These pictures are from 1996, when this stadium replaced adjacent Beehive Field, which the program described as "state-of-the-art for minor league fields in the early 80s" where "the press had to report the action from a restroomless trailer at the rear of the third base stands." Even with the new ballpark, the team finished last in the Eastern League in attendance in 1996, and throughout the remainder of the decade. They finally topped the 300,000 mark in 2004.
A plaque near the entrance honors the late Joe Buzas, the Yankees opening day shortstop in 1945 and owner of the Red Sox AA affiliate in various locations from 1957 until 1994, when his dedication to the city of New Britain exceeded that of the parent club. New Britain has had a successful relationship with the Minnesota Twins since 1995. The Joseph J. Buzas trophy is awarded annually to the team that wins the Eastern League championship.
During the early innings of twinight doubleheaders, he's the envy of all those other Rock Cats.
A defensive swing by Ryan Radmanovich makes life easy for plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Hardware City Rock Cats was the official name of the team in 1996 and 1997.
The radio broadcast was handled by Jim Lucas, Don Wardlow, and Gizmo the Radio Dog. When Tom Nevers slid into third base in the final inning, in less time than it takes to flip over a stat sheet Don had correctly informed his listeners that this was Nevers's seventh triple of the season.
|Player||Team (organization)||Seen here||Big league debut|
|Jason Bay||Binghamton (Mets)||7/2/2002||5/23/2003 (Padres)|
|Jermaine Clark||New Haven (Mariners)||6/29/2000||4/3/2001 (Tigers)|
|Michael Cuddyer||New Britain (Twins)||6/29/2000||9/23/2001|
|Joe Dillon||New Britain (Twins)||7/2/2002||5/18/2005 (Marlins)|
|Jeff Farnsworth||New Haven (Mariners)||6/29/2000||4/3/2002 (Tigers)|
|Jose Flores||New Haven (Mariners)||6/29/2000||9/7/2002 (Athletics)|
|Bobby Kielty||New Britain (Twins)||6/29/2000||4/10/2001|
|Justin Morneau||New Britain (Twins)||7/2/2002||6/10/2003|
|Juan Padilla||New Britain (Twins)||7/2/2002||7/16/2004 (Yankees)|
|Prentice Redman||Binghamton (Mets)||7/2/2002||8/24/2003|
|Jose Reyes||Binghamton (Mets)||7/2/2002||6/10/2003|
|Saul Rivera||Binghamton (Mets)||7/2/2002||5/25/2006 (Nationals)|
|Luis Rodriguez||New Britain (Twins)||7/2/2002||5/21/2005|
|Mike Ryan||New Britain (Twins)||6/29/2000||9/20/2002|
|Esix Snead||Binghamton (Mets)||7/2/2002||9/3/2002|
|Javier Valentin||Hardware City (Twins)||8/22/1996||9/13/1997|
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