Richmond Flying Squirrels

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Richmond Flying Squirrels
Founded in 1972
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond Flying Squirrels logo.svgRichmondFlyingSquirrelscap.PNG
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentDouble-A (1972–present)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueEastern League (1983–present)
DivisionWestern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentSan Francisco Giants (2003–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (9)
  • 1972
  • 1976
  • 1978
  • 1979
  • 1982
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 1991
  • 2002
Division titles (3)
  • 2002
  • 2009
  • 2014
Team data
Nickname
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (2010–present)
  • Connecticut Defenders (2006–2009)
  • Norwich Navigators (1995–2005)
  • Albany-Colonie Yankees (1985–1994)
  • Albany-Colonie A's (1984)
  • Albany A's (1983)
  • West Haven A's (1981–82)
  • West Haven Whitecaps (1980)
  • West Haven Yankees (1972–1979)
ColorsRed, black, gray, white
                   
MascotNutsy
BallparkThe Diamond (2010–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Lou DiBella
ManagerKyle Haines
General ManagerTodd Parnell

The Richmond Flying Squirrels are a Minor League Baseball team based in Richmond, Virginia. The team, which is a part of the Eastern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants major league club, and plays at The Diamond. The Squirrels were previously known as the Connecticut Defenders.

The Flying Squirrels mark affiliated baseball's return to Richmond after a one-year absence prompted by the relocation of the former Triple-A International League's Richmond Braves to Lawrenceville, Georgia in 2009, where they are now called the Gwinnett Stripers.

History[edit]

The Flying Squirrels began in 1972 as the West Haven Yankees, a farm club of the New York Yankees playing games at both Quigley Stadium and Yale Field in West Haven, Connecticut. They switched affiliations in 1980 to the Oakland Athletics and became the West Haven Whitecaps for one season before becoming the West Haven A's. In 1983, the team became the Albany A's when they moved to the Capital District of New York, playing at Heritage Park in Colonie. In 1985, the Yankees again became the team's parent club, replacing the A's, and prompting the minor-league team to become the Albany-Colonie Yankees, which they would remain until 1994.

On June 3, 1994, the Yankees announced they would move their franchise from Albany-Colonie to Norwich, Connecticut, and rename the team the Norwich Navigators. Property in Norwich was allotted for a new stadium on November 3, 1994, and the team played their season-opening game on April 6, 1995, with a win over the Bowie Baysox. The new stadium's opening game was 11 days later and ended again with a Navigators victory, this time over the Reading Phillies.

Norwich reached the Eastern League playoffs four times within the next six years, while many current and former New York Yankees were leading the team. On September 14, 2002, the Navigators won their first and only Eastern League championship with a five-game series victory at home over the Harrisburg Senators, under the direction of rookie manager Luis Sojo.

Within weeks, the Yankees announced that they were ending their affiliation with the Navigators to start a new team, the Trenton Thunder. Later that fall, the San Francisco Giants signed them as their new parent club for the 2003 season.

In 2005, the team was bought by boxing promoter Lou DiBella. With attendance figures declining, management announced an overhaul of the franchise's image and held a contest during the season allowing the public to select a new name. It was announced November 14, 2005, that the winning name was the Connecticut Defenders. The new mascot, a bald eagle, debuted eight days later. Another contest was held to name the mascot, and on February 11, 2006, the eagle was named "Cutter". The "Defenders" name and bald eagle mascot were both references to the United States Coast Guard Academy located nearby in New London, and Naval Submarine Base New London in nearby Groton.[citation needed]

In 2008, the San Francisco Giants renewed their PDC with the Defenders franchise until 2010. The following season, the Defenders won the Northern Division title, qualifying for the Eastern League playoffs. The Defenders defeated the New Britain Rock Cats three games to one in the ELDS, the second time making it to the Eastern League Championship Series in franchise history; however, the Defenders fell short in the end, this time losing three games to one against the Akron Aeros.

On September 23, 2009, it was announced that the Defenders would leave Norwich for their current home at The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia, where they will continue seeking proposals for a new ballpark in the Richmond metropolitan area. The team name was changed to the "Flying Squirrels".[1]

Name[edit]

The name the Richmond Flying Squirrels was chosen through a Richmond Times-Dispatch readers "name-the-team-contest," which ended on October 15, 2009.[1] The name was submitted by Brad Mead of Prince George, Virginia. Other finalists were the Rock Hoppers, Hambones, Rhinos, Flatheads, and Hush Puppies. (The name Hambones was later ruled out of the contest after the city's uproar and the NAACP finding that "the Hambones" could be seen as a derogatory term directed towards the African-American community.)

[edit]

The new Flying Squirrels logo was unveiled on December 1, 2009.[citation needed] It is a black, red, and grey flying squirrel with a patch in the shape of an "R" (for Richmond) on top of an acorn over its heart. The logo was designed by San Diego-based sports branding firm Brandiose. It was named the logo of the year by Ballpark Digest in 2010[2] and the best minor-league logo by Baseball America in 2015.[3]

Season records[edit]

(Norwich & Connecticut: Place indicates finish in Northern Division, Richmond: Place indicates finish in Western Division)

Playoffs[edit]

  • 1997 season: Lost to Portland, 3–2, in first round
  • 1999 season: Defeated Trenton 3–2, in first round; lost to Harrisburg 3–2, in championship round.
  • 2001 season: Lost to New Britain, 3–1, in first round
  • 2002 season: Defeated New Haven, 3–0, in first round; defeated Harrisburg 3–2 to win Eastern League title.
  • 2009 season: Defeated New Britain, 3–1, in first round; lost to Akron 3–1, in championship round.
  • 2011 season: Defeated Harrisburg, 3–0, in first round; lost to New Hampshire 3-1, in championship round.
  • 2014 season: Defeated Akron, 3–1, in first round; lost to Binghamton 3–0, in championship round.

Roster[edit]

Richmond Flying Squirrels roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • -- Tyler Cyr
  • 38 Ian Gardeck
  • 37 Ryan Halstead
  • 34 Dusten Knight
  • 50 Jake McCasland
  • 52 Dillon McNamara
  • 49 Conner Menez
  • 53 Nolan Riggs
  • 39 Patrick Ruotolo
  • -- Caleb Simpson
  • 45 Dan Slania
  • -- Caleb Smith ‡
  • -- Cory Taylor
  • 32 Logan Webb
  • 21 Garrett Williams
  • 13 Sam Wolff

Catchers

  • 33 Matt Winn

Infielders

  •  7 Jonah Arenado
  • 26 C. J. Hinojosa
  •  8 Ryan Howard
  • 57 John Riley

Outfielders

  •  1 Ronnie Jebavy


Manager

Coaches

  • 12 Gary Davenport (fundamentals)
  •  5 Glenn Dishman (pitching)
  • 31 Francisco Morales (hitting)
  •  2 Eliezer Zambrano (bullpen catcher)


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On San Francisco Giants 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated November 15, 2018
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Eastern League
San Francisco Giants minor league players

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b O'connor, John (October 15, 2009). "Flying Squirrels picked as new baseball team name". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Richmond, VA: Media General Communications Holdings. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  2. ^ "Logo of the Year: Richmond Flying Squirrels". BallparkDigest.com. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Flying Squirrels No. 1 minor league logo according to Baseball America". Richmond.com. Retrieved 11 January 2018.

Sources

External links[edit]