The Amarillo Thunderheads, formerly known as the Amarillo Sox, were a professional minor league baseball team based in Amarillo, Texas. They were members of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, an independent baseball league unaffiliated with Major League Baseball, and played their home games at Potter County Memorial Stadium.
|League||American Association (2011–2015) (South Division)|
|Ballpark||Potter County Memorial Stadium|
|Former name(s)||Amarillo Sox (2011–2014)|
|Former league(s)||Central Baseball League|
|Colors||Navy, red, white, gold|
|Ownership||Southern Independent Baseball|
|General Manager||Stephanie Tucker|
The team relocated to Amarillo in 2011. They were previously known as the Pensacola Pelicans, based in Pensacola, Florida. On December 2, 2014 they changed their name to the Amarillo Thunderheads. Following the 2015 season, the team was merged into the Texas AirHogs.
In 2010, businessman Quint Studer sold his American Association franchise, the Pensacola Pelicans, to the Amarillo group as part of a series of purchases aimed at bringing an affiliated Double-A team to Pensacola.
Former Amarillo Gold Sox and San Diego Padres pitcher Mark Lee was General Manager from 2006 to 2014. Stephanie Tucker, co-owner and General Manager of the Amarillo Venom, was named Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Sox following Lee's departure.
The franchise was originally going to be named the Amarillo Gold Sox after the longtime minor league team from the later 1930s through 1982. However, a trademark issue with the collegiate woodbat team the Marysville Gold Sox in California has forced the team to back away from using the name. Lee thus opted to name the team simply the Amarillo Sox, and revealed the team's name and logo at a January 5, 2011 press conference. Additionally, Lee named former California Angels player John Harris field manager.
After the 2014 season, the Sox were renamed the Amarillo Thunderheads.
On November 19, 2015, American Association commissioner Miles Wolff announced that there would no longer be interleague play between the AA and the Can-Am League (for which he is also commissioner) and that for the 2016 season the Thunderheads and the Grand Prairie AirHogs would operate as a joint team with 25 games in Amarillo and 25 games in Grand Prairie to make a 12 team league. Following the season the team announced that they would not be returning to Amarillo, and would play all games in Grand Prairie for 2017.
|Season||W - L Record||Winning Percentage||Finish||Playoffs|
|2011||44-56||.440||4th in South Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2012||46-54||.460||4th in South Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2013||52-48||.520||3rd in South Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2014||37-62||.374||4th in South Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2015||45-55||.450||4th in South Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
- Vasquez, Crystal (December 2, 2014). "The Thunderheads roll into Amarillo". KVII-TV.
- "Top 10 Sports Stories of 2010". Pensacola News Journal. January 2, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- "Amarillo Sox fire GM Lee". Amarillo Globe-News. 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
- "Sox name owner of Venom as new EVP/GM of Sox". 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Gold Sox to bat in city again, Amarillo Globe-News @ Amarillo.com, December 3, 2010
- A blast from the past, Amarillo Gold Sox return, KVII-TV website ConnectAmarillo.com, December 3, 2010
- Gold Sox name out for team, Amarillo Globe-News @ Amarillo.com, December 8, 2010
- Lahnert, Lance; Winslow, Donald R. (October 13, 2016). "Going, going, gone: Amarillo loses its minor league team". Amarillo Globe-News.