Portland Sea Dogs (AA)
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History of Professional Baseball in Maine
Professional Baseball began in Maine with Portland, playing in the initial New England League in 1886 through 1888. A second incarnation of the league started 1891, and Bangor (1894-96), Augusta (1895-96), Lewiston (1891-1896) and Portland (1891-1896, 1899) all played in the League. The League disbanded after 1989, to start up again in 1901... and Portland and Lewiston each played that year.
In 1907, the short lived (one year) Maine League started. 4 teams played that first season, but only Portland made it to a second season, playing in the even shorter-lived (9 games) Atlantic Association. Professional Baseball was out of Maine again until 1913, when Portland started a 5 year run; the first 3 in the New England League, the later 2 in the Eastern League. Portland was out of professional baseball in 1918, but returned to the New England League (possibly a new incarnation) for the 1919 season. However, that season ended in August as the League disbanded.
Baseball returned to Portland in 1926 as another new incarnation of the New England League started up. Portland stayed in the league unti it disbanded in June of 1930. Another new incarnation of the New England League started in 1946, and Portland (along with Pawtucket were part of the league until the league disbanded after the 1949 season.
34 years later, Baseball returned to Maine, this time to Old Orchard Beach and with the AAA Maine Guides. The Maine Guides were the farm team of the Cleveland Indians and the team moved from Charleston, West Virginia. The team went to the Governor's Cup Final in their first season, losing to Pawtucket. The team never drew well (drawing less than 150,000 in their second and third season), and in 1986 were sold to an affiliate planning to move it to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A lawsuit prvented the immediate transfer however. The teams changed affiliation in 1987 (to the Phillies) and changed names (to the Maine Phillies) in 1988, before finally moving to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the 1989 season.
Portland returned baseball to Maine in 1994. Bangor also had two different Northeastern League teams in the 1990s and the early 2000s, both competing for 2 seasons before disbanding.
Sea Dogs Beginnings
With the expansion of the National League by 2 teams in 1994, the Eastern League plans to expand by 2 teams. In June of 1992, Dan Burke, President and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC files one of 13 applications for one of the 2 new franchises. In July, the Portland City council agrees to support Burke's efforts. September brings word that Portland has been named one of the final 4 franchises, and on October 4th, 1992, Portland is awarded the franchise.
Dan Burke celebrates his new affiliation 2 weeks later by hiring the President of the Eastern League, Charlie Eshbach to be President/General Manager of the new, yet to be named club. A Contest is held to find a name for the team, and in March of 1993, the name is revealed: Sea Dogs. A little over a month later, the club gets an affiliation... The Florida Marlins. On May 21st, Ground Breaking is held at Hadlock Field as upgrades to the facility begin.
Portland put any lingering questions about attendance in Maine to rest by establishing a new Eastern League attendance record in 1994, with over 375,000 attendees. Charlie Eshbach is named Eastern League Executive of the year. 1995 brings another new attendance record (429,000) and its first playoff appearance (losing in the first round of the playoffs). 1996 sees another Northern Division title, and the 1,000,000 fan. 1997, as their parent club wins their first World Championship, the Seadogs win another Northern Division title. But, like 1996, they lose in the Championship Series. 1998 Brings fan #2,000,000 to Hadlock Field. 1999 Brings a combined no-hitter... after a 3 1/2 hr rain delay.
1999 brings the organization a major award, as Baseball America selects the Sea Dogs to receive the 1999 AA Bob Freitas Award for sustained excellence. 2001 brings fan #3,000,000 and another no hitter. The end of the 2002 season brings the end of the era, as the affiliation with the Marlins ended.
As a Red Sox Affiliate
In September of 2002, Portland began its affiliation with the Red Sox, and changed their team colors from teal to red and navy blue. Prior to their first season as a Red Sox affiliate, the Sea Dogs constructed a new left field wall at Hadlock Field with the same dimensions as Fenway Park's famed Green Monster. Portland's "Maine Monster" even features familiar ads such as a Coke bottle and Citgo sign.
On April 10, 2003, After a week of snow-outs, Portland finally played their first game as a Red Sox affiliate and lost 4-1 to the Trenton Thunder. The new affiliation helped already strong attendance, as the Dogs averaged a franchise record 6,200 fans per game. On May 14, 2004, The Red Sox announced that they will continue their affiliation with the Sea Dogs for at least four more years. 2004 brought Portland news that they would host the Eastern League All-Star game in 2005. The end of the season brought another broken franchise record in attendance, as the Sea Dogs totaled 435,000 attendees, breaking their 1995 record. The end of 2004 brought the World Championship trophy to Hadlock field... and in 2005, former President George Bush came to the EL All-Star game and threw out the first pitch. The Sea Dogs went on to win the EL Northern Division title, losing to Akron in the Championship Series. It also brought another attendance record, averaging 6,290 fans per game.
The Seadogs had an excellent 2006 season, going 72-67 in the regular season, gaining entry into the EL Playoffs for the second consecutive season. They again faced the Trenton Thunder for the EL Northern Division title, winning that title for the second consecutive season. They again faced Akron in the EL Finals, and won their first Eastern League title with a 3-2 series victory. 2007 will bring change in the dugout for the Sea Dogs, as Manager Todd Claus was promoted to the Major League Staff (as a scout) after the season. Arnie Beyeler will return to the Red Sox Organization to Manage the team in 2007.
|2007 Portland Sea Dogs|
|10||Randy Beam||P||L||L||6' 3"||205||24||5/21/1982|
|11||Clay Buchholz||P||L||R||6' 3"||190||22||8/14/1984|
|25||Bryson Cox||P||R||R||6' 4"||205||22||8/10/1984|
|24||Andrew Dobies||P||L||L||6' 1"||180||23||4/20/1983|
|19||Matt Goodson||P||R||R||6' 3"||195||24||9/26/1982|
|34||Barry Hertzler||P||R||R||6' 2"||215||26||2/15/1981|
|41||Lincoln Holdzkom||P||R||R||6' 4"||240||25||3/23/1982|
|21||Thomas Hottovy||P||L||L||6' 1"||195||25||7/9/1981|
|28||Kyle Jackson||P||R||R||6' 3"||190||24||4/9/1983|
|17||Michael James||P||R||R||6' 1"||185||25||6/2/1981|
|26||Chris Smith||P||R||R||6' 2"||200||26||4/9/1981|
|29||Jose Vaquedano||P||R||R||6' 4"||167||25||7/9/1981|
|36||Beau Vaughan||P||S||R||6' 4"||230||25||6/4/1981|
|16||Charlie Zink||P||R||R||6' 1"||190||27||8/26/1979|
|15||Dusty Brown||C||R||R||6' 0"||180||24||6/19/1982|
|12||John Otness||C||R||R||5' 11"||200||25||9/15/1981|
|6||Zach Borowiak||SS||R||R||6' 1"||185||25||5/18/1981|
|40||Eric Crozier||1B||L||L||6' 4"||200||28||8/11/1978|
|3||Jed Lowrie||SS||S||R||6' 0"||180||22||4/17/1984|
|23||Jeff Natale||2B||R||R||5' 9"||180||24||8/24/1982|
|30||Andrew Pinckney||3B||S||R||6' 1"||195||25||4/7/1982|
|17||Ignacio Suarez||SS||R||R||5' 11"||165||25||5/3/1981|
|7||Jeff Corsaletti||OF||L||R||6' 0"||190||24||2/22/1983|
|14||Jay Johnson||OF||R||R||6' 2"||185||24||12/19/1982|
|37||Cory Keylor||OF||L||R||6' 3"||195||27||8/25/1979|
|31||Bryan Pritz||OF||R||R||5' 10"||180||24||5/5/1982|
- Manager - Arnie Beyeler
- Pitching Coach - Mike Cather
- Hitting Coach - Dave Joppie
- Trainer - Brad Pearson
Front Office Personel
- Owner - Dan Burke
- President/General Manager - Charlie Eshbach
- Vice President - John Kamiesha
- Assistant General Manager - Jim Heffley
|Batting Records||Pitching Records|
|Games Played:||141||Billy McMillon||1995||Games:||60||Mick Pageler||1998|
|At Bats:||568||Julio Ramirez||1999||Complete Games:||6||Brandon Leese||2000|
|Runs:||104||Ralph Milliard||1995||Shutouts:||2||Tim Kester||2003|
|Hits:||175||Kevin Millar||1997||Wins:||13||Tony Saunders||1996|
|Total Bases:||309||Kevin Millar||1997||Michael Tejera||1999|
|Doubles:||35||Nate Rolison||1998||Losses:||14||Mark Johnson||1998|
|Triples:||10||Julio Ramirez||1999||Saves:||30||Bill Hurst||1996|
|Home Runs:||38||Chris Norton||1999||Innings Pitched:||175.2||Brian Meadows||1996|
|RBI:||131||Kevin Millar||1997||Walks:||72||Charlie Zink||2004|
|Walks:||96||Billy McMillon||1995||Strikeouts:||183||Brent Billingsley||1998|
|Strikeouts:||166||Josh Booty||1997||ERA:||2.61||Jon Lester||2005|
|Stolen Bases:||64||Julio Ramirez||1999|
|On Base %:||.487||Kevin Youkilis||2003|
|Slugging %:||.633||Chris Norton||1999|
Eastern League Post-Season All-Stars
Eastern League Individual Awards
- 2005 - Pitcher of the Year - Jon Lester
MLB Future Game Participants
- 2006 - Edgar Martinez (RHP), Todd Claus (Manager)
- 2005 - Hanley Ramirez (SS), Todd Claus (Manager)
- 2004 - Juan Perez (RHP)
- 2003 - Kevin Youkilis (3B), Jorge de la Rosa (RHP), Ron Johnson (Manager)
- 2005 - At the Yard's Magazine Diamond in the Rough - Edgar Martinez
Current Red Sox
Hadlock Field has played home to a number of current Red Sox (both coming up as Marlins and Red Sox). They are honored with cutouts of their jersey/number posted on the wall behind the stands directly behind homeplate.
Some current Sox that went through Hadlock Field are Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, Jon Lester, and Lenny DiNardo. Even Cesar Crespo and Kevin Millar, two fan favorites in Boston, made their way through Hadlock Field.
- Before the Sea Dogs became the Red Sox affiliate they were the Marlins AA team. During those years Portland saw the likes of Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett.
- Jeff Bailey is the only player to play for Portland when it was a Florida Marlins team and a Boston Red Sox team.
- Former Sea Dogs Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar share the minor-league record of reaching base in 71 consecutive games. Millar played 42 of those games with Portland, Youkilis played 62 of the 71 with the Sea Dogs.
- Portland Seadogs Official Site
- Maine Today Seadogs Page
- Eastern League Official Site
- Hadlock Field Stadium Profile