Results tagged ‘ Springfield ’

Texas League Scrabble

In the Texas League, logos with letters are a common theme among all eight teams. During the Riders’ recent road trip to San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think of a Scrabble board when viewing the Missions’ “SA” logo.

So I began to devise a list of words that could be created from Texas League teams’ logos. Some of the best: catamarans, tsars, maracas, cataracts, transacts, and mascara.

The most difficult thing about finding words is only having the power to use one vowel, thanks to the Arkansas Travelers’ logo. The other seven teams use consonants.

The following is an attempt to compile as many words as possible made up of all the Texas League logos, arranged accordingly on a Scrabble board. Enjoy!

Tulsa_Drillers14.ai

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: first and fifteenth player – A player who thinks only of paydays, such as the first and fifteenth days of the month.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

2016 Texas League All-Star Game, featuring the best player names

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With the Texas League All-Star Game coming up on June 28 in Springfield, it is time to start considering who will be representing the North and South Division squads this year.

Surely, many players have put up All-Star Game-worthy numbers. However, we are completely disregarding statistics in this blog post and focusing solely on awesome names alone.

Here is a list of what I consider to be the best names by position in the Texas League from the North and South Divisions. (* = not on team’s active roster as of June 1)

From the North Division…

Catcher: *Anthony Bemboom (Arkansas)

First Baseman: Frank Schwindel (Northwest Arkansas)

Second baseman: Breyvic Valera (Springfield)

Third baseman: Brandon Trinkwon (Tulsa)

Shortstop: *Erisbel Arruebarrena (Tulsa)

Outfielder: Bo Way (Arkansas)

Outfielder: *Orlando Calixte (Northwest Arkansas)

Outfielder: Kyle Garlick (Tulsa)

Designated Hitter: Jacob Scavuzzo (Tulsa)

Pitcher: *Alan Busenitz (Arkansas)

Pitcher: Daniel Poncedeleon (Springfield)

Pitcher: Ralston Cash (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Tim Shibuya (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Ronnie Shaban (Springfield)

Pitcher: *Estarlin Cordero (Northwest Arkansas)

From the South Division…

Catcher: *Rocky Gale (San Antonio)

First Baseman: Conrad Gregor (Corpus Christi)

Second baseman: Evan Van Hoosier (Frisco)

Third baseman: *Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Frisco)

Shortstop: *River Stevens (San Antonio)

Outfielder: Teoscar Hernandez (Corpus Christi)

Outfielder: Danny Oh (Midland)

Outfielder: Brett Vertigan (Midland)

Designated Hitter: Chan-Jong Moon (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Keegan Yuhl (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Cy Sneed (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: *Reymin Guduan (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Ryne Slack (Frisco)

Pitcher: Trey Cochran-Gill (Midland)

Pitcher: Jose Valdespina (Frisco)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: jam sandwich – Throwing a pitch near the batter’s fists with a fastball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Ballpark Bio: Hammons Field (Springfield)

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Today marks part three of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Facts and Figures
Opened: April 12, 2005 (Missouri State University, which also uses the park, began playing here in 2004)
Capacity: 6,750
Dimensions: LF – 315, CF – 400, RF – 330

We’re 225 miles down the road from St. Louis, but we’re still very much in Cardinals country this weekend here at Hammons Field in Springfield. It’s a ballpark that has a more traditional feel to it than some of the other ballparks in the league, and the vibe here has been great.

It’s a park that seems to be fueled by its fans, many of whom also root for the other Cardinals a little bit northwest of here. Yesterday, we saw a handful of people camped outside the stadium gates five hours before first pitch so that they could make sure they got one of the giveaway replica championship rings they were handing out here. That’s dedication. When the Cardinals rallied for victory last night, many of the 5,000+ fans in the park were still there and were locked in to the action.

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The folks in Springfield know the way to this baseball fan’s heart.

My favorite feature of this ballpark is definitely the hand-operated, out-of-town scoreboard behind the left field wall. If you don’t already know it, now’s the time to tell you that I’m a sucker for hand-operated scoreboards. I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on why I love them so much, but I think it’s a neat vintage feature, especially in an era where ballparks are constantly evolving.

One of the other cool aspects of this park is the batter’s eye, which is not just a giant wall/screen. Instead, it’s an area with a handful of trees, flowers, and other plants. In some ways, it’s somewhat like the large garden beyond the centerfield fence at Denver’s Coors Field. Here at Hammons Field, the batter’s eye isn’t just a nice change of pace, but it adds a lot of aesthetic value to the stadium. (Plus, as someone that grew up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a reminder of home.)

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The batter’s eye at Hammons Field is pretty unique.

It may not have a Choctaw Lazy River or something else exotic like that, but Hammons Field still has plenty to like. Plus, when the dedicated fans pack the place, the atmosphere is pretty special.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in June from Midland’s Security Bank Ballpark, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Hoopdy scoop – A curveball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Meaning behind the mascots

NORTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

Arkansas-Primary

Arkansas Travelers  Name derived from an old folk song, The Arkansas Traveler, which was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963. The music was composed in the 19th century by Colonel Sanford C. ‘Sandy’ Faulkner, and the lyrics were written in 1947.

 

Northwest_Arkansas_Naturals_Main

Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Named partially after the state’s nickname as the “Natural State” and also after the Robert Redford film, The NaturalBob Rich, Jr. of Rich Products Corporation, the Naturals ownership group, bought the Double-A Buffalo Bisons in 1983. That year, Hollywood producers approached Rich about filming scenes of The Natural at Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium. Following the release of the film, attendance at Bisons’ games nearly tripled and the team moved to the Triple-A American Association. In a fan vote, the “Naturals” name was chosen, receiving 33% of the vote. The second-place choice “Thunder Chickens” received 27%.

 

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Springfield Cardinals – The only team in the Texas League who currently shares the same name as their Major League affiliate. In 1931, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased a Minor League team, renamed it the Cardinals, and moved it to Springfield. Following the 1946 season, St. Louis moved the team to St. Joseph, Mo. The new Springfield Cardinals began play in the Texas League in 2005, but the dugouts at Hammons Field still include championship banners from the 1930s and 1940s.
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Tulsa Drillers – Name was carried over from the Lafayette Drillers who moved to Tulsa in 1977. Tulsa’s original Minor League team was named the Oilers and played Triple-A baseball, but the team moved to New Orleans. The new team opted to keep the Drillers name, due to the importance of oil to the city’s economy, and the ballpark changed its name from Oiler Park to Driller Park.

 

SOUTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

CC Primary

Corpus Christi Hooks – Named for the city’s association with fishing, which is very popular on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Team’s colors are navy blue and light blue, representing the sea water and the sky.

 

Midland_RockHounds

Midland RockHounds – Nickname originated in 1999 when Midland’s team became an Oakland Athletic affiliate. They were originally known as the Midland Cubs and the Midland Angels, but the team wanted to have a name that would honor local tradition and be unique. A RockHound is simply a nickname for a geologist and it acknowledges the oil and gas industry in west Texas. The RockHounds became one of the early adopters in the current wave of fun, kid-friendly, location-specific Minor League nicknames.

 

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San Antonio Missions – Named after a chain of five missions that were established along the San Antonio River in the 18th century. It became the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America. The most famous mission is The Alamo, which is featured on the Missions’ logo.

 

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: light tower power piece – A towering home run; a truly awesome blast.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Grounded

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A 2-1 game, in which all three runs scored in the fifth inning, lasted three hours and 16 minutes and the ball just did not bounce Frisco’s way as Springfield flies out of town with a series victory under wing. Click here to read the game recap.

The tough breaks came on a ground ball from Cody Stanley that took a trampoline bounce over Trever Adams’ head at first and brought home a run for Springfield. They popped up on a great catch by Rafael Ortega in center field to rob Nomar Mazara of a base hit. And on the play when Ortega gambled and let a ball from Hanser Alberto roll under his glove, left fielder Charlie Tilson cleaned up the mess and instigated a 7-4-2 relay that gunned out Teodoro Martinez at home in the eighth. It wasn’t the first time the ‘Riders lost the potential tying run at home. In the seventh, with runners on second and third, Adams bounced a ball to his counterpart Jonathan Rodriguez at first, who rifled home to put away Patrick Cantwell.

Star of the Game: C Patrick Cantwell – 2/3, R, 2B, 2 HBP

It’s no longer out of the ordinary to see Patrick wear a pitch on down to first base. But twice in one game? Pat now has been hit 17 times this season, the most in the Texas League (he’s drawn 14 walks).

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders committed six errors in the three-game series. On Thursday, the RoughRiders committed three gaffes, one shy of their season high of four. Coincidentally, that four-error game also dropped against the Cardinals on May 24.

-Jorge Alfaro picked up a pair of singles for his first multi-hit game as a RoughRider.

-Trever Adams batted 0-for-2 and drew a pair of walks, but saw his season-long 13-game hit streak come to an end.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-4, 2 SO

Tough series for Joey, who finished 1-for-12 and accounted for the final out in three innings in which the ‘Riders had men in scoring position.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (5)

4. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Jorge Alfaro (1)

 

Get the inside scoop from the batter’s eye as Jake Skole talks through his big night at the plate against Springfield on Wednesday:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Very Long Travel Guide

In the Florida State League, no bus trip takes more than four hours. In the Appalachian League, the longest trip is less than five hours. It is much different here in the Texas League.

Thanks to billsportsmaps.com for the image.

To fans, a series finale doesn’t mean too much. To minor league baseball players, a series finale normally means a night on the bus. By the end of the regular season, the RoughRiders will have boarded the bus shortly after 29 of their 40 series finales. You can see how one of those bus trips went here.

Even though the RoughRiders are in the South Division, they actually have longer trips within their division than they do when playing against the North.

The longest trip for the RoughRiders is from Frisco to Corpus Christi, and it takes a little more than seven hours. The trip takes the ‘Riders through Waco, Round Rock, Austin, and San Antonio.

Speaking of San Antonio, that is the shortest trip in the division. Still, it is five hours away, which is a healthy trip in the bus, especially after a game that ends around 10 p.m. The other divisional trip takes the ‘Riders to Midland, and that journey takes around six hours.

The North road trips are a little easier (which is not the case for the other three teams–I’ll get to that in the moment). The bus ride to Springfield–seven hours–is the longest in the North and the second longest in the TL for the ‘Riders. The trips to Northwest Arkansas (five and a half hours), Arkansas (five hours) and Tulsa (four hours) are fairly manageable.

The unfortunate outlier in the TL is Corpus Christi. We mentioned that the RoughRiders’ longest trip is to Corpus. Well, that happens to be the Hooks’ second shortest ride of the season! It takes almost eight hours for them to get to Midland, and they go to Citibank Ballpark four times each season.

How about these trips to the North for the Hooks: Arkansas (11:19), Tulsa (11:21), and Northwest Arkansas (12:31). The big one is the journey to Springfield, which is right around 14 hours. And the Cardinals will make that journey from Corpus back home after their game at Whataburger Field Monday night. That doesn’t sound fun, and things aren’t much easier for San Antonio (longest trip is almost 12 hours) and Midland (longest trip is around 11 and a half hours).

There have been other fun trips in the Texas League throughout the years, such as El Paso, Texas to North Little Rock, Ark. (15:42); Albuquerque, N.M., to Memphis, Tenn. (16:01); El Paso, Texas to Jackson, Miss. (17:17). I don’t know how the schedules or the travel worked during these times. Regardless, the TL has spanned quite an area during its history.

Life in the minor leagues is not as glorious as it sounds. Fortunately for the RoughRiders, they only have five more regular season bus trips left.

– Brian

*Note: All times are according to Google Maps.

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