Midland RockHounds

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Midland RockHounds
Founded in 1972
Midland, Texas
Midland RockHounds logo.png Midland RockHounds Cap Insignia.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current AA
Minor league affiliations
League Texas League
Division South Division
Major league affiliations
Current Oakland Athletics (1999-Present)
Previous

California / Anaheim Angels (1985-1998)

Minor league titles
League titles 1975 (split), 2005, 2009
Division titles 1975, 2005, 2009, 2010
Team data
Nickname

Midland RockHounds (1999-present)

  • Midland Angels (1985-1998)
  • Midland Cubs (1972-1984)
Ballpark Security Bank Ballpark
Previous parks Christensen Stadium
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Miles Prentice & Bob Richmond
Manager Aaron Nieckula
General manager Monty Hoppel

The Midland RockHounds are a minor league baseball team based in Midland, Texas, USA. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics major league club. The RockHounds play in Security Bank Ballpark, located in Midland. Opened in 2002, the stadium seats 6,669 fans. The RockHounds are the current champions of the Texas League South Division.

History[edit]

The RockHounds were previously known as both the Midland Cubs and Midland Angels during their years in existence. While Midland currently is the AA affiliate of the Oakland A's, they were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs from 1972–1984, and then with the California Angels from 1985-1998.[1]

Awards have followed the RockHounds throughout their history. The Midland franchise under the Angels won the Texas League Organization of the year in 1990 and 1994 and as the RockHounds in 2002. In 1995 Midland won AA's highest award, the Bob Frietas Award. General Manager Monty Hoppel has been named Executive of the Year with the franchise three times: in 1991, 1995, and 2002.[2]

1995 marked the Midland franchises first ever playoff appearance as an affiliate for the Angels and their first playoff appearance overall in 20 years. It also became the first season the Midland franchise accumulated more than 200,000 fans in a season, a feat repeated in 1996. The feat surprised many in Minor League Baseball as the Midland-Odessa area only has over 200,000 residents total. Since moving to Citibank Ballpark, the RockHounds have averaged 250,000+ fans every season.

The RockHounds moved into what is now known as Security Bank Ballpark, part of the Scharbauer Sports Complex on the west side of Midland, in 2002. Prior to that, their home had been what is now known as Christensen Stadium, in northeast Midland.

The Rockhounds won their first ever Texas League Championship in 2005. They shared the title back in 1975 as the Cubs. In 2006 they won the second half championship of the South Division, but they lost to the eventual champion Corpus Christi Hooks in the division playoffs.[3]

In 2007, the RockHounds won the John H. Johnson President's Award, Minor League baseball highest award for a franchise, making them the third Texas League franchsise to do so after the El Paso Diablos and the Tulsa Drillers.[4]

In 2009, the RockHounds won their second TL pennant, defeating the Northwest Arkansas Naturals three games to one in the Championship Series.[5] In 2010, the RockHounds returned to the TL title game, but this time fell to the Naturals.

On the radio[edit]

The Midland Rockhounds have always had a play-by-play broadcast that has been available. KCRS (AM) had been the network to carry roughly 95% of the Rockhounds games since they debuted in 1972. Some afternoon games in 2008 didn't air on the radio due to contracts with Rush Limbaugh and others. For the 2009 season Gap Broadcasting announced the Rockhounds would have a new radio home, KFZX, also known as 102.1 Jack FM. For the 2010 season, the Rockhounds once again moved radio homes to KMRK 96.1 FM.[6] In both cases Bob Hards remained the voice of the Rockhounds, a position he has currently done for 19 consecutive years.[7] In 2013 the Rockhounds moved their games back to KCRS, though the weekday day games would be preempted for talk shows that were already scheduled.

Notable former Midland players[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Former Midland Cub Bruce Sutter was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Former RockHound Mark Kiger is the first player in modern Major League Baseball history to make his playing debut in a postseason game. His first game was October 13, 2006 in game three of the 2006 American League Championship Series.

Current roster[edit]

Midland RockHounds roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 56 Raul Alcantara *
  • 40 Jesus Castillo
  • 11 Ryan Dull
  • 45 Seth Frankoff
  • 16 Frank Gailey Injury icon 2.svg
  • 29 Drew Granier
  • 10 Blake Hassebrock
  • 33 Chris Jensen
  • 46 Nate Long
  • 22 Sean Murphy
  • 32 Zach Neal
  • 15 Tanner Peters
  • 19 Murphy Smith
  • 28 Jeff Urlaub
  • 31 Andrew Werner

Catchers

  • 18 Jose Chavez
  • 12 Ryan Lipkin Injury icon 2.svg
  • 24 Beau Taylor

Infielders

Outfielders

  • 17 Billy Burns
  • 25 Connor Crumbliss
  • 21 D'Arby Myers
  •  5 Chad Oberacker
  • 22 Josh Whitaker

Manager

  • 26 Aaron Nieckula

Coaches

  • 50 Webster Garrison (hitting)
  • 39 Don Schulze (pitching)


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Oakland Athletics 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated April 9, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Oakland Athletics minor league players


References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Midland in Minor League Baseball". Midland Rockhounds online. 
  2. ^ "Awards follow the RockHounds franchise". Midland Rockhounds online. 
  3. ^ "RockHounds Success under the A's". Midland Rockhounds online. 
  4. ^ "RockHounds Take Home Top Honor". Midland Rockhounds online. 
  5. ^ "RockHounds Hoist 2009 Title". Midland Rockhounds online. 
  6. ^ "Rockhounds move to a new station again for 2010". MyWestTexas.com. 
  7. ^ "Bob Hards: Director of Broadcasting and Publications". Midland Rockhounds online. 

External links[edit]