Midland RockHounds
Founded in 1972
Midland, Texas
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassDouble-A (1972–present)
LeagueDouble-A Central (2021–present)
DivisionSouth Division
Previous leagues
Texas League (1972–2020)
Major league affiliations
TeamOakland Athletics (1999–present)
Previous teamsCalifornia / Anaheim Angels (1985–1998)
Chicago Cubs (1972–1984)
Minor league titles
League titles (7)
  • 1975*
  • 2005
  • 2009
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
Division titles (9)
  • 1975
  • 1995
  • 2005
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
First half titles (2)
  • 1995
  • 2005
Second half titles (9)
  • 1979
  • 1982
  • 1991
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2010
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2019
*Co-champions
Wild card berths (2)
  • 2014
  • 2017
Team data
NameMidland RockHounds (1999–present)
Previous names
Midland Angels (1985–1998)
Midland Cubs (1972–1984)
ColorsNavy blue, orange, silver, white
       
MascotJuice the Moose (1990-present)
Rocky RockHound (1999-present)[1]
BallparkMomentum Bank Ballpark (2002–present)
Previous parks
Christensen Stadium (1972–2001)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Miles Prentice & Bob Richmond
General ManagerMonty Hoppel[2]
ManagerScott Steinmann

The Midland RockHounds are a Minor League Baseball team based in Midland, Texas. The team, which plays in the Double-A Central, is the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics major league club. The RockHounds play in Momentum Bank Ballpark, which opened in 2002 and seats 4,709 fans. The RockHounds were members of the Texas League from 1972 to 2020 and won seven Texas League championships: in 1975 (co-champions with the Lafayette Drillers), 2005, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

History

The RockHounds were previously known as both the Midland Cubs (1972–1984) and Midland Angels (1985–1998). While Midland has been the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland A's since 1999, they were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs from 1972 to 1984, and then with the California Angels from 1985 to 1998.[3] The team was renamed “Rockhounds,” a nickname for geologists, as a reference to the oil and gas industry of the area.[4]

The RockHounds have received numerous awards throughout their history. The Midland franchise under the Angels won the Texas League Organization of the Year in 1990 and 1994 and as the RockHounds in 2002. In 1995, Midland won Double-A Baseball's highest award, the Bob Frietas Award. General Manager Monty Hoppel has been named Executive of the Year with the franchise three times (1991, 1995, and 2002).[5]

In 1995, Midland reached its first-ever playoff appearance as an affiliate of the Angels and their first playoff appearance overall in 20 years. It also became the first season that Midland accumulated more than 200,000 fans in a season, a feat repeated in 1996. The feat surprised many in Minor League Baseball as the Midland-Odessa area only has just over 200,000 residents total. The RockHounds moved into Momentum Bank Ballpark, part of the Scharbauer Sports Complex on the west side of Midland, in 2002. Since then, the RockHounds have averaged over 250,000 fans every season. Prior to that, their home had been what is now known as Christensen Stadium, in northeast Midland.

The Rockhounds won their first ever Texas League Championship in 2005. They shared the title with the Lafayette Drillers in 1975 as the Cubs. In 2006, they won the second-half championship of the South Division, but they lost to the eventual champion Corpus Christi Hooks in the division playoffs.[6]

In 2007, the RockHounds won the John H. Johnson President's Award, Minor League baseball highest award for a franchise, making them the third Texas League franchise to do so after the El Paso Diablos and the Tulsa Drillers.[7]

In 2009, the RockHounds won their second Texas League pennant, defeating the Northwest Arkansas Naturals three games to one in the Championship Series.[8] In 2010, the RockHounds returned to the Texas League title game, but this time fell to the Naturals.

In 2017, the RockHounds won their fourth straight Texas League title, the first team to do so since the Fort Worth Panthers won six in a row from 1920-25.[9]

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the RockHounds were organized into the Double-A Central.[10]

On the radio

The Midland Rockhounds have always had a play-by-play broadcast that has been available. KCRS (AM) had been the network to carry roughly 95% of the Rockhounds games since they debuted in 1972. Some afternoon games in 2008 didn't air on the radio due to contracts with Rush Limbaugh and others. For the 2009 season Gap Broadcasting announced the Rockhounds would have a new radio home, KFZX, also known as 102.1 Jack FM. For the 2010 season, the Rockhounds once again moved radio homes to KMRK 96.1 FM.[11] In both cases Bob Hards remained the voice of the Rockhounds, a position he has currently held for 19 consecutive years.[12] In 2013 the Rockhounds moved their games back to KCRS, though weekday day games would be preempted for talk shows that were already scheduled.

Notable players

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 43 Austin Briggs
  • 33 Aaron Brown
  • 19 Chase Cohen
  • 22 Bryce Conley
  • 28 Ty Damron
  • 32 Zack Erwin
  • 18 Brady Feigl
  • 27 Kyle Friedrichs
  • 40 Nick Highberger
  • 11 Zach Jackson
  • 39 Jared Koenig
  • 17 Eric Mariñez
  • 94 Norge Ruiz
  • 34 Jesus Zambrano

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

  • 25 Chase Calabuig
  • 21 Devin Foyle
  •  6 Mickey McDonald
  • 14 Tyler Ramirez
  • 29 Jhonny Santos


Manager

Coaches

60-day injured list

7-day injured list
* On Oakland Athletics 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated May 11, 2021
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Double-A Central
Oakland Athletics minor league players

References

  1. ^ "Mascots". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Palmer, Tod. Kansas City-area Olympians who have qualified for 2020 Tokyo Games, Channel 41 KSHB-TV, Kansas City, Missouri, June 22, 2021.
  3. ^ "History of Midland in Minor League Baseball". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball.
  4. ^ "Rock of Ages". SportsLogos.net.
  5. ^ "Awards Follow the RockHounds Franchise". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball.
  6. ^ "RockHounds Success under the A's". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball.
  7. ^ Hards, Bob (November 19, 2007). "RockHounds Take Home Top Honor". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Hards, Bob (September 20, 2009). "RockHounds Hoist 2009 Title". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "'Hounds win fourth straight Texas League title". MiLB.com. Minor League Baseball. September 17, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  10. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  11. ^ LeRoy, Oscar (April 8, 2010). "Rockhounds Notebook". MyWestTexas.com. Midland Reporter-Telegram. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  12. ^ "Bob Hards: Director of Broadcasting and Publications". Midland RockHounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 26, 2014.