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Erie SeaWolves

Erie SeaWolves
Founded in 1989
Erie, Pennsylvania
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Double-A (1999–Present)
Previous Short-Season A (1989–1998)
Minor league affiliations
League Eastern League (1999-Present)
Division Western Division
Previous leagues
New York–Penn League (1989–1998)
Major league affiliations
Current Detroit Tigers (2001–Present)
Previous

Anaheim Angels (1999–2000)

Pittsburgh Pirates (1989–1998)
Minor league titles
Division titles (4)
  • 1997
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2007
Team data
Nickname Erie SeaWolves (1995–Present)
Previous names
Welland Pirates (1989–1994)
Colors Black, red, white, gray, yellow
                        
Ballpark Jerry Uht Park (1995-Present)
Previous parks
Welland Stadium (1989–1994)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Fernando Aguirre
Manager Lance Parrish
General Manager Greg Coleman
Media Erie Times-News

The Erie SeaWolves are a Minor League Baseball team based in Erie, Pennsylvania. They play in the Eastern League as the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The "SeaWolves" name refers to Erie's location along Lake Erie and their original affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates, especially since the term "sea wolf" is a historical synonym of "pirate."[1] The team plays at downtown Erie's Jerry Uht Park, which opened in 1995 and is part of the Louis J. Tullio Plaza along with Erie Insurance Arena and the Warner Theatre.

The SeaWolves' first game at Jerry Uht Park happened on June 20, 1995 with an Erie win over the Jamestown Jammers. José Guillén, now a Major League Baseball alumnus, hit the decisive home-run for the team.[2]

Contents

  • History 1
    • Ownership 1.1
  • Logos and uniforms 2
  • Culture 3
    • Mascots 3.1
    • Promotions 3.2
    • Community Service 3.3
  • Season-by-season results 4
    • Season results in New York–Penn League 4.1
      • Regular season 4.1.1
      • Postseason 4.1.2
    • Season results in Eastern League 4.2
      • Regular season 4.2.1
      • Postseason 4.2.2
  • Current roster 5
  • Alumni 6
  • Retired numbers 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

History

The Erie SeaWolves were founded in 1989 in Welland, Ontario as the Welland Pirates as a member of the Short-Season New York–Penn League. The team played at Welland Stadium from 1989 to 1994 and were affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. When the Welland Pirates relocated to Erie, Pennsylvania in 1995, they were renamed the "Erie SeaWolves." The relocation of the team from Welland to Erie forced the Frontier League incarnation of the Erie Sailors to relocate to Johnstown, Pennsylvania where they became the Johnstown Steal (this team is now known as the Florence Freedom, based in Florence, Kentucky). Before that, there was another team called the Erie Sailors which played in the New York - Penn League. However, they relocated to Wappingers Falls, New York (becoming the Hudson Valley Renegades) because the team's owner Marvin Goldklang did not upgrade Ainsworth Field to Major League Baseball specifications. Once the civic government secured an $8 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to build Jerry Uht Park, the Welland Pirates moved to Erie.[3] While Erie lacked affiliated baseball in 1994, the city fielded a new independent baseball franchise in the Frontier League and reused the "Sailors" name. The SeaWolves succeed various Erie-based baseball franchises, namely every version of the Erie Sailors (the New York–Penn League franchise was also known as the Erie Orioles) and the Erie Cardinals (now known as the State College Spikes).

The SeaWolves served as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate from 1995 to 1998. In 1999, the Double-A Minor League Baseball allowed Erie to keep their New York–Penn League records and history as a member of the Eastern League. Subsequently, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers replaced them in the New York-Penn League, which is officially considered an expansion franchise rather than a continuation of the SeaWolves.

The SeaWolves became an affiliate of the Anaheim Angels after moving to the Double-A level. The team switched to the Detroit Tigers in 2001, with whom they continue to be affiliated.

Ownership

When the SeaWolves began play in Erie in 1995, the team was owned by Palisades Baseball. In 2003, Palisades sold the team to Mandalay Baseball Properties, the owner of multiple Minor League Baseball teams including the Dayton Dragons and Frisco Roughriders. On March 27, 2015, Fernando Aguirre was introduced as the owner of the SeaWolves. Aguirre, the retired CEO and Chairman of Chiquita Brands International, purchased the team from Mandalay Baseball Properties for an undisclosed amount and announced his intent to keep the team in Erie.[4]

Logos and uniforms

The Erie SeaWolves' primary colors are black, red, yellow, gray and white. The primary logo comprises a stylized "pirate wolf" superimposed over two crossed baseball bats complete with sword hilts. Centered above it is the "Erie SeaWolves" wordmark in white, black, and yellow. The team also has various alternate logos, most of which derive from elements included in the primary logo. However, a distinctive one similar to secondary marks by the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers features a weathered black flag on a "sword-bat" with a red "E" on it. This logo alludes to the city of Erie's reputation as the "Flagship City," a reference to the USS Flagship Niagara that Oliver Hazard Perry commandeered during his 1813 victory over the British Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie.[5]

The home uniforms include an all-black cap complete with the "pirate wolf" logo and white jerseys featuring black piping. The "SeaWolves" wordmark is centered across the front in black letters with red outline and the "sword-bat" logo on the left sleeve. The away uniforms feature a gray jersey with black piping, the "Erie" wordmark in red with black outline, and the "sword-bat" logo on the right sleeve. The alternate jersey is red with black piping and includes the "Erie" wordmark in white with black outline. The "pirate wolf" logo is centered on the left sleeve.[5]

When the Erie SeaWolves debuted as a New York-Penn League team in 1995, their original colors were Columbia blue, black, and orange. However, their primary logo looked much like the one the team used from 2001 through 2012. The SeaWolves caps from 1995 to 1998 were Columbia blue with black brims and buttons, charged with the "pirate wolf" and crossed-bats logo. The home uniforms featured Columbia blue pinstripes with the "SeaWolves" workmark centered across the front of the jersey in orange script with black outline and the "pirate wolf" logo located below it. The numbers were Columbia blue with black outline, both on the left sleeve and on the reverse. The away jersey was gray with the "Erie" workmark in orange with black outline, also featuring the "pirate wolf" logo offset below. The numbers were of a similar arrangement. The alternate jersey was Columbia blue with the "pirate wolf" logo centered on the left-side chest with black numbers on the back with white outline.

When the team graduated to Double-A ball and affiliated with the Angels, they adopted a navy blue, dark red, and gray arrangement. The logo during this period featured a sailing wolf with other maritime-themed elements. The caps were navy blue with gray brims, branded with a stylized wolf-head howling at a yellow moon. The home jersey featured navy blue piping and the "SeaWolves" wordmark in dark red with navy blue and white outline and the "howling wolf" logo on the left sleeve. The away jersey was gray, also with navy blue piping and the "howling wolf" logo on the left sleeve. The "Erie" wordmark was centered on the jersey in dark red with navy blue dropshadow. The numbers on the reverse were similar.

From 2001 to 2012, the Erie SeaWolves used a modified version of their original "pirate wolf" logo but with black and orange as the primary colors. The home cap was black charged with the "pirate wolf" logo. The home uniform from 2001 to 2011 featured white home jerseys with black pinstripes and the "SeaWolves" wordmark in black letters with orange dropshadow. The away jerseys originally featured the "Erie" wordmark in orange block letters with black dropshadow. In 2012, the SeaWolves changed to vintage white home uniforms with black and orange trim and the previous "SeaWolves" wordmark. The away jersey were gray with a stylized "Erie" wordmark in orange with white and black trim. There was also two alternate jerseys: 1) A black one with orange piping charged with the "pirate wolf" logo. 2) An orange one with black paneling featuring the "Wolves" wordmark in black with white dropshadow.[6]

Culture

Mascots

C. Wolf with youth softball player in June 2015.

The Erie SeaWolves' official mascot is an anthropomorphic, gray canidae named C. Wolf. He wears the team's official red alternate jersey with a pirate hat, a red and white bandana, and an eye patch. His friends include Paws (the Detroit Tigers' official mascot) as well as three anthropomorphic sausages from an Erie sausage manufacturer named Smith's Provisions: Kenny Kielbasa, Herbie Hot Dog, and Santino the Italian Sausage.[7] In 2012, the SeaWolves introduced a new mascot named Perry (presumably after Oliver Hazard Perry), a nine-foot inflatable fish, to work alongside C. Wolf. The name was decided by a fan poll.[8]

Promotions

"Buck Night" is a highly celebrated promotion by the Erie SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park. It is held several times each season, allowing fans who have paid for reserved seats to purchase specified food items for only $1.00 each.[9] The menu includes hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks, and American-made beer.[10]

Community Service

The Erie SeaWolves engage in many philanthropic efforts throughout Erie and its surrounding communities. Key team initiatives include UPMC Health Plan Paint the Park Pink Weekend to benefit local cancer charities, Northwest Savings Bank Gloves for Kids equipment drive, and Sensory-Friendly Day at the Ballpark in partnership with the Autism Society of Northwest Pennsylvania. The team also sponsors youth sports and education programs through the SeaWolves Community Fund. On September 16, 2015, the Erie SeaWolves earned the Erie Times-News Commitment to Erie Award for community service by a business with 50 or fewer employees.[11]

Season-by-season results

Season results in New York–Penn League

Regular season

Welland Pirates – 1989 to 1994
Season Affiliation Manager Record
1989 Pirates U.L. Washington 32-44, 5th place Stedler
1990 Pirates Jack Lind 36-42, 3rd place Stedler
1991 Pirates Lee Driggers 30-47, 6th place Stedler
1992 Pirates Trent Jewett 31-46, 6th place Stedler
1993 Pirates Larry Smith 35-42, 5th place Stedler
1994 Pirates Jeff Banister 30-44, 4th place Stedler
Erie SeaWolves – 1995 to 1998
Season Affiliation Manager Record
1995 Pirates Scott Little 34-41, 3rd place Stedler
1996 Pirates Jeff Richardson 30-46, 4th place Stedler
1997 Pirates Marty Brown 50-26, 1st place Stedler
1998 Pirates Tracy Woodson 26-50, 4th place Stedler

Postseason

Season results in Eastern League

Regular season

Erie SeaWolves – 1999 to 2014
Season Affiliation Manager Record
1999 Angels Garry Templeton 81-61, 1st place South
2000 Angels Don Wakamatsu 47-94, 6th place South
2001 Tigers Luis Pujols 84-58, 1st place South
2002 Tigers Kevin Bradshaw 52-89, 6th place South
2003 Tigers Kevin Bradshaw 72-70, 3rd place South
2004 Tigers Rick Sweet 80-62, 2nd place South
2005 Tigers Duffy Dyer 63-79, 6th place South
2006 Tigers Duffy Dyer 60-81, 6th place South
2007 Tigers Matt Walbeck 81–59, 1st place South
2008 Tigers Tom Brookens 68–74, 4th place South
2009 Tigers Tom Brookens 71-70, 4th place South
2010 Tigers Phil Nevin 66-76, 6th place West
2011 Tigers Chris Cron 67-75, 5th place West
2012 Tigers Chris Cron 57-84, 6th place West
2013 Tigers Chris Cron 76-66, 2nd place West
2014 Tigers Lance Parrish 71-71, 4th place West
2015 Tigers Lance Parrish 64-78, 6th place West

Postseason

Current roster

Alumni

Retired numbers

Sam Jethroe Jackie Robinson
CF
Retired by the
Erie SeaWolves
on June 6, 2005
2B
Retired throughout
professional baseball
on April 15, 1997

References

  1. ^ "Sea wolf". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Jerry Uth Park". Erie County Convention Center Authority. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  3. ^ "Erie SeaWolves relocation rumor rises anew" (PDF). Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  4. ^ http://www.goerie.com/article/20150328/BASEBALL01/303279824/businessman-aguirre-buys-seawolves-plans-to-keep-team-in-erie
  5. ^ a b "Double-A Erie updates nautical logo". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Erie SeaWolves make first uniform change since 2001". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  7. ^ "C-Wolf to welcome sidekick other new attractions at Erie SeaWolves home opener". Erie SeaWolves. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  8. ^ "C-Wolf to welcome sidekick other new attractions at Erie SeaWolves home opener". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  9. ^ "Buck Night Package". Erie SeaWolves. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  10. ^ "Erie SnapShot: Having fun for less at the Erie SeaWolves’ Buck Night". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  11. ^ http://www.goerie.com/smith-provision-waldameer-among-honorees-at-2015-commitment-to-erie-awards

External links

  • Erie SeaWolves
  • Erie Times-NewsErie SeaWolves coverage at
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