Montgomery Biscuits
MontgomeryBiscuits.png
MontgomeryBiscuitsCap.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassDouble-A (1973–present)
LeagueSouthern League (2022–present)
DivisionSouth Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamTampa Bay Rays (1999–present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (5)
  • 1981
  • 1991
  • 1999
  • 2006
  • 2007
Division titles (8)
  • 1975
  • 1976
  • 1981
  • 1990
  • 1991
  • 1999
  • 2006
  • 2007
First-half titles (5)
  • 1978
  • 1981
  • 1989
  • 1990
  • 2019
Second-half titles (10)
  • 1976
  • 1991
  • 1999
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2012
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2018
  • 2019
Team data
NameMontgomery Biscuits (2004–present)
Previous names
  • Orlando Rays (1997–2003)
  • Orlando Cubs (1993–1996)
  • Orlando SunRays (1990–1992)
  • Orlando Twins (1973–1989)
ColorsButter and blue
   
MascotBig Mo
BallparkMontgomery Riverwalk Stadium (2004–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Lou DiBella[1]
General managerMichael Murphy[2]
ManagerMorgan Ensberg
MediaMiLB.TV and WSFA, WMSP 740 AM

The Montgomery Biscuits are a Minor League Baseball team based in Montgomery, Alabama. They are the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and play in the Southern League. The team was founded in Orlando, Florida, in 1973 as the Orlando Twins, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. After remaining in the Minnesota minor league organization for 20 seasons, the team became an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs for four seasons and then the Seattle Mariners for one. In 1999, the team became an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, and they have remained in the organization ever since. They became members of the Double-A South in 2021, though this was renamed the Southern League in 2022.

Over the years, the club changed names several times. They were the Orlando Twins for 17 seasons, then were known as the SunRays, Cubs, and Rays. The club became known as the Biscuits when it moved from the Orlando area to Montgomery in 2004.

The club played at Tinker Field near downtown Orlando from 1973 until 2000, when they moved to Champion Stadium in nearby Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Since moving to Montgomery in 2004, the Biscuits have played at Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium, a 7,000-seat facility which was built for the club in the downtown area.

Franchise history

Orlando

Orlando Rays logo from 2003
Orlando Rays logo from 2003

The franchise joined the Southern League in 1973 as the Orlando Twins, a minor-league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, which held spring training in Orlando, Florida at the time. The Orlando Twins played at Tinker Field in downtown Orlando, near the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. In 1990, the team was renamed the Orlando Sun Rays. In 1993, the Chicago Cubs became the team's new major-league affiliate, and the team was renamed the Orlando Cubs. While still a Chicago Cubs affiliate, the team renamed itself again in 1997 and became the Orlando Rays. The following year, for one season only, the Seattle Mariners were the Rays' major-league affiliate. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, an American League expansion team in 1998, assumed the Orlando Rays' major-league affiliation the following year.

The Orlando Rays' last season at Tinker Field was 1999. From 2000 to 2003, the Orlando Rays played in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in Champion Stadium at Walt Disney World Resort. Despite the fact that the team played in a state-of-the-art stadium that was built in 1997 and used during spring training by the Atlanta Braves, attendance did not meet expectations; after trailing the Southern League in attendance in multiple years, the Rays' owners announced the team would move to Montgomery in 2004 (terminating their 10-year lease with Disney after four seasons).[3]

While in Orlando, the franchise won three Southern League championships: in 1981 (as the Twins), 1991 (as the Sun Rays), and 1999 (as the Rays).

Montgomery

The Biscuits became Montgomery's first Major League Baseball-affiliated team since 1980, when the Montgomery Rebels, a Detroit Tigers affiliate, played their final season in the Southern League at Montgomery's Paterson Field. The Biscuits' owners, Sherrie Myers and Tom Dickson, were selected from six different ownership groups during an extensive search for a public-private partner by the City of Montgomery. Myers and Dickson selected the team's nickname from over 4,000 entries in a "name the team" contest, due in part to tying into indigenous affiliation and potential marketing and pun possibilities (for example, "Hey, Butter, Butter, Butter" or the team's souvenir store, the "Biscuit Basket"). Several successful minor league teams have campy, quirky names to relate to families and kids. During games, biscuits are shot from an air cannon, into the stands. The official team colors are Butter and Blue.

On September 15, 2006, in just their third year of existence, the Biscuits defeated the Huntsville Stars to win the team's first Southern League championship in Montgomery. One year later, in 2007, the Biscuits again defeated the Huntsville Stars to win their second consecutive Southern League championship. They became the first team since the 1975 to 1977 Montgomery Rebels to win back-to-back championships.

The Biscuits were sold to a group of investors led by Richmond Flying Squirrels owner Lou DiBella in a transaction that closed on April 27, 2017.[1]

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Biscuits were organized into the Double-A South.[4] Though finishing the 2021 season in second place in the Southern Division at 62–55,[5] the two teams with the highest winning percentages in the regular season competed in a best-of-five series to determine the league champion.[6] With the circuit's second-best record, the Biscuits faced the Mississippi Braves in the best-of-five series but lost the championship, 3–2.[7] Jonathan Aranda won the league Most Valuable Player Award.[8] In 2022, the Double-A South became known as the Southern League, the name historically used by the regional circuit prior to the 2021 reorganization.[9]

Mascot

Their mascots are "Big Mo", an orange beast that loves biscuits,[10] and "Monty", an anthropomorphized buttermilk biscuit. Monty appears in the logo and on the hat. The mascot for the Orlando Rays was "Spike", a bear.[11] The origin of Spike is unknown but presumed to predate the Devil Rays, as the club has been controlled by the Cubs and by the Twins (who have a bear mascot, T.C. Bear).

In 2014, a new live mascot was introduced and also named with a contest in which 4,800 entries submitted ideas for a micro-mini pot belly pig which became Miss Gravy, Duchess of Pork. Miss Gravy retired to a farm in Wetumpka in 2016.[12]

Notable alumni

Major League Baseball players who played for the Biscuits (or earlier incarnations) include:

Roster

The Biscuits (in navy) on the road at Five County Stadium during a 2011 game against the Carolina Mudcats
The Biscuits (in navy) on the road at Five County Stadium during a 2011 game against the Carolina Mudcats
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

  •  9 Garrett Hiott
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 12 Niko Hulsizer
  • 40 Diego Infante
  • 17 Kameron Misner
  • 27 Jordan Qsar


Manager

Coaches

  • 20 Jim Paduch (pitching)
  • 23 Wuarnner Rincones (hitting)
  • 22 Sean Smedley (bench)


Injury icon 2.svg
7-day injured list
* On Tampa Bay Rays 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated July 30, 2022
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Southern League
Tampa Bay Rays minor league players

Television and radio

All Montgomery Biscuits games are televised live on MiLB.TV and select games are also televised live on WSFA. WMSP 740 AM provides radio broadcasts of games. Since 2016, the Biscuits play-by-play commentator is Chris Adams-Wall.

References

  1. ^ a b Reichard, Kevin (May 4, 2017). "Lou DiBella/Montgomery Biscuits Era Begins". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "Front Office". Montgomery Biscuits. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-09-21.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "2021 Double-A South". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  6. ^ Heneghan, Kelsie (July 1, 2021). "Playoffs Return to the Minor Leagues". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  7. ^ Sheehan, Stephanie (September 26, 2021). "Rangel Steers Braves to Double-A South Crown". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Postseason All-Stars". Minor League Baseball. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  9. ^ "Historical League Names to Return in 2022". Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  10. ^ Meet Big Mo!
  11. ^ Orlando Rays
  12. ^ Biscuits’ mascot Miss Gravy to retire to Wetumpka