Ellsbury, Eshbach enshrined in Sea Dogs Hall of Fame

By Portland Sea Dogs | August 28, 2018 6:40 PM

Portland, Maine - The Portland Sea Dogs, in conjunction with Unum, have announced that former Sea Dogs outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and founding Sea Dogs' President and General Manager Charlie Eshbach are the 2018 inductees into the Unum Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame.

The Boston Red Sox originally drafted Ellsbury with the 23rd overall pick in the 2002 June draft. The Oregon native appeared in 67 games with Portland across the 2006 and 2007 seasons, hitting .347 (94-for-271) with 20 doubles, five triples, three home runs, 32 RBI, and 24 stolen bases. He was a key member of the Sea Dogs' 2006 Eastern League Championship team, where he hit .282 with a home run and 6 RBI in nine playoff games. Ellsbury still holds the franchise record for batting average in a single month, hitting .455 in April of 2007.

"This is a huge honor," said Ellsbury. "I have great memories of playing with the Sea Dogs, including the Championship team. It's a blessing."

The former standout at Oregon State made his Major League debut during Boston's World Series Championship in 2007. He hit .353 in 33 games with the Red Sox, playing all three outfield spots.

In 2008, he led the American League with 50 stolen bases and led the majors in steals during 2009 and 2013. In 2011, he was named an American League All-Star, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove Award winner.

In seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Ellsbury hit .297 with 155 doubles, 31 triples, 65 home runs, 314 RBI, and 241 stolen bases in 287 attempts (84% success rate). In his major league career, Ellsbury has appeared in over 1,200 games with 343 career stolen bases and a lifetime batting average of .284.

Eshbach was the Sea Dogs first employee and founding President & General Manager of the franchise. He is the primary visionary of the Sea Dogs brand and builder of the franchise. Eshbach was the President of the Eastern League when Sea Dogs Founder Dan Burke hired him to lead his franchise, returning baseball to the City of Portland for the first time since 1949.

"Everything you see here, Charlie had a part of," stated Sea Dogs Treasurer Sally McNamara. "We never could have had Hadlock looking the way it does, functioning the way it does, the amazing employees, the logo, the customer service. Everything that happens; Charlie started, continued, and had the vision…just the best first employee that we could have asked for."

Under Eshbach's leadership, the Sea Dogs have been one of the Eastern League's model franchises. In the teams' inaugural season in 1994, the Sea Dogs led the league in attendance attracting over 375,000 fans and 25 seasons later still consistently rank among the league's attendance leaders. The Sea Dogs were awarded the 1999 Freitas Award, which is presented by Baseball America to honor the best operators in Minor League Baseball. In 2000, the Sea Dogs won the John H. Johnson President's Trophy, which is Minor League Baseball's top honor presented to the complete baseball franchise based upon franchise stability, contributions to the league, contributions to baseball in the community and promotion of the baseball industry.

In 1995, Eshbach co-founded the Strike Out Cancer in Kids program which has raised over $4,000,000 for the Maine Children's Cancer program. 

For his efforts, Eshbach was honored as the Eastern League Executive of the Year in 1994 and 2002. In 2013, he was named the "King of Baseball". The "King of Baseball" is a long-standing tradition in which Minor League Baseball salutes a veteran from the professional baseball world for long-time dedication and service, it is the highest individual honor in Minor League Baseball.

Eshbach has had a 45-year career in Minor League Baseball. Prior to joining the Sea Dogs, he served 11 years as Eastern League President and was presented the inaugural Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a league president in 1984. During his time as league president, Eshbach served a three-year term on the Executive Committee of Minor League Baseball and served as interim President of Minor League Baseball in 1988.

For the last 25 years, Charlie has been leading the Sea Dogs and creating memories for millions of Sea Dogs fans.

The Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame was established in 2005. Ellsbury joins Josh Beckett, John Boles, Dan Burke, Todd Claus, Bob Ganley, Adrian Gonzalez, Fredi Gonzalez, Livan Hernandez, Charles Johnson, Mark Kotsay, Jon Lester, Kevin Millar, Brandon Moss, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Redmond, Edgar Renteria, Bill Troubh, Carlos Tosca, and Kevin Youkilis as members of the Unum Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, players must have debuted with the Sea Dogs at least ten years ago and have had success in Portland and beyond. Each inductee is presented a plaque for their accomplishment. In addition, plaques of the Hall of Fame members are displayed in the Hadlock Field concourse.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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