Sugar Land Skeeters
|Sugar Land Skeeters|
|League||Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Freedom Division)|
|Location||Sugar Land, Texas|
|Former name(s)||Sugar Land Skeeters (2012–present)|
|Colors||Black, blue, yellow, white
|Media||ESPN3, KBRZ (live games)
Fort Bend Independent, Fort Bend Herald, Houston Chronicle
The Sugar Land Skeeters are an American professional baseball team based in Sugar Land, Texas. They are a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent league not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Beginning in the 2012 season, the team plays its home games at Constellation Field. The Skeeters are the first Atlantic League team to play outside of the Northeast; the team is also the first of a planned Western division to include four to six other teams. The Skeeters are also the first independent league baseball team in the Greater Houston metropolitan area since the Houston Buffaloes' final season in 1961.
The team's name "Skeeters" is a Southern slang word for mosquito, and the result of a team-sponsored fan poll. Part of the reason for the naming is that mosquitoes are very common in the summer nights in Texas.
In 2008, Sugar Land residents voted for the allocation of civic revenues toward the construction of a new baseball park. Initially, the former Omaha Royals were interested in moving to the city, but eventually declined because of the construction of Werner Park in suburban Omaha. City of Sugar Land officials contacted Opening Day Partners to build the ballpark in order to have the company's caliber of professional baseball in their region. The city knew that Major League Baseball's Houston Astros would not approve of an affiliated team in the Greater Houston area, so Sugar Land chose the independent circuit. The American Association and the United Baseball League were also considered since both organizations had teams located in Texas. The city decided on the Atlantic League mainly because Opening Day Partners' other teams were already members of that league. Sugar Land's entry in the Atlantic League was officially announced on May 18, 2010.
On August 20, 2012, Matt O'Brien, the team's president, announced that they were signing former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens. O'Brien also announced that Clemens would be the starting pitcher for the Skeeters on August 25, 2012. The Skeeters sold out the night of Clemens start, where Clemens pitched for three and one third innings and Skeeters won 1-0.
The Sugar Land City Council approved an ownership change on October 28, 2014. The Council’s action cleared the way for Houston-area residents Bob and Marcie Zlotnik, who have been one-third minority partners since the 2012 season, to assume 100 percent ownership of SL Baseball, LLC.
Other notable alumni
- Scott Kazmir - MLB pitcher before and after his 2012 stint with the Skeeters
- Tracy McGrady - former NBA player who became a professional pitcher for the Skeeters in 2014
- Brian Barton - former MLB player who signed with the team in June 2014
- Delwyn Young - former MLB player who signed with the team in 2014
- Jason Lane - former MLB outfielder who pitched for the Skeeters in 2012-2013 and returned to MLB as a pitcher
Television and radio
On April 24, 2014, the Sugar Land Skeeters announced a deal with ESPN that allowed for all home games at Constellation Field to be exclusively broadcast on the Internet channel ESPN3 for the 2014 season, an agreement that was renewed for 2015. Away games are heard on radio station KBRZ.
Logos and uniforms
The official colors of the Sugar Land Skeeters are nighttime black, imperial blue, rawhide yellow, white, and refinery red. Aside from nighttime black, each color is a regional allusion: "imperial blue" for the Sugar Land–based Imperial Sugar company, "rawhide yellow" for the cattle industry, and "refinery red" for the area's oil refineries. The team's primary logo consists of a mosquito flying over a Texas contour with its proboscis marking Fort Bend County. The "Skeeters" wordmark centered below is made up of sugarcane-inspired lettering - a reference to the industry's importance to the region. Centered to the right above the contour is "Sugar Land" in black letters with a "lone star."
|Sugar Land Skeeters|
|Season||W - L Record||Winning Percentage||Finish||Playoffs|
|2012||64-76||.457||4th in Freedom Division||Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|2013||95-45||.679||1st in Freedom Division||0-3 (lost first round to Somerset)|
|2014||80-60||.571||2nd in Freedom Division||3-5 (lost championship to Lancaster)|
Sugar Land Skeeters roster
|Active (25-man) roster||Coaches/Other|
- "Three finalists named in Sugar Land name-the-team contest". Namesugarlandsteam.com. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "Sugar Land seeks proposals for ballpark". Ballparkdigest.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "Today's big ballot issue: new ballpark in Sugar Land". Ballparkdigest.com. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "Atlantic League to expand to Sugar Land". Ballparkdigest.com. 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Berman, Mark. Roger Clemens to sign with the Sugar Land Skeeters, FOX-TV Houston, August 20, 2012.
- Baldwin, Chris. Roger Clemens takes advantage of meek minor leaguers: AARP Rocket not Majors ready, but oh the joy, HoustonCultureMap, August 26, 2012.
- Barron, David (April 24, 2014). "Skeeters to stream home games via ESPN3.com, team website". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- "It’s the ‘Sugar Land Skeeters’". Ballparkbiz.wordpress.com. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2011-04-24.