The Frisco RoughRiders (often shortened to 'Riders) are a Minor League Baseball team of the Texas League and the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. They are located in Frisco, Texas, and are named for the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment during the Spanish–American War, headed by future American President Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed "The Rough Riders" by the American press. They play their home games at Dr Pepper Ballpark which opened in 2003 and seats 10,316 people.
Founded in 2003
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (1)||2004|
|Division titles (4)|
|Nickname||Frisco RoughRiders (2003–present)|
|Colors||Scorched red, slate blue, Texas navy, cream|
|Ballpark||Dr Pepper Ballpark (2003–present)|
|Greenberg Sports Group|
|General Manager||Andy Milovich|
In 2001, the Texas League's Shreveport SwampDragons (previously the Shreveport Captains) of Shreveport, Louisiana, were purchased by Mandalay Entertainment in connection with Tom Hicks, former owner of the Texas Rangers and the Southwest Sports Group. Mandalay Baseball moved them to the North Texas city of Frisco and changed their name to the RoughRiders. The team would play at Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark, a newly-constructed stadium, and be the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
The RoughRiders played their first home game on April 3, 2003. The game was a sellout with over 10,000 fans in attendance. They qualified for the Texas League playoffs in their inaugural season. They advanced past the Wichita Wranglers before being defeated by the San Antonio Missions, four games to one, in the finals. Frisco saw 675,620 fans come through the turnstiles at Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark, which ranked fourth overall in all of minor league attendance.
The 'Riders finished off a remarkable second-half run and clinched the 2004 second-half Eastern Division title at home. They defeated the Tulsa Drillers to win the Eastern Division title and moved on to face the Round Rock Express, winners of the Western Division in the championship series. Frisco beat the Express, four games to one, and captured its first Texas League championship in just its second year of existence.
Frisco hosted the 2005 Texas League All-Star Game in which Andre Ethier lead the East All-Stars over the West, 5–0, with a key RBI-single. On July 28, 2005, A. J. Murray, Steve Karsay, and Scott Feldman combined to pitch a perfect game for the RoughRiders against the Corpus Christi Hooks in Corpus Christi. The final score was 3–0. They finished the season with a 58–82 record.
Pitchers Thomas Diamond and John Danks, infielder Adam Morissey, and outfielder Anthony Webster were selected for the 2006 Texas League All-Star Game. The 'Riders finished the season in third place with a 72–68 record.
Frisco returned to postseason play in 2007 by virtue of winning the first-half title, but were defeated in the first round by San Antonio, three games to none. Their final 2007 season record was 85–55, the best ever in RoughRiders' history. First-year Manager Dave Anderson was named Texas League Manager of the Year, the first such honor for a Frisco manager. Baseball America selected Frisco as the 2007 Bob Freitas Award winner for the top Double-A franchise.
The RoughRiders defeated the Texas Rangers in a preseason exhibition game on March 29, 2008. On May 18, Matt Harrison tossed a 2–0 7-inning no-hitter against the San Antonio Missions at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. The team once again captured the first-half division title, but also won the second-half title with an overall record of 84–56. They swept San Antonio to win the South Division, but fell to the Arkansas Travelers, 3–2, in the championship finals. Frisco manager Scott Little won the league's Manager of the Year Award.
Frisco hosted the 2009 Texas League All-Star Game in which five of its players were selected to compete: pitchers Jumbo Díaz and Kasey Kiker, catcher Manny Piña, outfielder Craig Gentry, and first baseman Justin Smoak. The 'Riders lost the final game of the season to the Midland RockHounds, thus eliminating them from postseason contention.
Former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele led Frisco to clinch the 2010 first-half South Division title behind Tanner Roark who earned the win pitching 5.1 innings as the RoughRiders topped the Corpus Christi Hooks, 7–3, at Whataburger Field. The RoughRiders lost the best-of-five divisional round to the Midland RockHounds, three games to one. Blake Beavan won the Texas League Pitcher of the Year Award after posting a 10–5 record and a 2.78 ERA over 17 starts.
Cuban defector Leonys Martín signed a five-year major-league contract with the Rangers worth $15.5 million and was assigned to Frisco to begin the 2012 season. Martín and eight other players (Mike Bianucci, José Félix, José Ruiz, Tommy Mendonca, Renny Osuna, Adalberto Flores, Justin Miller, and Martín Pérez were named Texas League All-stars that year. Though Frisco qualified for the postseason, they lost the best-of-five division series to San Antonio, three games to one. The 'Riders ended the regular season with 79 wins and 61 losses.
Making his first pitching performance in the Metroplex since signing with Texas for $60 million (after the Rangers paid a $51.7 million posting fee to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters), Yu Darvish struck out top Frisco prospect Jurickson Profar to begin four scoreless innings in a 6–1 exhibition win over the RoughRiders at Dr Pepper Ballpark on April 4, 2012. On May 18, the youngest player in all of Double-A baseball, shortstop Jurickson Profar extended his hit streak to 29 games in a 13–0 victory over San Antonio. The 19-year-old's streak ended the next night, but he kept his on-base streak going until it reached 50 straight games (the longest such streak in Minor League Baseball for 2012) on June 2. Power hitting prospect Mike Olt finished his biggest homer binge of the season, hitting two home runs in a June 3 game for the third-straight game. Olt went on to lead the Texas League in home runs with 28 despite getting called up to the big leagues in early August. Nine RoughRiders were named to the Texas League All-Star team. Frisco won the South Division title against Corpus Christi, 3–0, to advance to the league championship, but lost the league crown to the Springfield Cardinals, 3–1. The 2013 team finished with an even 70–70 record, but failed to win either half of the season.
On June 16, 2014, Mandalay Baseball Properties LLC, who owned the Frisco RoughRiders, entered into a definitive agreement with the CEO and Managing Partner of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Chuck Greenberg, as well as RoughRiders President Scott Sonju, for the sale of the Frisco RoughRiders franchise. Greenberg became Chairman, CEO, as well as the Managing Partner of the newly formed Frisco RoughRiders LP, which is a partnership of local investors who acquired the RoughRiders. Sonju is a Co-Managing Partner and continued to serve as RoughRiders' president to oversee the day-to-day operations of the team under Greenberg's leadership. The team qualified for the 2014 postseason, but lost the South Division title to Midland, three games to one. Losing seasons from 2015 to 2018, including back-to-back last-place finishes in 2017 and 2018, have kept the RoughRiders out of the postseason recently.
Frisco RoughRiders roster
7-day disabled list
The following is a partial list of players who have appeared in games for the RoughRiders (not including any rehab assignments) before being promoted to the major leagues.
- Elvis Andrus, shortstop
- Joaquín Arias, infielder
- Blake Beavan, relief pitcher
- Richard Bleier, relief pitcher
- Jason Botts, infielder
- John Danks, starting pitcher
- Chris Davis, first baseman
- Scott Feldman, starting pitcher
- Neftalí Feliz, starting pitcher/relief pitcher
- Wilmer Font, relief pitcher
- Craig Gentry, outfielder
- Adrián González, first baseman
- Ronald Guzmán, first baseman
- Odúbel Herrera, second baseman
- Derek Holland, starting pitcher
- Tommy Hunter, relief pitcher
- Ian Kinsler, second baseman
- Kameron Loe, starting pitcher
- Nomar Mazara, outfielder
- Chris McGuiness, infielder
- Marshall McDougall, infielder
- Mitch Moreland, first baseman/outfielder
- Drew Meyer, infielder
- Ramón Nivar, outfielder
- Laynce Nix, outfielder
- Alexi Ogando, starting pitcher/relief pitcher
- Mike Olt, first baseman/third baseman
- Scott Podsednik, outfielder
- Jurickson Profar, second baseman/shortstop
- Tanner Roark, starting pitcher
- Josh Rupe, starting pitcher
- Tanner Scheppers, relief pitcher
- Justin Smoak, infielder
- Mark Teixeira, firstbaseman
- Edinson Vólquez, starting pitcher
- C. J. Wilson, starting pitcher
- Chris Young, starting pitcher
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- "League Champions". Texas League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- "Texas League No-Hit Games". Texas League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Cutno, Damon. "Pelicans Chairman leads group to buy Rangers Double-A affiliate". WMBF-TV. WMBF-TV. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- "RoughRiders announce sale of franchise". Frisco RoughRiders. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- "Mascot Appearances". Frisco RoughRiders. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 19, 2018.