Tri-City ValleyCats

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Not to be confused with Tri-City Dust Devils.
Tri-City ValleyCats
Founded in 1977
Troy, New York
TCvalleycats.PNG ValleyCats.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Short-Season A
Minor league affiliations
League New York–Penn League
Division Stedler Division
Major league affiliations
Current

Houston Astros (2001–present)

Minor league titles
League titles 1984, 2010, 2013
Division titles 1984, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013
Team data
Nickname

Tri-City ValleyCats (2002–present)

  • Pittsfield Astros (2001)
  • Pittsfield Mets (1989–2000)
  • Little Falls Mets (1977–1988)
Ballpark

Joseph L. Bruno Stadium (2002–present)

Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Bill Gladstone
Manager Ed Romero
General manager Rick Murphy

The Tri-City ValleyCats (often shortened to 'Cats) are a minor league baseball team based in Troy, New York, and the 2010 and 2013 champions of the New York–Penn League (NYPL). The ValleyCats are the Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball club. The name Tri-City is based on the three nearby cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, which make up New York State's Capital District. The ValleyCats play at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium which opened in 2002 on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College located in Troy. They compete in the Stedler Division with the Vermont Lake Monsters, Connecticut Tigers, and Lowell Spinners.

Team history[edit]

Before Tri-City[edit]

Prior to their arrival in Troy, the club was based first in Little Falls, New York, as the Little Falls Mets from 1977 to 1988, and then in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as the Pittsfield Mets (1989 to 2000), and Pittsfield Astros (2001).

2002 season[edit]

The ValleyCats played their first game on the road in Lowell, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, June 18, 2002, against their rival the Lowell Spinners. The Spinners had a 3–1 lead going into the 8th inning, but a triple by Aneudi Cuevas down the right field line drove in three runs leading the ValleyCats to a 5–4 victory.

2006 season[edit]

In their 2006 season, the ValleyCats registered an attendance of 129,126 in 37 contests, averaging 3,489 fans per game. On July 4, 2006, the ValleyCats set a new all-time home attendance mark as 6,123 people attended a game against their rival the Lowell Spinners which was later broken in the following years.

2008 season[edit]

All-Star game[edit]

The Valley Cats hosted the 4th annual New York–Penn League All Star Game at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in 2008. The game was played between teams made up of the affiliates of National League (NL) and American League (AL) teams. The ValleyCats, affiliate's of the National League's Houston Astros, were part of the NL squad. Four ValleyCats were voted to play in the game: first baseman Phil Disher, left fielder Jack Shuck, pitcher Philip Rummel, and center fielder Thomas Steele. However, Steele was injured two weeks before the game and was replaced by Tri-City third baseman David Flores. The NL All Stars won the game on a walk-off RBI by ValleyCats third baseman David Flores. Flores was also voted MVP of the game.[1]

No-hitter[edit]

On June 21, 2008, pitchers Shane Wolf, David Miller, and Ashton Mowdy combined to throw the first no-hitter in the franchise's history. Wolf is a native of nearby Lansing, New York. The final score of the game was 10–0 over the Oneonta Tigers.[2]

Attendance[edit]

On July 4, 2008, The ValleyCats once again broke their single game attendance record drawing 6,630 to the ballpark, 2,130 more than the listed ballpark capacity. The ValleyCats won, 9–2, against the Jamestown Jammers.[3] The ValleyCats also set a season attendance record in 2008 with 140,631 fans in attendance despite missing many games due to rain delays.

PDC extension[edit]

On September 5, 2008, the ValleyCats extended their PDC (player development contract) with the Houston Astros through the 2010 season.[4]

2009 season[edit]

The ValleyCats once again broke attendance records in 2009. Their single game attendance record was broken again on July 4 against the Brooklyn Cyclones. 6,838 fans attended the game that the ValleyCats ultimately lost, 2–1.[5] The ValleyCats also set a new single season attendance record, attracting 145,976 fans to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in 2009.[6] The ValleyCats finished the season in fourth place in the Stedler Division, 18 games behind the first place Lowell Spinners.[7]

2010 season / Champions[edit]

After three losing seasons, the ValleyCats finally turned around to be one of the front runners of the Stedler Division. They were the underdog in the 2010 NY–Penn League playoffs with a 38–36 record, winning their division by a half game over the Connecticut Tigers, but found themselves back in the championship series for the third time in their short history, later beating the heavy favorite Brooklyn Cyclones and their 51–24 record two games to none. [Jim Pankovits], the manager of the ValleyCats, left the Astros organization during the off-season to become the manager of Seattle Mariners double-A team the Jackson Generals.

2011 season[edit]

The Astros extended their PDC thru 2012. Stubby Clapp, who was previously the hitting coach for the Astros' single-A affiliate, the Lexington Legends, became the ValleyCats new manager.

Mascots[edit]

Valley Cats play in 2006. Note the inflatable Uncle Sam in the outfield.

The Valley Cats have several mascots, the two most prominent being Southpaw and Sammie. Southpaw is a jersey-wearing cat, representing the "ValleyCat", the team's nickname. Sammie wears a patriotic costume and represents Uncle Sam, reputedly derived from Samuel Wilson who operated a meat packing plant in Troy. Ketchup, Mustard, and Relish mascots participate in the hot dog race. Other mascots include Southpaw's elderly father Pappy, Speedy the Chicken, Evil Bunny, Zoggy, and Rowdy the River Rat, obtained when the Albany River Rats moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.[8]

Season results[edit]

Season Affiliation Manager Record
2002 Astros Iván DeJesús 27–48, 4th place Stedler
2003 Astros Iván DeJesús 44–32, 2nd place Stedler
2004 Astros Gregg Langbehn 50–25, 1st place Stedler
2005 Astros Gregg Langbehn 34–42, 3rd place Stedler
2006 Astros Gregg Langbehn 43–31, 1st place Stedler
2007 Astros Pete Rancont 27–47, 4th place Stedler
2008 Astros Pete Rancont 28–45, 4th place Stedler
2009 Astros Jim Pankovits 27–48, 4th place Stedler
2010 Astros Jim Pankovits 38–36, 1st place Stedler
2011 Astros Stubby Clapp 33–42, 3rd place Stedler
2012 Astros Stubby Clapp 51–25, 1st place Stedler
2013 Astros Ed Romero 44–32, 1st place Stedler
NY–Penn League Champions NY–Penn League finalists Stedler Division Champions Wild Card Winner

Post-season results[edit]

Fast facts[edit]

  • Total Attendance
    • Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
      • 2002 – 108,409
      • 2003 – 103,984
      • 2004 – 110,497
      • 2005 – 116,674
      • 2006 – 129,126
      • 2007 – 136,809
      • 2008 – 140,631 (7th most in NY–Penn League).[9]
      • 2009 – 145,976 (6th most in NY–Penn League).[10]
      • 2010 – 155,315 (5th most in NY–Penn League).[11]
      • 2011 – 156,279 (6th most in NY–Penn League).[12]
      • 2012 – 159,966 (5th most in NY–Penn League).[13]
      • 2013 – 156,712 (5th most in NY–Penn League).[14]
  • Ballpark Dimensions
    • LF – 325 feet
    • CF – 400 feet
    • RF – 325 feet
  • First Game
    • Tuesday, June 18, 2002 vs Lowell Spinners (at LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Massachusetts – W5–4)
  • Season Records (2002–present)
    • Hits
      • 2005 – Neil Sellers (96)
    • Doubles
      • 2003 – Brock Koman (25)
    • Triples
    • Home runs
      • 2004 – Mario Garza (15)
    • Runs Batted In
      • 2004 – Mario Garza (65)
    • Stolen Bases
    • Wins
      • 2004 – Ronnie Ventura (11)
    • Saves
      • 2012 – Blake Ford (14)
    • Strikeouts

Roster[edit]

Tri-City ValleyCats roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 40 Austin Chrimson
  • 22 Kevin Ferguson
  • 43 Jeffrey Gause
  • 33 Sebastian Kessay
  • 25 Jordan Mills
  • 23 Chris Munnelly
  • 34 Joe Musgrove
  • 41 Luis Ordosgoitti
  • 27 Bryan Radziewski
  • 45 Francis Ramirez
  • 20 Raul Rivera
  • 44 Troy Scribner
  • 17 Blaine Sims
  • 26 Ryan Thompson
  • 12 Derick Velazquez
  •  9 Vince Wheeland

Catchers

  • 15 Ricky Gingras
  •  7 Alfredo Gonzalez
  • 36 Jamie Ritchie

Infielders

  • 38 J.D. Davis
  • 13 Alex Hernandez
  •  4 Mott Hyde
  • 28 Adam Nelubowich
  • -- Dayne Parker
  • 46 A. J. Reed
  • 16 Jose Solano
  • 30 Nick Tanielu

Outfielders

  • 35 Ryan Bottger
  •  8 Bobby Boyd
  •  5 Terrell Joyce
  • 21 Ariel Ovando
  • 11 Ravel Santana

Manager

Coaches

  •  3 Russ Steinhorn (hitting)
  • 37 Chris Holt (pitching)


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Houston Astros 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated June 27, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Houston Astros minor league players

Notable alumni[edit]

(This list includes any Tri-City ValleyCats that have made a Major League appearance with the exception of notable minor leaguers Koby Clemens & Jordan Parraz)[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Flores sends All-Star fans home happy". New York–Penn League. 2008-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Three ValleyCats Combine for First No-Hitter in Franchise History". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2008-06-21. 
  3. ^ "ValleyCats Bats Explode In Front of Record Crowd". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2008-07-05. 
  4. ^ "ValleyCats and Astros extend PDC through 2010". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2008-09-05. 
  5. ^ "'Cats Shatter Single Game Attendance Record". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2009-07-04. 
  6. ^ "ValleyCats Set Season Attendance Record for Sixth Consecutive Season". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2009-09-01. 
  7. ^ 2009 New York-Pennsylvania League at baseball-reference.com, URL accessed September 8, 2009. Archived 2009-09-08.
  8. ^ "ValleyCats adopt Rowdy the Rat". Tri-City ValleyCats. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "2008 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2009-06-26. 
  10. ^ "2009 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2009-09-23. 
  11. ^ "2010 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2010-09-10. 
  12. ^ "2011 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2013-09-12. 
  13. ^ "2012 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2013-09-07. 
  14. ^ "2013 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2013-09-11. 
  15. ^ "MLB Alumni". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2010-09-14. 

External links[edit]