Round Rock Express
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Round Rock Express
Round Rock Express
Founded in 2000
Round Rock, Texas
RoundRockExpressLogo2019.pngRoundRockExpressCap.png
Team logoCap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassTriple-A (2005-present)
Previous classesDouble-A (2000-2004)
LeaguePacific Coast League (2005-present)
ConferenceAmerican Conference
DivisionSouthern Division
Previous leagues
Texas League (2000-2004)
Major league affiliations
TeamTBD (from 2021)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
  • 2000
  • 2006
  • 2015
  • 2019
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2011
  • 2015
  • 2019
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2004
2004
Team data
NameRound Rock Express (2000-present)
ColorsNavy blue, red, silver, white
       
MascotSpike
BallparkDell Diamond (2000-present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Ryan Sanders Baseball
General ManagerChris Almendarez
ManagerTBD

The Round Rock Express are a Minor League Baseball team of Pacific Coast League (PCL) and previously the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball club. They are located in Round Rock, Texas, and play their home games at the Dell Diamond.[1] The team is named for Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was nicknamed "The Ryan Express."[2] Ryan, along with son Reid Ryan and Don Sanders make up the team's ownership group, Ryan Sanders Baseball.[3]

The Express were established as a Double-A team of the Texas League (TL) in 2000. They won the Texas League championship in 2000. Round Rock was replaced by a Triple-A PCL team in 2005. The Triple-A Express carried on the history of the Double-A team that preceded them.

History

The ownership group led by Nolan Ryan and Don Sanders began its operations in Round Rock in 2000 as the Dell Diamond opened, moving the Double-A Texas League's Jackson Generals to the new park, affiliating with the Houston Astros and setting attendance records for the Double-A level. By 2003, Corpus Christi had offered the Ryan-Sanders group $20 million to build a stadium and move a professional franchise there, and the ownership group was convinced Round Rock could support Triple-A baseball.[4]

An Express game at the Dell Diamond at night

Meanwhile, the Pacific Coast League's Edmonton Trappers franchise, left isolated by the departure of the Calgary Cannons after the 2002 season for Albuquerque, was under pressure from the rest of the league to relocate to the United States. After the 2003 season, the Ryan group purchased the Trappers franchise with plans to relocate that franchise to Round Rock for 2005, once the Corpus Christi stadium would be ready for the Double-A franchise.[5] The Triple-A club would carry on the Round Rock Express identity; the Double-A club would become the Corpus Christi Hooks, and the Ryan group was able to negotiate an affiliation swap with the New Orleans Zephyrs to obtain the Astros' Triple-A affiliation for the newly-arriving PCL club.

In 2006, the Round Rock Express clinched the Southern Division of the league's American Conference with a win-loss record of 85-59. After defeating the Nashville Sounds in five games to take the American Conference championship, they advanced to the PCL championship series, but lost to the Tucson Sidewinders in three straight games.

In 2011, after 6 seasons of serving as the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, and 11 seasons of being affiliated with the Astros overall, the Express became the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Through the end of the 2018 season, attendance figures have dropped 8% since changing affiliations from Houston to Texas (see table below). Each of the top 9 season attendances all occurred in the 11 seasons the team was affiliated with Houston.

In 2016, Forbes listed the Express as the sixth-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $40 million.[6]

On September 20, 2018, the Express announced a 4-year Player Development Contract with the Houston Astros.[7] In conjunction with Major League Baseball's reorganization of the minors after the 2020 season, the Astros opted to discontinue their affiliation with Round Rock, leaving them in need of a new major league affilate.[8][9]

Season-by-season records

Table key
League The team's final position in the league standings
Division The team's final position in the divisional standings
GB Games behind the team that finished in first place in the division that season
Class champions Class champions (2005-present)
League champions League champions (2000-present)
§ Conference champions (2005-present)
* Division champions (2000-present)
^ Postseason berth (2000-2004)
Season-by-season records
Season League Regular season Postseason MLB affiliate Ref.
Record Win % League Division GB Record Win % Result
2000
^ * League champions
TL 83-57 .593 1st 1st -- 7-3 .700 Won First Half Western Division title
Won Western Division title vs. El Paso Diablos, 3-2
Won TL championship vs. Wichita Wranglers, 4-1[10]
Houston Astros [11]
2001
^ *
TL 86-54 .614 1st 1st -- 3-4 .429 Won First Half Western Division title
Won Western Division title vs. San Antonio Missions, 3-2
Lost TL championship vs. Arkansas Travelers, 2-0[12]
Houston Astros [13]
2002
^
TL 75-65 .536 4th 3rd 2 2-3 .400 Won First Half Western Division title
Lost Western Division title vs. San Antonio Missions, 3-2[14]
Houston Astros [15]
2003 TL 46-94 .329 8th 4th -- -- -- Houston Astros [16]
2004
^ *
TL 86-54 .614 1st 1st -- 1-4 .200 Won First and Second Half Western Division titles
Won Western Division title
Lost TL championship vs. Frisco RoughRiders, 4-1[17]
Houston Astros [18]
2005 PCL 74-70 .514 7th 3rd -- -- -- Houston Astros [19]
2006
* §
PCL 85-59 .590 2nd 1st -- 3-5 .375 Won American Conference Southern Division title
Won American Conference title vs. Nashville Sounds, 3-2
Lost PCL championship vs. Tucson Sidewinders, 3-0
Houston Astros [20]
2007 PCL 61-81 .430 14th 4th 13 -- -- -- Houston Astros [21]
2008 PCL 64-79 .448 13th 4th -- -- -- Houston Astros [22]
2009 PCL 63-81 .438 15th 4th 17 -- -- -- Houston Astros [23]
2010 PCL 57-87 .396 16th 4th -- -- -- Houston Astros [24]
2011
*
PCL 87-57 .604 2nd 1st -- 1-3 .250 Won American Conference Southern Division title
Lost American Conference title vs. Omaha Storm Chasers, 3-1
Texas Rangers [25]
2012 PCL 69-75 .479 11th 4th 11 -- -- -- Texas Rangers [26]
2013 PCL 73-71 .507 8th 3rd 9 -- -- -- Texas Rangers [27]
2014 PCL 70-74 .486 11th (tie) 3rd (tie) -- -- -- Texas Rangers [28]
2015
* §
PCL 78-66 .542 5th (tie) 1st -- 5-3 .625 Won American Conference Southern Division title
Won American Conference title vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers, 3-0
Lost PCL championship vs. Fresno Grizzlies, 3-2
Texas Rangers [29]
2016 PCL 71-72 .497 7th (tie) 2nd -- -- -- Texas Rangers [30]
2017 PCL 66-72 .478 12th 3rd -- -- -- Texas Rangers [31]
2018 PCL 65-73 .471 12th (tie) 4th 17 -- -- -- Texas Rangers [32]
2019
* §
PCL 84-56 .600 1st 1st -- 3-5 .375 Won American Conference Southern Division title
Won American Conference title vs. Iowa Cubs, 3-2
Lost PCL championship vs. Sacramento River Cats, 3-0
Houston Astros [33]
2020 PCL Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)[34] Houston Astros [35]
Totals -- 1,443-1,397 .508 -- -- -- 25-30 .455 -- -- --

Dell Diamond attendance

The Round Rock Express play home games at the Dell Diamond.
Season average attendance[36][37]
Season Average Games Total attendance Affiliation
2000 9,430 70 660,110 Houston Astros (Double-A)
2001 9,554 70 668,792 Houston Astros (Double-A)
2002 9,573 70 670,176 Houston Astros (Double-A)
2003 9,799 70 685,973 Houston Astros (Double-A)
2004 9,847 70 689,286 Houston Astros (Double-A)
2005 9,726 72 700,277 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2006 9,413 72 677,706 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2007 9,466 70 662,595 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2008 9,286 72 668,623 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2009 8,707 72 626,899 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2010 8,408 71 596,985 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2011 8,587 72 618,261 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2012 8,389 71 595,584 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2013 8,181 72 589,042 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2014 8,390 71 595,700 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2015 8,623 69 595,012 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2016 8,627 71 613,226 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2017 8,724 70 610,681 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2018 8,809 70 616,636 Texas Rangers (Triple-A)
2019 8,542 70 597,928 Houston Astros (Triple-A)
2020 Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)[34] Houston Astros (Triple-A)
Attendance ranking by affiliation (through 2018)
Rank Average Affiliation Seasons Games Total attendance
1 9,311 Houston Astros 12 849 7,905,350
2 8,540 Texas Rangers 8 566 4,834,142

Roster

Notable alumni

Popular culture

The "Play Ball" episode of The Simple Life, a reality television series starring young wealthy socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, took place during an Express game. The show aired on July 21, 2004, as the 15th episode of the show's second season.[38]

The team made headlines in 2010 when it "signed" Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson, described in a press release as an East Texan who grew up in Venezuela and had run-ins with the law. In reality, Johnson was actor Will Ferrell, who briefly took the mound at Dell Diamond to promote his nearby charity golf tournament.[39]

References

  1. ^ "Ballpark Profile | Round Rock Express Dell Diamond". Round Rock Express. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "NOLAN RYAN, THE MAN: Profile, History, Facts and Figures". C&D Publishers. 1998. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Janet (14 January 2011). "Dell Roots, Roots, Roots for the Home Team". Austin American-Statesman.
  4. ^ Greer, Jim (30 June 2003). "Partners aim for a hit with baseball shuffle". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Maki, Allan; Naylor, David (24 October 2003). "Eskimos cash in selling their Triple-A team". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams - 6. Round Rock Express". Forbes. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Rome, Chandler (September 20, 2018). "Astros officially announce re-affiliation with Round Rock Express". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Astros to make Sugar Land Skeeters their Class AAA affiliate". Chron.com. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ @jjcoop36 (November 18, 2020). "The Atlantic League has officially been informed by Sugar Land that the Skeeters have agreed to be the Astros Triple-A affiliate. Just further confirmation of the news broken by MarkBermanFox26" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ "2000 Texas League Standings". Stats Crew. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "2000 Texas League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "2001 Texas League Standings". Stats Crew. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "2001 Texas League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "2002 Texas League Standings". Stats Crew. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "2002 Texas League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ "2003 Texas League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "2004 Texas League Standings". Stats Crew. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "2004 Texas League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "2005 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "2006 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "2007 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "2008 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "2009 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "2010 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "2011 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ "2012 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "2013 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ "2014 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ "2015 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ "2016 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ "2017 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "2018 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ "2019 Pacific Coast League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2020.
  34. ^ a b "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  35. ^ "2020 Schedule" (PDF). Nashville Sounds. Minor League Baseball. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 5, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ [1] thebaseballcube.com, Round Rock Express Team Pages, 2000-2004.
  37. ^ [2] milb.com, PCL Attendance Tables, 2005-Present.
  38. ^ List provided by the Texas Film Commission: Katie Kelley, Office Manager - Texas Film Commission, Email, July 23, 2009
  39. ^ [3] MLB.com, "Will Ferrell pitches, entertains in Round Rock", May 7, 2010.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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