Tulsa Drillers

Last updated
Tulsa Drillers
Founded in 1977
Tulsa, Oklahoma
TulsaDrillers.PNG TulsaDrills.PNG
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
Current Double-A
Minor league affiliations
League Texas League
DivisionNorth Division
Major league affiliations
Current Los Angeles Dodgers (2015–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 1982
  • 1988
  • 1998
  • 2018
Division titles (6)
  • 1999
  • 2002
  • 2006
  • 2014 (1st half)
  • 2017
  • 2018
Team data
NicknameTulsa Drillers (1977–present)
Lafayette Drillers (1975–1976)
Ballpark ONEOK Field (2010–present)
Previous parks
Drillers Stadium (1981–2009)
Oiler Park (1977–1980)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Dale & Jeff Hubbard
ManagerScott Hennessey
General ManagerMike Melega

The Tulsa Drillers are a minor league baseball team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers major-league club.

Tulsa, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 45th-most populous city in the United States. As of July 2016, the population was 413,505, an increase of 12,591 over that reported in the 2010 Census. It is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 991,005 residents in the MSA and 1,251,172 in the CSA. The city serves as the county seat of Tulsa County, the most densely populated county in Oklahoma, with urban development extending into Osage, Rogers, and Wagoner counties.

Texas League baseball league operating at Class AA level of Minor League Baseball in Texas, USA

The Texas League is a Minor League Baseball league which operates in the South Central United States. It is classified as a Double-A league. Despite the league's name, only its four South Division teams are actually based in Texas; the four North Division teams are located in surrounding states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. The league maintains its headquarters in San Antonio.

Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Los Angeles, California, United States

The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.

Contents

Stadium

The Drillers play at ONEOK Field (pronounced "one-oak"), in downtown Tulsa's Greenwood district. The team previously played at Drillers Stadium on the Tulsa County Fairgrounds at 15th and Yale in midtown Tulsa. The Drillers held their first home opener at ONEOK Field on April 8, 2010, losing 7–0 to the Corpus Christi Hooks in front of an over-capacity crowd of 8,665. [1] In their first season in the new ballpark, the Drillers drew total attendance of 408,183, the highest season figure in the history of Tulsa professional baseball. [2]

Drillers Stadium was a former minor league baseball stadium located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From 1981 to 2009, Drillers Stadium was home to the Tulsa Drillers, of the Double-A Texas League. For a number of years Drillers Stadium also hosted one of the regular season baseball games played between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma in the Bedlam Series. Drillers Stadium is located on the southwest corner of Yale Avenue and 15th Street, in the Tulsa State Fairgrounds complex that also includes Expo Square Pavilion, the QuikTrip Center and Golden Driller, a racetrack, a waterpark, and the sites of the former Bell's Amusement Park and of Oiler Park, where Tulsa's professional baseball teams had played since 1934.

The Corpus Christi Hooks are a minor league baseball team of the Texas League, and are the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. They are located in Corpus Christi, Texas, and are named for the city's association with fishing. The team's ownership group is headed by Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan; the team's CEO, Reid Ryan, is Nolan's oldest son. The Hooks play their home games at Whataburger Field, which opened in 2005 and is located on Corpus Christi's waterfront.

History

The Drillers came into being in 1977, when the two-year-old Lafayette Drillers were moved to Tulsa. Before that time, the Triple-A Tulsa Oilers had been the city's minor league club, but owner A. Ray Smith moved that team to New Orleans due to concerns over the dilapidated condition of Oiler Park. The new team opted to keep the Drillers name carried over from Lafayette—appropriate given the importance of oil to the Tulsa economy. Apart from World War II, professional baseball has been played in Tulsa continuously since 1932.

The Lafayette Drillers baseball club was an American minor league baseball franchise representing Lafayette, Louisiana, that played for two seasons, 1975–76, in the Double-A Texas League as an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The team played its home games at Clark Field.

The Tulsa Oilers, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were a minor league baseball team that existed on-and-off in multiple leagues from 1905 to 1976. For most of their history, they played at Oiler Park, which opened on July 11, 1934, and was located on the Tulsa County Fairgrounds at 15th Street and Sandusky Avenue.

New Orleans Largest city in Louisiana

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 393,292 in 2017, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

The Drillers set up shop at Oiler Park, which was renamed Driller Park. However, it was obvious that the old stadium was at the end of its useful life, and plans were already underway for a replacement. Tulsa County completed 8,000 seat Robert B. Sutton Stadium in 1981, naming it for its chief benefactor, a local oil executive. Sutton, however, was convicted in 1982 of fraud, and as a result the County renamed the park Tulsa County Stadium, and renamed it Drillers Stadium in 1989.

From 1977 to 2002, the Drillers were the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. In 2002, Rangers owner Tom Hicks purchased the Shreveport, Louisiana Texas League franchise with the intention of moving the team to Frisco, Texas, a suburban city north of Dallas, Texas. At the time, the Shreveport Swamp Dragons were affiliated with the San Francisco Giants; Hicks cast aside this association and bought out the remaining two years of Tulsa's Player Development Contract. The Drillers then signed a two-year agreement with the Colorado Rockies. After the 2014 season they signed an affiliation agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Texas Rangers (baseball) Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Arlington, Texas, United States

The Texas Rangers are an American professional baseball team based in Arlington, Texas, located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Rangers franchise currently competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) West division. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Globe Life Park in Arlington. The team's name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name.

Tom Hicks American businessman

Thomas Ollis Hicks Sr., is an American private equity investor and sports team owner living in Dallas, Texas. Forbes magazine estimated Hicks' wealth at $1 billion in 2009, but it dropped to $700 million in 2010. Hicks co-founded the investment firm, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, previously owned 50% of the English football club Liverpool F.C., and is chairman of Hicks Holdings LLC, which owns and operates Hicks Sports Group, the company that formerly owned the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Stars, and the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. In 2010, Hicks was forced to sell the Rangers and Liverpool to satisfy his creditors, and the Stars went into bankruptcy the following year.

Shreveport, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Shreveport is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. Shreveport ranks third in population in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge and 126th in the U.S. The bulk of Shreveport is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat. Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River into neighboring Bossier Parish. Shreveport and Bossier City are separated by the Red River. The population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The United States Census Bureau's 2017 estimate for the city's population decreased to 192,036.

Batting coach Mike Coolbaugh was killed in a freak accident on July 22, 2007. While standing in the first base coach box, he was hit in the head by a line drive. [3] Although CPR was administered at the scene, he died less than an hour later. The Drillers and Travelers suspended their game, which the Travelers had been leading, 7–3, in the ninth inning. The Drillers also postponed their game the following night. [4] The coroner concluded that Coolbaugh was actually hit in the neck with the line drive instead of the head, which ruptured an artery in his neck, killing him. [5] As a result of this event, Major League Baseball began making helmets for base coaches mandatory in 2008. [6]

Michael Robert Coolbaugh was an American baseball player and coach. Born in Binghamton, New York, he was the brother of former major leaguer Scott Coolbaugh. Coolbaugh died after being hit by a line drive while working as a first-base coach in a minor league game.

Championship seasons

The Drillers have been Texas League champions four times: in 1982, 1988, 1998 and in 2018. As well as Eastern Division Champions in 1999, and 2002. The Drillers also appeared in the Texas League playoffs during the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2017 seasons.

Ownership

Tulsa businessman Bill Rollings acquired the Lafayette franchise and moved it to Tulsa in 1977. [7] [8] Country music entertainer Roy Clark was a co-owner of the team for six years. [9] Went Hubbard bought the team in 1986. In March 2006, Chuck Lamson (a former Drillers pitcher and executive) bought out much of Hubbard's stock in the team; Lamson became president and majority owner of the team. [10] In December 2010, Lamson sold his stock back to Hubbard. This transaction made Hubbard the sole owner of the team; his sons, Dale and Jeff, became co-chairmen. Went and Dale Hubbard are residents of Walpole, New Hampshire; Jeff Hubbard, a former player (in 1987) and coach (in 1991) for the Drillers, lives in Durham, North Carolina. [11] Went Hubbard died in September 2012. [12]

Media

ESPN SportsCenter anchor John Anderson has often alluded to team alumni as "former Driller(s)" on-air. Anderson was a weekend sports anchor for Tulsa CBS affiliate KOTV before joining ESPN. [13]

For 13 years the Tulsa Drillers' radio (and sometime television) announcer was Mark Neely, but in January 2009 it was announced that Neely had been hired to be the new TV play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres. [14] In February the Drillers announced that Neely's replacement would be Dennis Higgins, former announcer for the Wichita Wranglers. [15] Since the 2005 season, the Drillers have been broadcast on KTBZ (AM), Sports Radio 1430, "The Buzz" in Tulsa. [16]

Notable former players

Gabe Kapler 001H0892 Gabe Kapler.jpg
Gabe Kapler

Current roster

Tulsa Drillers roster
PlayersCoaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

  • 46 Scott Hennessey

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Los Angeles Dodgers 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated November 3, 2018
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB    Texas League
Los Angeles Dodgers minor league players

See also

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References

  1. Barry Lewis, "Downtown debut: Drillers lose first game at new ONEOK Field: Sellout crowd of 8,665 more than 800 over capacity watch ONEOK Field opener", Tulsa World , April 9, 2010.
  2. Lynn Jacobsen, "Drillers exceeded expectations in 2010", Tulsa World , September 8, 2010.
  3. http://sports.aol.com/mlb/story/_a/tragedy-strikes-on-baseball-field/20070723020009990001 AP Sports, retrieved 02007-07-23 [ dead link ]
  4. Tulsa Drillers Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  5. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/wires/07/25/2010.ap.bbm.coach.killed.coroner.0215/%5Bdead+link%5D
  6. http://www.espn.com/mlb/spring2008/news/story?id=3267836
  7. "Tulsa Baseball Timeline" at Tulsa World .
  8. Barry Lewis, "Moniker has lasting print on franchise", Tulsa World , April 19, 2007.
  9. Wayne McCombs, Baseball in Tulsa (Arcadia Publishing, 2003), ISBN   978-0-7385-2332-3, p.76. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  10. Barry Lewis, "Lamson's long history with the Drillers", Tulsa World , December 23, 2010.
  11. Barry Lewis, "Lamson sells his interest in Drillers", Tulsa World , December 23, 2010.
  12. "In memoriam: Went Hubbard", Ballpark Digest, September 9, 2012.
  13. Goodridge, Gerald. "John Anderson Named Teegins Award Winner". newson6.com. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  14. Bill Haisten, "Neely leaving Drillers for Padres, Tulsa World , January 23, 2009.
  15. "Higgins gets Driller radio job," Tulsa World , February 6, 2009.
  16. "Drillers Games To Air On AM 1430 In 2009", Tulsa Drillers press release, December 5, 2008 (retrieved January 24, 2009).