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Akron Aeros
Founded in 1980
Akron, Ohio
AkronAeros.PNG
Team Logo
AkronAerosCap.png
Cap Insignia
Class-level
  • Double-A (1980-Present)
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
Name
Ballpark
Minor league titles
League titles 1984, 1985, 1986, 2003, 2005, 2009
Division titles 1982, 1992, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009

Note: "Division titles" indicates seasons in which team finished the regular season in first place of division.
In 1992, team finished in first place of Eastern League (the EL was not divided into divisions from 1983 to 1993).

Owner(s)/Operated by: Mike Agganis
Manager: Joel Skinner
General Manager: Jeff Auman

The Akron Aeros are a minor league baseball team based in Akron, Ohio, USA. The team, which plays in the Eastern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Aeros play in Canal Park, located in downtown Akron, which seats 9,097 fans.

The nickname "Aeros" refers to Ohio's history of aerospace research including being the home state of the Wright Brothers and astronaut Neil Armstrong. Akron is also home to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

The Aeros are managed by Joel Skinner.

Contents

History

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1980–1988

The franchise began play in 1980 in Lynn, Massachusetts, where it was named the Lynn Sailors. The team served as the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners from 1980 to 1982 and the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1983. After four seasons in Massachusetts, owner Mike Agganis moved the team northward to Burlington, Vermont. From 1984 through 1987, the franchise was known as the Vermont Reds and were the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. In 1988, they became the Vermont Mariners for one year when the Seattle Mariners picked up the franchise to serve as its Double-A affiliate. During their stint in Vermont, the franchise made the playoffs every year, and won three straight Eastern League titles from 1984 to 1986.

1989–1996

In 1989, the team moved to Canton, Ohio, becoming the Cleveland Indians' Double-A affiliate, and played eight seasons at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium as the Canton-Akron Indians, one of many entities (another example is the Akron-Canton Regional Airport) to use the names of both cities. The "Little Indians" made another five straight playoff appearances from 1989 to 1993, and won the regular-season title in 1992. However, they were never successful at bringing home a league championship trophy.

The franchise did not advance to the postseason in 1994. This snapped a 12-year streak of postseason play from 1982 to 1993.

On November 22, 1994, Agganis signed a lease agreement with the city of Akron to move the club to that city. It took another two years to build the new Canal Park, which included selection of architects, land acquisition, and demolition of the Anthony Wayne Hotel which had stood on the new stadium site. Groundbreaking was held on January 5, 1996, and the stadium was completed in February 1997. Meantime, the new "Aeros" nickname had been chosen in November 1996 over the other choices, "Spirit" and "Quest," and replacing a prior working nickname, the "Akron Blast." "Blast" had been chosen in honor of Akron-born astronaut Judith Resnik (who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster), but changed when many misinterpreted it.[1]

1997–Present

Opening Day on April 10, 1997 marked the debut of the Akron Aeros. With 9,086 fans in attendance, the Aeros and Harrisburg Senators played the first game at Canal Park. The Aeros went on to finish the season with a record of 51-90. Despite the last place record, the team drew a Double-A-leading 473,272 fans to Canal Park that season.

In the 1998 season, the Aeros put together a 30-game "worst-to-first" turnaround; after finishing the prior year 34½ games back, they proceeded to win the Southern Division that season by 8½ games. However, after losing in the playoffs that year, it would be three more years until the Aeros found their way back to the posteason.

On September 6, 1999, the Aeros set an Eastern League attendance record for third straight season and once again led all Double-A teams after 522,459 fans attended Canal Park in 1999.[1]

In 2002, the team posted a 93-48 record, the third-highest win total in the Eastern League in 50 years. They built on that success and finally won two league championships (their first since moving to Ohio) in 2003 and 2005. In 2006 the Aeros again posted the best regular-season record in the league, but lost the playoff title to Portland after taking the series to a deciding fifth game.

From 2005 to 2008, the Aeros advanced to the Eastern League Championship Series. Although the Aeros won the ELCS in 2005, they were defeated in three consecutive trips from 2006 to 2008.

In 2009, the Aeros again advanced to the league championship and defeated the Connecticut Defenders (three games to one) capping a 95-win season and their third title in the last seven years. Jared Head was named the playoff MVP.

In their first three seasons in Canal Park, the Aeros led all of Double-A in attendance, becoming the first team at that level to draw a half-million fans in a single season. In recent seasons however, attendance at Canal Park has dipped to the middle of the pack among the 12 Eastern League teams.

Season-by-season results

Lynn Sailors (1980–1983)
Eastern League • Double-A affiliate of Seattle Mariners (1980–1982) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1983)

Vermont Reds (1984–1987)
Eastern League • Double-A affiliate of Cincinnati Reds

Vermont Mariners (1988)
Eastern League • Double-A affiliate of Seattle Mariners

Canton-Akron Indians (1989–1996)
Eastern League • Double-A affiliate of Cleveland Indians

Akron Aeros (1997–)
Eastern League • Double-A affiliate of Cleveland Indians

Note: Place indicates finish in Eastern League's Northern Division from 1980 to 1982; in divisionless Eastern League from 1983 to 1993; in Eastern League's Southern Division from 1994 to present

Attendance

Season Total attendance League rank Total Aeros openings Average attendance per Aeros opening
Average attendance per Eastern League opening
(not including Aeros openings)
1997 473,232 1st 71 (approx.) 6,665 4,260
1998 521,122 1st 71 (approx.) 7,340 4,334
1999 522,459 1st 71 (approx.) 7,359 4,954
2000 481,060 1st 71 (approx.) 6,775 4,147
2001 485,582 1st 71 (approx.) 6,839 4,294
2002 400,187 3rd 71 (approx.) 5,636 4,284
2003 445,603 2nd 71 (approx.) 6,276 4,128
2004 478,611 1st 71 (approx.) 6,741 4,399
2005 455,056 2nd 71 (approx.) 6,409 4,468
2006 412,995 3rd 71 (approx.) 5,817 4,353
2007 355,376 6th 64 5,553 4,831
2008 342,816 7th 67 5,117 4,570

Roster

Akron Aeros roster
Players Coaches/Other
Pitchers
Catchers
  • None

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

† Disabled list
* On Cleveland Indians 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated December 18, 2009
Transactions

Notable alumni

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Akron Aeros History

External links

Main

Baseball Cube

Baseball Reference

BR Bullpen


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