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....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Haven Cutters fold..thanks for the heads up lc..

New Haven County Cutters folding
Sean Barker, Sports Editor
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Add the New Haven County Cutters to a long list of minor league professional franchises that have tried, yet failed to succeed in the Greater New Haven market.

The Cutters will cease operations immediately, the Register has learned, ending a four-year run at Yale Field.

If no team fills the void left by the Cutters it will mark the first time in 15 years a professional baseball team has not competed in Greater New Haven. It would also mark the first time in 109 years that a professional sports team, either baseball or hockey, did not operate in Greater New Haven.

A member of the independent baseball Can-Am League, the Cutters were unable to create a buzz with their product, despite an active involvement in community.

General Manager Marie Heikkinen-Webb launched "Cutters Baseball...Off the Field & In the Community." As a result of the program, the Cutters organization was a recipient of the NB Solutions! 2007 Community Outreach Award, for outstanding work in the community.

No records of attendance are kept on the Can-Am League website, but according to Ballpark Digest, the Cutters were 47th out of 55 independent teams in total 2006 attendance.

The Cutters came to Yale Field in 2004, a year after the Eastern League's New Haven Ravens left. The Ravens had played at Yale Field since 1994.

New Haven was the home of a professional hockey team from 1926-94, then again from 1997-2000. The New Haven Coliseum, home to the New Haven Nighthawks from 1972-92, was imploded Jan. 20 of this year.

This was the third run of professional baseball in Greater New Haven, which supported a team from 1899-1932, then again from 1972-82 with the West Haven Yankees, A's and White Caps at Quigley Stadium.


With the Cutters announcing their departure, 2008 will mark the first time in 109 years that a minor league baseball or hockey team has not competed in Greater New Haven. A look at the history of minor league baseball and hockey in Greater New Haven since 1899.


New Haven Blues, Connecticut League (1899-1908)

New Haven Black Crows, Connecticut League (1909)

New Haven Prairie Hens, Connecticut League (1910)

New Haven Murlins, Connecticut League (1911-12)

New Haven White Wings, Eastern Association (1913-14)

New Haven Max Feds, Colonial League (1915)

New Haven Murlins, Eastern League (1916-18)

New Haven Weissmen, Eastern League (1919-20)

New Haven Indians, Eastern League (1921-22)

New Haven Profs, Eastern League (1923-30)

New Haven Bulldogs, Eastern League (1931-32)

West Haven Yankees, Eastern League (1972-79)

West Haven Whitecaps, Eastern League (1980)

West Haven A's, Eastern League (1981-82)

New Haven Ravens, Eastern League (1994-2003)

New Haven County Cutters, Can-Am League (2004)

New Haven County Cutters, Can-Am League (2005-2007)


Eagles, CHL (1926-36)

Eagles, AHL (1936-43)

Eagles, EHL (1943-44)

Eagles, AHL (1945-46)

Ramblers, AHL (1946-50)

Tomahawks, EHL (1951-52)

Nutmegs, EHL (1952-53)

Blades, EHL (1954-72)

Nighthawks, AHL (1972-92)

Senators, AHL (1992-93)

Beast, AHL (1997-99)

Knights, UHL (2000)

Sources: American Hockey League,; Baseball in New Haven, Sam Rubin; P.S. Luchter

Sean Barker can be reached at

** I like some of those team names. Never went to a Cutters game and only a half dozen or so Ravens games.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bruce Springsteen - Lonesome day

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The fences stay put. In today's New London Day:

Norwich — The Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium will get a new playing field for the 2008 season, but the Connecticut Defenders and visiting teams still might be frustrated at deep fly balls caught at the warning track.

The City Council added a resolution to the agenda late Monday and authorized the Stadium Authority to hire Sports Turf Specialties of Plainville, Mass., for up to $231,476 to replace the playing field at Dodd Stadium. But the council also voted 5-2 to remove language from the resolution that would have spent another $60,000 to relocate the outfield warning track and move the fences in to generate more home runs and offense.

Defenders General Manager Charlie Dowd was disappointed in the council vote. He said the Defenders' Major League parent team, the San Francisco Giants, repeatedly has asked that the fences be brought in. Dodd Stadium is one of the largest parks in the Eastern League and wind patterns consistently cut down deep drives to the outfield.

“I'm just hopeful that people aren't being shortsighted if it impacts our relationship with the Giants or our affiliation with a new team,” Dowd said. “It's a pressure point by the Giants. They're adamant that it's something the Giants want to see done.”

Alderman John Newson made the amendment to remove the fence work, saying the city was not obligated to pay for that in the contract with the minor league baseball team. The city's lease with the team did call for the city to resod the field this fall. The council added the resolution to the agenda to speed up that work.

Stadium Authority member Gary Schnip, who oversees stadium operations, said he hopes to award the bid by the end of the month. Sports Turf Specialties submitted the low bid of $222,476 to resod the field. The additional cost would cover additional watering, seeding and mowing once the new turf is set, city purchasing agent William Block said.

Dowd said he plans to ask the Stadium Authority at its Oct. 10 meeting to fund the fence relocation using the authority's own funds — replenished last week when the Defenders paid off the team's entire back rent bill of $119,196.

Acting City Manager Joseph Ruffo, also the city comptroller, said the City Council vote applied only to the use of money from a $610,000 bond for stadium improvements the council approved last month. He said the authority could use its own funds to move the fences if it wishes.

Schnip said he would not want to use authority money to move the fences, however.

Both Schnip and authority Chairman Michael Jewell argued to the council last month that the city should pay to move the fences as it would make the stadium more attractive either to the Defenders or to other possible minor league franchises in the future. They argued that the stadium right now is simply too big for the game.

The Defenders' lease with the city expires after the 2012 baseball season, but the team has the option of an early buyout after the 2009 season. The Defenders' affiliation with the Giants expires at the end of next season, and Dowd said the fence move could be a factor in the renewal talks.



Posted - 10/3/2007 10:12:54 AM
Intending NO argument with the story's author, the lease with the team called for the field to be re-sodded LAST season. The City Council and the team, without the Stadium Authority, negotiated with ESPN to videotape "The Bronx is Burning" in Dodd Stadium. The principal photography at the end of last season precluded work on the field at that time, despite the signed lease agreement. Over a year ago, the SF Giants apprised the Defenders of their desire to see outfield distances shortened (perhaps they've decided, instead of a franchise in the Eastern League, they'd like a team in the Little League). Why does the City Council have a Baseball Stadium Authority? Based on many events and incidents in a dozen plus years, it's certainly NOT to coordinate usage, manage the facility or accomplish the due diligence for capital improvements and renovations a structure costing 10 million to build might require in the course of a decade plus of use. Perhaps if the City did a better job of enforcing its agreements and got the Defenders to make timely payments on their lease, the Authority could, and would, finance capital improvements from its own revenues. After all, when the Yankees wanted enclosed bullpens years ago, the Authority built them for the then-Norwich Navigators because it realized it was in a partnership with the minor league team to support the major league franchise. Somewhere that partnership disappeared. Too bad the Authority doesn't do laundry. It wasn't so long ago this same City Council was quite keen to give an Industrial Park tenant a "break on building fees" in return for a vague assurance 'if' the tenant did construct an addition they'd think about hiring more people. Perhaps installing a 'dry clean only' window next to "Will Call" would not only placate the Council but also generate the kinds of revenue needed the outfield fences to a point just behind second base. I, for one, would look forward to that.And since we're "wishing", can I get these two shirts, with light starch and on hangers, back by Thursday afternoon? You're the best!!!!!!
Norwich, CT
- 10/3/2007 10:26:06 AM

Monday, October 01, 2007

What a collapse by the Mets....

and let the record reflect that in the waning days of this MLBB regular season I put Velez on my fantasy baseball team.