Manager Record
1995 Pirates Scott Little 34-41, 3rd place Stedler
1996 Pirates Jeff Richardson 30-46, 4th place Stedler
1997 Pirates Marty Brown 50-26, 1st place Stedler
1998 Pirates Tracy Woodson 26-50, 4th place Stedler


Postseason[edit]

Season Results in Eastern League[edit]

Regular Season[edit]

Erie SeaWolves – 1999 to 2013
Season Affiliation Manager Record
1999 Angels Garry Templeton 81-61, 1st place South
2000 Angels Don Wakamatsu 47-94, 6th place South
2001 Tigers Luis Pujols 84-58, 1st place South
2002 Tigers Kevin Bradshaw 52-89, 6th place South
2003 Tigers Kevin Bradshaw 72-70, 3rd place South
2004 Tigers Rick Sweet 80-62, 2nd place South
2005 Tigers Duffy Dyer 63-79, 6th place South
2006 Tigers Duffy Dyer 60-81, 6th place South
2007 Tigers Matt Walbeck 81–59, 1st place South
2008 Tigers Tom Brookens 68–74, 4th place South
2009 Tigers Tom Brookens 71-70, 4th place South
2010 Tigers Phil Nevin 66-76, 6th place West
2011 Tigers Chris Cron 67-75, 5th place West
2012 Tigers Chris Cron 57-84, 6th place West
2013 Tigers Chris Cron 76-66, 2nd place West


Postseason[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Erie SeaWolves roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 41 Bryan Augenstein
  • -- Matt Crouse Injury icon 2.svg
  • 17 Jeff Ferrell
  • 33 Guido Knudson
  • 31 Joe Mantiply
  • 22 Angel Nesbitt
  • 51 Wilsen Palacios
  •  8 Ryan Robowski
  • 30 Warwick Saupold
  • -- Chad Smith *
  • 43 Slade Smith
  • 18 Will Startup
  • 35 Josh Turley
  • 45 Jose Valdez *

Catchers

  •  1 Craig Albernaz
  • –– Drew Longley

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Detroit Tigers 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated August 16, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Detroit Tigers minor league players

Alumni[edit]

Major League Baseball alumni of the Erie SeaWolves
(past and present)
 

Retired numbers[edit]

Sam Jethroe 5 (SeaWolves).png Jackie Robinson 42 (SeaWolves).png
Sam Jethroe Jackie Robinson
CF
Retired by the
Erie SeaWolves
on June 6, 2005
2B
Retired throughout
professional baseball
on April 15, 1997

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sea wolf". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Jerry Uth Park". Erie County Convention Center Authority. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  3. ^ "Erie SeaWolves relocation rumor rises anew". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Casey Urges SeaWolves Ownership Group to Keep Team in Erie". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  5. ^ a b "Report: SeaWolves among candidates for move to Canada". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Double-A Erie updates nautical logo". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  7. ^ "Erie SeaWolves make first uniform change since 2001". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  8. ^ "C-Wolf to welcome sidekick other new attractions at Erie SeaWolves home opener". Erie SeaWolves. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  9. ^ "C-Wolf to welcome sidekick other new attractions at Erie SeaWolves home opener". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  10. ^ "Buck Night Package". Erie SeaWolves. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  11. ^ "Erie SnapShot: Having fun for less at the Erie SeaWolves’ Buck Night". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  12. ^ "Fill The Truck Saturday, December 1". Erie SeaWolves. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  13. ^ "Student Ambassador Program". Erie SeaWolves. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 

External links[edit]