Louisville Bats

The Louisville Bats are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Louisville, Kentucky. They play in the International League as the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Bats play their home games at Louisville Slugger Field which opened in 2000. The team previously played at Old Cardinal Stadium from 1982 to 1999.

The Bats began play as the Louisville Redbirds as members of the Triple-A American Association in 1982. They became the Louisville RiverBats when they joined the International League in 1998. Louisville won the American Association championship in 1984, 1985, and 1995 as the top affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Their lone International League championship was won in 2001 with Cincinnati.

Louisville Bats
Founded in 1982
Louisville, Kentucky
LouisvilleBats16LouisvilleBats16cap
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentTriple-A (1982–present)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueInternational League (1998–present)
DivisionWest Division
Previous leagues
American Association (1982–1997)
Major league affiliations
CurrentCincinnati Reds (2000–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1995
  • 2001
Division titles (8)
  • 1983
  • 1985
  • 1998
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
Team data
NicknameLouisville Bats (2002–present)
Previous names
  • Louisville RiverBats (1998–2001)
  • Louisville Redbirds (1982–1997)
ColorsRed, navy, white[1][2]
              
MascotBuddy Bat
BallparkLouisville Slugger Field (2000–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
MC Sports Acquisition LLC[3]
ManagerJody Davis
PresidentGary Ulmer[4]

History

Louisville bats
The team stands for the National Anthem

In 1982, the St. Louis Cardinals moved their Triple-A team of the American Association, the Redbirds, from Springfield, Illinois, to Louisville, Kentucky. From the time the Redbirds arrived until the 1999 season, they played their home games at Cardinal Stadium (formally called Fairgrounds Stadium), located at the Kentucky Exposition Center, which seated over 30,000 people, (with the largest quoted as 34,330). During their inaugural 1982 season, the Redbirds broke the minor league attendance record by drawing 868,418 fans. In 1983, the Redbirds were the first minor league team to draw over one million fans in a single season (1,052,438). The Redbirds' success during the 1980s led to some speculation that Louisville could be a potential market for Major League Baseball expansion;[5] however this did not come to pass.

In 1998, the American Association disbanded and its teams moved to either the International League or the Pacific Coast League. Louisville joined the International league and rebranded as the Louisville RiverBats. They became the top farm club of the Milwaukee Brewers for 1998 and 1999 after St. Louis has switched their Triple-A affiliation to the Memphis Redbirds.[6][7]

The RiverBats became the Triple-A team for the Cincinnati Reds in 2000.[6][7] They also left Cardinal Stadium for Louisville Slugger Field, a new stadium in downtown Louisville, seating 13,131 with a more intimate baseball setting than their previous ballpark. Spectators enter the stadium through the restored "train shed" building, which was formerly the Brinly-Hardy Co. warehouse.[8] The team's attendance was about 685,000 in the first season of Louisville Slugger Field and 663,961 the following year.[9]

In 2002, the team dropped the word "River" from its name and became simply known as the Louisville Bats. While the logo and mascot consist of the winged mammal, the bat is also synonymous with the Louisville Slugger baseball bat.[8]

Traditionally one of the top-drawing minor league teams, the Bats' attendance in 2011 was second of all minor league teams with an average of 8,716 per game.[10]

In 2016, Forbes listed the Bats as the 11th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $36 million.[11]

Season-by-season results

Redbirds record

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1982 American Association Cardinals 73–62 2nd (tie) Joe Frazier
1983 American Association Cardinals 78–57 1st Jim Fregosi Lost League Championship
1984 American Association Cardinals 79–76 4th (tie) Jim Fregosi American Association Champs
1985 American Association Cardinals 74–68 1st Jim Fregosi American Association Champs
1986 American Association Cardinals 64–78 4th Jim Fregosi; Dyar Miller; Dave Bialas
1987 American Association Cardinals 78–62 2nd Mike Jorgensen Lost in semifinals
1988 American Association Cardinals 63–79 4th Mike Jorgensen
1989 American Association Cardinals 71–74 4th Mike Jorgensen
1990 American Association Cardinals 74–72 3rd Gaylen Pitts
1991 American Association Cardinals 51–92 4th Mark DeJohn
1992 American Association Cardinals 73–70 3rd Jack Krol; Mark Riggins
1993 American Association Cardinals 68–76 3rd Jack Krol; Mark Riggins
1994 American Association Cardinals 74–68 4th Joe Pettini Lost in semifinals
1995 American Association Cardinals 74–70 4th Joe Pettini American Association Champs
1996 American Association Cardinals 60–84 4th Joe Pettini
1997 American Association Cardinals 58–85 4th Gaylen Pitts
1998 International League Brewers 77–67 1st Gary Allenson Lost in semifinals

RiverBats record

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1999 International League Brewers 63–81 11th Gary Allenson
2000 International League Reds 71–73 9th Dave Miley
2001 International League Reds 84–60 3rd Dave Miley League Champions

Bats record

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2002 International League Reds 79–65 6th Dave Miley
2003 International League Reds 79–64 2nd Dave Miley; Rick Burleson Lost in semifinals
2004 International League Reds 67–77 10th Rick Burleson
2005 International League Reds 66–78 11th Rick Sweet
2006 International League Reds 75–68 6th Rick Sweet
2007 International League Reds 74–70 7th Rick Sweet
2008 International League Reds 88–56 1st (tie) Rick Sweet Lost in semifinals
2009 International League Reds 84–58 1st Rick Sweet Lost in semifinals
2010 International League Reds 79–64 3rd Rick Sweet Lost in semifinals
2011 International League Reds 73–71 8th Rick Sweet
2012 International League Reds 51–93 14th David Bell
2013 International League Reds 69–75 9th Jim Riggleman
2014 International League Reds 68–75 12th Jim Riggleman
2015 International League Reds 64–80 11th Delino DeShields
2016 International League Reds 71–73 6th Delino DeShields
2017 International League Reds 56–86 13th Delino DeShields
2018 International League Reds 61–76 15th Dick Schofield

Titles

The Bats have once won the Governors' Cup—the championship of the IL—and twice played in the championship series.

Note: The Bats were ahead 1-0 in the championship series when the September 11, 2001, attacks occurred. The league canceled the rest of the series and declared the Bats the champions, thus the series was reduced to being a championship game.

Under Jim Fregosi's leadership from 1983 to 1986, the Redbirds won the American Association title in 1984 and 1985, and were the league runner-up in 1983, when they won the Eastern Division. The team later won another championship in 1995.

Logo and team colors

From 2002 until 2016, the Bats had a black-and-purple color scheme, with a stylized bat and the team name across the front, in white. In 2016, the team updated its color scheme to red and navy blue, dropping its former colors. Additionally, the rebranding updated the logo to show a front-facing abstraction depicting a flying bat in front of a baseball moon while gripping a baseball bat in its talons. The update is the first rebranding since the team dropped the word "River" from its name and added the former color scheme.[12]

Players

The Bats have retired one number in honor of a former player in the franchise, number 8, which belonged to catcher Corky Miller, who at the time of his retirement held the franchise record for number of games played.[13] In addition, the Bats have also retired the number 1 for Louisville native and Hall of Famer Harold "Pee Wee" Reese, and the number 42 in honor of his teammate on the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson (whose number was retired across all of Major League Baseball in 1997).[14][15]

Alumni

This list contains former Louisville players who have played in at least 100 games in the major leagues:

Notable broadcasters

Listed below are the MLB broadcasting jobs that former Bats broadcasters have held since leaving the Bats

Roster

Louisville Bats roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated July 4, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • International League
Cincinnati Reds minor league players

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Fischer, Chadwick (November 23, 2015). "Louisville Bats unveil new logos and uniforms". Louisville Bats. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  2. ^ "Louisville Bats New Logo Guide" (PDF). Louisville Bats. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  3. ^ "Louisville Bats sale finalized". Ballpark Digest. February 25, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Front Office". Louisville Bats. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Reed, William F. (July 11, 1983). "Louisville Is A Major Minor". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Louisville, Kentucky Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Kendrick, Scott. "Louisville Bats - Profile of the Triple-A Louisville Bats". Baseball.about.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "History | Louisville Bats Content". Milb.com. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Louisville Bats finish No. 2 in Minor League Baseball attendance". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  10. ^ "Minor league attendance leaders are Lehigh Valley, Louisville and Columbus". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  11. ^ Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 11. Louisville Bats". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "Louisville Bats unveil new logo, color scheme". milb.com. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Corky Miller's No. 8 Bats' first retired jersey". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "Bats to retire Reese, Robinson jersey numbers". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  15. ^ "A Grand Tribute to Robinson and His Moment". December 1, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
Sources
  • "Baseball, Professional", The Encyclopedia of Louisville, p. 70-73, John E. Kleber, Editor in Chief, ISBN 0-8131-2100-0

External links

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