Trenton Thunder

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Trenton Thunder
Founded in 1980
Trenton, New Jersey
TrentonThunder.png TREthunder.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Double-A (1980-Present)
Minor league affiliations
League Eastern League (1980-Present)
Division Eastern Division
Major league affiliations
Current New York Yankees (2003-present)
Previous

Boston Red Sox (1995-2002)

Minor league titles
League titles 2007, 2008, 2013
Division titles 1995, 1996, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012
Team data
Nickname

Trenton Thunder (1994-present)

Colors Navy blue, gold, white, blue, silver
                        
Ballpark Arm & Hammer Park (1994-Present)
Previous parks

Labatt Memorial Park (1989-1993, in London, Ontario)

Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Garden State Baseball, LP Joseph Plumeri, Joseph Finley, Joseph Caruso
Manager Tony Franklin
General manager Will Smith

The Trenton Thunder are an American Minor League Baseball team and are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Thunder play in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League, and are the current league champions. The Thunder's home stadium is Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey.

Team history

The Trenton Thunder were founded in 1980 in Glens Falls, New York, as the Glens Falls White Sox. The team was affiliated with the Chicago White Sox from 1980-1984. The Detroit Tigers replaced the White Sox in 1985 with the team being renamed as the Glens Falls Tigers, and stayed on as a Tigers affiliate after the franchise moved to London, Ontario, in 1989, becoming the London Tigers and began playing at historic Labatt Park.

In 1994, the London Tigers relocated to Trenton and became the Trenton Thunder. The team kept the Tigers affiliation for that season only, before switching affiliations to the Boston Red Sox in 1995. As a Red Sox affiliate, the club recorded three first-place finishes, but was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round each time. In 2003, the Thunder became the Yankees affiliate, and the Portland Sea Dogs became the new Red Sox affiliate. The switch reflected both teams' fanbases, as Central New Jersey is home to a large number of Yankees fans, while Maine is home to a large number of Red Sox fans.

On June 4, 1994, Phil Stidham became the first Thunder alumnus to play in the major leagues, for the Detroit Tigers, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs, as part of a 21-7 romp by the Minnesota Twins.1

In 2006, the Thunder became the first team in Minor League Baseball history to draw over 400,000 fans for 12 consecutive seasons, at the Double-A level or below. Through 13 seasons, over 5.4 million people had attended a Thunder game.2

Surpassing the previous mark of 8,729, set while Derek Jeter was on a rehab stint with the team, the Thunder set a new single-game attendance record on May 23, 2007, when 9,134 fans attended, to watch Roger Clemens make his second minor-league start, as he worked toward a return to the Yankees. On Sunday, July 3, 2011, a paid attendance of 9,212 set a new record, as Derek Jeter returned once again, for a rehab start.

On September 15, 2007, the Thunder defeated the Akron Aeros to win their first Eastern League Championship Series in team history. Trenton defended its league title with 5-1 win over the Akron Aeros on September 14, 2008. The Thunder lost to the Altoona Curve in the 2010 Eastern League Championship Series.

In 2013, the Minor League Baseball website named the Trenton Thunder the Minor League team of the year. Trenton also took home two other awards which included "Promo of the Year" for the Retirement Party for team bat dog Chase That Golden Thunder. The 13 year old Golden Retriever retired this year and in his final game the team included a bobble head give away in honor of the long time mascot. The third award was for "Mascot of the Year" which included an online four minute which garnered the most hits of any other team's mascot video.3

Notable alumni

†Made only appearance(s) for franchise during rehab assignment

Retired numbers

†Jackie Robinson never played for the Trenton Thunder, but his number, 42, was retired by every Major League Baseball team and affiliate. See grandfather clause.

Season records

Season Affiliation Manager Record
1994 Tigers Tom Runnells 55-85, 5th place South
1995 Red Sox Ken Macha 73-69, 1st place South (tie)
1996 Red Sox Ken Macha 86-56, 1st place South
1997 Red Sox DeMarlo Hale 71-70, 4th place South
1998 Red Sox DeMarlo Hale 71-70, 3rd place South
1999 Red Sox DeMarlo Hale 92-50, 1st place North
2000 Red Sox Billy Gardner, Jr. 67-75, 5th place North
2001 Red Sox Billy Gardner, Jr. 67-75, 5th place North
2002 Red Sox Ron Johnson 63-77, 5th place North (tie)
2003 Yankees Stump Merrill 70-71, 4th place North
2004 Yankees Stump Merrill 64-78, 6th place North
2005 Yankees Bill Masse 74-68, 2nd place North
2006 Yankees Bill Masse 80-62, 1st place North
2007 Yankees Tony Franklin 83-59, 1st place North
2008 Yankees Tony Franklin 86-54, 1st place North
2009 Yankees Tony Franklin 69-72, 3rd place North
2010 Yankees Tony Franklin 83-59, 1st place East
2011 Yankees Tony Franklin 68-73, 4th place East
2012 Yankees Tony Franklin 79-63, 1st place East
2013 Yankees Tony Franklin 74-67, 2nd place East

Playoff appearances

  • 1995 season: Lost to Reading, 3-0 in semifinals
  • 1996 season: Lost to Harrisburg, 3-1 in semifinals
  • 1999 season: Lost to Norwich, 3-2 in semifinals
  • 2005 season: Lost to Portland, 3-2 in semifinals
  • 2006 season: Lost to Portland 3-1 in semifinals
  • 2007 season: Defeated Portland 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Akron 3-1 in championship series.
  • 2008 season: Defeated Portland 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Akron 3-1 in championship series.
  • 2010 season: Defeated New Hampshire 3-0 in semifinals; lost to Altoona 3-1 in championship series.
  • 2012 season: Defeated Reading 3-1 in semifinals; lost to Akron 3-1 in championship series.
  • 2013 season: Defeated Binghamton 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Harrisburg 3-0 in championship series.

ARM & HAMMER Park

Waterfront Park

Official Name: Arm & Hammer Park

Address: One Thunder Road, Trenton, NJ 08611

Opened: May 9, 1994

Seating Capacity: 6,440

Dimensions: LF - 330 ft, CF - 407 ft, RF - 330 ft

Mascots

Boomer

The Thunder's mascot is a blue "Thunderbird" named Boomer. He wears a Thunder uniform as well as purple and yellow shades. Boomer traditionally takes part in many of the promotions and activities throughout Thunder home games, such as a race around the bases against a young fan. Boomer's likeness has appeared on numerous pieces of merchandise, and he is involved with several programs assisting children in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Strike

Strike is the Thunder's newest mascot, debuting during the 2008 season. He is a yellow lightning bolt and his character is also depicted on the team's alternate caps. Strike can be seen all over Waterfront Park during a Thunder game, usually in tandem with Boomer, the Thunder's original mascot. Together Strike and Boomer take part in such in-game activities as shooting t-shirts off into the crowd, racing a youngster around the bases for a prize, and even competing against one another to pick the loudest section in the stadium on a given night. Strike's name was chosen via an online poll, as over 1,000 suggestions were made with "Strike" being the most popular name mentioned by the fans.

Chase

Chase "That Golden Thunder" was a Golden Retriever who was part of the Thunder family from late in the 2002 season until his death in 2013. He often served as "batdog" during the first inning at most Thunder home games, retrieving bats and balls and returning them to the Thunder dugout. Contrary to popular belief, his teeth did not leave marks in the equipment, as Retrievers are trained to carry birds without puncturing them, however he did have a golden tooth, due to his bat carrying duties. Later in the game, Chase usually caught frisbees to win a cash prize for a lucky fan. Chase had garnered significant media attention, appearing on FOX, CNN, YES Network, UPN9, WNBC4, and even Japanese television. In 2008, Chase sired a litter of pups. One of the pups was trained to be his successor and was named Home Run Derby (or Derby for short) in a fan poll during the offseason. Another of the pups from that litter was named Ollie, and currently serves in a batdog capacity for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Chase died July 8, 2013 aged 13. He was diagnosed with cancer in February and had been suffering from arthritis.4

Ownership

Joe Plumeri, Trenton-born and Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings, Joseph Finley and Joseph Caruso are the owners of the Trenton Thunder. Together, they make up Garden State Baseball, LP. Both Plumeri and Finley also own the Lakewood BlueClaws as American Baseball Company, LLC. Finley also is part owner of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.56 The team plays at Arm & Hammer Park, a 6,341-seat stadium.

Current roster

Trenton Thunder roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

  •  4 Ali Castillo
  • 20 Dan Fiorito
  • 24 Rob Refsnyder
  • 26 Rob Segedin
  • 38 Zach Wilson

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On New York Yankees 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated April 9, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
New York Yankees minor league players

References

External links








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