Nashua Silver Knights
|Nashua Silver Knights|
|League||FCBL (East Division)|
|Location||Nashua, New Hampshire|
|League championships||4 (2011, 2012, 2016, 2017)|
|Colors||Red, Black, Silver
|Management||Ronnie Wallace (General Manager)
Cheryl Lindner (Assistant General Manager)
Brian Anderson (Ticket Office Manager)
|Media||Home games and some away games on WSMN 1590 KHz|
The Nashua Silver Knights is a summer collegiate baseball team based in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a charter member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), a wood-bat league with a 56-game regular season comprising 9 teams from New Hampshire to western Connecticut. The team's home games are played at Holman Stadium in Nashua. The team is owned by Drew Weber, who used to also own the Lowell Spinners, the Class A minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The Silver Knights are one of the five FCBL teams (along with Brockton, North Shore, Pittsfield, and Worcester) that play in a stadium that used to host professional baseball. The Silver Knights have won the FCBL Championship in four of the league's seven years of existence and have qualified for the post-season every year.
The Silver Knights were a charter team of the FCBL, as Drew Weber, owner of the Spinners, wanted to also operate a franchise in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. When this was not feasible, Weber and others created the FCBL. Chris Hall, who had been the General Manager of professional and collegiate teams in Nashua, became the league's commissioner.
The name Knights was chosen over three other club nominations by a vote of Nashua grade-school students. The club modified the winner to "Silver Knights" to avoid conflict with an existing amateur baseball team in the city.
2011: Mike Chambers was the first field manager with B.J. Neverett and Tom Bowles assisting as coaches. The Silver Knights finished first in the regular season, with a 27-16 record. They defeated the Torrington Titans (25-17) in a best-of-three championship series. The Silver Knights drew an average of 869 spectators per game, far above initial expectations of 300-500 fans.
2012: The league expanded from 4 to 9 teams. Neverett was promoted to field manager, with Bowles and J.P. Pyne assisting as coaches. The Silver Knights dominated the regular season with a 39-13 record. Then they swept through the Brockton Rox and North Shore Navigators to win their second consecutive FCBL Championship. PerfectGame.org named them the 26th best team in all of collegiate summer league baseball.
2013: Neverett was promoted to the front office as VP of Player Development. Pyne was promoted to field manager, with Bowles assisting as pitching coach. The regular-season record of 34-19 was one game behind the Martha's Vineyard Sharks (35-18). Both teams thus earned a bye from the "one-game play-in" instituted that year for the next-best four teams, and both teams won their best-of-three semifinal series in two games. But Martha's Vineyard, which had won 6 of the 7 regular-season contests against Nashua, won both games of the championship series.
2014: Ted Currle was hired as their field manager, with Jeff Dupont and Kyle Jackson assisting as coaches. Currle had managed the Martha's Vineyard Sharks in 2011 and was an assistant coach for the Brockton Rox in 2012 and 2013. The team spent most of the season around .500 and was one of four teams with similar records headed for the one-game play-in to the post-season. On August 8, the last day of the regular season, Nashua lost the right to host this play-in game, finishing the regular season at 28-26. Traveling to Torrington, Connecticut the next day, Nashua lost the play-in game in 11 innings.
2015: With the replacement of the Old Orchard Beach franchise by the Bristol Blues, Nashua moved to the East Division, joining in-state rival Seacoast Mavericks. The FCBL expanded the playoff format, allowing 8 of the 10 teams into the post-season but making the first two rounds a single game. The Silver Knights finished with a regular-season record of 28-28, fourth in the dominant East Division. They won the first-round playoff game at North Shore, but lost the second-round game the next day at Bristol. After the season, Drew Weber announced his intention to sell both the Silver Knights and the Spinners as a package.
2016: The FCBL returned to the 2014 format, in which only 6 of the 10 teams qualified for the post-season. B.J. Neverett moved out of the front office and back to the field as the team's manager and took the franchise to the FCBL championship. The Silver Knights dominated the East Division early, but eventually fell 2½ games behind Seacoast for the division title with a regular-season record of 34-21. This earned them the right to host the play-in game with Torrington, but the Silver Knights were seeded lower than their subsequent two opponents, each of which elected to start its best-of-three series at Nashua. Seacoast took the semifinal series to a full three games, each won by the visiting team. The Silver Knights won both games of the championship series against Worcester, now coached by J.P. Pyne.
Weber succeeded in selling the Spinners and took the Silver Knights off the market. Neverett's brother Tim became a radio broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox, and Silver Knights results were occasionally mentioned during those broadcasts. Tim's son Matt Neverett was one of the announcers of Silver Knights games on WSMN radio.
2017: The Silver Nights were one of several teams playing around the .500 mark. It finished the season at .491, an identical record to the Pittsfield Suns, which won the fourth seed and the right to host the one-game play-in game against Nashua on August 8 through the tie-breaker, a superior record against the other playoff teams. Fifth-seeded Nashua won the play-in game and swept the semifinals. The other finalist was the sixth-seeded Worcester Bravehearts, as all six playoff games in the first two rounds went to the lower-seeded team. Nashua elected to start the series at Worcester and won away and at home, repeating on August 12 as FCBL Champions.
Regular-season results and attendance
|2011||27-16 (.628)||1st||19,127 (1st of 4)|
|2012||39-13 (.750)||1st||28,125 (3rd of 9)|
|2013||34-19 (.642)||2nd||34,249 (2nd of 9)|
|2014||28-26 (.519)||3rd in West||35,760 (4th of 10)|
|2015||28-28 (.500)||4th in East||30,784 (5th of 10)|
|2016||34-21 (.618)||2rd in East||34,674 (5th of 10)|
|2017||26-27-1 (.491)*||5th playoff seed||35,044 (4th of 9)|
- * The -1 reflects one loss in a "Home Run Derby", treated as half a win. The .491 is the "points percentage" (see the FCBL article). The Pittsfield Suns had the same regular-season record, but owned the tie-breaker and hosted the single play-in game as the 4th seed.
|Year||Play-In Round**||Semi-Final Round*||FCBL Championship|
|2011||Torrington Titans||W (2-0)|
|2012||Brockton Rox||W (2-0)||North Shore Navigators||W (2-0)|
|2013||bye||Brockton Rox||W (2-0)||Martha's Vineyard Sharks||L (0-2)|
|2014||Torrington Titans||L (0-1)|
|2015||North Shore Navigators||W (1-0)||Bristol Blues||L (0-1)|
|2016||Torrington Titans||W (1-0)||Seacoast Mavericks||W (2-1)||Worcester Bravehearts||W (2-0)|
|2017||Pittsfield Suns||W (1-0)||Bristol Blues||W (2-0)||Worcester Bravehearts||W (2-0)|
- *The FCBL changed its postseason to a two-round format starting in the 2012 season
- ** A one-game Play-In round was added in the 2013 season
2012 FCBL All-Star Game
Holman Stadium hosted the 2012 FCBL All-Star Game in front of 1,634 fans. This was the FCBL's first All-Star Game, and the second time Holman Stadium hosted an All-Star Game. In 2003 the Nashua Pride hosted the Atlantic League All-Star Game.
To find a full list of all former Silver Knights players in professional baseball visit NashuaSilverKnights.com
- King, Tom (March 4, 2011). "Silver Knights are off and running in city". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- King, Tom (February 8, 2011). "It'll be Silver Knights playing at Holman". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- King, Tom (August 6, 2011). "Silver Knights win FCBL title". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
And in the end, the Nashua Silver Knights franchise had the best players, capturing the inaugural FCBL Championship Cup with an 8-3 win over the Torrington Titans on Friday night to complete a two-game sweep.
- Editorial (August 8, 2011). "City should extend Silver Knights pact". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "2012 Summer Collegiate Team Rankings". Perfect Game USA. 2012-08-20.
- "Nashua Silver Knights promote Neverett, Pyne & Berthiaume". Nashua Silver Knights. 2012-10-04.
- Tom King (2015-09-06). "Spinners, Silver Knights up for sale". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-08-13.
- Tom King (2016-07-05). "Another Neverett also calls games". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-08-13.
- "Minucci Shines Brightest". Nashua Silver Knights. 2012-07-26.