Thoughts and pictures of my local minor league baseball team the New York Penn League Connecticut Tigers; a Detriot farm team. We'll still be looking at former Navigators/Defenders players along the way....

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

UConn To Play Coastal Carolina In NCAA Baseball Tournament

UConn To Play Coastal Carolina In NCAA Baseball Tournament

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thanks to all those that have served...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

UConn Baseball: Huskies Will Not Host an NCAA Regional - Rivalry Central | Red Sox -- Yankees

UConn Baseball: Huskies Will Not Host an NCAA Regional - Rivalry Central | Red Sox -- Yankees

Tex's HR not enough last night for the Yanks...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In the football words of Al Davis...

"Just win baby..."

Friday, May 27, 2011

The house that Ruth built, take 2

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Need another flag....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Season to date the Yankees' MVP so far...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joe D...

"56" isn't just a number to any baseball fan...

Monday, May 23, 2011

where is he now??

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dayton goes 2 for 4 with a double in his debut...

with the Nashville Sounds on Friday. The Sounds are the the Brewers Triple A team in the PCL. This is the season for the one time Defs catcher...!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011


Thursday, May 19, 2011

NIce looking Dodd scoreboard...

in 2002...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

RIP Harmon...

HOF induction weekend 2010

Monday, May 16, 2011

Opening Day at Dodd is Monday, June 20...

at 7:05...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"There aren’t excuses any more,”......

which is the quote by CT Tigers GM Andrew Weber in today's front page article by Joe Perez (see below).

And I couldn't agree more...but I'd add the same goes to a degree for the baseball fans of southeastern Connecticut.

Joe Perez owns the Sunday Bulletin today...

with wall to wall CT Tigers coverage on the past and future seasons. Here's the main front page article wriiten by Joe. He also offers three side bar columns as well. Check it out via the link on the right.

"Norwich, Conn. — When the Connecticut Tigers officially moved into Dodd Stadium just longer than a year ago, the expectation was that the team would build off of the slow and steady success of its predecessors.

But the Tigers got off to a late start, after waiting for Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball to finish approving the move of the Class A team from Oneonta, N.Y., to Norwich. As a result, the team didn’t have a full marketing campaign, and the results showed.

The team, which had hoped to draw 100,000 fans, drew half that to its 36 games. Many youth sports leagues that annually sent their players to Dodd Stadium instead sent them to watch the New Britain Rock Cats. Skybox vacancies increased, and many advertisers either left or trimmed their support.

The team is now five weeks away from beginning its second season in Norwich. How well it executes its game plan will go far in determining the long-term viability of minor league baseball in southeastern Connecticut.

“There aren’t excuses any more,” Tigers General Manager Andrew Weber said. “We really want to see it grow, and we want to see it grow every year.”

City Stadium Authority Chairman Michael Jewell said the team did not fall short of its first-year expectations and praised its ownership and management group. He said if the Tigers match their ticket sales from a year ago, it wouldn’t be cause for concern despite the city’s vested interest. The first lease calls for $100,000 in rent this season and an additional $5,000 every other year.

“My impression is they’re doing well,” he said. “That’s the impression I get talking to the management up there; they’re doing well. These guys got it going on.”

The Tigers replaced the Connecticut Defenders as tenants in Dodd Stadium. The Double A Defenders, of the Eastern League, moved in 2009 to Richmond, Va. — a much larger market. The team slowly increased attendance after the New York Yankees ended its partnership with the franchise. In the Defenders’ last two seasons they topped the 200,000 mark. Still, by the standards of a full-season Double-A team, it was low.

They were replaced by the Tigers, who came from Oneonta, N.Y., and play in the New York-Penn League, a short-season, Single-A league composed mainly of players with four or fewer professional seasons.

Having a team that plays from late June into early September looked like a good fit because its entire season was played during the period of time when the Defenders, known for poor attendance in April and May, saw the most success.

“One positive we saw was an increase in attendance as the season went on,” said Weber, noting the comparison isn’t “exactly apples to apples.”

Weber said Connecticut is trying to model itself after the Tri-City Valley Cats, a fellow New York-Penn League team. Tri-City, like Connecticut, was a former Double-A market and during the last decade, saw growth in all but one year.

New York-Penn League President Ben Hayes did not return calls seeking comment.
Right now, there’s plenty of room for growth at Dodd Stadium.

Without going into specifics, Weber said the team has increased its season ticket base.
“I’d like to see us at at least 75,000 (fans),” Weber said. “Obviously, anything higher would be great.”

Group sales, which teams rely upon for big bumps in attendance, were all but nonexistent last year. Thirty to 40 groups have gone elsewhere — mostly to New Britain — in the last year. The Rock Cats are supportive of the Tigers and said they will lend a hand if they are ever called upon. They recognize that this season is critical in determining whether the market can sustain minor league baseball.

“This is such a big year for them,” said Bill Dowling, president and CEO of the Rock Cats. “That whole area down there has really suffered the last four, five years in terms of the baseball. And I think they had to really turn it around. ... This has to be the year, I think, where they get people to sit up and really take notice of the product off the field that really attracts people.”
On top of that, the stadium’s 14 skyboxes sit mostly vacant, with just three full-season tenants.
Glenn Carberry, partner with the New London law firm TCORS and a former partner in the Defenders ownership group, said his firm still holds season tickets, but reduced its presence among the skyboxes. TCORS held one full-season and a one-third season skybox plan. Now, it holds only a partial plan.

Carberry said the Tigers’ late start put the team behind the eight ball. Because the team was able to move in rather than keep the ballpark vacant for a summer is how 2010 should be judged.

“This will be an interesting year,” Carberry said. “Now that they get a full year and they do a good job up there, getting more publicity out, I think there should be improvements in terms of attendance. I really believe that. If there are not, then they’re not putting forth the proper effort. You should be able to draw a decent crowd up there for Single-A.”
Sponsorship money has been hard to come by. Some have yet to iron out details of packages. Some felt the money was best served going elsewhere.

Said Eastern Federal Bank President and CEO Jerry Coia: “As any small business, we have priorities where we spend our money, and as a local community bank, we would rather put it in local charities than advertising on a baseball field. Again, no offense against them. They are probably a great organization, but if I had a choice to make I’d rather support local charities at this point.”

For some, it was a numbers game. Stanton Equipment in Plainfield told The Bulletin a year ago that the change in level of baseball altered the company’s plans.

“Honestly, when it was a Double-A team, it drew a bigger crowd, and the advertising we did down there was quite a bit,” said Jim Benoit, a manager at Stanton Equipment.

Left with contact information of season ticket holders, sponsors and groups, the Tigers fell flat in their inaugural year in Norwich.

“It’s disappointing to see a lack of success when we had things moving in a direction I thought was positive,” former Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd said. “As a matter of fact, it’s not difficult to see April and May baseball doesn’t work professionally in Norwich, Connecticut. There was some very positive signs going on.”

Between taking in less money than expected and not having much incoming revenue, the team finds itself in a hole — behind four months in utility bills totaling almost $26,000.

It’s a situation that was expected, Weber said, because those months are when the team isn’t generating revenue. Once the season begins, it will get caught up on that debt. Last season, the Tigers were behind on utilities in April, May and June and quickly had the debt paid.
10-year lease
The Tigers’ 10-year lease with the city of Norwich guarantees a team at Dodd Stadium through 2014. After that, the team can opt out of the lease with proper notice and an early termination fee of $700,000, which reduces after each additional season the team plays in Norwich.

“We’re committed to being here,” Weber said. “I know one of the concerns mentioned to me in the past has been, just in dealing with multiple different things, a lot of people with a year of ‘are they going or not going with the Defenders,’ and then us coming in, people aren’t sure if there’s going to be minor league baseball here. We’re 100 percent here.”

Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom said the thought “never entered my mind” that the struggles of last season could be repeated now that the Tigers had a full year to prepare for 2011. The key, he said, will be the community understanding its good fortune to be one of a few locations to have a minor league team.

“The town of Norwich has to understand how lucky we are that they’re here,” Nystrom said. “We have an opportunity to watch future major league prospects, like we did all the other years. The most important thing is there never was a lost season at that facility. People must not lose sight of that.”

Bulletin reporter James Craven contributed to this report."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

best part of tonight's Yanks/Red Sox game on Fox..

Yanks can't hit their way out of a little league park these days...

I own this jersey now.....

and with it's purchase last night at Dodd have the last piece of my Navs/Defs jersey collection/quest. This is the away jersey worn by the Defenders from 2008-2009. It replaced the black away jersey the team worn from 2006-2007.
The site had these for auction a couple of years ago for $150 plus S&H and I decided to wait on them hitting eBay instead. They never did and the Tigers have been offering them for sale in the gift shop.
Fan fav Jake Wald is pictured as the first owner of this jersey.

Friday, May 13, 2011

UCONN wins at Dodd tonight 6-2

over Louisville behind a strong pitching performance by Matt Barnes and George Springer's (2 for 4) 3 RBIs.

Barnes earned his 10th victory of the season as he went 8 innings, striking out 9 and giving up six hits and two unearned runs.

Misc fan notes: the game served as a back drop as Navs/Defs seatmate Hondo Hurricane and I saw our first game of 2011 together and we had a lot of catching up to do. Always great to see Hondo at Dodd and...

PAT MISCH (wears #48) gets the win for the Mets tonight!!! Saw Misch pitch a 1-2-3 8th inning as the Mets rally and bear Houston 6-4 tonight. Yankees...that's another story...

Also good seeing my buddy Strat at the game and Tigers GM Andrew Weber and head usher/game day ops Bob.

Pics are of the two prospects Barnes and Springer

Tough news...

"MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Harmon Killebrew announced Friday that he no longer plans to fight his esophageal cancer and has settled in for the final days of his life, saddening friends and fans of the 74-year-old Hall of Fame slugger.

In a statement released jointly by the Minnesota Twins and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Killebrew said “it is with profound sadness” that he will no longer receive treatment for the “awful disease.”

He said the cancer has been deemed incurable by his doctors and he will enter hospice care.

“With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options,” Killebrew said. He added: “I have spent the past decade of my life promoting hospice care and educating people on its benefits. I am very comfortable taking this next step and experiencing the compassionate care that hospice provides.”

Killebrew, who’s 11th on baseball’s all-time home run list with 573, thanked his well-wishers for their support.

“I look forward to spending my final days in comfort and peace with Nita by my side,” he said.

Killebrew lives in the Phoenix area and was receiving treatment at a branch of the Mayo Clinic nearby after his diagnosis in December. He expressed optimism at the time, saying he expected to make a full recovery while acknowledging he was in “perhaps the most difficult battle” of his life.

Killebrew was able to travel to Fort Myers, Fla., in March for his annual stint as a guest instructor at spring training with the Twins. He was in good spirits and appeared healthy, only thinner, quipping that manager Ron Gardenhire gave him the OK to show up a little late. He said he relished the opportunity to immerse himself in baseball and divert his focus from the treatment and the disease.

But his plan to throw out the first pitch at the team’s home opener in April was scrapped. He said then in a statement that such a trip would disrupt his treatment schedule, though he remained hopeful for a recovery.

Twins spokesman Kevin Smith said there was no prognosis given by Killebrew’s doctors for how much longer he might live. Instead of enduring chemotherapy, he’ll now be kept as comfortable as possible to deal with pain. Smith is one of a handful of Twins officials who have been in contact with the Killebrew and his family over the last few months.

Killebrew made 11 All-Star appearances during a 22-year career spent mostly with the Washington Senators and the Twins when they moved to Minnesota in 1961. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 and was fifth on the career home run list when he retired in 1975 after one season with the Kansas City Royals.

Killebrew’s eight seasons with 40 or more homers is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth. He won the American League MVP award in 1969, when the Twins won their division and lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL championship series.

The 49 homers, 140 RBIs and 145 walks he compiled that season remain Twins records.

In the plaza outside Target Field, there is a giant bronze glove where fans pose for pictures. It is the same distance from home plate, 520 feet, as that longest home run Killebrew ever hit. His No. 3 jersey is retired, and there’s a statue in his likeness outside the ballpark.

Killebrew has maintained a regular presence around the Twins over the years He made an effort to get to know almost all the current players, striking particularly close friendships with Michael Cuddyer(notes) and Jim Thome(notes) among others.

When Thome passed Killebrew on the career home run list last season, Killebrew issued a gracious congratulatory message. His nickname, “The Killer,” defied his humble, gentle demeanor, but he sure could crush a baseball with that big bat of his.

“I didn’t have evil intentions,” Killebrew once said, “but I guess I did have power.”

His home run totals turned out to be that much more impressive, given the smaller parks, watered-down pitching staffs and juiced balls and players that came in the decades after he retired.

Though Killebrew has been passed in recent years by Alex Rodriguez(notes) and Thome on the homer list to fall out of the top 10, he ought to be in 11th place for some time, particularly as dominant young pitchers have taken control of this post-steroid era in baseball. With Manny Ramirez’s(notes) sudden retirement last month, the next closest active players are Vladimir Guerrero(notes) and Chipper Jones(notes) with 440.

Albert Pujols(notes), with 415 homers at age 31, might be the next threat to reach Killebrew’s mark."

I remember him well as a player. He is a profile of courage today...

2011 tickets on sale - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

2011 tickets on sale - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dodd Stadium authority considers cell proposal, repairs

Dodd Stadium authority considers cell proposal, repairs

ALL THOSE who were at the 2007 All-Star Game when the fire alarms went off, raise you're hands!!!

Opening Day 4-12-02...

Navs beat Thunder 4-2.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jeff Nettles....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Erick Almonte...

as a Navigator in 2002. He's now playing for the Brewers

Sunday, May 08, 2011

College baseball: Sox GM sees Huskies pitcher hurl gem

College baseball: Sox GM sees Huskies pitcher hurl gem

Thursday, May 05, 2011

From Joe in today's Bulletin.....

College Baseball: UConn has chance to host another NCAA regional.

Posted May 04, 2011 @ 11:44 PM

The leaders of the pack in the Big East are coming back to Dodd Stadium with the potential for more games there.

UConn, which is in the stretch run toward a regular season conference title, hosts South Florida at 6:30 p.m., Saturday and Louisville at 6 p.m., May 13.

Should the Huskies go on to win the conference tournament with a spot in the top 25, they could host their second NCAA Regional in two years. Last year’s was at Dodd.

“It’s a great opportunity,” UConn coach Jim Penders said of playing at Dodd Stadium. “The guys down there have been really good to us. … It’s a great facility and we always look forward to going to Norwich.”

Ranked 23rd in the nation, the Huskies haven’t had the kind of success they would have liked to at Dodd. In a game earlier this season, UConn fell, 5-4, to Sacred Heart. The game had been relocated from Bridgeport with a day’s notice.

Before that March game, the Huskies defeated Central Connecticut State, but lost twice to Oregon at their NCAA regional last year.

“From a selfish standpoint, I realize what the University of Connecticut and its sports are to this state and its residents,” Connecticut Tigers General Manager Andrew Weber said. “Just to be able to be part of that, I know that’s going to help the Tigers in the long run, but it obviously creates a great relationship with Coach Penders and the athletic department as well.”

Last year’s regional was equal parts success and failure. It’s the failure that Dodd Stadium’s tenants, the Tigers, said they learned from.

The team’s front office is already preparing for the possibility of hosting the event again, one which saw roughly 15,000 college baseball fans attend three days of games.

The biggest hiccup was traffic getting into the stadium. The Tigers didn’t expecting a sellout crowd the opening night, which also featured national power Florida State, and the line of cars snaked throughout the industrial park in which the stadium resides.

Many fans hoping to catch the first UConn-Oregon matchup weren’t able to get into the ballpark until halfway through the game.

“We’re making sure we have the appropriate police in place, lights working efficiently, the traffic getting up here as best as we can. … We’re doing everything we can to make sure the parking is as efficient as possible. One of the things that we would be doing is using all three gates to park people to keep that flow at a more consistent pace.”

UConn (31-13-1, 15-3 Big East) holds a three-game lead over Pittsburgh with 11 games to play,” Weber said. “It is led by outfielder George Springer, who was named the conference’s player of the week the last two weeks.

Springer has 43 home runs, one shy of matching former teammate Mike Olt’s school record. The junior is projected as a first-round draft pick in next month’s major league draft.

Springer is hitting .371 with nine homers and 62 RBIs.

Another draft-worthy talent, Matt Barnes, is powering the pitching staff. The junior is 8-3 with a 1.41 ERA and three complete games.

After a successful, come-out-of-nowhere 2010 campaign, UConn knew it would have a target on its back. After getting off to a slow start, the Huskies have won 22 of 25 games.

“I think we’ve definitely felt that sort of pressure no matter how many times we talked about not feeling it,” Penders said “We certainly did feel that pressure early on in the season and you could see it with our play, our lack of hitting especially.

“In the last month or so, the last five to six weeks, we’ve been able to play up to our ability.”

Movers on Friday....hope to be back ASAP....I don't remember it being this hard the last time....of course that was 25 years ago...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Gone fishing.....

the blog is taking a break for a week or so. We're moving addresses, still well in range of Dodd, but we just have a ton bunch of stuff to accomplish in the meantime between the old place and new place ...

I'll be back ASAP!!

God Bless....

Navs Llneup on 9/5/02 Game 2 of the...

North Division playoffs against the Ravens. Navs win 4-1.