Myrtle Beach Pelicans
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Founded in 1999
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Chicago Cubs (2015–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Nickname||Myrtle Beach Pelicans|
|Ballpark||TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans LP|
|General manager||Andy Milovich (President & GM)|
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a Minor League Baseball team in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Beginning in 2015, the franchise is the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Pelicans are members of the Carolina League, and play their home games at TicketReturn.com Field, which opened in 1999 and seats up to 6,599 fans. From their inaugural season until 2010, the Pelicans were affiliated with the Atlanta Braves, before spending four seasons as a Texas Rangers affiliate from 2011 to 2014. Beginning in 2015, the Pelicans' manager is former big league catcher Mark Johnson.
Previously, this franchise was known as the Durham Bulls, but relocated following the 1997 season as a result of the expansion of the Triple-A International League into Durham, North Carolina, where the new franchise assumed the "Bulls" name. It spent the 1998 season in Danville, Virginia, as the Danville 97s, awaiting a move to Myrtle Beach while their new stadium, Coastal Federal Field, was under construction. When then Coastal Federal Field opened its gates on April 12, 1999, for the franchise's first game, 5,521 fans came to see the Pelicans play the Potomac Cannons. In the first at bat, Pelicans pitcher Luis Rivera struck out Cannons hitter Esix Snead looking. The first two hits at the stadium were home runs for each team, first by Potomac's Andy Bevins, and later that same game by Myrtle Beach's Ryan Lehr.
The Pelicans play their home games at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, a family friendly stadium with a Speed Pitch, Obstacle Course, and Moon Bounce on the concourse. In 2004, Baseball America rated it the second-best Class-A level ballpark in the United States, and the best in the Carolina League in 2009. For four consecutive seasons (2011 to 2014), Stadium Journey ranked the Pelicans as the top stadium experience in the Carolina League, and one of the publication's "Top 50 Stadium Experiences" in all of sports, while TripAdvisor named the team the third-best attraction in Myrtle Beach.
In their first season, the Pelicans advanced to the 1999 Carolina League Mills Cup Championship series. The best-of-five series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks was tied 2–2, with the deciding Game 5 set to be played in Myrtle Beach, when the series was cancelled because of Hurricane Floyd. The two teams were named co-champions for that season.
Myrtle Beach won both the first and second-half Southern Division titles in 2008 under Rocket Wheeler, who was named Carolina League Manager of the Year. The following season, Jason Heyward played over half the year in Myrtle Beach en route to being named Baseball America's 2009 Minor League Player of the Year.
Front office changes
On November 20, 2012, General Manager Scott Brown left to join the Triple-A Charlotte Knights of the International League. A month later, on December 21, 2012, the Pelicans hired Andy Milovich to become the club's Vice President and General Manager. By January 14, 2015, Milovich was promoted to President and General Manager.
On September 16, 2014, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans reached an agreement on a player development contract with the Chicago Cubs, beginning with the 2015 season. The agreement will make the Pelicans the Advanced Class-A affiliate of the Cubs for the next two seasons.
Notable former players
- Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers shortstop
- Joey Devine, Oakland Athletics relief pitcher
- Jeff Francoeur, San Diego Padres outfielder/pitcher
- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves first baseman
- Rafael Furcal, Kansas City Royals second baseman
- Marcus Giles, All Star second baseman
- Tommy Hanson, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher
- Matt Harrison, Texas Rangers starting pitcher
- Jason Heyward, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder
- Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves relief pitcher
- Adam LaRoche, Chicago White Sox first baseman
- Jason Marquis, San Diego Padres starting pitcher
- Brian McCann, New York Yankees catcher
- Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher
- Brett Oberholtzer, Houston Astros starting pitcher
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miami Marlins catcher
- Adam Stern, Major League Baseball outfielder
- Jonny Venters, Atlanta Braves relief pitcher
- Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher
- Manny Acosta, New York Mets relief pitcher
- Mike Olt, Chicago Cubs third baseman
|Bruce Dal Canton||43||Pitching coach||1999–2007|
Myrtle Beach Pelicans roster
- "Myrtle Beach Pelicans Change Franchise Affiliation to Chicago Cubs". WMBF. Worldnow and WMBF. September 17, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Facts and Figures - Myrtle Beach Pelicans TicketReturn.com Field". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Barnett, Nathan (December 16, 2014). "Cubs Announce 2015 Pelicans Coaching Staff". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Swaney, Paul (September 21, 2014). "Ranking the Ballparks of the Carolina League". Stadium Journey. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Myrtle Beach Pelicans to Make National TV Debut Thursday on CBS Sports Network". The Sun News. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- Barnett, Nathan (June 30, 2014). "Pelicans game to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on July 3". Myrtle Beach Pelicans Official Website. Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "Chuck Greenberg: Chairman & Managing Partner". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
Chuck Greenberg assumed the role of President & Managing Partner of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on May 31, 2006 after his ownership group purchased the club from Capitol Broadcasting Company. On January 14, 2009, Greenberg assumed the role of Chairman & Managing Partner when the organization announced Todd Parnell as President.
- "Pelicans GM Brown Leaving MB for Triple-A Charlotte". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "Pelicans Name New GM, Season Opens April 4th". Grand Strand Sports Report. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Barnett, Nathan (January 14, 2015). "Pelicans Announce Front Office Changes". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Myrtle Beach Pelicans to Feature New Voice on New Home for Radio". The Sun News. February 17, 2014.