Louisville Bats

Louisville Bats
Founded in 1982
Louisville, Kentucky
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
Current Triple-A (1982–present)
Minor league affiliations
League International League (1998–present)
Division West Division
Previous leagues
American Association (1982–1997)
Major league affiliations
Current Cincinnati Reds (2000–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 2001
  • 1995
  • 1985
  • 1984
Division titles (4)
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2003
Team data
Nickname Louisville Bats (2002–present)
Previous names
Colors Red, navy, white[1][2]
              
Ballpark Louisville Slugger Field (2000–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Gary Ulmer
Manager Dick Schofield
General Manager Dale Owens

The Louisville Bats are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Louisville, Kentucky. The Bats are the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The team, formerly known as the Louisville RiverBats, plays in the International League. The Bats play their home games at Louisville Slugger Field; the naming rights for the stadium were purchased by Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat.

History

In 1982, the St. Louis Cardinals moved their Triple-A team of the American Association, the Redbirds, from Springfield, Illinois to Louisville. During the 1982 season, the Louisville Redbirds broke the minor league attendance record by drawing 868,418 fans. In 1983, the Redbirds were the first minor league team to draw over one million fans in a single season (1,052,438). The Redbirds' success during the 1980s led to some speculation that Louisville could be a potential market for Major League Baseball expansion;[3] however this did not come to pass. In 1998, the American Association folded and the teams moved to either the International League or the Pacific Coast League. The league changed and expanded to Memphis and Durham, and the Cardinals shifted their Triple-A affiliation to Memphis, Tennessee and the new Memphis Redbirds not-for-profit franchise. In 1998 and 1999, Louisville was affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers and since 2000 with the Cincinnati Reds.[4][5]

From the time the Redbirds arrived in 1982 until the 1999 season, they played their home games at Cardinal Stadium (formally called Fairgrounds Stadium), located at the Kentucky Exposition Center, which seated over 30,000, (largest quoted as 34,330) allowing for the broken attendance records. In 1999, when the Redbirds became affiliated with the Brewers, they took the name Louisville RiverBats. In 2000 the team moved to Louisville Slugger Field, a new stadium in downtown Louisville, seating 13,131 with a more intimate baseball setting than at Cardinal Stadium. Spectators enter the stadium through the restored "train shed" building, which was formerly the Brinly-Hardy Co. warehouse.[6] In 2002 the team dropped the word "River" from its name and became simply known as the Louisville Bats. While the logo and mascot consist of the winged mammal, the bat is also synonymous with the Louisville Slugger baseball bat.[6]

The team's attendance was about 685,000 in the first season of Louisville Slugger Field and 663,961 the following year.[7] Traditionally one of the top-drawing minor league teams, the Bats' attendance in 2011 was second of all minor league teams with an average of 8,716 per game.[8]

In 2016, Forbes listed the Bats as the 11th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $36 million.[9]

Logo and team colors

From 2002 until 2016, the Bats had a black-and-purple color scheme, with a stylized bat and the team name across the front, in white. In 2016, the team updated its color scheme to red and navy blue, dropping its former colors. Additionally, the rebranding would update the logo to show a front-facing abstraction depicting a flying bat in front of a baseball moon while gripping a baseball bat in its talons. The update is the first rebranding since the team dropped the word "River" from its name and added the former color scheme.[10]

Titles

The Bats have once won the Governors' Cup—the championship of the IL—and twice played in the championship series.

Note: The Bats were ahead 1-0 in the championship series when the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred. The league canceled the rest of the series and declared the Bats the champions, thus the series was reduced to being a championship game.

Under Jim Fregosi's leadership from 1983 to 1986, the Redbirds won the American Association title in 1984 and 1985, and were the league runner up in 1983, when they won the Eastern Division. The team later won another AA championship in 1995.

Redbirds record

YearLeagueAffiliationRecordFinishManagerPlayoffs
1982American AssociationCardinals73-622nd (tie)Joe Frazier
1983American AssociationCardinals78-571stJim FregosiLost League Championship
1984American AssociationCardinals79-764th (tie)Jim FregosiAmerican Association Champs
1985American AssociationCardinals74-681stJim FregosiAmerican Association Champs
1986American AssociationCardinals64-784thJim Fregosi; Dyar Miller; Dave Bialas
1987American AssociationCardinals78-622ndMike JorgensenLost in semifinals
1988American AssociationCardinals63-794thMike Jorgensen
1989American AssociationCardinals71-744thMike Jorgensen
1990American AssociationCardinals74-723rdGaylen Pitts
1991American AssociationCardinals51-924thMark DeJohn
1992American AssociationCardinals73-703rdJack Krol; Mark Riggins
1993American AssociationCardinals68-763rdJack Krol; Mark Riggins
1994American AssociationCardinals74-684thJoe PettiniLost in semifinals
1995American AssociationCardinals74-704thJoe PettiniAmerican Association Champs
1996American AssociationCardinals60-844thJoe Pettini
1997American AssociationCardinals58-854thGaylen Pitts
1998International LeagueBrewers77-671stGary AllensonLost in semifinals

RiverBats record

YearLeagueAffiliationRecordFinishManagerPlayoffs
1999International LeagueBrewers63-8111thGary Allenson
2000International LeagueReds71-739thDave Miley
2001International LeagueReds84-603rdDave Miley

Bats record

YearLeagueAffiliationRecordFinishManagerPlayoffs
2002International LeagueReds79-656thDave Miley
2003International LeagueReds79-642ndDave Miley; Rick BurlesonLost in semifinals
2004International LeagueReds67-7710thRick Burleson
2005International LeagueReds66-7811thRick Sweet
2006International LeagueReds75-686thRick Sweet
2007International LeagueReds74-707thRick Sweet
2008International LeagueReds88-561st (tie)Rick SweetLost in semifinals
2009International LeagueReds84-581stRick SweetLost in semifinals
2010International LeagueReds79-643rdRick SweetLost in semifinals
2011International LeagueReds73-718thRick Sweet
2012International LeagueReds51-9314thDavid Bell
2013International LeagueReds69-759thJim Riggleman
2014International LeagueReds68-7512thJim Riggleman
2015International LeagueReds64-8011thDelino DeShields
2016International LeagueReds71-736thDelino DeShields
2017International LeagueReds56-8613thDelino DeShields

Players

The Bats have retired one number, number 8, in honor of catcher Corky Miller.

Alumni

This list contains former Louisville players who have played in at least 100 games in the major leagues:

Notable broadcasters

Listed below are the MLB broadcasting jobs that former Bats broadcasters have done since leaving the Bats

Current roster

Louisville Bats roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


7-day disabled list
* On Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated August 5, 2018
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB  International League
Cincinnati Reds minor league players

See also

References

Notes
  1. Fischer, Chadwick (November 23, 2015). "Louisville Bats unveil new logos and uniforms". Louisville Bats. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  2. "Louisville Bats New Logo Guide" (PDF). Louisville Bats. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  3. "Louisville, Kentucky Encyclopedia". Baseball-Reference.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  4. Kendrick, Scott. "Louisville Bats - Profile of the Triple-A Louisville Bats". Baseball.about.com. Archived from the original on 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  5. 1 2 "History | Louisville Bats Content". Milb.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  6. "Louisville Bats finish No. 2 in Minor League Baseball attendance". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  7. "Minor league attendance leaders are Lehigh Valley, Louisville and Columbus". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  8. Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 11. Louisville Bats". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  9. "Louisville Bats unveil new logo, color scheme". milb.com. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
Sources

  • "Baseball, Professional", The Encyclopedia of Louisville, p. 70-73, John E. Kleber, Editor in Chief, ISBN 0-8131-2100-0
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