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Yard Goats

RMS Companies

The city of Hartford has selected RMS Companies to develop 32 properties surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts Park near the intersection of Albany Avenue and Main Street  -- an area known as “Downtown North.”

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

The American League Division Series start today. This afternoon, the lowly Boston Red Sox play in Houston, and then tonight, the 27-time world champion New York Yankees play in Cleveland.

Tomorrow, we get fully four postseason baseball games, with both National League series starting.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Note: This episode contains strong language.

There are 203 ballparks currently being used by affiliated, professional baseball teams in the United States: 30 in the Major Leagues, 23 spring training facilities used by the big league clubs and their Rookie League affiliates, and 150 Minor League stadiums spread over six levels of baseball.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats were an entertainment success in their first year in the capital city -- selling out 41 of 70 home games this season, including the final 21.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Yard Goats manager Jerry Weinstein is a man of many little self-contradictory terms. Words like "simplexity." Or this one he has for a pitch that could be a strike or a ball: a... "striball."

And it's not just these seemingly nonsensical little chestnuts, either. There are deeper contradictions in the manager that is Jerry Weinstein.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Since I first started following Minor League Baseball, there's been this ongoing tension that I've felt at all the games.

On the one hand, you're pretty much surrounded by people who are living their dreams. On the other hand, kind of by definition, none of those people is really happy, is really satisfied where they are.

CPTV Sports

The Yard Goats' mascots were first unveiled to the world in October, 2015, as the last part of a string of branding reveals that included merchandise, logos, logotypes, and uniforms, and that had begun with a Name the Team contest.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

 

The Connecticut high school baseball championships will be played this weekend, and some of the playoffs were played on the state’s newest stage. Four high school teams got to play at the brand new minor league stadium in Hartford. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

I think the reality is that on Hartford’s whole 25-man roster, there are probably maybe two, maybe three guys who will go on to have Major League careers of any length. Could be a couple more, but it could be a couple fewer too.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

This is episode three, and it's the first we're really talking about the actual team, the actual baseball, the actual wins and losses.

And I'll say this right at the beginning here:

The Yard Goats are... not good. So far, anyway.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

We've been feeling like maybe all the serious politics coverage we've been doing has crowded out some of the nonsense sports coverage we like to do.

So this hour: sports nonsense and nothing else.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

I want to get this spoiler out of the way right at the top here: Hartford has baseball, the Yard Goats have a ballpark, and the ballpark — after a 372-day delay — has a fully-functional baseball field where real, live, professional baseball games are actually played.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Yard Goats completed their first home stand in Hartford with their first home win at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Thursday. They beat Harrisburg 1-0. Hartford failed in its previous five chances to win at home.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

After 65 years, professional baseball made its return to Hartford Thursday, as the Yard Goats hosted -- and lost to -- the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Wasted Time R / Wikimedia Commons

The Hartford Yard Goats' home opener on April 13 coincides with a day that some of the city's biggest sports fans will never forget.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The mayor who wanted it is gone. The developer who built it is gone. And the plans to build around it are on hold. But finally, after a year of delay, Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is about to have its first minor league game. 

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats weren’t playing, but Tuesday night’s collegiate match-up between the University of Hartford and Quinnipiac University was still important for the minor league team’s staff as they get ready for opening day on Thursday. This was a dress rehearsal.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Note: This episode contains strong language.  

The plan is to tell the story of the Yard Goats' second season -- their first season in a new city, their first season in a new ballpark, their first season as a home team.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Minor League Baseball was supposed to return to Hartford a year ago, but developers couldn’t complete the stadium on time. Now, with just days to go, Dunkin’ Donuts is pretty much finished, and it seems that only rain can stop the April 13 opener.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Yard Goats are scheduled to open play on April 13 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford. But a lawsuit between the city and the ballpark’s former developers has caused problems in the run-up to opening day.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Yard Goats held an event today in downtown Hartford for season ticket holders. Team owner Josh Solomon was present for the second annual hot stove luncheon.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Things may be looking up for Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as the city and the insurance company for the developer have finally signed an agreement that should get construction at the stalled baseball stadium going again.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company. 

Centerplan Companies

With the 2016 home season lost and Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park unfinished and shuttered, the minor league Yard Goats have told the city that they need to know what will happen in 2017 -- or they could leave the home that Hartford built.

 

On Thursday, they got an indication from the city that construction might soon begin again.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

After missing his entire first season at Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon desperately wants the city to get the stadium finished for baseball in 2017.

But just in case, Solomon has apparently let Hartford officials know that he has options -- and one of them is to take his team elsewhere.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford Yard Goats say they won’t play a single regular season game in the city for which the team is named, making official what has been all but certain for weeks. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The legal battle between the city of Hartford and the developers of its stalled and shuttered minor league ballpark has now begun in earnest.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford's stalled baseball stadium said they'll need more than twice as much money as the city has left to finish the park for the minor league Yard Goats. 

CENTERPLAN COMPANIES

A day after Hartford's stadium developer said he was about to put a settlement proposal on the table for the entire $350 million downtown project, the head of the city's stadium authority said he wouldn't trust it if he got it. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The developers of Hartford’s stalled minor league baseball stadium want to hold off on the grocery store they agreed to. But Mayor Luke Bronin now says they may have bigger problems -- and he doubts the people at Centerplan Construction have the ability to finish the rest of the ambitious downtown development project. 

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