New Hampshire Fisher Cats
New Hampshire Fisher Cats|
Founded in 1994 in New Haven, Connecticut
Based in Manchester, New Hampshire since 2004
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Toronto Blue Jays (2003–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (3)||
|Division titles (3)||
|Ballpark||Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (2005-present)|
|General Manager||Jim Flavin|
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are a minor league baseball team based in Manchester, New Hampshire. The team, which plays in the Eastern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays major league club.
During the team's first season in Manchester, the Fisher Cats played at Gill Stadium, a historic ballpark in a residential neighborhood. Starting with the 2005 season, the Fisher Cats have played at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (originally known as Fisher Cats Ballpark then later Merchantsauto.com Stadium), which is located in Manchester. The park seats 7,500 fans.
The Fisher Cats won the Eastern League championship in 2004, their first season in New Hampshire after moving the franchise from New Haven, Connecticut. They won their second Eastern League championship in 2011, their first season wearing their current red, white, and blue team color scheme. It was also their first championship win since they moved to their current stadium.
New Haven, Connecticut, along with Portland, Maine, was granted an expansion Double-A franchise on October 3, 1992. The new ballclub was named the New Haven Ravens in January 1993, the result of a contest sponsored by the New Haven Register, WELI and WTNH. The Ravens began play in the 1994 season affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. The team hosted the 1998 Double-A All-Star Game, was league runner-up in 1995 and 2003, and won the Eastern League Championship in 2000 with an 82-60 record, defeating the Reading Phillies 3 games to 1 in the championship series. The Ravens played in Yale Field.
The team was sold on January 27, 2003 to Lowell Spinners owner Drew Weber, with the intention of moving the franchise to Manchester, New Hampshire. The Eastern League baseball team owners voted to approve the move during the league playoffs later that same year on September 3. The team's first season in Manchester was 2004. The first season was played at Gill Stadium southeast of the downtown area while the current ballpark, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, was under construction.
On July 19, 2005, Drew Weber sold his controlling interest in the team. Art Solomon became the new controlling owner with 60% ownership while Weber retained a 40% ownership share. On July 12, 2008, Solomon purchased full ownership of the Fisher Cats from Weber.
Gary Cathcart was named the team's new manager on November 28, 2007; Cathcart had served as the Fisher Cats' hitting coach during 2005 and 2006, and had most recently managed the single-A Lansing Lugnuts.
On July 16, 2008, the team hosted the 2008 Eastern League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby between the Northern Division and Southern Division. Travis Snider of the Fisher Cats won the Home Run Derby over Luis Montanez of the Bowie Baysox 7-6. In the All-Star Game itself, the Northern Division defeated the Southern Division 5-3 before a Northeast Delta Dental Stadium record crowd of 8,762.
Origin of current team name
On November 6, 2003, the new management unveiled the New Hampshire Primaries name and logo, which featured an elephant and a donkey holding baseball bats, and was to be used starting in the 2004 season. The management stated that they felt it reflected a unique aspect of the state, since the New Hampshire primary, held every four years, signifies the start of the Presidential election process. Immediately, the name and logo were widely criticized. An online petition was created by two local baseball fans asking the team ownership to reconsider their decision and was covered by local newspapers, radio, and television stations. This coverage was led by a front-page article in the New Hampshire Union Leader, New Hampshire's largest newspaper, on Sunday November 9, 2003. By the afternoon of November 10, over 1200 unique visitors had signed the petition. Later in the day, the team announced that they would not use the Primaries name after all and that they would seek public opinion on a new name.
On November 13, 2003, the team announced the "Name the Team" contest which had three phases over the following weeks. During the first phase, fans submitted suggestions. During the second phase, fans ranked their top five favorite names from the suggestions. For the final phase, fans voted for their single favorite among the top five names from the second round. On December 3, the final voting results were announced: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (1,574 votes - 24.5%), Manchester Millers (1,552 votes - 24.1%), Granite State Mountain Men (1,382 vote - 21.5%), New Hampshire Granite (1,302 votes - 20.2%), and New Hampshire Primaries (627 votes - 9.7%). The ultimate source of the name is the fisher, often called a fisher cat in New Hampshire. On January 22, 2004, the team unveiled the new set of logos that would be used for the name New Hampshire Fisher Cats. All of the team's logos and fonts were created and designed by Studio Simon of Louisville, Kentucky. Team colors were green, black, silver, and bronze.
On August 25, 2007, the Fisher Cats held a "turn back the clock" promotion and played as the New Hampshire Primaries against the Portland Sea Dogs. The Primaries wore specially-designed game worn jerseys for the game. This event would be repeated on July 4, 2008, for a game against the Trenton Thunder.
On November 28, 2007, the team unveiled a new logo, uniforms, and team colors that were designed by Rickabaugh Graphics of Gahanna, Ohio. The official colors were emerald green, black, white, and silver.
On May 21, 2012, three Fisher Cats pitchers combined to throw the third no-hitter in franchise history, stifling the Portland Sea Dogs in a 6–0 victory at New Hampshire. Combining on the gem for the team were Brett Cecil (5⅔ innings), Danny Farquhar (2⅓), and Ronald Uviedo (1). It was the first no-hitter for New Hampshire since Kyle Drabek hurled a complete-game, nine-inning ho-hitter against the New Britain Rock Cats on July 4, 2010.
(Place indicates finish in Northern Division)
- As New Haven Ravens
- 1994: 77-63 (2nd), manager Paul Zuvella
- 1995: 79-63 (2nd), manager Paul Zuvella
- 1996: 66-75 (4th), manager Bill Hayes
- 1997: 64-78 (5th), manager Bill Hayes
- 1998: 59-83 (5th), manager Tim Blackwell
- 1999: 65-77 (t-3rd), manager Dan Rohn
- 2000: 82-60 (2nd), manager Dan Rohn
- 2001: 47-95 (6th), manager Dan Sheaffer
- 2002: 74-65 (2nd), manager Mark DeJohn
- 2003: 79-63 (1st), manager Marty Pevey
- As New Hampshire Fisher Cats:
- 2004: 84-57 (1st), manager Mike Basso
- 2005: 68-74 (5th), manager Mike Basso
- 2006: 68-73 (4th), manager Doug Davis
- 2007: 70-73 (3rd), manager Bill Masse
- 2008: 61-81 (6th), manager Gary Cathcart
- 2009: 64-78 (5th), manager Gary Cathcart
- 2010: 79-62 (2nd), manager Luis Rivera
- 2011: 77-65 (1st), manager Sal Fasano
- 2012: 61-81 (6th), manager Sal Fasano
- 2013: 68-72 (3rd), manager Gary Allenson
- 2014: 66-76 (5th), manager Bobby Meacham
- 2015: 69-71 (t-4th), manager Bobby Meacham
- 2016: 69-73 (4th), manager Bobby Meacham
- 1995 season: Defeated Portland 3-1 in semifinals; lost to Reading 3-2 in championship.
- 2000 season: Defeated Binghamton 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Reading 3-1 for league title.
- 2002 season: Lost to Norwich 3-0 in semifinals.
- 2003 season: Defeated New Britain 3-2 in semifinals; lost to Akron 3-0 in championship.
- 2004 season: Defeated Binghamton 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Altoona 3-0 for league title.
- 2010 season: Lost to Trenton 3-0 in semifinals.
- 2011 Season: Defeated Reading 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Richmond 3-1 for league title
New Hampshire Fisher Cats roster
- Edgardo Alfonzo 
- Jose Bautista 
- A. J. Burnett 
- Melky Cabrera 
- Gustavo Chacín
- Coco Crisp 
- Kyle Drabek
- Jeff Farnsworth 
- Brian Fuentes 
- Todd Helton 
- Aaron Hill
- Brett Lawrie 
- Brandon League
- Adam Lind
- Jesse Litsch
- Dustin McGowan
- Shaun Marcum
- Dámaso Marte 
- Brandon Morrow 
- Lyle Overbay 
- Joel Piñeiro 
- David Purcey
- Alex Ríos 
- Ryan Roberts
- Ricky Romero
- Travis Snider
- Víctor Zambrano 
- Gregg Zaun 
-  - Played for the Fisher Cats while on rehabilitation from Toronto
-  - Played for the Ravens
- Professional baseball in Connecticut (for New Haven Ravens)
- Franchise history from the New Haven Ravens 2001 Souvenir Program (Second Edition).
- "Manchester to get Double-A baseball," The Associated Press, Tuesday, January 28, 2003.
- Anderson, Woody. "EL Approves Move," Hartford Courant, Thursday, September 4, 2003.
- "New Hampshire Primary Date Set" (Press release). New Hampshire Fisher Cats. 2007-06-28. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- "PRIMARIES RETURN TO MERCHANTSAUTO.COM STADIUM ON JULY 4TH" (PDF) (Press release). New Hampshire Fisher Cats. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- MiBL.com – News article
- MiBL.com – New Hampshire trio no-hits Portland
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