Founded in 1942
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||New York–Penn League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (12)||
|Nickname||Connecticut Tigers (2010–present)|
|Ballpark||Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium (2010–future)|
|General Manager||C.J. Knudsen|
The Connecticut Tigers are a minor league baseball team located in Norwich, Connecticut. They are members of the New York–Penn League (NYPL). The Connecticut Tigers are a Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play their home games at Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium. They were previously known as the Oneonta Tigers.
The Tigers ensure affiliated baseball will stay in Norwich despite the relocation of the former Double-A Eastern League's Connecticut Defenders to Richmond, Virginia, where they are now called the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Origins in Wellsville
This franchise originated in Wellsville, New York as the Wellsville Yankees. From its inception in 1942 until 1965, that team stayed in Wellsville under various names, such as the Wellsville Nitros, Rockets, Senators, Braves, and Red Sox. During its time as a farm club of the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Braves and Boston Red Sox, Wellsville hosted future Major Leaguers such as eventual Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, Jerry Coleman, Tony Conigliaro, Joe Foy, Jim Greengrass, Elrod Hendricks, Charlie Maxwell, Don Nottebart, Bill Robinson and George Scott.
In 1966, the Red Sox moved from Wellsville to Oneonta, New York, under the ownership of Sam Nader becoming the Oneonta Red Sox. They became Oneonta Yankees, or O-Yanks, in 1967 when The NY Penn League became short season. an affiliation they would have for three decades. Stocked with future New York Yankees stars, the O-Yanks won NYPL titles in 1968, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1988 1990 and 1998. Since 1991, the franchise has participated in the annual New York–Penn League Game in Cooperstown, New York. This is an official New York–Penn League game played at Doubleday Field in conjunction with the Hall of Fame's Induction Weekend festivities. In 1999, the Yankees moved their affiliation to the Staten Island Yankees, so the Detroit Tigers organization moved in and changed the team's name to the Oneonta Tigers.
On July 20, 2006, the Tigers won the longest game in NYPL history: a 6-hour and 40-minute, 26-inning marathon against the Brooklyn Cyclones. Brooklyn scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning; the Tigers tied the game in the top of the fourth. Neither side scored again until the 26th inning, when the Tigers plated five runs (three earned) off of Cyclones outfielder Mark Wright, who had entered the game to pitch (the Cyclones had already used six of their regular pitchers). The Tigers had three players who went 1-for-12, including center fielder Deik Scram, whose lone hit knocked in the go-ahead run for the Tigers in the 26th inning.
The 2007 season ushered a new era for Oneonta Tiger baseball, as their stadium received a face-lift, while premiering the team's official website, www.oneontatigers.com.
In early July 2008, it was announced that long-time owner Sam Nader had sold the franchise he purchased in 1966. No discussion has been made for the prospect of the team moving out of Oneonta. The agreement allowed for the Tigers to stay in Oneonta up until the 2010 season.
On July 4, 2009, the first two curtain calls in the history of Damaschke Field happened against the Aberdeen IronBirds, both for Rawley Bishop, a rookie first baseman from Middle Tennessee State and who was drafted in the 19th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2009. The first curtain call was in the 4th inning after a solo home run to make the score 1–0. The second curtain call happened in the 5th inning after a grand slam home run to make the score 5–0.
Arrival in Norwich
On January 27, 2010, Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller announced in a press release saying that the Tigers would be leaving Oneonta for Norwich, Connecticut for the 2010 season. The Connecticut Tigers would play their games in the newly renovated Dodd Stadium which had been vacated by the Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League who had left for Richmond, Virginia.
"Connecticut Tigers" was only expected to be used for the 2010 season with a name-the-team contest expected to be held after the season to decide a permanent name. However, at the fan forum on April 17, 2010, general manager Andrew Weber stated the team is rethinking the contest due to the positive reactions of fans to the connection to the major league Detroit Tigers. On November 22, 2010, the team's Facebook page confirmed the name is to remain "Connecticut Tigers" permanently.
In 2011, the Connecticut Tigers saw a 23% increase in total attendance and 20% increase in average attendance over 2010 numbers. The 20% increase in average attendance was the fourth largest increase in all of Minor League Baseball.
Connecticut Tigers roster
7-day disabled list
- Wellsville-Nitros.com, a 2002 version of the current Nitros' Web site, retrieved from the Internet Archive
- Carr, Samantha (2008-07-23). "Oneonta, Tri-City to Square Off at Doubleday Field". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-07-28.[dead link]
- Blinn, Michael. "Tigers' Moscoso pitches perfect game", MiLB.com, Sunday, July 15, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Connecticut Tigers.|
- Official website
- Official Team Facebook Page
- League press release announcing the move to Norwich
- MiLB.com writeup about the Tigers' 26-inning game
- Box score from the 26-inning game