The Spinners will celebrate their 25th season in Lowell as a Class A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox in 2019. The team's owner, Dave Heller, is entering his fourth season with the team after purchasing the Spinners from Drew Weber, the team's owner since 1997, in June of 2016.
The first year of Spinners baseball at Alumni field in 1996 drew 95,986 fans. Attendance increased to 106,862 during Drew and Joann Weber's first year with the team in 1997. In 1998, the Spinners moved into the brand new Edward LeLacheur Park, which seats 4,797 and has a standing room capacity of 5,030. Attendance rose to 174,020 fans with 24 sell-outs. In 1999, the Spinners sold out 34 of 38 games, drawing a team record 180,077 fans. The Spinners filled LeLacheur Park to 102% of its capacity, ranking the Spinners second among the nearly 200 Minor League baseball teams across the nation.
From 1999-August 30, 2010, the Spinners SOLD EVERY SINGLE TICKET! It is believed to be the first time any professional team has ever sold every ticket for eight straight seasons. The Spinners set a new franchise attendance record in 2010 when 201,512 fans showed up to see the team play. It didn't hurt that one game was played at Fenway Park, but we'll take it. Season tickets have consistently reached the limit of 1,600 each season, with a waiting list for the past six seasons and the team sold out 413 straight games from 1999 through 2010.
Edward LeLacheur Park, located on the banks of the Merrimack River near the UMass-Lowell campus, offers a dramatic view of both the flowing Merrimack River and the distinct red arches of the Aiken Street Bridge. The facility also houses UMass-Lowell Riverhawks baseball.
Edward LeLacheur Park was designed by the HOK Sports Facilities Group, the company famous for creating modern ballparks with the nostalgic charm often associated with older facilities. Camden Yards in Baltimore and Coors Field in Colorado were both designed by HOK. From its groundbreaking, the facility became a key part of Lowell's downtown revitalization.
See Future Red Sox
The Lowell Spinners are the Boston Red sox of tomorrow! As the Red Sox entry in the short-season New York-Penn League, fans of the Lowell Spinners have watched many Spinners prospects climb the Minor League ladder to become Major Leaguers. Already, several top Red Sox prospects have played in Lowell, beginning in 1999 with third baseman Wilton Veras. An original Spinner in 1996, Veras became the first former-Spinner to reach the Red Sox.
Shea Hillenbrand, also a member of the 1996 Spinners, became the first Spinner to be a Major League All-Star as the starting third baseman for the 2002 American League All-Stars. David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals became the first Spinner to play in a World Series when his 2002 Anaheim Angels won it all. Eckstein was also named World Series MVP in 2006, while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2004, former Spinner Kevin Youkilis became the second player to take home a World Series ring when the Boston Red Sox became World Champions. Former Spinner Abe Alvarez also earned a ring after a spot start for Boston only one year after his stint in Lowell. 2004 Spinner Anibal Sanchez threw a no-hitter for the Florida Marlins in '06, becoming the first former Spinner to accomplish the feat. 2006 also saw former Spinner Freddy Sanchez take home the National League batting title and Hanley Ramirez win the National League Rookie of the Year award. 2007 was once again another special year for former Spinners as Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz all had key contributions for the Red Sox as they went on to win the '07 World Series.
More recently, Anibal Sanchez was the American League ERA Title Winner in 2013 and the 2013 Boston Red Sox received contributions from former Spinners Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Will Middlebrooks, Brandon Workman, Felix Doubront, Alex Wilson, Ryan Lavarnway, Drake Britton, Jackie Bradley Jr. and first-base coach Arnie Beyeler in capturing their third World Series Championship of the decade.
Now, exciting young stars like Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi have made their way from Lowell to Fenway.
And Current Red Sox
Spinners fans have seen many future Red Sox take the field in Lowell, but current Red Sox have also taken the field in Lowell. Lowell Spinners games have been the site of rehabilitation appearances by four Red Sox pitchers: two-time Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen made rehab starts for Lowell in 1997 & 2000, All-Star Ramon Martinez rehabbed in Lowell in 1999, and All-Star closer Keith Fouke, who became a Red Sox legend when he finished off the Cardinals to win the 2004 World Series for Boston, made rehabilitation appearances with the Spinners in 2005 and 2006. Popular pitcher Rich El Guapo Garces rehabbed in Lowell in 2001. Red Sox outfielder and 2007 post-season hero J.D. Drew made a rehab appearance with the team in 2011. Most recently, Red Sox outfielder and 2013 post-season hero Shane Victorino rehabbed with the team in 2014 and starting pitcher Rick Porcello made a start for the Spinners in 2015.
Big leaguers who have made rehabilitation appearances in Lowell most recently include pitcher Joe Kelly and catcher Ryan Hanigan in 2016, starter Rick Porcello in 2015, outfielder Shane Victorino in 2014, outfielder Ryan Kalish and Felix Doubront, Kevin Cash and Jed Lowrie in 2010, Lowrie in 2009, Wily Mo Pena in 2006 Gabe Kapler in 2003 and 2005, infielders Kevin Youkilis and David McCarty in 2004, and fan-favorite first baseman Brian Daubach in 2001.
Why have the Spinners become the hottest ticket in the area? The Spinners provide fun entertainment for the whole family, at a very affordable cost. With a full slate of exciting promotions, contests, and giveaways, every Spinners game is a memorable event.
The Spinners are famous for their inventive, original promotional ideas. The Spinners hit the headlines in 2006 with the Yankees Elimination Promotion (Y.E.P) that was unveiled in February, receiving press from all over the country, including features on ESPNs Cold Pizza and CNNs Headline News and Steve Ruskin's Sports Illustrated column.
In 1999, the Spinners featured a Birth Night promotion, which received nationwide media attention, including several mentions on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Spinners most popular giveaway item a bobblehead doll of the Lowell-native world-famous author Jack Kerouac in 2003, garnered national media attention and a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Boston Red Sox pitcher and former Spinner Casey Fossum was an invited guest to a game in 2002 and Pedro Martinez raved about his visit to LeLacheur Park in 1999. In the last several years, the Spinners have rolled out popular bobble heads of Stephen King (award-winning author), Peter Gammons (ESPN), Scott Brown and John Kerry, 1980 Team USA Hockey Captain Mike Eruzione, NESN's Heidi Watney and Mike O'Malley of CBS's Yes, Dear.
The team won the coveted "Golden Bobble Head" at the 2014 Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar for their "Military Hero Card Set" promotion as "Best Theme Night."
Following the 2016 season, Main Street Baseball, which includes Heller's three other clubs (Wilmington Blue Rocks, Quad Cities River Bandits, and the Billings Mustangs), was named Organization of the Year by Baseball Digest.
We've got some great things planned for 2019, including more of the fan favorite bobblehead dolls. The Spinners deliver a desirable audience to fans and our corporate sponsors, an audience that visits the ballpark from throughout the entire Merrimack Valley and surrounding areas.