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Louisville Bats

Louisville Bats
Founded in 1982
Louisville, Kentucky
Team logo Cap insignia
Current Triple-A (1982-present)
Minor league affiliations
League International League (1998-present)
Division West Division
Previous leagues
American Association (1982-1997)
Major league affiliations
Current Cincinnati Reds (2000-present)
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 1984
  • 1985
  • 1995
  • 2001
Division titles (4)
  • 2003
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
Team data
Nickname Louisville Bats (2002-present)
Previous names
  • Louisville RiverBats (1998-2001)
  • Louisville Redbirds (1982-1997)
  • Springfield Redbirds (1978-1981)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1977)
  • Tulsa Oilers (1966-1976)
Gary Ulmer
Manager Delino DeShields
General Manager Dale Owens - Vice President/General Manager

The Louisville Bats, which play in Louisville, Kentucky, are the Triple-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The team, formerly known as the Louisville RiverBats, plays in the International League. The Bats play their home games at Louisville Slugger Field; the naming rights for the stadium were purchased by Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat.[1]


  • History 1
    • Titles 1.1
    • Redbirds record 1.2
    • RiverBats record 1.3
    • Bats record 1.4
  • Players 2
    • Alumni 2.1
  • Notable broadcasters 3
  • Current roster 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


In 1982, the St. Louis Cardinals switched their Triple-A team of the American Association, the Redbirds, from Springfield, Illinois to Louisville. During the 1982 season, the Louisville Redbirds broke the minor league attendance record by drawing 868,418 fans. In 1983, the Redbirds were the first minor league team to draw over one million fans in a single season (1,052,438). The Redbirds' success during the 1980s led to some speculation that Louisville could be a potential market for Major League Baseball expansion;[2] however this did not come to pass. In 1998, the American Association folded and the teams moved to either the International League or the Pacific Coast League. The league changed and expanded to Memphis and Durham, and the Cardinals shifted their Triple-A affiliation to Memphis, Tennessee and the new Memphis Redbirds not-for-profit franchise. In 1998 and 1999, Louisville was affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers and since 2000 with the Cincinnati Reds.[3][4]

The team stands for the National Anthem

From the time the Redbirds arrived in 1982 until the 1999 season, they played their home games at Cardinal Stadium (formally called Fairgrounds Stadium), located at the Kentucky Exposition Center, which seated over 30,000, allowing for the broken attendance records. In 1999, when the Redbirds became affiliated with the Brewers, they took the name Louisville RiverBats. In 2000 the team moved to Louisville Slugger Field, a new stadium in downtown Louisville, seating 14,000 with a more intimate baseball setting than at Cardinal Stadium. Spectators enter the stadium through the restored "train shed" building, which was formerly the Brinly-Hardy Co. warehouse.[5] In 2002 the team dropped the word "River" from its name and became simply known as the Louisville Bats. While the logo and mascot consist of the winged mammal, the bat is also synonymous with the Louisville Slugger baseball bat.[6]

The team's attendance was about 685,000 in the first season of Louisville Slugger Field and 663,961 the following year.[7] Traditionally one of the top-drawing minor league teams, the Bats' attendance in 2011 was second of all minor league teams with an average of 8,716 per game.[8]

In 2012, Forbes ranked the Bats as the fourth most valuable franchise in Minor League Baseball.[9]


The Bats have once won the Governors' Cup—the championship of the IL—and twice played in the championship series.

Note: The Bats were ahead 1-0 in the championship series when the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred. The league canceled the rest of the series and declared the Bats the champions, thus the series was reduced to being a championship game.

Under Jim Fregosi's leadership from 1983 to 1986, the Redbirds won the American Association title in 1984 and 1985, and were the league runner up in 1983, when they won the Eastern Division. The team later won another AA championship in 1995.

Redbirds record

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1982 American Association Cardinals 73-62 2nd (tie) Joe Frazier
1983 American Association Cardinals 78-57 1st Jim Fregosi Lost League Championship
1984 American Association Cardinals 79-76 4th (tie) Jim Fregosi American Association Champs
1985 American Association Cardinals 74-68 1st Jim Fregosi American Association Champs
1986 American Association Cardinals 64-78 4th Jim Fregosi; Dyar Miller; Dave Bialas
1987 American Association Cardinals 78-62 2nd Mike Jorgensen Lost in semifinals
1988 American Association Cardinals 63-79 4th Mike Jorgensen
1989 American Association Cardinals 71-74 4th Mike Jorgensen
1990 American Association Cardinals 74-72 3rd Gaylen Pitts
1991 American Association Cardinals 51-92 4th Mark DeJohn
1992 American Association Cardinals 73-70 3rd Jack Krol; Mark Riggins
1993 American Association Cardinals 68-76 3rd Jack Krol; Mark Riggins
1994 American Association Cardinals 74-68 4th Joe Pettini Lost in semifinals
1995 American Association Cardinals 74-70 4th Joe Pettini American Association Champs
1996 American Association Cardinals 60-84 4th Joe Pettini
1997 American Association Cardinals 58-85 4th Gaylen Pitts
1998 International League Brewers 77-67 1st Gary Allenson Lost in semifinals

RiverBats record

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1999 International League Brewers 63-81 11th Gary Allenson
2000 International League Reds 71-73 9th Dave Miley
2001 International League Reds 84-60 3rd Dave Miley

Bats record

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2002 International League Reds 79-65 6th Dave Miley
2003 International League Reds 79-64 2nd Dave Miley; Rick Burleson Lost in semifinals
2004 International League Reds 67-77 10th Rick Burleson
2005 International League Reds 66-78 11th Rick Sweet
2006 International League Reds 75-68 6th Rick Sweet
2007 International League Reds 74-70 7th Rick Sweet
2008 International League Reds 88-56 1st (tie) Rick Sweet Lost in semifinals
2009 International League Reds 84-58 1st Rick Sweet Lost in semifinals
2010 International League Reds 79-64 3rd Rick Sweet Lost in semifinals
2011 International League Reds 73-71 8th Rick Sweet
2012 International League Reds 51-93 14th David Bell
2013 International League Reds 69-75 9th Jim Riggleman
2014 International League Reds 68-75 12th Jim Riggleman
2015 International League Reds Delino DeShields


The Bats have retired one number, number 8, in honor of catcher Corky Miller.


This list contains former Louisville players who have played in at least 100 games in the major leagues:

Notable broadcasters

Listed below are the MLB broadcasting jobs that former Bats broadcasters have done since leaving the Bats

Current roster

See also



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "How Billionaires Like Warren Buffett Profit From Minor League Baseball Ownership " Forbes. Retrieved on 6 June 2012.


  • "Baseball, Professional", The Encyclopedia of Louisville, p. 70-73, John E. Kleber, Editor in Chief, ISBN 0-8131-2100-0

External links

  • Louisville Bats website
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