|Minor league affiliations|
|Class||Class A Short Season (1996-2020)|
|League||New York-Penn League (1996-2020)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Boston Red Sox (1996-2020)|
|Minor league titles|
|Name||Lowell Spinners (1996-2020)|
|Colors||Navy blue, red, green, white|
|Mascot||Canaligator, Allie-Gator, Millie-Gator|
|Ballpark||Edward A. LeLacheur Park (1998-2020)|
Stoklosa Alumni Field (1996-1997)
The Lowell Spinners were a baseball team based in Lowell, Massachusetts. From 1996 to 2020, they were members of Minor League Baseball's New York-Penn League (NYPL) as the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. With Major League Baseball's reorganization of the minor leagues after the 2020 season, Lowell was not selected to continue in affiliated baseball.
The team was founded in 1996, after the Elmira Pioneers moved to Lowell. For the 1996 and 1997 seasons, the Spinners played at Stoklosa Alumni Field; from 1998 onward, they played at Edward A. LeLacheur Park.
Lowell's heritage in organized baseball dates to 1877, when the city hosted two teams. The 1877 Lowell team played in the League Alliance and the Lowell Ladies Men were members the 1877 New England Association. Lowell was a frequent member of the Class B New England League, but had not fielded a team in minor league baseball since 1947, when the nearby Lawrence Millionaires franchise transferred to Lowell on July 15.
After Clyde Smoll Jr. (who bought the Elmira team in 1986 and was the son of former major league pitcher Clyde Smoll) brought the team to Lowell in 1996, Drew Weber was the team owner from 1997 until June 2016, when the franchise was purchased by Dave Heller.
The Spinners set a minor-league record in the 2000 season, as they sold every home ticket for every home game. This began a streak of sold-out home games. The streak was broken on August 30, 2010, at 413 games. 
On August 21, 2003, the Spinners sponsored a Jack Kerouac bobblehead giveaway. Kerouac was a Lowell native, and played football for Lowell High School. The bobblehead was accepted by Cooperstown in 2005, the first time a literary icon was accepted there. The bobbleheads were so popular that many more were made than originally intended, raised $10,000 for the Jack Kerouac Scholarship Fund. The enshrinement also made media headlines as far away as Los Angeles.
The giveaway was repeated on August 7, 2012, when the film adaptation of On the Road was released. The dolls had a bobble head as well as a "bobble arm." The bobbleheads were also available online for ordering, and as the game was sponsored by the UMass Lowell English Department, their departmental scholarships received the proceeds from the online orders. A third Kerouac bobblehead, featuring Kerouac in his Lowell High football uniform, was given out on July 25, 2013.
In 2005, the Spinners created the "Yankees Elimination Program." They offered to pay for the uniforms to all Little Leagues and youth softball teams in New England so that they would change all teams named "Yankees" into "Spinners." Over the next five years, 150 teams in New England made the switch. The Spinners also invited the youth teams to play at LaLecheur Park, and assisted in other fundraising initiative for those teams. In 2010, the program was limited to 75 teams on a first-come, first-served basis, and it was estimated that over $70,000 had been donated to youth baseball and softball programs through the initiative. Spinners VP and GM Tim Bawmann said,"The Yankees Elimination Promotion was originally built as a fun promotion in response to parents' stories of children losing interest in the game after facing taunts simply for playing in a Yankees uniform."
On September 1, 2008, the Spinners reached the New York-Penn League playoffs for the first time, capturing the Stedler Division title. They were defeated in the playoffs by the Batavia Muckdogs. The Spinners reached the playoffs again in 2009, but lost to the Staten Island Yankees.
In October 2014, the Red Sox agreed to extend their player development contract with the Spinners for two more years through the 2016 season. In November 2015, the contract was extended again through the 2018 season.
In the 2016 season, the Spinners ended with a franchise-best record of 47 wins, and tied their record for home wins (25). Right fielder Tyler Hill won the NYPL batting title, and he and third baseman Bobby Dalbec became the first Spinners players to win Player of the Month awards. The Spinners won the Stedler Division title, but were swept by the Hudson Valley Renegades in the semifinals, 2-0. Pitching prospect Jason Groome made his first start for the team in the playoffs, after being promoted from the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.
In 2019, the Spinners finished first in their division, then defeated the Batavia Muckdogs (2 games to 1) in the semifinals, to advance to the league championship series against the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Spinners were defeated in the finals (2 games to 1), with Brooklyn winning the deciding third game of the series by a 4-3 score. As with all minor league teams, the Spinners did not play during 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the 2020 season, Major League Baseball (MLB) proposed dramatic changes to Minor League Baseball (MiLB) that would take effect at the end of the 2020 season, following expiration of the agreement governing the MLB-MiLB relationship. MLB's proposal included reducing the number of minor league teams from 160 to 120--the Spinners were included on the list of teams that could be eliminated under the proposal.
On December 9, 2020, the Red Sox announced that they were dropping the Spinners as an affiliate, as "a reduction to 120 teams has been proposed as the standard beginning in 2021." Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stated that the Red Sox were "committed to maintaining the 24-year-long tradition of baseball in the Lowell community." Spinners management, local government officials, and the Red Sox committed to exploring options to keep baseball in Lowell for 2021. However, at the time the minor league season began in early May 2021, no actions or plans had been announced.
Spinners games were broadcast on Lowell talk station WCAP. For the 2007 season they were on WLLH, another Lowell AM radio station, which at the time was an ESPN Radio affiliate. The games returned to WCAP the next season.
Records as the Boston Red Sox affiliate in the New York-Penn League from 1996 to 2020.
|1996||McNamara||33||41||.446||3rd||9th||Billy Gardner Jr.|
|1999||McNamara||34||42||.447||6th||10th (t)||Luis Aguayo|
|2003||Stedler||39||35||.527||3rd||6th||Jon Deeble (36-30)
Lynn Jones (3-5)
|2008||Stedler||40||33||.548||1st||5th||Gary DiSarcina||Lost to Batavia 2-1 in semifinals|
|2009||Stedler||45||30||.600||1st||3rd (t)||Gary DiSarcina||Lost to Staten Island 2-1 in semifinals|
|2016||Stedler||47||29||.618||1st||3rd||Iggy Suarez||Lost to Hudson Valley 2-0 in semifinals|
|2019||Stedler||42||34||.553||1st||4th||Luke Montz||Defeated Batavia 2-1 in semifinals|
Lost to Brooklyn 2-1 in final
|2020||Stedler||Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic||Luke Montz|
Select alumni are listed in this section; a full list of Spinners players who appeared in the major leagues, with their debut dates, was maintained on the team website.