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Connecticut has been home to literally dozens of minor league baseball teams dating all the way back to the Bridgeport Giants of the Eastern League (1885-86) and the Hartford Dark Blues of the Eastern League (1886).



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Connecticut has been home to literally dozens of minor league baseball teams dating all the way back to the Bridgeport Giants of the Eastern League (1885-86) and the Hartford Dark Blues of the Eastern League (1886).

The Woodchoppers of Bristol, the Hatters of Danbury, the Silverites of Meriden, the Black Crows of New Haven, the Planters of New London, the Witches of Norwich and the Colts of Willimantic have graced our locals diamonds over the past 120 years.

Baseball was still in its infancy at the turn of the century and while there were teams from Bridgeport to New Haven and Waterbury to Hartford, what is known as “minor league baseball” didn’t officially begin until 1901 with the formation of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. Back in 2001, minorleaguebaseball.com – celebrating the 100th anniversary of minor league baseball – ran a feature on the 100 all-time best teams and honored three Connecticut nines: the 1931 Hartford Senators, the 1916 New London Planters and the 1944 Hartford Laurels.

And despite the ever-changing landscape of minor league baseball (for instance, in Connecticut the New Haven Ravens have fled to become the New Hampshire Fisher Cats while the Norwich Navigators have re-introduced themselves as the Connecticut Defenders) the minor league game is as popular as ever and Connecticut fans can still head out to the ballpark this spring and summer to watch the Hardware City Rock Cats, the Defenders, the Bridgeport Bluefish or the New Haven County Cutters play.

A look back at all the professional and minor league baseball teams to play the game in the state of Connecticut (with team name, league or association, and years of operation) –

BRIDGEPORT – Giants, Eastern League, 1885-86; Orators, Connecticut State League, 1899-1912; Crossmen, Eastern Association, 1913; Bolts, Eastern Association, 1914; Hustlers, Eastern Association, 1916; Americans, Eastern Association, 1917-23; Bears, Eastern Association, 1924-32; Bees, Interstate League, 1941; Bees, Colonial League, 1947-50; Bluefish, Atlantic League, 1998 to present.

BRISTOL – Bellmakers, Connecticut State League, 1899-1900; Woodchoppers, Connecticut League, 1901; Owls, Colonial League, 1949-50; Red Sox, Eastern League, 1973-82.

DANBURY – Hatters, New York-New Jersey League, 1913; Hatters, Atlantic League, 1914.

DERBY – Lushers, Connecticut State League, 1899; Angels, Connecticut State League, 1900-01.

HARTFORD – Dark Blues, Eastern, 1886; unknown, Atlantic Association, 1889-90; Bluebirds, Atlantic Association, 1896-97; Cooperatives, Atlantic Association, 1898; Indians, Eastern League, 1899-900; Wooden Nutmegs, Eastern League, 1901; Senators, Connecticut League, 1902-12; Senators, Eastern Association, 1913-14 and 1916-32; Senators, Colonial League, 1915; Senators, Northeastern League, 1934; Laurels, Eastern League, 1938 and 1944; Bees, Eastern League, 1939-43 and 1945-46; Chiefs, Eastern League, 1947-52.

MERIDEN – unknown, Eastern League, 1886; Silverites, Connecticut State League, 1899-1905; unkown, Connecticut League, 1908; Doublins, Connecticut Association, 1910; Hopes, Eastern Association, 1913.

MIDDLETOWN – Jewels, Connecticut Association, 1910.

NEW BRITAIN – Perfectos, Connecticut League, 1908-12; Sinks, Eastern Association, 1914; Red Sox, Eastern League, 1983-94; (Hardware City) Rock Cats, Eastern League, 1995 to present.

NEW HAVEN – unknown, Atlantic Association, 1889-90; Nutmegs, Eastern Association, 1891; Nutmegs, Eastern League, 1892; Texas Steers, Atlantic League, 1896; Blues, Connecticut State League, 1899-1908; Black Crows, Connecticut League, 1909; Prairie Hens, Connecticut League, 1910; Murlins, Connecticut League, 1911-12; Murlins, Eastern League, 1916-18’ White Wings, Eastern Association, 1913-14; MaxFeds, Colonial League, 1915; Weissmen, Eastern League, 1919-20; Indians, Eastern League, 1921-22; Profs, Eastern League, 1923-30; Bulldogs, Eastern League, 1931-32; Ravens, Eastern League, 1994-2003.

NEW LONDON – Whalers, Connecticut State League, 1899-1907; Whalers, Connecticut Association, 1910; Planters, Eastern Association, 1913-14; Planters, Eastern League, 1916-18; Raiders, Colonial League, 1947.

NORWALK – unknown, Atlantic Association, 1889.

NORWICH – Witches, Connecticut State League, 1899-1901; Reds, Connecticut League, 1902-07; Bonbons, Connecticut Association, 1910; Navigators, Eastern League, 1995-2005; Connecticut Defenders, Eastern League, 2006 –

STAMFORD – Bombers, Colonial League, 1947; Pioneers, Colonial League, 1948-49.

TORRINGTON – Braves, Colonial League, 1950.

WATERBURY – unknown, Eastern League, 1885-86; Rough Riders, Connecticut State League, 1899-1900 and 1902; Hustlers, Connecticut League, 1901; Authors, Connecticut League, 1906-1908; Invincibles, Connecticut League, 1909; Finnegans, Connecticut League, 1910; Champs, Connecticut League, 1911; Spus, Connecticut League, 1912; Contenders, Eastern Association, 1913; Frolickers, Eastern Association, 1914; Nattatucks, Eastern League, 1918-19; Brasscos, Eastern League, 1920-22; Timers, Colonial League, 1947-50; Giants, Eastern League, 1966-67 and 1977-78; Indians, Eastern League, 1968-69 and 1985-86; Pirates, Eastern League, 1970-71; Dodgers, Eastern League, 1973-76; A’s, Eastern League, 1979; Reds, Eastern League, 1980-83; Angels, Eastern League, 1984; Spirit, Northern League, 1997-2000.

WEST HAVEN – Yankees, Eastern League, 1972-79; White Caps, Eastern League, 1980; A’s, Eastern League, 1981-82; New Haven County Cutters, Can-Am League, 2004 –

WILLIMANTIC – Colts, Connecticut Association, 1910.

NOTE: Information on historical teams was found on the web site of the New Britain Rock Cats.

Comments are open. Be civil.
1 comment
  1. jocko says:

    Hi, nice article about minor league baseball. My great uncle Buck (John) Morrison played for New London 1900, Meriden 1901-1902 and Hartford 1902-1903. Just recently found articles of his actual playing days. I was raised in same house in Somerville MA but never saw or found anything from his playing days. Just hope somebody can point me in right direction to find material on my great uncle. Thanks

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