Gwinnett Stripers
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassTriple-A (2009–present)
LeagueInternational League (2022–present)
DivisionWest Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamAtlanta Braves (2009–present)
Minor league titles
League titles (0)None
Division titles (2)
  • 2016
  • 2019
Wild card berths (1)
  • 2009
Team data
NameGwinnett Stripers (2018–present)
Previous names
Gwinnett Braves (2009–2017)
ColorsNavy blue, sea green, red, white
       
MascotChopper
BallparkCoolray Field (2009–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Atlanta Braves (Liberty Media)
General managerErin McCormick[1]
ManagerMatt Tuiasosopo
MediaMiLB.TV and 97.7 FM

The Gwinnett Stripers are a Minor League Baseball team of the International League (IL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. They play their home games at Coolray Field in unincorporated Gwinnett County, Georgia (with a Lawrenceville address) in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. They are named for striped bass in reference to the popularity of fishing in the region.

The team was established in 2009 after the International League's Richmond Braves relocated from Richmond, Virginia. Named the Gwinnett Braves after their major league affiliate, they adopted their current moniker in 2018. The Stripers moved from the IL to the Triple-A East in conjunction with MLB's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, but this league was renamed the International League in 2022.

History

In January 2008, the Atlanta Braves announced plans to relocate its Triple-A Minor League Baseball affiliate from Richmond, Virginia, to Gwinnett County in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. The move came after years of trying to reach a suitable plan with the city of Richmond to finance the construction of a new stadium to replace The Diamond, which had been home to the Richmond Braves since 1985, or find a new location altogether.[2] The relocated team was to begin play in 2009 at the newly constructed Gwinnett Stadium, renamed Coolray Field in 2010.[3] Known as the Gwinnett Braves, they were members of the Triple-A International League (IL), as were the Richmond Braves who preceded them.[4]

The move to Gwinnett County marked a return home of sorts for the franchise, which traces its roots to the founding of the Atlanta Crackers in 1901. They became the top affiliate of the then-Milwaukee Braves in 1965. When the Braves moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Atlanta in 1966, they moved the Crackers to Richmond, where the minor league franchise took the name of the parent club.

The Gwinnett Braves played their first game on April 9, 2009, defeating the Charlotte Knights, 9–1, at Knights Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.[5] Their first home game was played on April 17.[6] With 10,427 people in attendance, the Braves lost to the visiting Norfolk Tides, 7–4.[7] Their first home win occurred three nights later when Gwinnett defeated the Durham Bulls, 5–2.[8] The Braves ended their inaugural season in second place in the South Division, two games behind Durham, at 81–63. Though failing to win the division title, they did qualify for the International League's wildcard playoff spot under manager Dave Brundage. They were eliminated in the semifinals by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 3–1.[9]

Julio Teherán won the IL's Most Valuable Pitcher and Rookie of the Year Awards in 2011.
Julio Teherán won the IL's Most Valuable Pitcher and Rookie of the Year Awards in 2011.

From 2010 to 2012, a trio of Gwinnett players won the International League Rookie of the Year Award. First baseman Freddie Freeman won the honor in 2010. At the time of his selection, he led the IL with 147 hits and 240 total bases, was second in batting average (.319), runs batted in (RBI) (87), doubles (35) and extra-base hits (55), and led all first baseman with a .994 fielding percentage.[10] In 2011, Julio Teherán, who also won the Most Valuable Pitcher Award, was the Rookie of the Year after leading the league with 15 wins and a 2.22 ERA in 24 games.[11] First baseman Ernesto Mejía, who led the circuit with 91 RBI, 148 hits, and 253 total bases at the time of his selection, was the 2012 Rookie of the Year.[12]

Despite narrow second-place finishes in 2011 and 2015, the Braves did not return to the postseason until 2016. Manager Brian Snitker led the team until May 17 when he was promoted to manage the major league club in Atlanta.[13] Rick Albert and John Moses, his replacements on an interim basis, led the 2016 Braves to win the South Division title with a 65–78 record. They defeated the Columbus Clippers, 3–1, in the semifinals to advance to the finals of the Governors' Cup playoffs in which they lost the International League championship versus the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 3–1.[14]

The Braves rebranded as the Gwinnett Stripers prior to the 2018 season. The moniker refers to striped bass, which are fished out of nearby Lake Lanier, and serves as a nod to the popularity of outdoor activities in the region. A name-the-team contest was held to select the nickname. Among the finalists were "Big Mouths", "Buttons", "Gobblers", "Hush Puppies", "Lambchops", and "Sweet Teas". The selection committee initially chose Big Mouths, referring to largemouth bass, but decided Stripers would be a better fit for their vision of the team's identity.[15]

The 2019 Stripers won the South Division title with a 80–59 record under Damon Berryhill. They were eliminated from the playoffs in the semifinals by Columbus, 3–1.[16] Berryhill was selected to win the International League Manager of the Year Award.[17]

The start of the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before being cancelled on June 30.[18][19] Following the 2020 season, Major League Baseball assumed control of Minor League Baseball in a move to increase player salaries, modernize facility standards, and reduce travel. The Braves retained Gwinnett as their Triple-A affiliate. However, the International League disbanded, and the Stripers followed the rest of the IL teams into the Triple-A East.[20] Gwinnett ended the season in third place in the Southeastern Division with a 68–51 record.[21] No playoffs were held to determine a league champion; instead, the team with the best regular-season record was the declared the winner.[22] However, 10 games that had been postponed from the start of the season were reinserted into the schedule as a postseason tournament called the Triple-A Final Stretch in which all 30 Triple-A clubs competed for the highest winning percentage over that stretch.[22] Gwinnett finished the tournament in 25th place with a 3–7 record.[23] In 2022, the Triple-A East became known as the International League, the name historically used by the regional circuit prior to the 2021 reorganization.[24]

The Stripers are located only 35 miles (56 km) from their parent club's home stadium, Truist Park in Cobb County, the third-shortest distance between a Triple-A team and its major-league parent. Only the St. Paul Saints, based 12 miles (19 km) east of Minneapolis, and the Tacoma Rainiers, based 26 miles (42 km) south of Seattle, are closer to their MLB parent clubs. The 2021 season marked the 57th season of affiliation between the Braves and Stripers (and their predecessors), the longest-running affiliation agreement in Triple-A.

Season-by-season records

Table key
League The team's final position in the league standings
Division The team's final position in the divisional standings
GB Games behind the team that finished in first place in the division that season
Class champions Class champions (2009–present)
League champions League champions (2009–present)
* Division champions (2009–present)
^ Postseason berth (2009–present)
Season-by-season records
Season League Regular season Postseason MLB affiliate Ref.
Record Win % League Division GB Record Win % Result
2009
^
IL 81–63 .563 4th 2nd 2 1–3 .250 Won wild card berth
Lost semifinals vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 3–1
Atlanta Braves [9]
2010 IL 72–71 .503 7th 2nd 16 Atlanta Braves [25]
2011 IL 78–65 .545 5th 2nd 2+12 Atlanta Braves [26]
2012 IL 62–82 .431 12th 4th 21 Atlanta Braves [27]
2013 IL 60–84 .417 14th 4th 27 Atlanta Braves [28]
2014 IL 65–77 .459 11th (tie) 2nd 9 Atlanta Braves [29]
2015 IL 77–67 .535 5th (tie) 2nd 1 Atlanta Braves [30]
2016
*
IL 65–78 .455 10th 1st 4–4 .500 Won South Division title
Won semifinals vs. Columbus Clippers, 3–1
Lost IL championship vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 3–1
Atlanta Braves [14]
2017 IL 71–71 .500 6th (tie) 2nd 15 Atlanta Braves [31]
2018 IL 70–69 .504 7th 2nd 9 Atlanta Braves [32]
2019
*
IL 80–59 .576 2nd 1st 1–3 .250 Won South Division title
Lost semifinals vs. Columbus Clippers, 3–1
Atlanta Braves [16]
2020 IL Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)[19] Atlanta Braves [33]
2021 AAAE 68–51 .571 6th 3rd 8+12 3–7 .300 Lost series vs. Durham Bulls, 5–0
Won series vs. Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, 3–2
Placed 25th in the Triple-A Final Stretch[23]
Atlanta Braves [21]
Totals 849–837 .504 9–17 .346

Logos and uniforms

Ozzie Albies in a Gwinnett Braves road uniform in 2016.
Ozzie Albies in a Gwinnett Braves road uniform in 2016.

From 2009 to 2017, the colors of the Gwinnett Braves were navy blue and red, the same as their Atlanta parent. The primary logo resembled the Atlanta Braves' primary logo, but with a silver outline and "Gwinnett" centered above. The home jersey had the classic Braves' wordmark centered on the front, with the "Gwinnett" underscore underlining it. However, unlike Atlanta's jersey with navy blue and red piping, Gwinnett's jersey featured red sleeves with blue stripes.[34]

Along with the Braves' 2018 rebrand as the Stripers, the team adopted new colors and logos. Their primary colors became dark blue and sea green, with red retained as an accent color. The new logos feature a green striped bass.[35]

Radio and television

From the inaugural 2009 season through 2019, Tony Schiavone, former voice of the Atlanta Braves, Charlotte Knights, World Championship Wrestling, and World Wrestling Entertainment, was the play-by-play announcer.[36] Dave Lezotte has been the lead broadcaster since the beginning of the 2021 season.[37]

All Stripers home and road broadcasts are broadcast on My Country 99.3 WCON-FM.[37] Live audio broadcasts are also available online through the station's website as well as on the team's website and the MiLB First Pitch app. Games can be viewed through the MiLB.TV subscription feature of the official website of Minor League Baseball, with audio provided by a radio simulcast.[38]

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

7-day injured list
* On Atlanta Braves 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated April 13, 2022
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • International League
Atlanta Braves minor league players

Achievements

Freddie Freeman won the International League Rookie of the Year Award in 2010.

Retired numbers

The Stripers have not honored any players from their franchise history in Gwinnett by retiring their uniform numbers. When a number is retired, only the player with the retired number can wear that number if he returns to that team as a player or coach. This ensures that the number will be associated with one player of particular importance to the team. However, they have honored former Richmond Braves player and manager Tommie Aaron, brother of Hank Aaron, by retiring his number 23 on April 12, 2012.[39] Additionally, Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired throughout professional baseball on April 15, 1997.[40]

Awards

Three players and one manager won International League awards in recognition for their performance with Gwinnett.[41]

Award Recipient Season Ref.
Most Valuable Pitcher Julio Teherán 2011 [41]
Rookie of the Year Freddie Freeman 2010 [41]
Rookie of the Year Julio Teherán 2011 [41]
Rookie of the Year Ernesto Mejía 2012 [41]
Manager of the Year Damon Berryhill 2019 [41]

Managers

Gwinnett has had seven managers since their inaugural 2009 season.[42]

Manager Season(s)
Dave Brundage 2009–2012
Randy Ready 2013
Brian Snitker 2014–2016
Rick Albert* 2016
John Moses* 2016
Damon Berryhill 2017–2020
Matt Tuiasosopo 2021–present
* Interim manager

References

  1. ^ "Erin (O'Donnell) McCormick Named Gwinnett Stripers Vice President and General Manager". Gwinnett Stripers. Minor League Baseball. October 1, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Bowman, Mark (January 15, 2008). "Braves' Triple-A Team Moving to Georgia". Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Coolray Field". Gwinnett Stripers. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  4. ^ "Gwinnett Braves Franchise History (2009–2017)". Stats Crew. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "Braves vs. Knights Box Score 04/09/09". Major League Baseball. April 9, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  6. ^ Beitzel, Ben (April 18, 2009). "G-Braves' Loss Can't Ruin New Team's Home Opener". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  7. ^ "Tides vs. Braves Box Score 04/17/09". Major League Baseball. April 9, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "Bulls vs. Braves Box Score 04/20/09". Major League Baseball. April 9, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "2009 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Wild, Danny (August 31, 2010). "Bulls Dominate IL All-Star Awards". International League. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  11. ^ Wild, Danny (August 30, 2011). "Canzler, Teheran Voted IL's Top Players". International League. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  12. ^ Lezotte, Dave (August 28, 2012). "Mejia Captures IL Rookie of the Year Award". Gwinnett Stripers. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  13. ^ O'Brien, David (October 11, 2016). "Snitker Expected to Become Braves Full-time Manager". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "2016 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  15. ^ Lezotte, Dave (December 8, 2017). "Gwinnett Braves Rebrand as Gwinnett Stripers". Gwinnett Stripers. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  16. ^ a b "2019 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Dykstra, Sam (August 27, 2019). "Mountcastle, Keller Take Top IL Honors". International League. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  18. ^ "A Message From Pat O'Conner". Minor League Baseball. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  19. ^ a b "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  20. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  21. ^ a b "2021 Triple-A East Standings". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  22. ^ a b "MiLB Announces 'Triple-A Final Stretch' for 2021". Minor League Baseball. July 14, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  23. ^ a b "2021 Triple-A Final Stretch Standings". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  24. ^ "Historical League Names to Return in 2022". Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  25. ^ "2010 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  26. ^ "2011 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  27. ^ "2012 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  28. ^ "2013 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  29. ^ "2014 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  30. ^ "2015 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  31. ^ "2017 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  32. ^ "2018 International League". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  33. ^ "2020 Schedule". Gwinnett Stripers. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  34. ^ Hammock, Will (June 3, 2009). "Braves Unveil 'Neat Look'". Gwinnett Stripers. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  35. ^ Hammock, Will (December 8, 2017). "Gwinnett Stripers Announced as Replacement Name for Gwinnett Braves". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  36. ^ "2019 Gwinnett Stripers Media Guide" (PDF). Gwinnett Stripers. Minor League Baseball. 2019. p. 152. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  37. ^ a b "Gwinnett Stripers Broadcasts". Gwinnett Stripers. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  38. ^ "MiLB.tv". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  39. ^ Lezotte, Dave (April 2012). "Gwinnett Braves Homestand Highlights". Gwinnett Stripers. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  40. ^ Smith, Claire (April 16, 1997). "A Grand Tribute to Robinson and His Moment". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 1, 2007. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  41. ^ a b c d e f "International League Award Winners". International League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  42. ^ "Gwinnett All-Time Roster". Gwinnett Stripers. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 13, 2021.