Wilmington Blue Rocks

The Wilmington Blue Rocks are a Minor League Baseball team located in Wilmington, Delaware. Beginning in 2021, they play in the High-A East as the High-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

Wilmington Blue Rocks
Founded in 1993
Wilmington, Delaware
WilmingtonBlueRocks.PNG Bluerockscap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassHigh-A (2021–present)
Previous classesClass A-Advanced (1993–2020)
LeagueHigh-A East (2021–present)
DivisionNorth Division
Previous leagues
Carolina League (1993–2020)
Major league affiliations
TeamWashington Nationals (2021–present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (5)
  • 1994
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2019
Division titles (6)
  • 1993
  • 1995
  • 2001
  • 2004
  • 2015
  • 2019
Team data
NameWilmington Blue Rocks (1993–present)
BallparkDaniel S. Frawley Stadium (1993–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Clark Minker, Main Street Baseball
General ManagerVince Bulik[2]
ManagerTommy Shields[1]

Franchise historyEdit

 
Rocky Bluewinkle, mascot of the Wilmington Blue Rocks

The Blue Rocks played in the Carolina League, an advanced Single-A league in minor league baseball, from 1993 to 2020. The name "Blue Rocks" was chosen because of the blue granite found along the Brandywine River in Wilmington. The Blue Rocks play at Judy Johnson Field at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in Wilmington's growing Riverfront district and was instrumental in bringing commerce and public attention to the once ignored and dilapidated area of the city.

The Blue Rocks played their first season in 1993 when the Peninsula Pilots were purchased and relocated to the riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware. Principal owner Frank Boulton and co-owner Bud Harrelson bought the franchise in 1992, moved the team from Hampton, Virginia, and changed their affiliation from the Seattle Mariners' farm system to the Kansas City Royals'.[3] When the franchise moved to Wilmington in 1993, the ballpark was known as Legends Stadium, after the sports legends of Delaware. After Frawley, the Wilmington mayor who played a major role in the creation of the team, died while playing a recreational basketball game, the stadium was renamed Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in his honor.

The Blue Rocks were Kansas City farm team from their inception, except for the 2005 and 2006 seasons when the team was affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. In 2020, with the re-organization of the minor leagues, the Blue Rocks became an affiliate of the Washington Nationals.[4]

In 2005, the Blue Rocks were featured in SportsCenter's 50 States in 50 Days. Matt Winer reported from a set in left field where SportsCenter did stories on the many mascots of the Blue Rocks. The Aug 19 game featuring SportsCenter drew the Blue Rocks' largest crowd in team history.

The Blue Rocks played host to the 2014 California/Carolina League All Star Game, having previously hosted the game last 12 years earlier in 2002. The California League All Stars ousted the Carolina League All Stars 3-2. Kyle Waldrop of the Bakersfield Blaze took home the game's MVP award.

On July 15, 2019, Jonathan Bowlan pitched the second no-hitter in franchise history against the Carolina Mudcats. He struck out nine batters, walking none on 97 pitches.

The Blue Rocks won the 2019 Mills Cup Championship for the first time since 1999, closing a five-game series with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers with a 2-0 victory on September 14, 2019.

In December 2020, the Blue Rocks were officially invited to become an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, joining the Nationals' minor league system beginning with the 2021 season.[5] In further conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Blue Rocks were organized into the 12-team High-A East.[6]

The Blue Rocks have three mascots. Rocky Bluewinkle is a blue moose. Mr. Celery is a stalk of celery who comes out and dances to "Song 2" by Blur whenever Wilmington scores a run.[7] Rubble is a giant blue rock.

RosterEdit

 
The Wilmington Blue Rocks' alternate logo
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

  •  6 J. T. Arruda
  • 25 Jack Dunn
  • -- Junior Martina
  • 26 Drew Mendoza
  • 12 Omar Meregildo
  •  3 Paul Witt

Outfielders

  • 29 Justin Connell
  • 24 Ricardo Méndez
  • 16 Kevin Strohschein
  • 81 Cody Wilson
  • 31 Jeremy Ydens


Manager


Coaches


  7-day injured list
* On Washington Nationals 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated November 19, 2021
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • High-A East
Washington Nationals minor league players

PlayoffsEdit

Season Semifinals Finals
1993 W, 2–0, Frederick L, 3–1, Winston-Salem
1994 - W, 3–0, Winston-Salem
1995 W, 2–0, Prince William L, 3–0, Kinston
1996 - W, 3–1, Kinston
1997 - -
1998 - W, 3–1, Winston-Salem
1999 - T, 2–2, Myrtle Beach
2000 - -
2001 W, 2–1, Frederick L, 3–2, Salem
2002 L, 2–1, Lynchburg -
2003 L, 2–0, Lynchburg -
2004 W, 2–1, Potomac L, 3–2, Kinston
2005 - -
2006 L, 2–1, Frederick -
2007 L, 2–0, Frederick -
2008 L, 3–0, Potomac -
2009 L, 3–2, Lynchburg -
2010 - -
2011 - -
2012 L, 2–1, Lynchburg -
2013 - -
2014 - -
2015 W, 2–0 Lynchburg L, 3–0, Myrtle Beach
2016 - -
2017 - -
2018 - -
2019 W, 3–2 Salem W, 3–2, Fayetteville

Players of noteEdit

More than 130 Blue Rocks have gone on to the major leagues, including All-Stars Carlos Beltrán, Lance Carter, Johnny Damon, Zack Greinke, Jon Lieber, Jed Lowrie, José Rosado, and Mike Sweeney. Other former Blue Rock players of note include:

 
Mike Moustakas during his tenure with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2009

Retired numbersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mears, Steve (December 15, 2020). "Washington Nationals hold ZOOM calls today for the media!". TalkNats. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  2. ^ "Personnel news: Frisco, Wilmington". Ballpark Digest. January 12, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Delaware Gets Carolina League Team". Roanoke Times. October 30, 2009. p. B9.
  4. ^ "Washington Nationals Extend Affiliation Invitation To Blue Rocks | Blue Rocks". Milb.com. December 9, 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  5. ^ "Nationals extend invitations to Minor League affiliates". Curly W Live. December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  7. ^ Hill, Benjamin (September 1, 2017). "How Mr. Celery became a Wilmington Blue Rocks legend". MiLB.com. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  8. ^ Janus, Matt (May 6, 2010). "Legendary Former Blue Rock Robin Roberts Passes Away". M.milb.com. Retrieved August 17, 2021.

External linksEdit