Hartford Yard Goats
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The Hartford Yard Goats are a Minor League Baseball team based in Hartford, Connecticut. The Yard Goats, which play in the Eastern League, are the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The team was founded in 2016 when the New Britain Rock Cats relocated to Hartford. The Yard Goats' home stadium is Dunkin' Donuts Park.
|Hartford Yard Goats|
Founded in 2016
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Eastern League (1983–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Colorado Rockies (2015–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (5)|
|Division titles (2)|
|Nickname||Hartford Yard Goats|
|Colors||Navy blue, green, gray, tan, white|
|Mascot||Chompers and Chew Chew|
|Ballpark||Dunkin' Donuts Park (2017–present)|
|General Manager||Mike Abramson|
The franchise's timeline can be traced back to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where they were a Boston Red Sox Double-A affiliate from 1965 to 1969. The franchise then moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1970, where they spent three years. The Pawtucket Red Sox became a Triple-A team in 1973, and the Red Sox moved their Double-A franchise to Bristol, Connecticut. Known as the Bristol Red Sox, the team played at Muzzy Field for ten seasons from 1973 to 1982. Starting with the 1983 season, the team was moved ten miles east to New Britain, Connecticut. Then known as the New Britain Red Sox, the team played its home games at Beehive Field, which stands next to New Britain Stadium. Renamed the Rock Cats in 1997, the team remained in New Britain through the 2015 season. In 2016, the team moved to Hartford and became the Yard Goats.
The Yard Goats were unable to play any games in Hartford in 2016 due to construction delays at Dunkin' Donuts Park, and instead played all of their home games on the road. These delays resulted in a lawsuit between the city of Hartford and Centerplan, the park's developer. Both sides later agreed to mediation. After the city called an insurance bond with Arch Insurance, the firm replaced Centerplan with Whiting-Turner which resumed construction in October 2016. The new developer completed the ballpark for the team's 2017 home opener on April 13, which they lost to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 7-2.
The nickname "Yard Goats" was selected as part of a "Name the Team" contest which drew over 6,000 submissions. "Yard goats" is rail-yard slang for the switch engines or terminal tractors that shuttle train cars between different locomotives. The stadium is adjacent to the Hartford rail yards. The logo features a goat chomping on a baseball bat and the team makes heavy use of animal imagery and symbolism. The colors are a nod to the Hartford Whalers team that played in the World Hockey Association (as New England) from 1974 to 1979 and then the National Hockey League from 1979 to 1997. The team stages an annual Whalers Reunion weekend, with special uniforms resembling the hockey club's and the logo has the goat chomping a hockey stick. The logo font replicates that used by the former New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad.
The team has two mascots, a green male goat named Chompers and a blue female goat named Chew Chew. The names were selected as part of a "Name the Mascot" contest. Chew Chew's name is designed to reflect both the railroad meaning of the nickname (as in choo choo train) and the goat logo, which is chewing on a baseball bat.
On April 21, 2016, Hartford Police reported that an individual had tackled Chompers outside the Connecticut Science Center after an event there. The man inside the costume, who was not named, was uninjured. Police are unsure whether it was an intentional assault or a prank that went too far.
(Place indicates finish in Eastern Division)
- 2016: 74-67 (3rd), manager Darin Everson
- 2017: 62-77 (5th), manager Jerry Weinstein
- 2018: 65-71 (3rd), manager Warren Schaeffer
Hartford Yard Goats roster
7-day injured list
- "Courant Community". www.courant.com. Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
- "Dunkin Donuts Park Architect Back On The Job". www.courant.com. Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- Spedden, Zach (December 21, 2016). "Dunkin' Donuts Park Aims for April 13 Debut". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Hartford Yard Goats (April 13, 2017). "Cats Walk All Over Yard Goats in Park Opener". MILB.com. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Doyle, Paul (March 18, 2015). "What's a Yard Goat? It's a baseball team coming to Hartford". Hartford Courant.
- Doyle, Paul (July 8, 2015). "Hartford Yard Goats Unveil Logo, Pay Tribute To Whalers With Colors". Hartford Courant.
- Polansky, Rob; Dixon, Mark (October 30, 2015). "'Chew Chew' and 'Chompers' unveiled as Yard Goats mascots". WFSB-TV.
- "Hartford Police Investigating Incident Involving Yard Goats Mascot". NBC Connecticut. April 21, 2016.