Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a Minor League Baseball team in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Pelicans are members of the Carolina League and most recently won the league's championship in 2016. Home games are played at TicketReturn.com Field, which opened in 1999 and seats up to 6,599 fans. From their inaugural season through 2010, the Pelicans were affiliated with the Atlanta Braves, before spending four seasons as a Texas Rangers affiliate from 2011 to 2014. The team's affiliation with the Chicago Cubs began in 2015 and is currently in place through 2022.
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans|
Founded in 1999
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Carolina League (1999–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Chicago Cubs (2015–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (4)|
*co-champions with Wilmington
|Division titles (9)|
|Nickname||Myrtle Beach Pelicans (1999–present)|
|Colors||Pelicans blue, sun gold, midnight blue, white|
|Ballpark||TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark (1999–present)|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans LP|
|General Manager||Ryan Moore|
Previously, this franchise was known as the Durham Bulls, but relocated following the 1997 season as a result of the expansion of the Triple-A International League into Durham, North Carolina, where the new franchise assumed the "Bulls" name. It spent the 1998 season in Danville, Virginia, as the Danville 97s, awaiting a move to Myrtle Beach while their new stadium, Coastal Federal Field, was under construction. When then their home ballpark opened its gates on April 12, 1999, for the franchise's first game, 5,521 fans came to see the Pelicans play the Potomac Cannons. In the first at bat, Pelicans pitcher Luis Rivera struck out Cannons hitter Esix Snead looking. The first two hits at the stadium were home runs for each team, first by Potomac's Andy Bevins, and later that same game by Myrtle Beach's Ryan Lehr.
Their ballpark has since been renamed TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, which is a family-friendly stadium with a speed pitch, obstacle course, and moon bounce on the concourse. In 2004, Baseball America rated it the second-best Class-A level ballpark in the United States, and the best in the Carolina League in 2009. For four consecutive seasons (2011–2014), Stadium Journey ranked the Pelicans as the top stadium experience in the Carolina League, and one of the publication's "Top 50 Stadium Experiences" in all of sports, while TripAdvisor named the team the third-best attraction in Myrtle Beach.
In their first season, the Pelicans advanced to the 1999 Carolina League Mills Cup Championship series. The best-of-five series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks was tied 2–2, with the deciding Game 5 set to be played in Myrtle Beach, when the series was cancelled because of Hurricane Floyd. The two teams were named co-champions for that season.
Myrtle Beach won both the first and second-half Southern Division titles in 2008 under Rocket Wheeler, who was named Carolina League Manager of the Year. The following season, Jason Heyward played over half the year in Myrtle Beach en route to being named Baseball America's 2009 Minor League Player of the Year.
Front office changesEdit
On November 20, 2012, General Manager Scott Brown left to join the Triple-A Charlotte Knights of the International League. A month later, on December 21, 2012, the Pelicans hired Andy Milovich to become the club's Vice President and General Manager. By January 14, 2015, Milovich was promoted to President and General Manager.
On September 16, 2014, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans reached an agreement on a player development contract (PDC) with the Chicago Cubs, beginning with the 2015 season. The current PDC makes the Pelicans the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Cubs through 2022.
- 1999 season: Defeated Kinston 2–1 in semifinals; tied Wilmington 2–2 in championship.
- 2000 season: Defeated Lynchburg 3–0 to win championship.
- 2002 season: Lost to Kinston 2–0 in semifinals.
- 2008 season: Defeated Winston-Salem 3–1 in semifinals; lost to Potomac 3–1 in championship.
- 2011 season: Lost to Kinston 3–1 in semifinals.
- 2012 season: Lost to Winston-Salem 2–1 in semifinals.
- 2013 season: Lost to Salem 2–0 in semifinals.
- 2014 season: Defeated Salem 2–1 in semifinals; lost to Potomac 3–1 in championship.
- 2015 season: Defeated Winston-Salem 2–1 in semifinals; defeated Wilmington 3–0 to win championship.
- 2016 season: Defeated Salem 2–1 in semifinals; defeated Lynchburg 3–1 to win championship.
- 2017 season: Lost to Down East 2-0 in semifinals.
Notable former playersEdit
Several Pelicans have gone on to play in the major leagues. Some of these are:
- Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers shortstop
- Jeff Francoeur, Former MLB outfielder
- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves first baseman
- Rafael Furcal, All Star shortstop
- Marcus Giles, All Star second baseman
- Justin Grimm, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher
- Tommy Hanson, Former MLB starting pitcher
- Matt Harrison, Texas Rangers starting pitcher
- Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher
- Mike Hessman, Professional baseball player
- Julio Teherán, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher
- Jonny Venters, Atlanta Braves relief pitcher
- Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs outfielder
- Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher
- Adam LaRoche, Former MLB first baseman
- Jason Marquis, Former MLB starting pitcher
- Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves catcher
- Kris Medlen, Kansas City Royals starting pitcher
- Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers infielder
- Martin Prado, Miami Marlins infielder
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Toronto Blue Jays catcher
- Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves relief pitcher
- Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher
|43||Bruce Dal Canton||Pitching coach||1999–2007|
7-day injured list
- "Myrtle Beach Pelicans Change Franchise Affiliation to Chicago Cubs". WMBF. Worldnow and WMBF. September 17, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Vittas, John (September 14, 2016). "Pelicans win 5-3 for second straight Carolina League championship". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- "Facts and Figures - Myrtle Beach Pelicans TicketReturn.com Field". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- Blondin, Alan (October 31, 2018). "Pelicans extend deal: See how long Chicago Cubs farmhands will play in Myrtle Beach". The Sun News. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Swaney, Paul (September 21, 2014). "Ranking the Ballparks of the Carolina League". Stadium Journey. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Myrtle Beach Pelicans to Make National TV Debut Thursday on CBS Sports Network". The Sun News. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- Barnett, Nathan (June 30, 2014). "Pelicans game to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on July 3". Myrtle Beach Pelicans Official Website. Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- "Chuck Greenberg: Chairman & Managing Partner". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
Chuck Greenberg assumed the role of President & Managing Partner of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on May 31, 2006 after his ownership group purchased the club from Capitol Broadcasting Company. On January 14, 2009, Greenberg assumed the role of Chairman & Managing Partner when the organization announced Todd Parnell as President.
- "Pelicans GM Brown Leaving MB for Triple-A Charlotte". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "Pelicans Name New GM, Season Opens April 4th". Grand Strand Sports Report. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Barnett, Nathan (January 14, 2015). "Pelicans Announce Front Office Changes". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
- "Road to the Show". milb.com. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
- "Rafael Furcal - No. 2 Jersey Retired" (PDF). 2016 Myrtle Beach Pelicans Media Guide. Minor League Baseball. 2017. p. 105. Retrieved March 16, 2017.