Oklahoma City RedHawks

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Oklahoma City RedHawks
Founded in 1962
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
OklahomaCityRedHawksLogo.PNG OklahomaCityRedHawksCapLogo.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Triple-A (1962–present)
Minor league affiliations
League Pacific Coast League (1963–1968, 1998–present)
Conference American Conference
Division Northern Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Current Houston Colt .45s/Astros (1962-1972, 2011–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles 1963 (PCL), 1965 (PCL), 1992 (American Association), 1996 (American Association)
Conference titles 1999, 2008
Division titles 1963, 1965, 1979, 1985, 1992, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2013
Team data
Nickname Oklahoma City RedHawks (2009–present)
Previous names

Oklahoma RedHawks (1998–2008)

  • Oklahoma City 89ers (1962–1997)
Ballpark Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (1998–present)
Previous parks All Sports Stadium (1962–1997)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Mandalay Sports Entertainment
Manager Tony DeFrancesco

The Oklahoma City RedHawks are a minor league baseball team based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The team, which plays in the Pacific Coast League, is the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The RedHawks play at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, located in the Bricktown Entertainment District in downtown Oklahoma City.

Before becoming the RedHawks, the team was originally known as the Oklahoma City 89ers from 1962 to 1997 when the team played at All Sports Stadium (now demolished) at the state fairgrounds. The franchise's original name made reference to the Land Run of 1889, which led to the founding of Oklahoma City. Following the 1997 season, the team became the Oklahoma RedHawks. The city's first professional baseball name change in 35 years, corresponded to the team's move to its current home, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, and to the team's return to the Pacific Coast League in 1998.[1] The team was renamed the RedHawks after the red-tailed hawk, a bird of prey commonly seen throughout Oklahoma. When announcing the new name, team officials noted the raptor's four-foot wingspan and migration patterns, which always return the bird to Oklahoma. A hawk is also part of the state's official song.[2]

Prior to the 2009 season, the team once again named itself after its home city. The minor renaming was accompanied by new logos and a new color scheme.[3] The team's name change to Oklahoma City RedHawks was made to honor the Oklahoma City fans who paid for the ballpark through a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund the Metropolitan Area Projects Plan or MAPS.[4]

History[edit]

Oklahoma City has been home to professional baseball for all but a few years since 1904, when the Metropolitans (Mets) started competing there.[5]

Oklahoma City's teams and names have changed numerous times since. The Mets competed until 1908. Oklahoma City's team became known as the Indians in 1909 before returning to the original Mets name in 1910 and reverting again to the Indians name in 1911. Oklahoma City was home to the Senators in 1912. After one year without a baseball team, Oklahoma City's squad became the Boosters in 1914. The Senators name returned from 1915–16 and the Boosters name came back in 1917. The Oklahoma City Indians name returned once again in 1918 and the team name stuck until 1957 (the team did not compete during World War II).[6]

Oklahoma City's current baseball franchise began competing in 1962 as the 89ers following a four-year period without professional baseball in the area.[7] After the Houston Buffaloes of the American Association were purchased for territorial rights by the Houston Colt .45s (later the Houston Astros) of the National League, the big league club decided to move their minor league club elsewhere. In July 1961, Spec Richardson, who was then general manager of the Houston Buffs, met with Oklahoma City officials and boosters, and agreed to move the team.[8][9][10] After a unanimous approval from the American Association's board of directors, the current franchise began play in 1962 as the top affiliate of the Houston Colt .45s.[11] Eventually, the Astros sold the team to Tulsa businessman, P. C. Dixon, in November 1970.[12] In 1973, a three-year connection with the Cleveland Indians was established. A later affiliation with the Philadelphia Phillies lasted from 1976 until 1982.

In 1983, the Texas Rangers became the parent club, a relationship that would continue as the 89ers adopted new colors and uniforms along with the nickname "RedHawks" in 1998.

On September 14, 2010, the Texas Rangers ownership announced that they were moving their Triple-A affiliation to the Round Rock Express (formerly the Astros' Triple-A affiliate).[13] On September 15 the RedHawks were sold to Mandalay Baseball Properties, which also owns or operates four other minor league baseball teams, and is part of the Mandalay Entertainment conglomerate chaired by entertainment industry executive Peter Guber. On September 20, Mandalay entered into a formal agreement for the RedHawks to become the Astros' new Triple-A affiliate.[14][15]

Crowds are consistently large at the ballpark and the RedHawks have been very competitive, winning seven division titles in their 16 PCL seasons.

On August 22, 2014, it was revealed that Mandalay would be selling the team and that the team's affiliation would be changing to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2014.[16]

Notable RedHawks Performances[edit]

Pitchers Dustin Nippert and Luis Mendoza recorded the two no-hitters in RedHawks history (since 1998). Nippert recorded the RedHawks' first no-hitter June 29, 2008 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The RedHawks won the seven-inning game, the first of a doubleheader, 2-0. Nippert walked two and struck out five in the first Oklahoma City professional baseball no-hitter since Aug. 13, 1996 (when Rick Helling recorded a perfect game for the 89ers).[17]

Mendoza pitched the RedHawks' first nine-inning no-hitter Aug. 14, 2009 against Salt Lake. He threw 125 pitches, including 74 for strikes. He walked six and struck out six batters in the 5-0 win.[18]

Five RedHawks players have hit three home runs in a single game. Adrian Gonzalez became the first RedHawk to accomplish the offensive feat May 24, 2005 at Albuquerque. He went 3-for-4 with five RBI. All three of Nelson Cruz's hits July 19, 2008 against Memphis were home runs. He went 3-for-5 with five RBI in the game. Nate Gold went 4-for-5 with three homers and four RBI July 28, 2008 at Colorado Springs. Chad Tracy hit three homers June 27, 2010 against Omaha, finishing the game 3-for-3 with five RBI. Mike Hessman went 4-for-4 with three homers June 3, 2012 against Iowa.[19]

The 2013 RedHawks made numerous entries into the club's record book. The RedHawks set the team record for most runs scored in a game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and tied the club record for most runs scored in a game overall in a 24-5 win against Colorado Springs Aug. 3, 2013.[20]

The 2013 squad also compiled the longest overall and home winning streaks in club history. The RedHawks won 12 straight games overall July 26 through Aug. 6. They continued winning at home, stringing together 17 consecutive wins at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark July 26 through Aug. 20.[21]

Notable former players[edit]

Notable Broadcasters[edit]

The team has had multiple broadcasters who advanced to the MLB level. Their years with the team (if known) are listed first in parentheses. The teams and networks the person broadcast with in the Majors are listed second. If the person won the Ford C. Frick Award, it is listed lastly.

Roster[edit]

Oklahoma City RedHawks roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

  •  3 Ryan McCurdy
  • 20 Carlos Perez
  • 10 Max Stassi *

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Houston Astros 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated April 3, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Houston Astros minor league players

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hersom, Bob. "Bye 89ers; Hello Oklahoma RedHawks". The Oklahoman. Sep 9, 1997. p. 1. 
  2. ^ Hersom, Bob."Bye 89ers; Hello Oklahoma RedHawks". The Oklahoman. Sep 9, 1997. p. 1. 
  3. ^ Patterson, Matt. "RedHawks to unveil new logos and colors." NewsOK. August 22, 2008. Retrieved on September 26, 2008.
  4. ^ Patterson, Matt."New name, look for RedHawks". The Oklahoman. April 26, 2009. p. 4F. 
  5. ^ Rohde, John."Back where they started". The Oklahoman. April 12, 1998. p. 106. 
  6. ^ Rohde, John."Back where they started". The Oklahoman. April 12, 1998. p. 106. 
  7. ^ Rohde, John."Back where they started". The Oklahoman. April 12, 1998. p. 106. 
  8. ^ "O.C. Might Decide AA Question Friday". Miami News Record. July 12, 1961. p. 3. 
  9. ^ "Oke City Seeks Pro Franchise". Lawton Constitution. July 14, 1961. p. 18. 
  10. ^ "Buffs' AAA Franchise Goes to Oklahoma City". Baytown Sun. July 16, 1961. p. 9. 
  11. ^ "Oklahoma City is Admitted to AAA Ball Loop". Miami News Record. July 18, 1961. p. 5. 
  12. ^ "Houston Astros Sell Ball Team". Mexia Daily News. November 12, 1970. p. 11. 
  13. ^ Cohn, Alex. "Nolan Ryan And Rangers Nab Round Rock, Houston May Relocate Triple-A Team To Nashville." SB Nation. September 14, 2010. Retrieved on September 14, 2010.
  14. ^ Zachary Levine, "Astros cultivate farm system: Oklahoma City signs 2-year deal as AAA affiliate", Houston Chronicle, September 21, 2010.
  15. ^ David Falcheck, "Mandalay buys Oklahoma RedHawks franchise", The Times-Tribune (Scranton), September 23, 2010.
  16. ^ Baldwin, Michael. "Oklahoma City RedHawks will be Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate". The Oklahoman. 
  17. ^ "Nippert tosses no-hitter". The Oklahoman. June 30, 2008. p. 15B. 
  18. ^ Patterson, Matt."Mendoza holds Salt Lake hitless". The Oklahoman. Aug 15, 2009. p. 5C. 
  19. ^ Ed Godfrey, "OKC RedHawks: Mike Hessman is the RedHawks' version of Crash Davis", The Oklahoman, June 5, 2012.
  20. ^ "RedHawks tie team record in 24-5 win", The Oklahoman, Aug. 3, 2013.
  21. ^ Mike Baldwin, "OKC RedHawks: RedHawks' 17-game win streak at home snapped", The Oklahoman, Aug. 26, 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres
Pacific Coast League champions
1963
1965
Succeeded by
San Diego Padres
Seattle Angels
Preceded by
Denver Zephyrs
Louisville Redbirds
American Association champions
1992
1996
Succeeded by
Iowa Cubs
Buffalo Bisons