DENVER – The Colorado Rockies today announced affiliate invitations to four Minor League teams as part of Major League Baseball’s new player development structure.
The Rockies have formally invited the Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A), Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A), Spokane Indians (High-A) and Fresno Grizzlies (Low-A) to be Minor League affiliates under the new structure.
“We are thrilled with the teams that we will call home for our Minor League Baseball program next season and well into the future. We have had great relationships in Albuquerque and Hartford, and look forward to our new partnerships in Spokane and Fresno.” said Rockies Owner/Chairman and CEO Dick Monfort.
The Albuquerque Isotopes (New Mexico) have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Rockies since 2015, their third Major League affiliation since their founding in 2003 (also Florida, 2003-08; Los Angeles-NL, 2009-14). They have called Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (capacity: 13,500) in Albuquerque home since their inception, and have won three Pacific Coast League Southern Division titles (2003, 2009, 2012). Among numerous other accolades, the team won the 2018 John H. Johnson Award, presented by Minor League Baseball to the most complete baseball organization based on stability, community contributions and promotion of the baseball industry. They have drawn nearly 10 million fans since their first season.
“We are pleased that the Rockies have offered an affiliate invitation to us, and that they want to extend the excellent partnership we’ve shared since 2015.” said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. “Our affiliation with the Rockies has seen alumni such as Trevor Story, Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland, Ryan McMahon and Jon Gray play important roles on the field in Denver. With a first-class facility and tremendous community support, it’s an honor to be considered one of the best places to play Minor League Baseball. We are excited about the possibility of renewing our relationship with the Rockies and we certainly look forward to the finalization of the overall working agreement with Major League Baseball so that we can continue to deliver professional baseball to our fans in 2021.
The Hartford Yard Goats (Connecticut) have been Colorado’s Double-A affiliate since 2015. Previously known as the Bristol Red Sox (1973-1982), New Britain Red Sox (1983-94), Hardware City Rock Cats (1995-96) and New Britain Rock Cats (1997-2015), the team re-branded as the Hartford Yard Goats following the 2015 season and moved into Dunkin’ Donuts Park (capacity: 6,121) in downtown Hartford in 2017. Colorado is the third affiliation for the team, having previously been aligned with the Boston Red Sox (1973-94) and the Minnesota Twins (1995-2014). They have won five Eastern League titles (1975, 1978, 1981, 1983, 2001) and two Eastern Division titles (1998, 2001).
The Spokane Indians (Washington) have been an MLB-affiliated team since 1947, and have existed as an organization since 1898. Playing as the Spokane Indians in 1903, they have been the Short Season affiliate of the Texas Rangers since 2003, with previous affiliations including Brooklyn (1947), Philadelphia-NL (1953), Los Angeles-NL (1958-72), Texas (1973-75), Milwaukee (1976-78), Seattle (1979), California (1982), San Diego (1983) and Kansas City (1995-2002). They have been members of the Short Season Northwest League since 1983, and also have two stints in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in their history (1958-71, 73-82). They have played at Avista Stadium in Spokane Valley (capacity 6,803) since its opening in 1958. They have 12 league titles, most recently in 2008, and their Hall of Fame alumni include Tommy Lasorda (manager, 1969-71), Duke Snider (manager, 1965), Don Sutton (1968) and Hoyt Wilhelm (1971).
“We are excited to be presented an opportunity to partner with the Colorado Rockies.” said Spokane Indians President Chris Duff. “We look forward to developing a successful relationship that will benefit the Rockies Player Development System while continuing to provide top-notch affordable family entertainment to the Spokane community for years to come.”
“Spokane County is excited for the opportunity to continue our longstanding partnership with the Spokane Indians and welcome the Colorado Rockies to Avista Stadium.” said Spokane County Commissioner Mary Kuney. “With the potential of this new affiliation, the County looks forward to the Indians continuing to provide an outstanding entertainment value. As County Commissioner and a season ticket holder, I can’t wait to see the Rockies build upon the tremendous legacy of Spokane Indians Baseball that dates back to 1903.”
The Fresno Grizzlies (California) were founded in 1998 as members of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Their previous affiliates include the San Francisco Giants (1998-2014), Houston Astros (2015-18) and Washington Nationals (2019-20). The Grizzlies have played at Chukchansi Park, a 10,650-seat stadium in downtown Fresno, since its opening in 2002. The Grizzlies were Triple-A Baseball National Champions in 2015, won the Pacific Conference title in 2018, and have three Northern Division titles to their name (1998, 2015, 2018).