Greenville Drive

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Greenville Drive
Founded in 1977
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville Drive.png Greenville Drive (cap insignia).png
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current A
Minor league affiliations
League South Atlantic League
Division Southern Division
Major league affiliations
Current Boston Red Sox (2005–present)
Previous

New York Mets (1981–2004)

Minor league titles
League titles 3 (1986, 1991, 1998)
Team data
Nickname Greenville 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)
Ballpark Fluor Field at the West End
Previous parks

Greenville Municipal Stadium

Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Craig Brown, Roy Bostock, Paul Raether
Manager Darren Fenster
General manager Mike 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
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 33 Mike Adams
  • 24 Trey Ball
  • 47 Ty Butrey
  • 23 Jamie Callahan
  • 31 Jason Garcia
  • 13 Sergio Gomez
  • 17 Daniel McGrath
  • 37 Oscar Perez
  • 21 Myles Smith
  • 19 Teddy Stankiewicz
  • 38 German Taveras
  • 34 Raynel Velette

Catchers

  •  7 Carlos Coste
  • 29 Jordan Procyshen
  • -- Joseph Winterburn +

Infielders

  • 26 Danny Bethea
  • 36 Tzu-Wei Lin
  • 20 Hector Lorenzana
  •  5 Jimmy Rider
  • 11 Wendell Rijo
  • 25 Tim Roberson
  • 28 Sam Travis

Outfielders

  • 15 Forrestt Allday +
  • 10 Franklin Guzman
  • 40 Zach Kapstein +
  • 18 Kevin Mager
  • 35 Cole Sturgeon

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 August 20, 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]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1983 88–54 1st John Tamargo Lost League Finals
1984 82–57 1st Rich Miller
1985 79–57 2nd Bud Harrelson / Rich Miller Lost in 1st round
1986 90–42 1st Tucker Ashford League Champs
1987 64–75 10th Butch Hobson
1988 74–63 5th Butch Hobson
1989 73–67 4th Bill Stein
1990 83–60 1st Bill Stein Lost in 1st round
1991 86–54 2nd Tim Blackwell League Champs
1992 79–59 1st Tim Blackwell

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

Year Team Name Wins Losses W-L % Manager
2005 Greenville Bombers 72 66 .522 Chad Epperson
2006 Greenville Drive 67 73 .479 Luis Alicea
2007 Greenville Drive 58 81 .417 Gabe Kapler
2008 Greenville Drive 70 69 .504 Kevin Boles
2009 Greenville Drive 73 65 .529 Kevin Boles
2010 Greenville Drive 77 62 .554 Billy McMillon
2011 Greenville Drive 78 62 .557 Billy McMillon
2012 Greenville Drive 66 73 .475 Carlos Febles
2013 Greenville Drive 51 87 .370 Carlos Febles

In popular culture[edit]

In the second season of the Netflix series House of Cards, Frank Underwood describes an embarrassing episode in his life where he threw out the first pitch at a Greenville Drive game.

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]