Greenville Drive
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Greenville Drive
Greenville Drive
Founded in 1993
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville Drive.pngGreenville Drive (cap insignia).png
Team logoCap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassHigh-A (2021-present)
Previous classesClass A (1994-2020)
LeagueHigh-A East (2021-present)
DivisionSouth Division
Previous leagues
South Atlantic League (1994-2020)
Major league affiliations
TeamBoston Red Sox (2005-present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
  • 1998
  • 2017
2017
Team data
NameGreenville Drive (2006-present)
Previous names
  • Greenville Bombers (2005)
  • Capital City Bombers (1993-2004)
MascotReedy Rip'it
BallparkFluor Field at the West End (2006-present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Craig Brown
General ManagerEric Jarinko
ManagerIggy Suarez

The Greenville Drive are a Minor League Baseball team based in Greenville, South Carolina.[a] They are the High-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and are a member of the High-A East league. Prior to the 2021 season, the team competed at the Class A level in the South Atlantic League. They play their home games at Fluor Field at the West End, and their mascot is a frog named Reedy Rip'it.

From 1993 to 2004, the team played in Columbia, South Carolina, as the Capital City Bombers, an affiliate of the New York Mets succeeding the Columbia Mets. In the team's first season as a Red Sox affiliate, 2005, they were known as the Greenville Bombers.

History

The Drive began their history in 1993 as the Capital City Bombers. The name was chosen to honor members of the Doolittle Raiders, who had conducted their initial training in Columbia. The Bombers won the South Atlantic League championship in 1998.

Following the 2004 season, the Bombers changed affiliations and became the affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, who had previously been affiliated with the Augusta GreenJackets, also of the South Atlantic League. On February 11, 2005, Minor League Baseball announced that the Bombers had been granted permission to move to Greenville, where a new park opened in 2006. The Bombers would play in Greenville Municipal Stadium in 2005.

On October 27, 2005, the Bombers announced the team's name would change to the Drive.[2] The name was chosen due to the presence of BMW US Manufacturing and Michelin in the area and, more generally, due to Greenville's rich automotive past.[3] An alternative name was chosen after Shoeless Joe Jackson called the Joes but Major League Baseball vetoed the name due to his role in the Black Sox Scandal in 1919.[4]

In 2008, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin became the first Drive player to be selected to the annual All-Star Futures Game, which took place on July 13 at Yankee Stadium. Lin hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw that helped the World team beat the US Team, 3-0. He finished 2-for-2 and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Former pitcher Clay Buchholz participated in the 2007 edition, a season after playing for the Drive.[5]

In 2009, Ryan Lavarnway played for the Drive, hitting 21 home runs and a .540 slugging percentage (both tops for Red Sox minor leaguers) and 87 RBIs in 404 at bats.[6][7]

On May 8, 2012, three Greenville pitchers combined to toss the club's first ever no-hitter. Miguel Pena (six innings), Hunter Cervenka (two), and Tyler Lockwood (one) joined forces to defeat the Rome Braves, 1-0. A solo home run by Keury De La Cruz off of David Filak in the sixth inning accounted for the only run of the game.[8]

In the 2017 postseason, the team defeated the Kannapolis Intimidators, 3 games to 1, to win the franchise's first championship since becoming the Greenville Drive in 2006.

The Drive had an in-state rivalry with the Charleston RiverDogs, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, while in the South Atlantic League. This particular rivalry was also fueled by the regional rivalry between the two parent clubs.

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the team moved from being the Red Sox' Class A affiliate to being their High-A affiliate, and became a member of the High-A East league; in a corresponding move, the Salem Red Sox moved from Class A-Advanced to Low-A.[9][10]

Stadium

Capital City Stadium in downtown Columbia, was the home of the Bombers. The stadium was originally built in 1927, but was completely rebuilt in 1991. Capital City Stadium has a seating capacity for 6,000 spectators, has a grass surface and features the following fence dimensions: (LF) 330 ft., CF 400 ft., RF 320 ft.

The Bombers had sought assistance from the City of Columbia in building a new stadium located in the Congaree Vista area of Columbia. Efforts to construct a stadium to be shared with the University of South Carolina's baseball team fell through when the University demanded the Bombers pay $6 million in fees upfront.[] Following this, Bombers owner Rich Mozingo sought to relocate the team.

Mozingo's efforts paid off when, in 2005, the Bombers relocated to Greenville, South Carolina. Following the move, the Bombers played their home contests in Greenville Municipal Stadium in Greenville, then moved to Fluor Field at the West End, in the heart of downtown Greenville. The stadium was named "Ballpark of the Year" for the 2006 season by Baseballparks.com, beating out such stadiums as St. Louis's Busch Stadium and Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, Pa.[11]

The stadium shares the dimensions of their parent club's major league park, Fenway Park, and boasts its own (slightly shorter) "Green Monster" complete with manual scoreboard and "Pesky's Pole" in right field.[12]

Season-by-season records

Below are the season records for the Capital City Bombers, Greenville Bombers, and Greenville Drive.[13]

Capital City Bombers

The team competed in the South Atlantic League (Class A).

Season Division Record Pct. Division
finish
League
rank
Manager Playoffs
1993 South 64-77 .454 6th 10th Ron Washington  
1994dagger South 59-76 .437 5th 12th  
1995 South 72-68 .514 3rd 8th Howie Freiling  
1996 Central 82-57 .590 2nd 2nd Lost to Asheville Tourists, 2-0
1997 Central 77-63 .550 1st 3rd Doug Mansolinodouble-dagger
John Stephenson
Lost to Greensboro Bats, 2-0
1998 Central 90-51 .638 1st 1st Doug Davis Defeated Piedmont Boll Weevils, 2-0
Defeated Hagerstown Suns, 2-1
Defeated Greensboro Bats, 2-1
League Champions
1999 Central 83-58 .589 1st 2nd Dave Engle Defeated Greensboro Bats, 2-1
Lost to Cape Fear Crocs, 2-0
2000 South 56-81 .409 7th 13th (t) John Stephenson  
2001 South 62-73 .459 6th 11th Ken Oberkfell  
2002 South 75-64 .540 3rd 6th Tony Tijerina Lost to Columbus RedStixx, 2-1
2003 South 73-65 .529 5th 7th  
2004 South 89-47 .654 1st 1st Jack Lind Defeated Charleston RiverDogs, 2-0
Lost to Hickory Crawdads, 3-0

dagger The team was known as the "Columbia Bombers" during the 1994 season.
double-dagger Mansolino resigned on June 18, at the request of the Mets, following the alcohol-related death of player Tim Bishop in April; he was replaced by Stephenson.[14]
Source:[15]

Greenville Bombers

The team competed in the South Atlantic League (Class A).

Season Division Record Pct. Division
finish
League
rank
Manager Playoffs
2005 North 72-66 .522 2nd (t) 6th (t) Chad Epperson  

Source:[15]:720

Greenville Drive

The team competed in the South Atlantic League (Class A) through 2020, then moved to the High-A East league (Class A-Advanced).

Division finish and league rank columns are based on overall regular season records. The South Atlantic League utilized a split-season, with first-half winners and second-half winners of each division meeting in the playoffs; if the same team won both halves of the season, the team with the next best overall record was selected.[16]

Season Division Record Pct. Division
finish
League
rank
Manager Playoffs
2006 Southern 67-73 .479 6th 11th Luis Alicea  
2007 Southern 58-81 .417 7th 14th Gabe Kapler  
2008 Southern 70-69 .504 4th 8th Kevin Boles  
2009 Southern 73-65 .529 3rd 5th Lost in the league finals
2010 Southern 77-62 .554 2nd 3rd Billy McMillon Lost in the league finals
2011 Southern 78-62 .557 2nd 4th  
2012 Southern 66-73 .475 6th 9th Carlos Febles  
2013 Southern 51-87 .370 7th 14th  
2014 Southern 60-79 .432 5th 10th Darren Fenster  
2015 Southern 72-68 .514 3rd 6th  
2016 Southern 70-69 .504 3rd (t) 8th (t)  
2017 Southern 79-60 .568 1st 1st Defeated Charleston in semifinals, 2-1
Defeated Kannapolis in finals, 3-1
League Champions[17]
2018 Southern 64-75 .460 7th 12th Iggy Suarez  
2019 Southern 56-82 .406 6th 13th  
2020 Southern Season cancelled, COVID-19 pandemic  
2021 South TBD

Source:[18]

Roster

Notable Greenville alumni

Notes

  1. ^ Greenville is 932 miles (1,500 km) from Fenway Park in Boston.[1]

References

  1. ^ "MLB affiliate overview: American League East". MiLB.com. February 12, 2021. Retrieved 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Andrews, Mike (October 28, 2005). "Greenville Bombers Change Name". Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Sox Prospects Wiki". Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ "Greenville welcomes the Drive". MILB. October 27, 2005. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Che-Hsuan Lin Selected to the MLB Futures Game". 26 June 2008.
  6. ^ "Ryan Lavarnway Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ Michael Vega (June 17, 2011). "Lavarnway swings into action with Pawtucket". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on August 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ "Rome vs. Greenville - May 8, 2012 - MiLB.com Box - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com.
  9. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2021.
  10. ^ Collins, Matt (December 9, 2020). "Red Sox to reportedly keep all four full-season affiliates, leaving Lowell without affilation". overthemonster.com. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ [1], GreenvilleDrive.com Westend Park. Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  12. ^ [2], GreenvilleDrive.com 2006 Stadium of the Year Article . Retrieved on 2008-06-22.
  13. ^ "Greenville, South Carolina Encyclopedia - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  14. ^ "Mets fire coaches for alcohol death concerns". The Tennessean. New York Times News Service. June 23, 1997. p. 6. Retrieved 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ a b Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles (2007). Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (third ed.). Baseball America. ISBN 9781932391176.
  16. ^ "Playoff Procedures". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "2017 South Atlantic League - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  18. ^ "Greenville Drive". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2018.

Further reading

External links


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