Lancaster_Barnstormers

Lancaster Barnstormers

The Lancaster Barnstormers are a professional baseball team based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the United States. They are a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. From the 2005 season to the present, the Barnstormers have played their home games at Clipper Magazine Stadium, on the northwestern side of the city. With 8,485 fans attending their 2008 opening day, the team owns the Atlantic League single-game attendance record.

The Barnstormers represent all Lancaster County, though the team plays in the city of Lancaster. They designate many of their home games to honor the county's smaller communities.

Baseball fans in Lancaster waited 44 years for the sport to return after the Lancaster Red Roses folded following the 1961 season. In 2003, Lancastrians chose the name "Barnstormers" in a name-the-team contest. The name refers to the act of barnstorming, which means to travel around an area appearing in exhibition sports events, especially baseball games. It was used to describe Lancaster's baseball teams as far back as 1906 by the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer: "There was a crowd of between seven and eight hundred persons out on Friday to see the Lancaster barnstormers play the Philadelphia Giants. The team's primary logo was designed with local history in mind, as the team colors of red, navy blue, and khaki were the same as those used by the former Red Roses. The name and logo also allude to Lancaster County's agricultural heritage, notable for its inclusion of Amish culture and lore. The Barnstormers organization lightheartedly calls its market the "Pennsylvania Clutch Country", referring to Lancaster's location in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country and the sports jargon, clutch.

History of Lancaster baseball

The beginning

Baseball first came to Lancaster County in the 1860s by soldiers returning home from the Civil War. They learned the rules while serving in the military and wanted to continue playing. The very first professional baseball teams in Lancaster were the Lancaster Lancasters and the Lancaster Ironsides. The Lancasters played in the Keystone Association while the Ironsides played in the Eastern League, both starting in 1884. The following season, the Lancasters joined the Eastern League, and the two teams became bitter rivals. They competed against each other for fan support, league affiliation, and money at the gate. At its peak, insults and refusals to play against each other were the norm. The teams finally agreed to play each other at the end of the 1884 season, in which the Ironsides defeated the Lancasters after seven very close games. The Lancasters were the only team to continue play in the next season.

The 1890s

In the 1894–1895 season, a team called the Lancaster Chicks played in the Keystone Association. An all-African-American team called the Lancaster Giants followed in 1887, and many Lancastrians supported the team despite the social pressure of the day. The Giants hosted many exhibition games against the Philadelphia Giants of the Keystone Club.

Between the years 1896 and 1899, the first team called the Lancaster Maroons played in the original Atlantic League. In 1905, the second inception of the Maroons played in the Tri-State League.

Lancaster Red Roses

In 1906, the Maroons became the Lancaster Red Roses. As both teams were named for the opposing factions in England's historic Wars of the Roses, the name change infuriated the rival White Roses from the nearby city of York.

Lancaster's new era: the Barnstormers

In 2003, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball formally announced an expansion team for the city of Lancaster. In November 2004, the Barnstormers announced the locally-anticipated signing of Tom Herr, a Lancaster native, as the team's first manager. At the press conference, Herr responded, "I have been looking forward to the return of baseball to Lancaster for quite some time. This is almost too good to be true, being able to manage in my hometown." His eldest son, Aaron, was to play with the Barnstormers until he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals before the start of the 2005 Atlantic League season, and allocated to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. Jordan Herr, another son of Tom, joined the team in the first half of the 2008 season in lieu of completing his senior year at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Barnstormers' first playing season came in 2005 at the newly built Clipper Magazine Stadium. On May 11, the Barnstormers lost their first game 4–3 to the Atlantic City Surf, in front of 7,300 fans. They finished the 2005 season with a record of 64 wins and 76 losses. In finishing the first half of the 2006 season with a record of 38–25, the Barnstormers qualified for their first Atlantic League playoff berth. They followed this feat with a second-half win, posting a record of 37–26. After besting division challenger, Atlantic City, in the first round of the playoffs, the Barnstormers swept the Bridgeport Bluefish on October 1, 2006 for their first ever Atlantic League championship, in only their second season. Pitcher Denny Harriger threw a complete game, breaking a franchise record for consecutive pitches. In doing so, the Barnstormers became the first Atlantic League team in history to sweep their way through both rounds of the playoffs on the way to a title. It was the city of Lancaster’s first professional championship since 1955, when the former Red Roses won the Piedmont League title.

The Barnstormers are heavily covered in the Lancaster press and receive a significant following from Lancaster-area fans, many of whom hail the organization as family-friendly in their planning of events for game nights. Even though some Lancastrians have speculated the possibility of the organization becoming a Major League-affiliated club, two nearby affiliated teams in Harrisburg and Reading have made it clear that they will not waive their territorial claims over Lancaster.

The Barnstormers are managed by Von Hayes, a 12-year veteran of Major League Baseball. He played most of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies and was a member of the National League's 1989 All-Star team. Assisting Hayes with the pitching staff is Rick Wise, the winning pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

Logos and uniforms

The team colors of the Lancaster Barnstormers are red, navy blue, and khaki. These were the same colors used by the Red Roses, representing a conscious effort to connect the past and the present of Lancaster County baseball. The primary logo consists of a typical red barn outlined in navy blue with a streaking baseball. Unlike most sports logos, the city name is prominently featured rather than the team nickname. Team management decided to emphasize the Lancaster community, so that the whole county could feel a sense of ownership and pride.

The Barnstormers' uniforms are traditional in design, with the caps produced by The Game Headwear and the uniforms by Rawlings. The home cap is red throughout with a stylized, cursive "L" colored white, navy blue, and khaki, interwoven with a streaking baseball centered on the front. The away cap is navy blue throughout with a stylized, cursive "L" colored red, navy blue, and khaki, interwoven with a streaking baseball centered on the front. The "Barnstormers" wordmark is centered on the back toward the lower edge on both of the caps. The team also has an alternate cap that features a navy blue crown with a red brim and button. The home jerseys are white with traditional red piping. The "Lancaster" wordmark is prominently displayed on the front of the jersey in red outlined in khaki and navy blue. The away jersey is grey with red piping on the sleeves and "Lancaster" in red block letters, outlined in navy blue, arched across the front. The Barnstormers wear red belts, socks, and undershirts with all uniforms.

The Barnstormers have had three different alternate jerseys throughout their history. In the 2005 inaugural season, the team wore navy blue alternates with the "Barnstormers" wordmark featured in white with red outline. For the 2006 season, the navy blue alternates were replaced with red, with the "Barnstomers" wordmark featured in navy blue with white outline. Sleeveless, white alternates were introduced for the 2008 season, with the "Barnstormers" wordmark across the front in red outlined in navy blue.

For the War of the Roses series, the Barnstormers wear throwback uniforms of the Red Roses. The caps are navy blue with a white, cursive "L" centered on the front. The jerseys are white with red piping and the Old English "L" centered on the left-side chest, also in red.

Season-by-season records

Lancaster Barnstormers - 2005 to 2008
Season W - L Record Winning Percentage Finish Playoffs
2005 66–76 .464 3rd in South Division -
2006 74–51 .592 1st in South Division 2–0 (won championship)
2007 57–69 .452 3rd in South Division -
2008 64–76 .457 3rd in Freedom Division -
Totals (2005-2008) 261-272 .490 - -
Playoffs 2–0 1.000 - -

  • 1 Atlantic League Championship (2006)

Tradition

"Everybody hits!"

"Everybody hits!", is the common cheer used by Barnstormers fans, originating with a Philadelphia Phillies fan who used the cheer at the former Veterans Stadium. The phrase is believed to be first used for the Barnstormers by a fan named Mert McHarg. McHarg also is known for his use of a cowbell to root for the team since their inaugural season, inspiring other fans to bring their own cowbells to clang. On Agriculture/Dairy Night of the 2008 season, the Barnstormers had a giveaway promotion of red cowbells including the primary logo.

War of the Roses

The South Central Pennsylvania cities of Lancaster and York have a historical rivalry in all sporting events from the high school level to the professional. As both cities are named after the English cities of Lancaster and York, the former Pennsylvania baseball teams were named for the opposing sides of the Wars of the Roses. Just as in the English battles, the Lancaster Red Roses and the York White Roses fought intense baseball matches throughout their existence. With the addition of York to the Atlantic League, the Barnstormers continue the Red Roses tradition as they battle the York Revolution for lower Susquehanna supremacy.

Promotions

The Barnstormers host two annual promotions at Clipper Magazine Stadium that highlight aspects of the local culture. As the city of Lancaster is home to a large contingent of Puerto Ricans, the team hosts a Hispanic Heritage Night celebration once every season in coordination with the city's annual Puerto Rican Festival. The Barnstormers pay homage to the county's populace by promoting a common Pennsylvania Dutch dessert called the whoopie pie. The dessert has been a regular concession at Clipper Magazine Stadium since its 2005 opening.

With the inaugural season of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in 2008, the Barnstormers partnered with a local seafood restaurant to initiate the team's "Crack the Crabs" feast. The promotion is a jest to the "Blue Crabs" nickname, with all patrons given a free mallet.

Philanthropy

Philanthropy is an important facet of the Barnstormers' representation of the Lancaster community. Many of the team's home game promotions are designed to benefit various philanthropic organizations. The specialty jerseys worn by the Barnstormers on commemorative home games benefit the Spanish-American Lancaster Sports Association (SALSA), Play Ball USA, and the Lancaster Art Museum. "Rally Roni", initiated by the shaking of macaroni and cheese boxes, provides food for the homeless in Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, and York Counties, as well as the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. Video board announcements at Clipper Magazine Stadium require a $5 donation that is deposited into the Cylo Fund, which supports the Spanish-American Civic Association, the Lancaster Day Care Center, as well as the purchase and distribution of Christmas presents to children in homeless shelters during the holidays.

In 2008, the Barnstormers partnered with the James Street Improvement District (JSID) to reward those who commit random acts of kindness in the Lancaster community. The JSID Bike Patrol grants Good Deed Tickets, redeemable for a free game or winter activity. A Grand Prize winner is also selected from the pool of recipients. The Grand Prize is eight tickets to the final home game of the regular season, including the opportunity to throw the ceremonial last first pitch of season.

Radio and television

Select home games are televised on Blue Ridge Cable-11. However, all Barnstormers games are broadcast by Fox Sports Radio 1490 am (WLPA) with Dave Collins, the official "Voice of the Barnstormers.

Mascot

The Lancaster Barnstormers' official mascot is an anthropomorphic, red cow named Cylo. He wears the team's home jersey with striped socks and retro-style sneakers. Cylo debuted on March 4, 2005 at the Mascot Roller Mill in the Lancaster County village of Mascot. His name in full is Cyloicious L. Barnstormer, alluding to Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young and to the silo, representing the county's agricultural heritage. The mascot was designed by the Raymond Entertainment Group, which also produces the Phillie Phanatic's costume.

Current roster

Active (25-man) roster Coaches
Pitchers

Catchers

 

Infielders

Outfielders

Disabled List

Coaches

  • (Manager)
  • (Pitching Coach)
  • (Hitting Coach)

Retired numbers

Jackie Robinson
Retired throughout
professional baseball
on April 15, 1997

References

External links

Official websites

Official blogs

Media


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