Spring is finally upon us, and that can mean only one thing: It’s baseball season! Though Connecticut doesn’t have its own major league team (who needs one when we’ve got the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox to choose from?), we certainly aren’t lacking when it comes to baseball. Between the Bridgeport Bluefish and the Hartford Yard Goats, there are plenty of games to see and enjoy.
The Bridgeport Bluefish
The Bridgeport Bluefish played their first season in 1998, and ever since, they’ve been a Connecticut tradition. The 2017 season marks their 20th season—which is crazy to think about, since I remember them coming into existence when I was a child. Crazy, I say!
The 2017 season officially starts Friday, April 28 with a game against the Maryland Blue Crabs. The first 500 fans to enter the stadium will receive a special poster presented by the CT DOT.
According to a press release from Bluefish General Manager Paul Herrmann, the team expects that this season then will welcome their four millionth fan into the ballpark, a huge milestone for the franchise.
If you’re interested in seeing the first home game of the season, or any other games this year, you can find the full 2017 season schedule here. The Bridgeport Bluefish play at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, 500 Main Street, Bridgeport. Directions and information about parking are available here. They are a member of the Atlantic League.
Hartford Yard Goats
Despite the years of headaches and scandal, Dunkin Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats, finally opened earlier this spring. It would be a real shame to let the 2017 season pass without checking out a game in the brand-new stadium.
Though the franchise has existed in various forms since 1965, it came to Connecticut in 1973 as the Bristol Red Sox. In 1983 the team moved to New Britain, eventually becoming the New Britain Rock Cats in 1997, before being moved to Hartford and renamed the Hartford Yard Goats in 2016.
With such a storied history and scandalous stadium build, it’s little surprise that the team’s first home opener sold out in just 30 minutes. Even though the opening game of the 2017 season took place on April 13, there are plenty more games to choose from between now and winter.
If you’re interested in checking out a Yard Goats game this season, you can find the full 2017 schedule here. The Hartford Yard Goats play at Dunkin Donuts Park, 1214 Main Street, Hartford. Directions and information about parking are available here. They are a member of the Eastern League.
New Britain Bees
The New Britain Bees are another relatively new team to Connecticut. Following the move and rebranding of the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford as the Yard Goats, a spot opened up for a new team, which the Bees were happy to fill. Their first season was in 2016. Though they were overshadowed a bit by the Yard Goats opener, the Bees opened the 2017 season on April 21.
Interestingly, the team’s name refers back to New Britain’s identity as a city. The city’s civic motto is “Industry fills the hive and enjoys the honey,” and their seal features a hive as a symbol of industry.
If you’re interested in checking out a Bees game, you can find their complete schedule here. The Bees play at the New Britain Stadium located at 230 John Karbonic Way in New Britain. Information about parking can be found here. They are a member of the Atlantic League.
A Nostalgic Look Back at the New Haven Ravens
In talking about baseball in Connecticut, we would be remiss to not at least mention the New Haven Ravens. Even though they left CT back in 2004, they are entwined with the history of the sport in our state.
The Ravens came to New Haven in 1993, where they played at Yale Field for the next 10 years until they were sold and moved to New Hampshire in 2003. Though you can’t head to the stadium to catch a game anymore, you can, surprisingly, buy some memorabilia on Ebay if, like me, the New Haven Ravens hold a special place in your heart.
When I think about Connecticut baseball, my mind immediately goes to the New Haven Ravens: The black and teal caps, the stadium that always seemed as though it was soaked in beer, that really creepy mascot. Though, to be perfectly honest, I’m not a baseball fan in the slightest (baseball is the sport with the touchdowns, right?), I would gladly watch another game at Yale Field if they ever returned.
Did We Miss Any?
So what do you think? Between the Yard Goats, the Bluefish, and the Ravens, which is/was the better CT baseball franchise? Did we leave any off of the list? Let us know in the comments below!