The Lowell Spinners are a Class A Short Season Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. Founded in 1996 after the Elmira Pioneers moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, the Spinners play in the New York–Penn League, which has a Class A Short Season classification with 76 games a year, 38 of which are at home.
Founded in 1996
|Minor league affiliations|
|Class||Class A Short Season|
|League||New York–Penn League|
|Division||Stedler Division (2000–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Boston Red Sox (1996–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Division titles (4)|
|Nickname||Lowell Spinners (1996–present)|
|Colors||Navy blue, red, green, white|
|Mascot||Canaligator, Allie-Gator, Millie-Gator|
|Ballpark||Edward A. LeLacheur Park (1998–present)|
|Stoklosa Alumni Field (1996–1997)|
Lowell's heritage in organized baseball dates to 1877, when the city hosted a team in the League Alliance. It was a frequent member of the Class B New England League, but had not fielded a team in minor league baseball since 1947, when the nearby Lawrence franchise transferred to Lowell on July 15.
After Smoll brought the Spinners to Lowell in 1996, Drew Weber was the team owner from 1997 until June 2016, when it was purchased by Dave Heller.
The Spinners set a minor-league record in the 2000 season, as they sold every home ticket for every home game. This began a streak of sold-out home games. The streak was broken on August 30, 2010, at 413 games.
On August 21, 2003, the Spinners sponsored a Jack Kerouac bobblehead giveaway. Kerouac was a Lowell native, and played football for Lowell High School. The bobblehead was accepted by Cooperstown in 2005, the first time a literary icon was accepted there. The bobbleheads were so popular that many more were made than originally intended, raised $10,000 for the Jack Kerouac Scholarship Fund. The enshrinement also made media headlines as far away as Los Angeles.
The giveaway was repeated on August 7, 2012, when the film adaptation of On the Road was released. The dolls had a bobble head as well as a "bobble arm." The bobbleheads were also available online for ordering, and as the game was sponsored by the UMass Lowell English Department, their departmental scholarships received the proceeds from the online orders. A third Kerouac bobblehead, featuring Kerouac in his Lowell High football uniform, was given out on July 25, 2013.
In 2005, the Spinners created the "Yankees Elimination Program." They offered to pay for the uniforms to all Little Leagues and youth softball teams in New England so that they would change all teams named "Yankees" into "Spinners". Over the next five years, 150 teams in New England made the switch. The Spinners also invited the youth teams to play at LaLecheur Park, and assisted in other fundraising initiative for those teams. In 2010, the program was limited to 75 teams on a first-come, first-served basis, and it was estimated that over $70,000 had been donated to youth baseball and softball programs through the initiative. Spinners VP and GM Tim Bawmann said,“The Yankees Elimination Promotion was originally built as a fun promotion in response to parents' stories of children losing interest in the game after facing taunts simply for playing in a Yankees uniform.”
On September 1, 2008, the Spinners reached the New York–Penn League playoffs for the first time, capturing the Stedler Division title. They were defeated in the playoffs by the Batavia Muckdogs. The Spinners reached the playoffs again in 2009, but lost to the Staten Island Yankees.
In October 2014, the Red Sox agreed to extend their player development contract with the Spinners for two more years through the 2016 season. In November 2015, the contract was extended again through the 2018 season.
In the 2016 season, the Spinners ended with a franchise-best record of 47 wins, and tied their record for home wins (25). Right fielder Tyler Hill won the NYPL batting title, and he and third baseman Bobby Dalbec became the first Spinners players to win Player of the Month awards. The Spinners won the Stedler Division title, but were swept by the Hudson Valley Renegades in the semifinals, 2–0. Pitching prospect Jason Groome made his first start for the team in the playoffs, after being promoted from the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
In 2019, the Spinners finished first in their division, then defeated the Batavia Muckdogs (2 games to 1) in the semifinals, to advance to the league championship series against the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Spinners were defeated in the finals (2 games to 1), with Brooklyn winning the deciding third game of the series by a 4–3 score.
Following the 2019 season, Major League Baseball (MLB) proposed dramatic changes to Minor League Baseball (MiLB) that would take effect after the current agreement that governs the MLB–MiLB relationship expires at the end of the 2020 season. MLB's proposal included reducing the number of minor league teams from 160 to 120—the Spinners were included on the list of teams that could be eliminated under the proposal.
Spinners games are broadcast on Lowell talk station WCAP. For the 2007 season they were on WLLH, another Lowell AM radio station, which at the time was an ESPN Radio affiliate. The games returned to WCAP the next season.
Yearly team recordsEdit
Records since the team has played in Lowell (1996–present).
|1996||McNamara||33||41||.446||3rd||9th||Billy Gardner Jr.|
|1999||McNamara||34||42||.447||6th||10th (t)||Luis Aguayo|
|2003||Stedler||39||35||.527||3rd||6th||Jon Deeble (36–30)
Lynn Jones (3–5)
|2008||Stedler||40||33||.548||1st||5th||Gary DiSarcina||Lost to Batavia 2–1 in semifinals|
|2009||Stedler||45||30||.600||1st||3rd (t)||Gary DiSarcina||Lost to Staten Island 2–1 in semifinals|
|2016||Stedler||47||29||.618||1st||3rd||Iggy Suarez||Lost to Hudson Valley 2–0 in semifinals|
|2019||Stedler||42||34||.553||1st||4th||Luke Montz||Defeated Batavia 2–1 in semifinals|
Lost to Brooklyn 2–1 in final
Notable Spinners alumniEdit
A full list of Spinners players who played in the major leagues, with their debut dates, is maintained on the team website.
- Abe Alvarez - on 2003 roster, received a World Series ring for spot start in 2004 for Boston.
- Mookie Betts - selected to 2016, 2017 and 2018 MLB All-Star Games with the Boston Red Sox. Won the 2018 World Series with the Boston Red Sox. 2018 American League Most Valuable Player.
- Jackie Bradley, Jr. - selected to 2016 MLB All-Star Game with the Boston Red Sox.
- Drake Britton - played for Boston Red Sox in 2013 and 2014.
- Clay Buchholz - won the 2007 and 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
- Felix Doubront- won the 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
- David Eckstein - first Spinner to play in a World Series (2002, with the Anaheim Angels), and first to be named world Series MVP (2006, with the St. Louis Cardinals).
- Jacoby Ellsbury- won the 2007 and 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
- Adam Everett - on the 1998 roster. Won a gold medal with the US Olympic Baseball Team at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
- Shea Hillenbrand - on the 1996 roster, first Spinner to be an All-Star selection (AL, 2002 MLB All-Star Game).
- José Iglesias - American League Rookie of the Month (June 2013) with the Boston Red Sox, selected to 2015 MLB All-Star Game with the Detroit Tigers.
- Ryan Kalish - NYPL All-Star (2007) and Harry Agganis Award as Red Sox Rookie of the Year (2010)
- Ryan Lavarnway - played for the Boston Red Sox 2011–2014.
- Jed Lowrie - pre-season grand slam on April 4, 2009, was the first major league home run at Citi Field.
- Justin Masterson - 2013 MLB All-Star Game with Cleveland Indians.
- Will Middlebrooks - won the 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
- Yamaico Navarro - 2014 Korean Series winner and MVP and 2015 KBO All-Star with the Samsung Lions.
- Jonathan Papelbon - won the 2007 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
- Hanley Ramírez - 2006 NL Rookie of the Year.
- Aníbal Sánchez - on 2004 roster, first Spinner to throw a no-hitter (2006 for the Florida Marlins). Also won the AL ERA title in 2013.
- Freddy Sanchez - won NL Batting title in 2006 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Wilton Veras - on 1996 roster, first Spinner to make the Red Sox roster in 1999. Former hitting coach for the Spinners.
- Alex Wilson - played for the 2013 and 2014 Boston Red Sox.
- Brandon Workman - won the 2013 and 2018 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
- Kevin Youkilis - on the 2001 roster, second Spinners player to win a World Series ring (2004 with the Boston Red Sox), and won a second in 2007.
7-day injured list
- "Meet the Spinners Mascot Family".MiLB.com. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Franchise History". MiLB.com. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Spinners' sellout streak ends at 413". The Lowell Sun. September 1, 2010. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- McConville, Christine. "Kerouac fans hit road for free dolls". Boston.com. August 22, 2003. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- Shanahan, Mark, and Meredith Goldstein. "Jack Kerouac gets a new bobblehead in Lowell".Boston Globe. June 27, 2012. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- Perry, David. "He's on the Road...to Cooperstown!". Umass Lowell. Originally published by The Lowell Sun Online, May 5, 2005. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- Ulin, David L."On the Road to Cooperstown". Los Angeles Times. May 23, 2005. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Jack is BACK: Kerouac Double Bobble August 7". MiLB.com. June 26, 2012. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Kerouac Bobble Head Night: Lowell Spinners vs. Brooklyn Cyclones". Lowell Celebrates Kerouac!. August 21, 2012. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Spinners Bobble Head History".MiLB.com. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- Civin, Todd (March 2, 2010). "Lowell Spinners Enter Fifth Year Of Yankee Elimination Program". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- Bollinger, Rhett. RedSoxMLB.com – Red Sox, Lowell extend player development deal through '16 "Red Sox, Lowell extend player development deal through '16".MLB.com. October 2, 2014. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Spinners, Red Sox extend affiliation deal". Ballparkdigest.com. November 10, 2015. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Renegades Sweep Ends Spinners Season".MiLB.com. September 8, 2016. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- Smith, Christopher. "Jason Groome, Michael Kopech, Boston Red Sox two top pitching prospects, to make playoff starts".Masslive.com. September 7, 2016. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Brooklyn tops Lowell in New York-Penn League final". The Boston Globe. AP. September 10, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Reports: MLB proposes overhaul of minor leagues, elimination of 40 teams". ESPN.com. October 18, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
- "The Minor League Teams That Could Lose M.L.B. Ties". The New York Times. November 19, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Spinners radio broadcast returns: The entire 2008 season to be broadcast on the new 980 WCAP Radio". New York–Penn League. November 2, 2007. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- Fybush, Scott (February 12, 2007). "Barber out, DePetro in at WPRO". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- Fybush, Scott (November 5, 2007). "C&K Out, Imus In at WABC". NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- @BataviaDNSports (September 6, 2019). "#NYPPlayoffs: Throw to home from Rosario not in time and @LowellSpinners win 4-3 in Game 3 of semifinal and advance to #NYPL Championship vs @BKCyclones" (Tweet). Retrieved September 6, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Avallone, Michael (September 10, 2019). "Cyclones rally to first outright NYPL title". MiLB.com. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Lowell Spinners". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- "2018 New York-Penn League Final Standings". MiLB.com. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- "Major League Spinners". MiLB,.com. Accessed September 9, 2016.
- "Kalish Red Sox Rookie of Year". Telegram. October 10, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
- Schwarz, Alan (April 4, 2009). "Perez Falters in Tune-Up, but Achieves Citi Field Milestone". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
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