Founded in 1977
Troy, New York
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||New York–Penn League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (3)||
|Division titles (7)||
|Bill Gladstone Alfred Roberts|
|General Manager||Rick Murphy|
The Tri-City ValleyCats (often shortened to 'Cats) are a minor league baseball team based in Troy, New York, and the 2010 and 2013 champions of the New York–Penn League (NYPL). The ValleyCats are the Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball club. The name Tri-City is based on the three nearby cities of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, which make up New York State's Capital District. The ValleyCats play at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium which opened in 2002 on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College located in Troy. They compete in the Stedler Division with the Vermont Lake Monsters, Connecticut Tigers, and Lowell Spinners.
- 1 Team history
- 2 Mascots
- 3 Season results
- 4 Post-season results
- 5 Fast facts
- 6 Roster
- 7 Notable alumni
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Prior to their arrival in Troy, the club was based first in Little Falls, New York, as the Little Falls Mets from 1977 to 1988, and then in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as the Pittsfield Mets (1989-2000), and Pittsfield Astros (2001).
The ValleyCats played their first game on the road in Lowell, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, June 18, 2002, against their rival the Lowell Spinners. The Spinners had a 3–1 lead going into the 8th inning, but a triple by Aneudi Cuevas down the right field line drove in three runs leading the ValleyCats to a 5–4 victory.
In their 2006 season, the ValleyCats registered an attendance of 129,126 in 37 contests, averaging 3,489 fans per game. On July 4, 2006, the ValleyCats set a new all-time home attendance mark as 6,123 people attended a game against their rival the Lowell Spinners which was later broken in the following years.
The Valley Cats hosted the 4th annual New York–Penn League All Star Game at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in 2008. The game was played between teams made up of the affiliates of National League (NL) and American League (AL) teams. The ValleyCats, affiliate's of the National League's Houston Astros, were part of the NL squad. Four ValleyCats were voted to play in the game: first baseman Phil Disher, left fielder Jack Shuck, pitcher Philip Rummel, and center fielder Thomas Steele. However, Steele was injured two weeks before the game and was replaced by Tri-City third baseman David Flores. The NL All Stars won the game on a walk-off RBI by ValleyCats third baseman David Flores. Flores was also voted MVP of the game.
On June 21, 2008, pitchers Shane Wolf, David Miller, and Ashton Mowdy combined to throw the first no-hitter in the franchise's history. Wolf is a native of nearby Lansing, New York. The final score of the game was 10–0 over the Oneonta Tigers.
On July 4, 2008, The ValleyCats once again broke their single game attendance record drawing 6,630 to the ballpark, 2,130 more than the listed ballpark capacity. The ValleyCats won, 9–2, against the Jamestown Jammers. The ValleyCats also set a season attendance record in 2008 with 140,631 fans in attendance despite missing many games due to rain delays.
On September 5, 2008, the ValleyCats extended their PDC (player development contract) with the Houston Astros through the 2010 season.
The ValleyCats once again broke attendance records in 2009. Their single game attendance record was broken again on July 4 against the Brooklyn Cyclones. 6,838 fans attended the game that the ValleyCats ultimately lost, 2–1. The ValleyCats also set a new single season attendance record, attracting 145,976 fans to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in 2009. The ValleyCats finished the season in fourth place in the Stedler Division, 18 games behind the first place Lowell Spinners.
2010 season / Champions
After three losing seasons, the ValleyCats finally turned around to be one of the front runners of the Stedler Division. They were the underdog in the 2010 NY–Penn League playoffs with a 38–36 record, winning their division by a half game over the Connecticut Tigers, but found themselves back in the championship series for the third time in their short history, later beating the heavy favorite Brooklyn Cyclones and their 51–24 record two games to none. [Jim Pankovits], the manager of the ValleyCats, left the Astros organization during the off-season to become the manager of Seattle Mariners double-A team the Jackson Generals.
The Valley Cats have several mascots, the two most prominent being Southpaw and his grandfather, Pappy. Southpaw is a jersey-wearing cat, representing the "ValleyCat", the team's nickname. Another fan favorite is Sammy Baseball who wears a patriotic costume and represents Uncle Sam, reputedly derived from Samuel Wilson who operated a meat packing plant in Troy. The Tri-City Mayors, large caricature heads representing the current Mayors of Troy, Albany, and Schenectady, race (and dance) on a nightly basis at the ballpark. Ketchup, Mustard, and Relish mascots participate in the hot dog race. Other mascots include Spiedie the Chicken, Ribbie the Pig, Zoggy the Dinosaur, and Rowdy the River Rat, obtained when the Albany River Rats moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
|2002||Astros||Iván DeJesús||27–48, 4th place Stedler|
|2003||Astros||Iván DeJesús||44–32, 2nd place Stedler|
|2004||Astros||Gregg Langbehn||50–25, 1st place Stedler|
|2005||Astros||Gregg Langbehn||34–42, 3rd place Stedler|
|2006||Astros||Gregg Langbehn||43–31, 1st place Stedler|
|2007||Astros||Pete Rancont||27–47, 4th place Stedler|
|2008||Astros||Pete Rancont||28–45, 4th place Stedler|
|2009||Astros||Jim Pankovits||27–48, 4th place Stedler|
|2010||Astros||Jim Pankovits||38–36, 1st place Stedler|
|2011||Astros||Stubby Clapp||33–42, 3rd place Stedler|
|2012||Astros||Stubby Clapp||51–25, 1st place Stedler|
|2013||Astros||Ed Romero||44–32, 1st place Stedler|
|2014||Astros||Ed Romero||48–28, 1st place Stedler|
|NY–Penn League Champions||NY–Penn League finalists||Stedler Division Champions||Wild Card Winner|
- 2004: Defeated Brooklyn Cyclones, 2 games to 1; lost to Mahoning Valley Scrappers, 2 games to 0, in championship round.
- 2006: Defeated Auburn Doubledays 2 games to none; lost to Staten Island Yankees, 2 games to 1, in championship round.
- 2010: Defeated Batavia Muckdogs 2 games to 1; Defeated Brooklyn Cyclones 2 games to 0, in championship round.
- 2012: Defeated Auburn Doubledays 2 games to 1; lost to Hudson Valley Renegades 2 game to 1, in championship round.
- 2013: Defeated Aberdeen IronBirds 2 game to 0; Defeated State College Spikes 2 games to 1, in championship round.
- Total Attendance
- Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
- 2002 – 108,409
- 2003 – 103,984
- 2004 – 110,497
- 2005 – 116,674
- 2006 – 129,126
- 2007 – 136,809
- 2008 – 140,631 (7th most in NY–Penn League).
- 2009 – 145,976 (6th most in NY–Penn League).
- 2010 – 155,315 (5th most in NY–Penn League).
- 2011 – 156,279 (6th most in NY–Penn League).
- 2012 – 159,966 (5th most in NY–Penn League).
- 2013 – 156,712 (5th most in NY–Penn League).
- Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
- Ballpark Dimensions
- LF – 325 feet
- CF – 400 feet
- RF – 325 feet
- First Game
- Tuesday, June 18, 2002 vs Lowell Spinners (at LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Massachusetts – W5–4)
- Season Records (2002–present)
- 2005 – Neil Sellers (96)
- 2003 – Brock Koman (25)
- 2007 – Collin DeLome (7)
- Home runs
- 2004 – Mario Garza (15)
- Runs Batted In
- 2004 – Mario Garza (65)
- Stolen Bases
- 2003 – Josh Anderson (26)
- 2004 – Ronnie Ventura (11)
- 2012 – Blake Ford (14)
- 2003 – Matt Albers (94)
Tri-City ValleyCats roster
- Jailen Peguero (2002, Houston Astros)
- Devern Hansack (2002)
- Jason Hirsh (2003)
- Matt Albers (2003, Arizona Diamondbacks) (First ValleyCat in the Major Leagues)
- Josh Anderson (2003, Atlanta Braves)
- Edwin Maysonet (2003, Milwaukee Brewers)
- Ben Zobrist (2004, Tampa Bay Rays)
- Hunter Pence (2004, Houston Astros)
- Troy Patton (2004, Baltimore Orioles)
- Chad Reineke (2004, Cincinnati Reds)
- Drew Sutton (2004, Boston Red Sox)
- Tommy Manzella (2005, Houston Astros)
- Koby Clemens (2005, A-Advanced Lancaster JetHawks)
- Mark McLemore (2005, Florida Marlins)
- Felipe Paulino (2005, Colorado Rockies)
- Brian Bogusevic (2005–2006, Houston Astros)
- Chris Johnson (2006, Houston Astros)
- Bud Norris (2006, Houston Astros)
- Víctor Gárate (2006–2007, Miami Marlins)
- Fernando Abad (2007, Houston Astros)
- Brandon Barnes (2007, Houston Astros)
- Jason Castro (2008, Houston Astros)
- Jordan Lyles (2008, Houston Astros)
- J. B. Shuck (2008, Houston Astros)
- J. D. Martinez (2009, Houston Astros)
- José Altuve (2009, Houston Astros)
- Dallas Keuchel (2009, Houston Astros)
(This list includes any Tri-City ValleyCats that have made a Major League appearance as well as notable minor leaguer Koby Clemens)
- "Flores sends All-Star fans home happy". New York–Penn League. 2008-08-20.
- "Three ValleyCats Combine for First No-Hitter in Franchise History". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2008-06-21.
- "ValleyCats Bats Explode In Front of Record Crowd". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2008-07-05.
- "ValleyCats and Astros extend PDC through 2010". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2008-09-05.
- "'Cats Shatter Single Game Attendance Record". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2009-07-04.
- "ValleyCats Set Season Attendance Record for Sixth Consecutive Season". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2009-09-01.
- 2009 New York-Pennsylvania League at baseball-reference.com, URL accessed September 8, 2009. Archived 2009-09-08.
- "ValleyCats adopt Rowdy the Rat". Tri-City ValleyCats. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- "2008 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2009-06-26.
- "2009 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2009-09-23.
- "2010 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2010-09-10.
- "2011 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2013-09-12.
- "2012 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2013-09-07.
- "2013 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. 2013-09-11.
- "MLB Alumni". Tri-City ValleyCats. 2010-09-14.