Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Founded in 1999
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassLow-A (2021–present)
Previous classesClass A-Advanced (1999–2000)
LeagueLow-A East (2021–present)
DivisionSouth Division
Previous leagues
Carolina League (1999–2020)
Major league affiliations
TeamChicago Cubs (2015–present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 1999*
  • 2000
  • 2015
  • 2016
*co-champions with Wilmington
Division titles (9)
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2008
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
Team data
NameMyrtle Beach Pelicans (1999–present)
Previous names
  • Danville 97s (1998)
  • Durham Bulls (1980–1997)
ColorsPelicans Blue, Pelicans Gold, Pelicans Navy, White        
Mascots
  • Splash
  • Rally Shark
  • Slider
BallparkTicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark (1999–present)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Myrtle Beach Pelicans LP
General ManagerRyan Moore
ManagerBuddy Bailey
MediaTuneIn Radio

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a Minor League Baseball team in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the Low-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.[1] The Pelicans compete in the Low-A East. Home games are played at TicketReturn.com Field, which opened in 1999 and seats up to 6,599 people.[2]

The Pelicans were previously members of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League from 1999 to 2020, and most recently won the league's championship in 2016.[3] On February 12, 2020, Major League Baseball announced that the Pelicans had accepted a Professional Development League license to continue as the Cubs' Low-A affiliate in the Low-A East.[4] From their inaugural season through 2010, they were affiliated with the Atlanta Braves, before spending four seasons as a Texas Rangers affiliate from 2011 to 2014. The team's current affiliation with the Chicago Cubs began in 2015.[5]

History

Previously, this franchise was known as the Durham Bulls, but relocated following the 1997 season as a result of the expansion of the Triple-A International League into Durham, North Carolina, where the new franchise assumed the "Bulls" name. It spent the 1998 season in Danville, Virginia, as the Danville 97s, awaiting a move to Myrtle Beach while their new stadium, Coastal Federal Field, was under construction. When then their home ballpark opened its gates on April 12, 1999, for the franchise's first game, 5,521 fans came to see the Pelicans play the Potomac Cannons.[2] In the first at bat, Pelicans pitcher Luis Rivera struck out Cannons hitter Esix Snead looking.[2] The first two hits at the stadium were home runs for each team, first by Potomac's Andy Bevins, and later that same game by Myrtle Beach's Ryan Lehr.[2]

Their ballpark has since been renamed TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, which is a family-friendly stadium with a speed pitch, obstacle course, and moon bounce on the concourse. In 2004, Baseball America rated it the second-best Class-A level ballpark in the United States, and the best in the Carolina League in 2009.[2] For four consecutive seasons (2011–2014), Stadium Journey ranked the Pelicans as the top stadium experience in the Carolina League,[6] and one of the publication's "Top 50 Stadium Experiences" in all of sports,[2] while TripAdvisor named the team the third-best attraction in Myrtle Beach.

Notable games

Splash, one of the team mascots
Splash, one of the team mascots

In their first season, the Pelicans advanced to the 1999 Carolina League Mills Cup Championship series. The best-of-five series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks was tied 2–2, with the deciding Game 5 set to be played in Myrtle Beach, when the series was cancelled because of Hurricane Floyd. The two teams were named co-champions for that season.

Myrtle Beach won both the first and second-half Southern Division titles in 2008 under Rocket Wheeler, who was named Carolina League Manager of the Year. The following season, Jason Heyward played over half the year in Myrtle Beach en route to being named Baseball America's 2009 Minor League Player of the Year.

On July 3, 2014, the Pelicans home game with the Winston-Salem Dash was broadcast on the CBS Sports Network, the first time the Pelicans were on live national television.[7][8]

Front office changes

In early 2006, Capitol Broadcasting Company announced plans to sell the Pelicans. The current owner is Myrtle Beach Pelicans LP, a group led by lawyer Chuck Greenberg.[9]

On November 20, 2012, General Manager Scott Brown left to join the Triple-A Charlotte Knights of the International League.[10] A month later, on December 21, 2012, the Pelicans hired Andy Milovich to become the club's Vice President and General Manager.[11] By January 14, 2015, Milovich was promoted to President and General Manager.[12]

On September 16, 2014, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans reached an agreement on a player development contract (PDC) with the Chicago Cubs, beginning with the 2015 season.[1]

Move to the Low-A East

On February 12, 2020, it was announced that the Pelicans, who played at the Advanced-A level of minor league baseball since the team was started in 1999, would move to Low-A in a new Major League Baseball player development alignment. The Pelicans swapped places with the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, which was feeding players to the Pelicans as they moved up in the Cubs' organization. The move means that the Pelicans will predominantly be getting players who are in their first full seasons of pro ball. Dropping a level, the Pelicans will now be closer to their division opponents. The Pelicans are in the South Division of Low-A East, which comprises three divisions. The Charleston RiverDogs, Columbia Fireflies, and Augusta GreenJackets in North Augusta, South Carolina, are in the South Division as well.[13][14]

Playoffs

Notable former players

Several Pelicans have gone on to play in the major leagues. Some of these are:[15]

Retired numbers

Myrtle Beach has honored three of its members by retiring their uniform numbers.[16]

No. Player Position Seasons
2 Rafael Furcal SS 1999–2000
18 Rocket Wheeler Manager 2006–2010
43 Bruce Dal Canton Pitching coach 1999–2007

Roster

Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 35 Jose Almonte
  • 30 Manuel Espinoza
  • 33 Richard Gallardo
  • 53 Jose Miguel Gonzalez
  •  7 D. J. Herz
  • 37 Porter Hodge
  •  1 Gabriel Jaramillo
  • 24 Adam Laskey
  • 27 Riley Martin
  • 17 Carlos Ocampo
  • 54 Daniel Palencia
  • 49 Sheldon Reed
  • 22 Bailey Reid
  • 27 Jake Reindl
  • 19 Dawel Rodriguez
  • 34 Tyler Schlaffer
  • 52 Alberto Sojo
  • 41 Didier Vargas
  • 51 Jarod Wright

Catchers

  •  6 Ethan Hearn
  • 38 Casey Opitz
  • 44 Raymond Peña

Infielders

  •  8 Ed Howard
  • 40 Josue Huma
  • 16 Kevin Made
  • 57 Matt Mervis
  • 48 Fabian Pertuz
  •  5 Luis Verdugo

Outfielders


Manager

Coaches

  • 32 Clayton Mortensen (pitching)
  • 28 Dan Puente (hitting)
  • 13 Ben Martinez (development)

60-day injured list

  •  3 Jeremiah Estrada
  • -- Kohl Franklin
  • 44 Austin Krzeminski
  • 29 Tyler Suellentrop
  • -- Riley Thompson
  • 52 Sam Thoresen
  • 45 Matt Warkentin

7-day injured list
* On Chicago Cubs 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
± Taxi squad
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated August 26, 2021
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Low-A East
Chicago Cubs minor league players

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Myrtle Beach Pelicans Change Franchise Affiliation to Chicago Cubs". WMBF. Worldnow and WMBF. September 17, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Facts and Figures - Myrtle Beach Pelicans TicketReturn.com Field". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  3. ^ Vittas, John (September 14, 2016). "Pelicans win 5-3 for second straight Carolina League championship". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  4. ^ "MLB ANNOUNCES MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS Teams Will Be Part of New Model to Better Serve Fans, Players and Clubs" (PDF) (Press release). MLB Office of the Commissioner. February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  5. ^ Blondin, Alan (October 31, 2018). "Pelicans extend deal: See how long Chicago Cubs farmhands will play in Myrtle Beach". The Sun News. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Swaney, Paul (September 21, 2014). "Ranking the Ballparks of the Carolina League". Stadium Journey. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Myrtle Beach Pelicans to Make National TV Debut Thursday on CBS Sports Network". The Sun News. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Barnett, Nathan (June 30, 2014). "Pelicans game to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on July 3". Myrtle Beach Pelicans Official Website. Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Chuck Greenberg: Chairman & Managing Partner". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved January 24, 2010. Chuck Greenberg assumed the role of President & Managing Partner of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on May 31, 2006 after his ownership group purchased the club from Capitol Broadcasting Company. On January 14, 2009, Greenberg assumed the role of Chairman & Managing Partner when the organization announced Todd Parnell as President.
  10. ^ "Pelicans GM Brown Leaving MB for Triple-A Charlotte". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  11. ^ "Pelicans Name New GM, Season Opens April 4th". Grand Strand Sports Report. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Barnett, Nathan (January 14, 2015). "Pelicans Announce Front Office Changes". Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  13. ^ "MLB ANNOUNCES MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS Teams Will Be Part of New Model to Better Serve Fans, Players and Clubs" (PDF) (Press release). MLB Office of the Commissioner. February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Blondin, Alan. "Myrtle Beach Pelicans are changing minor league levels and leagues. They have new rivals". The Sun News. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Road to the Show". milb.com. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  16. ^ "Rafael Furcal - No. 2 Jersey Retired" (PDF). 2016 Myrtle Beach Pelicans Media Guide. Minor League Baseball. 2017. p. 105. Retrieved March 16, 2017.