Greenville Drive

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Greenville Drive
Founded in 1977
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville Drive.png Greenville Drive (cap insignia).png
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current A
Minor league affiliations
League South Atlantic League
Division Southern Division
Major league affiliations
Current Boston Red Sox (2005–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (3)
  • 1986
  • 1991
  • 1998
Team data
Nickname Greenville Drive (2006–present)
Previous names
  • Greenville Bombers (2005)
  • Capital City Bombers (1993–2004)
  • Columbia Mets (1983–1992)
  • Shelby Mets (1981–1982)
  • Shelby Pirates (1979–1980)
  • Shelby Reds (1977–1978)
Ballpark Fluor Field at the West End (2006–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Craig Brown
Manager Darren Fenster
General Manager Eric Jarinko

The Greenville Drive is a minor league baseball team that plays in Greenville, South Carolina. They are a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member of the South Atlantic League. Prior to the 2005 SAL season, the team played in Columbia, South Carolina, was affiliated with the New York Mets from 1983 to 1992, and was known as the Capital City Bombers. Their mascot is a frog named Reedy Rip'it.

History[edit]

The Drive began their history in 1977 in Shelby, North Carolina, as the Shelby Reds. In 1983, the team moved to Columbia, which had lacked a minor league team since the departure of the Columbia Reds in 1961. The team was originally known as the Columbia Mets and made their home at Capital City Stadium. In 1993, the team changed its name to the Bombers to honor members of the Doolittle Raiders, who had conducted their initial training in Columbia. The Bombers won the South Atlantic League championship in 1986, 1991, and 1998.

Following the 2004 season, the Bombers changed affiliations and became the affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, who had previously been affiliated with the Augusta GreenJackets, also of the South Atlantic League. On February 11, 2005, Minor League Baseball announced that the Bombers had been granted permission to move to Greenville, where a new park opened in 2006. The Bombers would play in Greenville Municipal Stadium in 2005.

On October 27, 2005, the Bombers announced the team's name would change to the Drive.[1] The name was chosen due to the presence of BMW US Manufacturing and Michelin in the area and, more generally, due to Greenville's rich automotive past.[2] An alternative name was chosen after Shoeless Joe Jackson called the Joes but Major League Baseball vetoed the name due to his role in the Black Sox Scandal in 1919.[3]

In 2008, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin became the first Drive player to be selected to the annual All-Star Futures Game, which took place on July 13 at Yankee Stadium. Lin hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw that helped the World team beat the US Team, 3–0. He finished 2-for-2 and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Former pitcher Clay Buchholz participated in the 2007 edition, a season after playing for the Drive.[4]

In 2009, Ryan Lavarnway played for the Drive, hitting 21 home runs and a .540 slugging percentage (both tops for Red Sox minor leaguers) and 87 RBIs in 404 at bats.[5][6]

On May 8, 2012 Greenville made history as three pitchers combined to toss the club's first ever no-hitter. Miguel Pena (six innings), Hunter Cervenka (two) and Tyler Lockwood (one) joined forces to defeat the Rome Braves (Atlanta), 1–0. A solo home run by Keury De La Cruz off David Filak in the sixth inning counted for the only run of the game.[7]

Stadium[edit]

Logo of the former Columbia/Greenville Bombers

Capital City Stadium in downtown Columbia, was the home of the Bombers. The stadium was originally built in 1927, but was completely rebuilt in 1991. Capital City Stadium has a seating capacity for 6,000 spectators, has a grass surface and features the following fence dimensions: (LF) 330 ft., CF 400 ft., RF 320 ft.

The stadium often proved inadequate for baseball due to poor field conditions.[citation needed] Situated in a low-lying area, Capital City Stadium features poor drainage and heavy rains often resulted in a flooded infield.

The Bombers had sought assistance from the City of Columbia in building a new stadium located in the Congaree Vista area of Columbia. Efforts to construct a stadium to be shared with the University of South Carolina's baseball team fell through when the University demanded the Bombers pay $6 million in fees upfront.[citation needed] Following this, Bombers owner Rich Mozingo sought to relocate the team.

Mozingo's efforts paid off when, in 2005, the Bombers relocated to Greenville, South Carolina, (see above). Following the move, the Bombers played their home contests in Greenville Municipal Stadium in Greenville, then moved to Fluor Field at the West End, in the heart of downtown Greenville. The stadium was named "Ballpark of the Year" for the 2006 season by Baseballparks.com, beating out such stadiums as St. Louis's Busch Stadium and Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, Pa.[8]

The stadium shares the dimensions of their parent club's major league park, Fenway Park, and boasts its own "Green Monster" complete with manual scoreboard and "Pesky's Pole" in right field.[9]

Marquee Sign
Greenville Drive Scrolling Marquee Welcome Sign 
Seating
Seating at Fluor Field 
Entrance at Fluor Field
Entrance at Fluor Field 
Team Store
Greenville Drive Team Store 
Snowy entrance
Snow-covered entrance at Fluor Field 
Snowy field
Fluor Field covered with snow, February 12, 2010 

Season-by-season records[edit]

What follows are records of the Shelby Reds, Shelby Pirates, Columbia Mets, Capital City Bombers, Greenville Bombers, and Greenville Drive for each season.[10]

Shelby Reds[edit]

Year Record Manager
1977 60-79 Jim Lett
1978 75-64 Jim Lett

Shelby Pirates[edit]

Year Record Manager
1979 56-78 Tom Zimmer
1980 58-80 Joe Frisina
1981 59-83 Dan Monzon
1982 77-63 Rich Miller

Columbia Mets[edit]

Year Record Manager Playoffs
1983 88–54 John Tamargo Lost in championship series
1984 82–57 Rich Miller
1985 79–57 Bud Harrelson / Rich Miller Lost in first round
1986 90–42 Tucker Ashford League Champions
1987 64–75 Butch Hobson
1988 74–63 Butch Hobson
1989 73–67 Bill Stein
1990 83–60 Bill Stein
1991 86–54 Tim Blackwell League Champions
1992 79–59 Tim Blackwell

Capital City Bombers[edit]

Year Record Manager Playoffs
1993 64-77 Ron Washington
1994 59-76 Ron Washington
1995 72-68 Howie Freiling
1996 82-57 Howie Freiling
1997 77-63 Doug Mansolino
1998 90-51 Doug Davis League champions
1999 83-58 Dave Engle
2000 56-81 John Stephenson
2001 62-73 Ken Oberkfell
2002 75-64 Tony Tijerina
2003 73-65 Tony Tijerina
2004 89-47 Jack Lind

Greenville Bombers[edit]

Year Record Manager
2005 72-66 Chad Epperson

Greenville Drive[edit]

Year Record Manager Playoffs
2006 67-73 Luis Alicea
2007 58-81 Gabe Kapler
2008 70-69 Kevin Boles
2009 73-65 Kevin Boles Lost in the league finals
2010 77-62 Billy McMillon Lost in the league finals
2011 78-62 Billy McMillon
2012 66-73 Carlos Febles
2013 51-87 Carlos Febles
2014 60-79 Darren Fenster
2015 72-68 Darren Fenster
2016 70-69 Darren Fenster
2017 55-42 Darren Fenster Made playoffs. Result TBD

Roster[edit]

Greenville Drive roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 47 Jhonathan Diaz
  • 37 Juan Florentino
  • 24 Daniel Gonzalez
  • 28 Jay Groome
  • 51 Darwinzon Hernandez
  • 40 Algenis Martinez
  • 36 Joan Martinez
  • 21 Bryan Mata
  • 39 Jared Oliver
  • 20 Hildemaro Requena
  • 25 Robby Sexton
  • 17 Hunter Smith

Catchers

  • 16 Roldani Baldwin
  • 19 Isaias Lucena

Infielders

  •    C. J. Chatham Injury icon 2.svg
  • 23 Bobby Dalbec
  • 15 Jerry Downs
  •  2 Santiago Espinal
  • 22 Mitchell Gunsolus
  • 12 Brett Netzer
  • 48 Jagger Rusconi
  • 11 Carlos Tovar
  • 33 Tucker Tubbs

Outfielders

  •  5 Lorenzo Cedrola Injury icon 2.svg
  •  7 Tyler Hill
  • 30 Ryan Scott

Designated hitters

  • 35 Granger Studdard

Manager

Coaches

  • 44 Walter Miranda (pitching)
  • 38 Wilton Veras (hitting)
  • 13 Corey Wimberly (assistant)


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Boston Red Sox 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated on August 13, 2017
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Boston Red Sox minor league players

In popular culture[edit]

In the second season of the Netflix series House of Cards, Frank Underwood describes an embarrassing episode in his life where he threw out the first pitch at a Greenville Drive game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrews, Mike (October 28, 2005). "Greenville Bombers Change Name". Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  2. ^ [1], Sox Prospects Wiki. Retrieved on 2008-06-22
  3. ^ "Greenville welcomes the Drive". MILB. October 27, 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  4. ^ http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3668382
  5. ^ "Ryan Lavarnway Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ Michael Vega (June 17, 2011). "Lavarnway swings into action with Pawtucket". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ MiLB.com – Rome 0, at Greensville 1 box score
  8. ^ [2], GreenvilleDrive.com Westend Park. Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  9. ^ [3], GreenvilleDrive.com 2006 Stadium of the Year Article . Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  10. ^ Baseball Reference

External links[edit]