|Grand Junction Rockies|
Founded in 1978
Grand Junction, Colorado
|Current||Rookie (1978–1985, 1987–present)|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pioneer League (1978–1985, 1987–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Colorado Rockies (2001–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (1)||1981|
|Division titles (4)|
|Nickname||Grand Junction Rockies (2012–present)|
|Ballpark||Suplizio Field (2012–present)|
The Grand Junction Rockies are a Minor League Baseball team in the Pioneer League based in Grand Junction, Colorado, United States, where they play at Suplizio Field. They are the Rookie affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The Grand Junction Rockies mascot is Corky Coyote.
Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball (MLB) and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses. Most are members of the umbrella organization known as Minor League Baseball (MiLB), which operates under the Commissioner of Baseball within the scope of organized baseball. Several leagues, known as independent baseball leagues, do not have any official links to Major League Baseball.
The Pioneer League is a Minor League Baseball league which currently operates in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. In the past, it also operated in adjoining portions of Canada. It is classified as a Rookie League and is staffed with mostly first and second-year players. The Pioneer League is a short-season league operating from June to early September.
Grand Junction is a home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. The city has a council–manager form of government, and is the most populous municipality in all of western Colorado. Grand Junction is 247 miles (398 km) west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 58,566. Grand Junction is the 15th most populous city in the state of Colorado and the most populous city on the Colorado Western Slope. It is a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. It is the principal city of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 146,723 in 2010 census.
The Butte Copper Kings, named for the once-powerful owners of the copper mines of Butte, Montana, began play in the Pioneer League in 1978 as a co-op team with players from the Philadelphia Phillies, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers organizations as well as a few free agents.
The Copper Kings were the three industrialists William A. Clark, Marcus Daly, and F. Augustus Heinze. They were known for the epic battles fought in Butte, Montana, and the surrounding region, during the Gilded Age, over control of the local copper mining industry, the fight that had ramifications for not only Montana, but the United States as a whole.
Butte is the county seat of Silver Bow County, Montana, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. The city covers 718 square miles (1,860 km2), and, according to the 2010 census, has a population of 33,503, making it Montana's fifth largest city. It is served by Bert Mooney Airport with airport code BTM.
Beginning in 1987, the franchise had been operated by Silverbow Baseball. It was sold in 1996 to the Goldklang Group in a move necessary to stem conflict-of-interest issues when Silverbow head Jim McCurdy had taken the position of President of the Pioneer League in 1994.Silverbow had attempted to sell the franchise in 1994 to investors from California, but the deal fell through when it was determined that Silverbow owned a lesser percentage of the franchise than it had purported to own.
Following the 2000 season, the team relocated to Casper, Wyoming as the Casper Rockies (and was renamed the Ghosts before the 2008 season) and affiliated with Colorado.
Casper is a city in and the county seat of Natrona County, Wyoming, United States. Casper is the second largest city in the state, according to the 2010 census, with a population of 55,316. Only Cheyenne, the state capital, is larger. Casper is nicknamed "The Oil City" and has a long history of oil boomtown and cowboy culture, dating back to the development of the nearby Salt Creek Oil Field. In 2010, Casper was named the highest-ranked family-friendly small city in the West, and ranked eighth overall in the nation in Forbes magazine's list of "the best small cities to raise a family".
On January 13, 2011, Casper Professional Baseball Club, LLC announced the sale of the team to Monfort Investment Group, a group headed by Colorado Rockies General Partners.
October 17, 2011, Grand Junction city officials unanimously approved a lease agreement to the team, making Suplizio Field home to the newly renamed Grand Junction Rockies.
Grand Junction Rockies roster
Butte Copper Kings,Casper Rockies and Casper Ghosts players who have made appearances on Major League teams:
The Colorado Springs Sky Sox were a Minor League Baseball team in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team played in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and was the Triple-A affiliate of the major league Milwaukee Brewers (2015–2018), Colorado Rockies (1993–2014), and Cleveland Indians (1988–1992). The Sky Sox won the PCL title in 1992 and 1995.
Ryan Nelson Shealy is an American former professional baseball player who played six seasons in Major League Baseball as a first baseman. Shealy played college baseball for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox.
Alumni Coliseum is a 2,000 seat stadium located in Butte, Montana. It is the former home of the Butte Copper Kings Pioneer League franchise. The Coliseum is the current home of the Montana Tech college football team, which shared the stadium with the Copper Kings until their demise, as well as the local American Legion baseball team until a new field was built for that specific purpose. The grandstands that were used for baseball have been removed as has the infield area for future expansions to the Montana Tech campus.
The Lethbridge Black Diamonds were a minor league baseball team located in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The team was previously known as the Lethbridge Mounties from 1992–1995 before becoming the Lethbridge Black Diamonds from 1996–1998. They were one of the first two farm clubs of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Only 16 months after Arizona was granted a major league baseball franchise, the first farm club — the Lethbridge Black Diamonds — took the field. The team started playing two years before their parent club even played a game. The team played their first game in June 1996, whereas the Arizona Diamondbacks started playing in April 1998. The team played in the Pioneer League, which is a rookie league, with a shortented season, in Minor League Baseball. Their home stadium was Henderson Stadium. In 1999, the team was moved and became the Missoula Osprey.
Sam Suplizio Field is a stadium in Grand Junction, Colorado, United States. It is named after former Denver Bears right fielder, New York Yankees prospect and MLB Coach Sam Suplizio. Suplizio Field is currently home of the Rookie-level Grand Junction Rockies of the Pioneer League.
The America West Hockey League (AWHL) was a Tier II Junior A ice hockey league. The AWHL was formed in 1992 to offer junior ice hockey to the Rocky Mountain region of USA Hockey. It originally was called the American Frontier Hockey League (AFHL), and the name change to AWHL came in 1998. The AWHL merged with the North American Hockey League in 2003 and after the merger, the NAHL name was kept.
Charles K. Monfort and Richard L. Monfort are the primary owners of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team. Both grew up in Greeley, Colorado and are sons to Kenneth Monfort; previous owner of Monfort of Colorado, Inc. a meatpacking and distributing company that was acquired by ConAgra Foods in 1987. Dick Monfort is managing general partner, chairman and chief executive officer, while Charlie Monfort is the team's other general partner and vice chairman.
Below is a partial list of minor league baseball players in the Colorado Rockies system and rosters of their minor league affiliates:
Jerry McMorris was the principal owner of the Colorado Rockies of the National League from 1992 through 2005. A limited partner in the ownership group that founded the Rockies in the early 1990s, he joined with meatpacking heir Charlie Monfort and Oren Benton to buy controlling interest in the team after original owner Mickey Monus was embroiled in an accounting scandal. In 2005, McMorris sold his stake of the franchise to the Charie Monfort and his brother Dick.
Ralph Stocker Stadium is owned by the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. Its current tenants are Colorado Mesa University Mavericks football, District-51 high school football, and the Grand Junction Gladiators semi-pro minor league football team, though it hosts other local events as well including track and field and both college and high school commencement ceremonies. The stadium is adjacent on its east side to Suplizio Field.
David Nicholas Kandilas is an Australian professional baseball outfielder for the Mannheim Tornados of the Baseball Bundesliga. He has played for the Sydney Blue Sox and Canberra Cavalry in the Australian Baseball League (ABL).
Raimel Antonio Tapia Linarez is a Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).
Kyle Richard Freeland is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college baseball at Evansville and was drafted by the Rockies in the first round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft.
Brendan Austin Rodgers is an American professional baseball infielder for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted third overall by the Rockies in the 2015 MLB draft.
Tony Diaz is a Dominican professional baseball coach for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball.
Yonathan Daza is a Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).
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The Rocky Mountain Vibes are a Minor League Baseball team that will begin play as a member of the Pioneer League in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2019 as the rookie affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They will play their home games at UCHealth Park which opened in 1988 and seats 8,500 people.