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Franchise History

SEA DOGS TIME LINE

June 1992: Dan Burke, President & CEO for Capital Cities/ ABC, files an application with the Eastern League to establish a franchise in Portland.  Burke is one of 13 applicants for the two new Double-A teams as a result of the National League's expansion.

July 7, 1992: The Portland City Council votes 8-1 to support Burke's effort to bring professional baseball to Portland.

September 2, 1992: The Double-A expansion committee announces that Portland is one of four finalist to land one of the two franchises.

October 1, 1992: Members of the expansion committee visit Portland.  After a day of music, bus tours, balloons, and a tour of Hadlock Field, they depart visibly impressed with the city and its support for a team.  Late into the night, the time-and-temperature sign above Congress Street flashes "PLAY BALL!

October 4, 1992Portland and New Haven, CT are selected as the sites for the two new teams.  

October 20, 1992Burke hires Charlie Eshbach, President of the Eastern League, to be President & General Manager of the Portland franchise.

March 25, 1993Portland's new team is named the "Sea Dogs."  The name was selected from over 600 entries in a name the team contest.  The logo quickly becomes one of the most popular in Minor League baseball.

May 3, 1993The Florida Marlins are announced as the Major League affiliate for the Sea Dogs.

May 21, 1993: Ground-breaking ceremonies are held at Hadlock Field to upgrade the facility to Double-A standards.

September 16, 1993: Carlos Tosca is named the first manager of the Portland Sea Dogs.

February 26, 1994:  Fans camp out overnight in 12 degree temperatures to purchase Sea Dogs tickets.  The home opener sells out within hours.

April 5, 1994The Slugger Statue is unveiled at Hadlock Field.

April 7, 1994The Sea Dogs play their first game.  Charles Johnson's 14th inning home run gives Portland a dramatic 2-1 victory over the reading Phillies in Reading, PA.

April 18, 1994The Sea Dogs play their first game in Portland.  Kathie Lee Gifford sings the National Anthem.  Frank Gifford throws out the ceremonial first pitch.  The Sea Dogs are defeated by the Albany-Colonie Yankees 7-6.

May 6, 1994: Hadlock Field is formally dedicated.

May 7, 1994: Slugger the Sea Dog makes his first appearances and quickly becomes one of the most popular mascots in the state.

September 2, 1994ESPN is prepared to televise the Sea Dogs with Peter Gammons and Jon Miller due to the Major League strike, but the game is cancelled due to rain. Sea Dogs establish a new all-time Eastern League attendance record as 375,197 fans come out to Hadlock Field.

December 1994: Sea Dogs President & General Manager Charlie Eshbach is named Eastern League Executive of the Year.

July 6, 1995:  The Florida Marlins extend their affiliation with the Sea Dogs for an additional two years, extending their Player Development Contract through the 1998 season.

September 1995:  The Sea Dogs win the Eastern League Northern Division and advance to the playoffs for the first time.  Fans camp out overnight to get playoff tickets.  Portland is defeated by New Haven in the first round of the playoffs. The Sea Dogs establish a new attendance record as 429,763 fans watch Sea Dogs baseball in 1995.

June 6, 1996Livan Hernandez makes his first appearance for the Sea Dogs.  A year later he is named World Series MVP for the Florida Marlins.

June 29, 1996The Sea Dogs welcome the One Millionth Fan in franchise history.

September 11, 1996The Sea Dogs lose the deciding game of the Eastern League Championship Series at Hadlock Field to the Harrisburg Senators as thousands of fans stand for the entire last half of the ninth inning, applauding the team's season and effort.

August 15, 1997:  Wearing 1926 Portland Eskimo replica flannel uniforms, the Sea Dogs emerge from a cornfield in centerfield, making their first ever "Field of Dreams" entrance.  The event would become an annual fan favorite event.

September 1997:  The Sea Dogs win their third straight Northern Division title.  Once again the Sea Dogs advance to the Eastern League Championship Series but are defeated by the Harrisburg Senators. For the first time in Minor League Baseball history, five teammates hit 20 or more home runs: Kevin Millar, Ryan Jackson, John Roskos, Mark Kotsay, and Josh Booty.

August 20, 1998The Florida Marlins extend their affiliation with the Sea Dogs for another two years, keeping the affiliation in tact through the 2000 season.

September 6, 1998The Two Millionth Fan in franchise history is welcomed to Hadlock Field.

August 8, 1999:  After a three and a half hour rain delay at Hadlock Field, pitchers Brad Penny and Luis Arroyo combine to toss the first no-hitter in franchise history. 

November 15, 1999Baseball America selects the Portland Sea Dogs as the winner of the 19999 Double-A Bob Freitas Award.  The award is given to recognize sustained excellence in all aspects of the operation, including success at the gate, on the field, and the high caliber of front office personnel.

June 29, 2000: The Sea Dogs host their major league affiliate, the Florida Marlins, in an exhibition game at Hadlock Field in front of 6,910 fans, the largest crowd in franchise history at the time.  The Sea Dogs defeat the Marlins 9-2. 

April 9, 2001The Skybox closest to City Hall is re-named the Ganley Box in honor of the Portland City Manager, Bob Ganley, who passed away during the off-season. Ganley was instrumental in bringing the Sea Dogs to Portland.  His son throws out the ceremonial first-pitch.

June 16, 2001: Josh Beckett makes his Double-A debut striking out eight out of the first nine batters he faces in front of a capacity crowd that included Marlins owner John Henry.

July 25, 2001: The Sea Dogs 3 Millionth Fan in franchise history is welcomed to Hadlock Field.

August 13, 2001:  Josh Beckett and relievers Brandon Bowe and Aaron Scheffer combine to toss a no-hitter against the Binghamton Mets in Binghamton. It is the second no-hitter in team history. 

September 17, 2001:  Josh Beckett is named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year.

September 18, 2002: The Sea Dogs end their nine year affiliation with the Florida MarlinsPortland begins a new affiliation with the Boston Red Sox.  Team colors are changed from Teal to Red Sox Blue and Red.  All of the Skyboxes at Hadlock Field are renamed in honor of Red Sox Greats.

October 28, 2002: Construction begins on a likeness of Fenway's Green Monster in left-field.  Later nicknamed the Maine Monster, the wall, like it's counterpart in Boston is 37 feet high and is complete with Coke Bottle and Citgo Sign.

April 10, 2003After the entire first week of the season is postponed due to snow, the Sea Dogs finally play their first game as a Boston Red Sox affiliate.  Portland lost the game 4-1 to the Trenton Thunder, the new affiliate of the New York Yankees.

September 2003:  The Sea Dogs average a franchise record 6,231 fans per game in 2003.

December 4, 2003: The Sea Dogs announce that they will be installing a video board at Hadlock Field for the 2004 season.

April 30, 2004The Sea Dogs welcome the 4 Millionth Fan in franchise history.

May 14, 2004The Boston Red Sox announce that they are extending their affiliation with the Sea Dogs for another four years. 

August 2, 2004: Red Sox top ranked prospect Hanley Ramirez is promoted to the Sea Dogs.

August 26, 2004:  The Eastern League announces that the Portland Sea Dogs have been selected to host the 2005 Eastern League All-Star Game.

September 2004:   The Sea Dogs break their all-time franchise attendance record as 434,684 fans come to Hadlock in 2004, surpassing the previous record of 429,763 set in 1995.

December 17, 2004Thousands of fans arrive at Hadlock Field to view the 2004 World Series trophy.

July 13, 2005The Sea Dogs host the 2005 Eastern League All-Star Game.  Former President George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first-pitch.  A record seven Sea Dogs are selected to the All-Star team and play a key role in the Northern Divisions victory. 

September 2005: The Sea Dogs win the Eastern League Northern Division and qualify for the playoffs for the first time in eight years.  Portland defeats the Trenton Thunder three games to two in the first round of the playoffs to advance to the Eastern League Championship Series.  Akron defeats the Sea Dogs three games to one in the championship. Sea Dogs average a franchise record 6,290 fans per game.

October 3, 2005:  Sea Dogs announce plans to expand Hadlock Field.  390 seats will be added above the home bullpen in right field.  The seats will be pub-style similar to the "Monster Seats" at Fenway Park.  The new seating area will be called the U.S. Cellular Pavilion.

October 20, 2005:  A new playing surface is installed at Hadlock Field.

July 3, 2006:  The Sea Dogs welcome their 5 millionth fan in franchise history.

September, 2006:  The Sea Dogs set another attendance record averaging a franchise record 6,358 fans per game in 2006.

September 17, 2006The Sea Dogs capture their first Eastern League Championship defeating the Akron Aeros three games to two.

April 5, 2007: A foot fo snow falls on Hadlock Field forcing the postponement of the Sea Dogs opener vs. Connecticut.

April 9, 2007: The Sea Dogs present the American Baseball Family Group, a bronze monument to the City of Portland.

May 23, 2007: The Sea Dogs face Roger Clemens at Trenton, New Jersey as he prepares to make his return to the Yankees.

June 18, 2007: The City of Portland grants a 20-year lease extension to the Sea Dogs on Hadlock Field, paving the way for the construction of a new Sea Dogs clubhouse facility.

July 2, 2007: The Boston Red Sox extend their affiliation with the Sea Dogs for an additional four years, through the 2012 season.

August 11, 2007: The Sea Dogs play at fenway Park in fron of a combined crowd of 34,746. portland wins 12-11 on a walk-off double by Jay Johnson.

September 1, 2007: Clay Buccholz who spent most of the 2007 season with the Sea Dogs throws a no-hitter for the Red Sox against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park in just his second Major League start. Buchholz becomes the first Red Sox rookie to throw a no-hitter.

September 4, 2007: The Sea dogs clinch their third straight playoff appearance by defeating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a one game playoff at Hadlock Field.

September 10, 2007: For the fifth consecutive year, the Portland Sea Dogs establish a new attendance record, averaging 6,483 fans per game.

October 28, 2007: Seven former Sea Dogs play key roles in helping the Red Sox win their second World Series in four years: Beckett, Delcarmen, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Pedroia, and Youkilis.

July 21-23, 2008: Red Sox slugger David Ortiz rehabs an injured wrist with the Portland Sea Dogs.