Grand Junction Rockies

  (Redirected from Butte Copper Kings)

The 'Grand Junction Rockies are an independent baseball team of the Pioneer League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB) but is an MLB Partner League. They are located in Grand Junction, Colorado, and play their home games at Suplizio Field. They are named for the Colorado Rockies, who were their major league affiliate from 2001 to 2020 prior to the league becoming independent. Their mascot is Corky Coyote.

Grand Junction Rockies
Grand Junction Rockies logo.svg Grand Junction Rockies cap logo.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassIndependent (from 2021)
Previous classesRookie (1978–1985, 1987–2020)
LeaguePioneer League (1978–1985, 1987–present)
DivisionSouth Division
Major league affiliations
TeamIndependent (from 2021)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (1)1981
Division titles (4)
  • 1981
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 2018
Team data
NameGrand Junction Rockies (2012–present)
Previous names
  • Casper Ghosts (2008–2011)
  • Casper Rockies (2001–2007)
  • Butte Copper Kings (1978–1985, 1987–2000)
MascotCorky Coyote
BallparkSuplizio Field (2012–present)
Previous parks
PresidentMick Ritter
ManagerBobby Jenks

Franchise historyEdit

The Butte Copper Kings, named for the once-powerful owners of the copper mines of Butte, Montana, began play in the Pioneer League in 1978 as a co-op team with players from the Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers organizations as well as a few free agents.[1]

Beginning in 1987, the franchise had been operated by Silverbow Baseball. It was sold in 1996 to the Goldklang Group in a move necessary to stem conflict-of-interest issues when Silverbow head Jim McCurdy had taken the position of President of the Pioneer League in 1994.[2] Silverbow had attempted to sell the franchise in 1994 to investors from California, but the deal fell through when it was determined that Silverbow owned a lesser percentage of the franchise than it had purported to own.[3]

Following the 2000 season, the team relocated to Casper, Wyoming as the Casper Rockies (and was renamed the Ghosts before the 2008 season[4]) and affiliated with Colorado.[5]

On January 13, 2011, Casper Professional Baseball Club, LLC announced the sale of the team to Monfort Investment Group, a group headed by Colorado Rockies General Partners. [6]

October 17, 2011, Grand Junction city officials unanimously approved a lease agreement to the team, making Suplizio Field home to the newly renamed Grand Junction Rockies.[7]

In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Pioneer League was converted from an MLB-affiliated Rookie Advanced league to an independent baseball league and granted status as an MLB Partner League, with Grand Junction continuing as members.[8]


Active (25-man) roster Coaches/Other


  • 12 Josh Agnew
  • 28 Cade Crader
  • 27 Cody Clark
  • 33 Jimmy Dobrash
  • 35 Israel Fuentes
  •  4 Tyler Johnson
  • 31 Alex Leach
  • 23 Brett Matthews
  • 24 Trevin Reynolds
  • 10 Chase Straton
  • 30 Luke Summers
  • 16 Michael Townsend
  • 49 James Varela



  • 19 Austin Elder
  • 25 Tyler Sandoval


  • 6 Jake Anderson
  •  8 Vinny Esposito
  • 2 Alex Monge
  •  1 Kelvin Maldanado
  • 29 Luke Roskam


  • 21 Jose Gutierrez
  • 20 Dondrei Hubbard
  • 11 Nate Scantlin
  • 18 Josh Elvir
  • 17 Frankie Jezioro
  • 5 Rolando Martinez



  Disabled list
‡ Inactive list
§ Suspended list

Roster updated September 8, 2022

Notable playersEdit

Butte Copper Kings,[9] Casper Rockies and Casper Ghosts[10] players who have made appearances on Major League teams:


  1. ^ "Pioneer Adds Butte". The Sporting News. February 25, 1978. p. 63.
  2. ^ "Copper Kings Have New Owners, Affiliation". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. June 18, 1996. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  3. ^ "Jury Rules in Favor of Former Cooper Kings Team Owner". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. October 12, 1996. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Casper Ghosts Launch Glow-in-the-Dark Identity". Casper Ghosts. October 31, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "Affiliations: Pioneer League". The Official Site of the Pioneer League. Pioneer Baseball League. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  6. ^ "Monfort Investment Group Purchases Casper Ghosts". Official Site of the Casper Ghosts. Casper Ghosts. January 13, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "Grand Junction officials OK Casper Ghosts' move to Colorado". Casper Star Tribune. October 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "Pioneer League named MLB Partner League". Baseball America. November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Butte Alumni". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
  10. ^ "Casper Alumni". The Baseball Cube. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2011.

External linksEdit