|League||Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Freedom Division)|
|Ballpark||Clipper Magazine Stadium|
|League championships||(2) 2006, 2014|
|Division championships||(2) 2006, 2012|
|Former name(s)||Lancaster Barnstormers (2005–present)|
|Colors||Red, black, khaki, white
|Ownership||Dakota Baseball, LLC|
|General Manager||Michael Reynolds|
The Lancaster Barnstormers are an American professional baseball team based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. From the 2005 season to the present, the Barnstormers have played their home games at Clipper Magazine Stadium in the city's Northwest Corridor.
Baseball fans in Lancaster waited 44 years for the sport to return after the Lancaster Red Roses folded following the 1961 season. In 2003, Lancastrians chose the name "Barnstormers" in a team-sponsored fan ballot. The name refers to the act of "barnstorming", which means to travel around an area appearing in exhibition sports events, especially baseball games. It was used to describe Lancaster's baseball teams as far back as 1906 by the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer: "There was a crowd of between seven and eight hundred persons out on Friday to see the Lancaster barnstormers play the Philadelphia Giants." The team's primary logo was designed with local history in mind, as the team's original colors of red, navy blue, and khaki were the same as those used by the former Red Roses. The name and logo also allude to Lancaster County's agricultural heritage, notable for its inclusion of Amish culture and lore. The Barnstormers organization lightheartedly calls its market the "Pennsylvania Clutch Country," referring to Lancaster's location in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and the sports term, "clutch". The Barnstormers represent all of Lancaster County, even though they play in the city of Lancaster. The team designates many of its home games to honor the county's smaller communities.
The Lancaster Barnstormers were originally owned by Opening Day Partners (ODP), a company that specializes in baseball club and stadium operations. ODP also created Atlantic League clubs in York, Pennsylvania, Southern Maryland, and Sugar Land, Texas. On November 12, 2014, ODP transitioned their ownership of the Barnstormers to Dakota Baseball, LLC in order to complete their goal of focusing solely on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Dakota Baseball comprises Ian Ruzow, Rob Liss, Steve Zuckerman, and Bob Zuckerman, Lancastrians and founders of Clipper Magazine - the Barnstormers' naming rights partner.
- 1 History of Lancaster baseball
- 2 Logos and uniforms
- 3 Season-by-season records
- 4 Community outreach
- 5 Tradition
- 6 Promotions
- 7 Radio and television
- 8 On-field entertainment
- 9 Current roster
- 10 Retired numbers
- 11 Major League Baseball alumni
- 12 References
- 13 External links
History of Lancaster baseball
Baseball first came to Lancaster County in the 1860s by soldiers returning home from the Civil War. They learned the rules while serving in the military and wanted to continue playing. The very first professional baseball teams in Lancaster were the Lancaster Lancasters and the Lancaster Ironsides. The Lancasters played in the Keystone Association while the Ironsides played in the Eastern League, both starting in 1884. The following season, the Lancasters joined the Eastern League, and the two teams became bitter rivals. They competed against each other for fan support, league affiliation, and money at the gate. At its peak, insults and refusals to play against each other were the norm. The teams finally agreed to play each other at the end of the 1884 season, in which the Ironsides defeated the Lancasters after seven very close games. The Lancasters were the only team to continue play in the next season.
In the 1894–1895 season, a team called the Lancaster Chicks played in the Keystone Association. An all-African-American team called the Lancaster Giants followed in 1887, and many Lancastrians supported the team despite the social pressure of the day. The Giants hosted many exhibition games against the Philadelphia Giants of the Keystone Club.
Lancaster Red Roses
In 1906, the Maroons became the Lancaster Red Roses. As both teams were named for the opposing factions in England's historic Wars of the Roses, the name change infuriated the rival White Roses from the nearby city of York. The Red Roses were managed by former Boston Red Sox infielder Johnny Pesky during the 1958 season.
Lancaster's new era: the Barnstormers
In 2003, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball formally announced an expansion team for the city of Lancaster. In November 2004, the Barnstormers announced the locally anticipated signing of Tom Herr, a Major League Baseball veteran and Lancaster native, as the team's first manager. At the press conference, Herr responded, "I have been looking forward to the return of baseball to Lancaster for quite some time. This is almost too good to be true, being able to manage in my hometown." His oldest son, Aaron, signed with the Barnstormers for the 2009 season, after a severe groin injury compromised his promising career at the Class-AAA level. Jordan Herr, the younger of Tom's two sons, joined the team in the first half of the 2008 season in lieu of completing his senior year at the University of Pittsburgh. Following his first season of professional baseball that included a .202 batting average with four home runs and 16 runs batted in, Jordan committed to the Great Falls Voyagers, a Rookie-level team in the Chicago White Sox system.
The Barnstormers' first playing season came in 2005 at the newly built Clipper Magazine Stadium. On May 11, the Barnstormers lost their first game 4–3 to the Atlantic City Surf, in front of 7,300 fans. They finished the 2005 season with a record of 64 wins and 76 losses. In finishing the first half of the 2006 season with a record of 38–25, the Barnstormers qualified for their first Atlantic League playoff berth. They followed this feat with a second-half win, posting a record of 37–26. After besting division challenger, Atlantic City, in the first round of the playoffs, the Barnstormers swept the Bridgeport Bluefish on October 1, 2006 for their first ever Atlantic League championship, in only their second season. Pitcher Denny Harriger threw a complete game, breaking a franchise record for consecutive pitches. In doing so, the Barnstormers became the first Atlantic League team in history to sweep their way through both rounds of the playoffs on the way to a title. It was the city of Lancaster’s first professional championship since 1955, when the former Red Roses won the Piedmont League title. The Barnstormers played in the 2012 Atlantic League Championship Series but were ultimately defeated by the Long Island Ducks in Game 5.
The Barnstormers are heavily covered in the Lancaster press and receive a significant following from Lancaster-area fans, many of whom hail the organization as family-friendly in their planning of events for game nights. Even though some Lancastrians have speculated the possibility of the organization becoming a Major League-affiliated club, two nearby affiliated teams in Harrisburg and Reading have made it clear that they will not waive their territorial claims over Lancaster.
The Barnstormers are managed by Butch Hobson, the most successful Atlantic League coach with a record of 654 wins to 549 losses. He succeeds Tom Herr, who led the team from its inauguration to the 2006 championship season, and from 2009 to 2010. In 2008, the Barnstormers were coached by Von Hayes, a former teammate of Herr from the 1989 and 1990 Phillies. Rick Wise, the winning pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, is also a managerial alumnus of the Lancaster Barnstormers. He was the team's third base coach from the inaugural 2005 season to the end of the 2008 campaign. In 2012, the Lancaster Barnstormers set an Atlantic League record with 88 wins.
Logos and uniforms
The primary colors of the Lancaster Barnstormers are red, black, khaki, and white. These are similar to the colors used by the Red Roses, representing a conscious effort to connect the past and the present of Lancaster County baseball. The primary logo consists of a typical red barn outlined in black with a curving baseball. Unlike most sports logos, the geographical location is prominently featured rather than the team nickname. Team management decided to emphasize the Lancaster community so that the whole county could feel a sense of ownership and pride. In 2011, the Barnstormers substituted black for navy blue and unveiled three agriculture-themed alternate logos: a hex sign, a weather vane, and the barn-planked "LB" initials. The "hex-sign" logo incorporates the team's initials and a Pennsylvania Dutch design complete with a baseball and two crossed bats. Additionally, it includes two red roses symbolizing Lancaster's nickname, "Red Rose City."
For the 2015 season, the Barnstormers partnered with Zephyr Headwear for their caps and with the Pennsylvania-based Majestic Athletic for their uniforms. The home cap is red throughout and is charged with a stylized cursive "L" in white with black and khaki outline interweaving with a curving baseball. The away cap is black and also features the cursive "L" logo. The home jerseys are white with red piping and the cursive "Lancaster" wordmark across the front in red, khaki, and black. The away jersey is solid gray, featuring the blocked "Lancaster" wordmark arched across the chest in red with black outline. The alternate jersey is black with the barn-planked "Stormers" wordmark and the primary logo on the right sleeve. The Barnstormers wear red belts, socks, and undershirts with all uniforms.
In 2016, the Atlantic League partnered with Rawlings to fashion unique catcher's gear for all eight teams. The design for the Barnstormers features a golden sunrise over a red barn, symbolizing the Lancaster County's agricultural heritage as well as its future potential.
|Lancaster Barnstormers – 2007 to 2016|
|2007||57–69||.452||3rd, South Division||Did not qualify|
|2008||64–76||.457||3rd, Freedom Division||Did not qualify|
|2009||67–73||.479||3rd, Freedom Division||Did not qualify|
|2010||63–76||.453||3rd, Freedom Division||Did not qualify|
|2011||69–56||.552||2nd, Freedom Division||2–3|
|2012||88–52||.629||1st, Freedom Division||5–3 (won division final), 4–6 (lost championship)|
|2013||72–67||.518||3rd, Freedom Division||Did not qualify|
|2014||70–53||.569||2nd, Freedom Division||Won championship over Sugar Land 3–0|
|2015||75–65||.536||1st, Freedom Division||1–3|
|2016||67–73||.479||3rd, Freedom Division||Did not qualify|
|2017||76–64||.543||1st, Freedom Division||Did not qualify; York Revolution won the second half; Southern Maryland won the first half|
|War of the Roses||49–50||.494|
- 2 Atlantic League Championships (2006, 2014)
Philanthropy is an important facet of the Barnstormers' representation of the Lancaster community. Many of the team's home game promotions are designed to benefit various philanthropic organizations. The specialty jerseys worn by the Barnstormers on commemorative home games benefit the Spanish-American Lancaster Sports Association (SALSA), Play Ball USA, Batters Up, and the Lancaster Art Museum. "Rally Roni", initiated by the shaking of macaroni and cheese boxes, provides food for the homeless in Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, and York Counties, as well as the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. Video board announcements at Clipper Magazine Stadium require a $5 donation that is deposited into the Cylo Fund, which supports the Spanish-American Civic Association, the Lancaster Day Care Center, as well as the purchase and distribution of Christmas presents to children in homeless shelters during the holidays.
In 2008, the Barnstormers partnered with the James Street Improvement District (JSID) to reward those who commit random acts of kindness in the Lancaster community. The JSID Bike Patrol grants Good Deed Tickets, redeemable for a free game or winter activity. A Grand Prize winner is also selected from the pool of recipients. The Grand Prize is eight tickets to the final home game of the regular season, including the opportunity to throw the ceremonial last first pitch of season.
Prior to the 2009 season, the Lancaster Barnstormers initiated an Internet-based fundraising campaign. With this program, a charity can choose a specific game to attract ticket sales, with the team providing promotional materials containing a group password and link for fans to purchase tickets via the team's website. Once 100 tickets are sold through that link, the Barnstormers give the charity $4.00 for each seat sold. If ticket sales through that link reach 500 sold, then $4.50 of each ticket sold (half the value of a regular ticket)will go to the nonprofit. The team's motivation behind the new campaign is the lack of funds being given to charity and nonprofit organizations because of the 2008–2009 economic recession.
During the Lancaster Barnstormers' 2006 playoff run, the "Code Red" tradition was created by the team's management. When a "Code Red" is called, all employees and loyal fans wear red shirts and wave red rally towels to support the Barnstormers. It is usually declared for important home games, especially when the club competes against the York Revolution, their local rival.
"Everybody hits!" is a common applause used by Lancaster Barnstormers fans. It originated with Dan Sensenig, a Lancaster fan of the Philadelphia Phillies who started the cheer in the first home game in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Sensenig is known for his Amish hat filled with autographs of players of the Barnstomer players since their inaugural season, inspiring other fans to UTTER the phrase Everybody Hit". On Agriculture/Dairy Night of the 2008 season, the Barnstormers had a giveaway promotion of red cowbells that featured their primary logo.
War of the Roses
The South Central Pennsylvania cities of Lancaster and York have a historical rivalry in all sporting events from the high-school level to the professional. Since both cities are named after the English cities of Lancaster and York, the former Pennsylvania baseball teams were named for the opposing sides of the Wars of the Roses. As a metaphor, "War of the Roses" describes the intense baseball matches fought between the Lancaster Red Roses and the York White Roses. With the addition of York to the Atlantic League, the Barnstormers continue the Red Roses' tradition as they battle the York Revolution for lower Susquehanna supremacy.
The "War of the Roses" was rekindled with the sound of notional cannon-fire at the start of the 2007 Atlantic League season in Wrightsville, a borough located on the Susquehanna River, the natural boundary between Lancaster and York counties. The winner of the War of the Roses is presented with the Community Cup, while the defeated team is obligated to sing the ballpark classic "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and plant a rose garden at the opponent's ballpark with their representative color: red for Lancaster, white for York. The first Community Cup was championed by the Barnstormers in the 2007 season, though the Revolution avenged them by winning it in 2008. The clubs also competed in the Route 30 Showdown in 2009–2011, an annual cross-county doubleheader inadvertently created at the conclusion of the 2008 season by a rain-delay.
|Year||Series Winner||Barnstormers W||Revolution W||Notes|
|2007||Barnstormers||10||8||first Community Cup|
|2010||Revolution||4||16||the earliest Cup win; July 24|
|2012||Barnstormers||10||10||Lancaster retains cup in tie|
|2014||Revolution||7||13||first consecutive Cup win|
The Barnstormers host two annual promotions at Clipper Magazine Stadium that highlight aspects of the local culture. As the city of Lancaster is home to a large contingent of Puerto Ricans, the team hosts the Hispanic Heritage Day celebration once every season. The Barnstormers pay homage to the county's populace by promoting a common Pennsylvania Dutch dessert called the whoopie pie., which has been a regular concession at Clipper Magazine Stadium since its 2005 opening and was even featured in a 2011 eating competition called "Whoopie Bowl."
With the inaugural season of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in 2008, the Barnstormers partnered with a local seafood restaurant to initiate the team's annual "Crack the Crabs" feast. The promotion is a jest to the "Blue Crabs" nickname – with all patrons given a free mallet. In summer 2013, Tim Guraedy (a.k.a., "Mountain Man") from the A&E show Duck Dynasty, attended a Barnstormers game versus Southern Maryland and remarked, "Barnstormers sound like they’d be a little bit more vicious than a blue crab. Blue crabs, you can eat 'em. Barnstormers sound more like a tornado something that’d rip your barn down."
LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game
In 2012, the Barnstormers held its first annual celebrity softball game, which was hosted by LeSean McCoy, an All-Pro running back on the Philadelphia Eagles and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native. The contest pits the Eagles against professional football players from other teams in the National Football League. The 2012 Eagles roster featured Brent Celek, Hugh Douglas, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Torrey Smith, Michael Vick, and Brian Westbrook. Their opponents included Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, and Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Any proceeds collected for the LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball Game are directed to the LeSean McCoy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves to raise funds and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. LeSean McCoy is motivated by his grandmother's death due to ALS. Additionally, the Foundation also provides for the underprivileged in Central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Some of the money collected from the 2012 game provided Christmas toys to the Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army, sports gear to the Police Athletic League, a professional football game and a winter vacation for families affected by ALS, winter coats and backpacks containing necessary school supplies for impoverished children, and winter coats for a women's and children's shelter in Philadelphia.
What Could Have Been Night
The Barnstormers rebranded themselves as the "Lancaster Hex" for one night, on June 28, 2013. This was one of the potential monikers during a "name-the-team" contest prior to their inaugural season. The logo incorporates a stylized baseball charged and a red rose with menacing green eyes. The nickname alludes to a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch belief that a person can be placed under a hex, or a malevolent spell.
Radio and television
Every Lancaster Barnstormers game is broadcast by WLAN (1390 AM) and WPDC (1600 AM) with Dave Collins, their official announcer. They are the only Atlantic League club and one of a small number of minor league baseball teams in the United States with a multi-station radio network." Select home games are televised on Blue Ridge Cable-11.
The Lancaster Barnstormers' official mascot is an anthropomorphic, red cow named Cylo. He wears the team's home jersey with striped socks and retro-style sneakers. Cylo debuted on March 4, 2005 at the Mascot Roller Mill in the Lancaster County village of Mascot. His name in full is Cyloicious L. Barnstormer, alluding to Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young and to the silo, representing the county's agricultural heritage. The mascot was designed by the Raymond Entertainment Group, which also produces the Phillie Phanatic's costume.
Lancaster Barnstormers roster
|Active (25-man) roster||Coaches/Other|
Major League Baseball alumni
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- Lancaster Barnstormers (official website)
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