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 New Britain Bees and the Hartford Yard Goats, there are plenty of games to see and enjoy.
1. Connecticut Tigers
The Connecticut Tigers are an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play at Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium. The franchise started back in 1942 under the name “Wellsville Yankees”. The team stayed in Wellsville for a while under a variety of team names. The Connecticut Tigers officially moved to Norwich, CT in 2010 and have drawn quite a crowd!
The Tigers will start off their 2018 season on Friday, June 15th. I remember when they announced that the Tigers had won the longest game in NYPL history. The game lasted longer than 6 hours and went 26-innings, how crazy is that?!
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2. Hartford Yard Goats
The Hartford Yard Goats will open up their season in their 2-year-old stadium on Thursday, April 5th.
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.
Even though the opening game of the 2018 season took place in early April, 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 2018 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.
3. 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 2018 season on April 27th.
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 Historic Look at the Bridgeport Bluefish Legacy
The Bridgeport Bluefish played their first season in 1998 and said goodbye to their loyal baseball stadium in 2017.
With a solid 20 year run, the Bridgeport Bluefish say goodbye to Connecticut as they move on to North Carolina. The Ballpark at Harbor Yard will be converted into an amphitheater which will be used for live outdoor music. Baseball fans can stick around to enjoy roughly 25 concerts a year in the new concert venue.
The Bridgeport Bluefish have been apart of Connecticut’s history for two decades and we wish them the best as they move onto their new home in North Carolina.
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!