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For current information on this topic, see 2008 New Britain Rock Cats season.
New Britain Rock Cats
Founded in 1983
New Britain, Connecticut
Team Logo
Cap Insignia
  • Double-A (1983-Present)
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
  • New Britain Rock Cats (1996-present)
  • Hardware City Rock Cats (1995)
Minor league titles
League titles
Division titles 1998, 2001
Owner(s)/Operated by: Bill Dowling
Manager: Jeff Smith
General Manager: John Willi

The New Britain Rock Cats are the Double-A minor league baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club. Home games are played in New Britain Stadium in New Britain, Connecticut. They compete in the Eastern League.



The franchise's timeline can be traced back to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where they were a Boston Red Sox Double-A affiliate from 1965 to 1969. The franchise then moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1970, and spent three years in the Ocean State. When the Pawtucket Red Sox became a Triple-A team in 1973, the BoSox moved their double-A franchise to Bristol, Connecticut. Known as the Bristol Red Sox, the team played at Muzzy Field for ten seasons from 1973 to 1982. Starting with the 1983 season, owner Joe Buzas moved the team some ten miles east to New Britain. Then known as the New Britain Red Sox, the team played its home games at Beehive Field, which is still standing next to the current stadium.

As Beehive Field became outdated and new facilities began to pop up in other cities around the league, Buzas was faced with the choice of staying in New Britain and building a new stadium, versus moving the franchise again. The Red Sox front office, led by Dan Duquette supported the idea of moving to Springfield, Massachusetts because it was closer to their fan base and closer to the Western Massachusetts home of Duquette. Ultimately, however, in August 1994, Buzas decided to keep the franchise in New Britain. The Red Sox promptly pulled their affiliation, and moved it to Trenton, New Jersey, which was actually farther away from the fan base. For the 1995 season, Buzas, who owned the Salt Lake Buzz (Minnesota triple A), signed a new development agreement with the Minnesota Twins, and this affiliation has continued since. During the 1995 season (their only season in Beehive Field), the team was known as the Hardware City Rock Cats, a reference to New Britain's nickname "The Hardware City". The current ballpark, New Britain Stadium, opened in 1996. The team name changed to the current "New Britain" Rock Cats in 1997. Stanley Works continues to be a significant sponsor of the team and ballpark.

During 2003 and 2004, the team was involved in several lawsuits over its Friday night fireworks displays. A group of residents living near the stadium claimed the noise was disruptive, and the ash and debris damaged their cars and homes. In May 2005, Judge Marshall Berger allowed the shows to continue after attending one himself, but ruled that their frequency should be scaled back.[1] The team is currently limited to only one show a month (generally held on the first Friday home game), and has added laser-light shows and other "quiet" promotions to replace the missing fireworks.

On July 12, 2008, the Rock Cats established a franchise record for single game attendance. The crowd of 8,115 marked the first time the 8,000 mark was surpassed for a game at New Britain Stadium. This record was broken on June 27, 2009 with a crowd of 8,212. Rock Cats radio play-by-play voice Jeff Dooley is the brother-in-law of Red Sox TV play-by-play man Don Orsillo.


New Britain Rock Cats roster
Players Coaches/Other





  • -- Rudy Hernandez (batting)
  • -- Stu Cliburn (pitching)

† Disabled list
* On Minnesota Twins 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated 2009-12-16

The Rock Cats completed the 2009 season, with a record of 72-69, finishing in second place, in the Eastern League's Northern Division. In the Cats' first playoff berth since the 2003 season, and they lost to the Connecticut Defenders in the Northern Division finals.

Notable alumni

Season records

Season Manager W-L Win % Finish Playoffs Results
1995 Sal Butera 65-77 .458 5th
1996 Al Newman 61-81 .430 5th
1997 Al Newman 70-72 .493 3rd
1998 John Russell 83-59 .585 1st Won Semifinals
Lost League Championship Series
New Britain 3, Binghamton 1
Harrisburg 3, New Britain 1
1999 John Russell 59-82 .418 5th
2000 John Russell 51-91 .359 6th
2001 Stan Cliburn 87-55 .613 1st Won Semifinals
League Championship Series Cancelled 1
New Britain 3, Norwich 1
New Britain 0, Reading 0
2002 Stan Cliburn 67-72 .482 4th
2003 Stan Cliburn 73-68 .518 2nd Lost Semifinals New Haven 3, New Britain 2
2004 Stan Cliburn 70-70 .500 3rd
2005 Stan Cliburn 70-71 .496 4th
2006 Riccardo Ingram 64-78 .451 6th
2007 Riccardo Ingram 69-72 .489 4th
2008 Bobby Cuellar 64-77 .454 5th
2009 Tom Nieto 65-61 .516 2nd
12001 League Championship was canceled due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Game Mascots:

  • Rocky the Rock Cat (main mascot)
  • Rookie the Rock Cat (Rocky's nephew)
  • Sandy the Lion
  • Blooper the Walrus
  • Toner the Advance Copy's Copy Cat
  • Peanut the Elephant
  • Baldy the Eagle
  • South Paw the Inflatable Dog

Sponsored Inning Mascots:

  • The Dunkin' Donuts Trio - Coffee, Iced Coffee, and Donut
  • Crystal Rock's Hydration Man

External links



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