At the dawn of the 21st century, the great state of New Hampshire - the first colony to secede from England, home of the very first American potato and free public library - was without a professional baseball team to call its own. That changed in October of 2003, when the baseball franchise from New Haven, Connecticut spread its wings and landed in Manchester. And so, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats were born. In the seasons since, the Fisher Cats have become the Granite State's premier destination for affordable family-friendly fun and a bastion of leadership within the local and regional communities.
The Fisher Cats embarked on their inaugural season in April of 2004 as temporary residents of Gill Stadium, an historic campaign that began with affiliated baseball's return to the Queen City and ended with an Eastern League championship.
While 2005 did not produce a title-winning ball club, that sophomore season featured another kind of addition to team lore: the organization opened a brand-new ballpark in the heart of Downtown Manchester. Originally known as Fisher Cats Stadium, the friendly confines of Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (previously Merchantsauto.com Stadium) have been the team's home ever since.
Baseball's power brokers may have brought the franchise to New Hampshire, but it was local residents, community leaders and businesses that embraced the organization as its own. New attendance records were set every year between 2007 - when the franchise welcomed its 1,000,000th fan - and 2010, when the 2,000,000th came through the turnstiles. The 2010 season was especially memorable; nearly 400,000 fans witnessed a Fisher Cats game, which included 14 standing room-only crowds and the highest monthly attendance total - 110,825 in August - to date.
2011 was a star-studded year for the organization. Not only did the team host their second Eastern League All-Star Game, but the Fisher Cats clawed through the opposition to capture the franchise's second Eastern League title.
While there's much to be celebrated on the field and in the stands, the Fisher Cats are most proud of the impact they've had on the people of New Hampshire. Millions of dollars have been raised for various charities throughout the years, and annual partnerships with the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Ted Williams Museum and more work to make life better for Granite State residents and their families.
The organization has been recognized as New Hampshire Business Review's "Best Sporting Event To Take Clients To" for ten consecutive years, Parenting New Hampshire Magazine's "NH's Favorite Sporting Event for Families" for seven years in a row and "Best New Hampshire Sports Team" by New Hampshire Magazine for the last seven years.
Prior to the start of the 2017 season, the team announced a million dollar stadium renovation - paid for by team owner Art Solomon - that transformed the ballpark's front entrance and left field pavilion. Brand-new amenities included tiered seating beyond the left field wall, a state-of-the-art music stage, a Tiki Bar and a rock waterfall at the top of the entrance stairs. The 'Cats celebrated the new look with the Eastern League All-Star Classic July 11-12, the third time the circuit's Midsummer Classic has docked on the shores of the Merrimack River.
While so much has changed since that first pitch of the 2004 season, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats remain steadfast in their commitment to the people and principles of the Granite State. 2020 marks the 17th season of Ferocious Fun; we hope to see you at the ballpark this season!