Lowell Spinners (Class A Short-Season)
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History of Baseball in Lowell
Lowell has a history of professional baseball, going back to 1887 and the first incarnation of the New England League. They would also have franchises in all subsequent incarnations of the New England League (1891-1893, 1901-1915, 1919, 1926, 1929, 1933, 1947).
The Elmira Pioneers moved to Lowell in 1996, and the Red Sox, who had been affiliated with the Utica Blue Sox, changed affiliation with the Florida Marlins in order to have the local A-Ball team. Oddly enough, Elmira had been a long time Red Sox team, having been the Red Sox affilate in the New York-Penn League from 1973-1992.
The Spinners spent their first 2 seasons at Alumni Field, a stadium that had been used for High School Games and tournaments. The Spinners made due, bringing in Aluminum Bleachers to bring the seating to 4000. Since 1998, the Field has reverted to High School ball as well as a team in the New England College Baseball League. Despite the restrictions brought upon by use of a non-standard stadium, the Spinners brought in 97,000 fans in their first season, and increased their attendance to over 106,000 in their second year. Their second year was also the first year under new ownership, as Drew Weber and his wife Joann purchased the club in 1997.
1998 saw their first season in the brand new, HOK designed ballpark, Edward LeLacheur Park. The new park sat 4,767, and had a standing room capacity of 5,000. The first season was incredibly successful, as the team had 24 sell-outs and sold 174,000 tickets. The next season, attendance rose to 180,000 with 34 sell-outs in 38 games. From 2000 to the present time, the team has sold every single ticket to every single game. The team has a limit of 1600 season tickets, and there has been a waiting list each of the past 5 seasons.
2005 was the teams most succesful season record-wise, finishing the season with a 42-33 record, just missing out on their first playoff appearance. 2006 saw another winning season, again just missing out on a playoff spot.
On November 30th, 2006, co-owner Joann Weber passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Teams and Records
- 1996 33-41 Manager: Billy Gardner, Jr.
- 1997 38-38 Manager: Dick Berardino
- 1998 32-44 Manager: Dick Berardino
- 1999 34-42 Manager: Luis Aguayo
- 2000 40-33 Manager: Arnie Beyeler
- 2001 33-43 Manager: Arnie Beyeler
- 2002 34-41 Manager: Mike Boulanger
- 2003 39-35 Manager: Jon Deeble
- 2004 32-44 Manager: Luis Alicea
- 2005 42-33 Manager: Luis Alicea
- 2006 39-36 Manager: Bruce Crabbe
- Owners - Drew Weber and Joann Weber
- President - Shawn Smith
- General Manager - Tim Bawmann
- Assistant General Manager - Brian Lindsay
- NY-Penn League Nominee for the Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy - 1999, 2000, 2002
- NY-Penn League Nominee for the Minor League Baseball's President Trophy - 2002
- Baseball America's Freitas Award - 2000
- Minor League Baseball's Larry MacPhail Promotional Trophy - 2000
- Boston Baseball Writer's Achievement Award - 2000
- 1997 - Shawn Smith - Executive of the Year
- 1996 - Bobby Rodgers - 108
- 1998 - Angel Mendoza (OF)
With Boston only about 30 minutes away, Lowell has been used extensively as a first step in the rehabilitation process. The first person to rehab in Lowell was Cy Young award winner Bret Saberhagen in 1997. He would make a return appearance in 2000. Ramon Martinez (1999), Rich Garces (2001), Brian Daubach (2001), Gabe Kapler (2003, 2005), Kevin Youkilis (2004), David McCarty (2004), Keith Foulke (2005, 2006), and Wily Mo Pena (2006) have also made rehab appearances in Lowell.
Major League Spinners
- The Spinners Name is an homage to the textile industry of Lowell
- The Sell-out streak numbered 270 games through the 2006 season
- The Spinners had 2 Mascots: Canaligator and Allie-Gator. In July of 2006, an offspring of the two Gators was "born" at LeLacheur Stadium, Millie-Gator.
- On August 21, 2003, the Spinners gave bobble-head dolls of Lowell native Jack Kerouac to the first 1000 attendees. Fans began lining up 8 hours before the game, and dolls still sell on eBay for upwards of $100. A doll was accepted by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
- In February 2006, The Spinners offered to buy uniforms for any Little League in New England if they changed any team named the Yankees to the Spinners.
- 2006 Lowell Spinners
- 2005 Lowell Spinners
- 2004 Lowell Spinners
- 2003 Lowell Spinners
- 2002 Lowell Spinners