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The Trenton Thunder are an American Minor League Baseball team and are the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Thunder play in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League, and are the two-time defending league champions. The Thunder's home stadium is Mercer County Waterfront Park in Trenton, New Jersey.

Team historyEdit

The Trenton franchise originated in Glens Falls, New York, in 1980 as the Glens Falls White Sox. The Detroit Tigers replaced the White Sox in 1985 with the team being known as the Glens Falls Tigers, and stayed on after the franchise moved to London, Ontario, in 1989, becoming the London Tigers and playing at historic Labatt Park.

In 1994, the Thunder moved to Trenton, and kept the Detroit affiliation for a season before switching affiliations to the Boston Red Sox in Template:By. As a Red Sox affiliate, the club recorded three first-place finishes, but was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round each time. In Template:By, the Thunder became aligned with the Yankees; the Red Sox adopted the Portland Sea Dogs at that time. The switch reflected both teams' fanbases, as Central New Jersey is home to a large number of Yankees fans, while Maine is home to a large number of Red Sox fans.

On June 4, 1994, Phil Stidham became the first Thunder alumnus to play in the major leagues for the Detroit Tigers, giving up six runs on six hits, including two home runs, as part of a 21-7 romp by the Minnesota Twins.[1]

In Template:By, the Thunder became the first team in Minor League Baseball history to draw over 400,000 fans for 12 consecutive seasons at the Double-A level or below. Through 13 seasons, over 5.4 million people had attended a Thunder game.[2]

Surpassing the previous mark set of 8,729 while Derek Jeter was on a rehab stint with the team, the Thunder set a new single-game attendance record on May 23, 2007, when 9,134 fans attended to watch Roger Clemens make his second minor-league start as he worked toward a return to the Yankees.

On September 15, 2007, the Thunder defeated the Akron Aeros to win their first Eastern League Championship Series in team history.

Trenton defended its league title with 5-1 win over the Akron Aeros on September 14, 2008.

The Thunder lost to the Altoona Curve in the 2010 Eastern League Championship Series.

Notable alumniEdit

Template:Div col Tigers

Red Sox

Yankees

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†Made only appearance(s) for franchise during rehab assignment

Retired numbersEdit

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†Jackie Robinson never played for the Trenton Thunder, but his number, 42, was retired by every Major League Baseball team and affiliate. See grandfather clause.

Season recordsEdit

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SeasonAffiliationManagerRecord
1994TigersTom Runnells55-85, 5th place South
1995Red SoxKen Macha73-69, 1st place South (tie)
1996Red SoxKen Macha86-56, 1st place South
1997Red SoxDeMarlo Hale71-70, 4th place South
1998Red SoxDeMarlo Hale71-70, 3rd place South
1999Red SoxDeMarlo Hale92-50, 1st place North
2000Red SoxBilly Gardner, Jr.67-75, 5th place North
2001Red SoxBilly Gardner, Jr.67-75, 5th place North
2002Red SoxRon Johnson63-77, 5th place North (tie)
2003YankeesStump Merrill70-71, 4th place North
2004YankeesStump Merrill64-78, 6th place North
2005YankeesBill Masse74-68, 2nd place North
2006YankeesBill Masse80-62, 1st place North
2007YankeesTony Franklin83-59, 1st place North
2008YankeesTony Franklin86-54, 1st place North
2009YankeesTony Franklin69-72, 3rd place North
2010YankeesTony Franklin83-59, 1st place East
2011YankeesTony Franklin--

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Playoff appearancesEdit

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  • 1995 season: Lost to Reading, 3-0 in semifinals
  • 1996 season: Lost to Harrisburg, 3-1 in semifinals
  • 1999 season: Lost to Norwich, 3-2 in semifinals
  • 2005 season: Lost to Portland, 3-2 in semifinals
  • 2006 season: Lost to Portland 3-1 in semifinals
  • 2007 season: Defeated Portland 3-1 in semifinals; defeated Akron 3-1 in championship series.
  • 2008 season: Defeated Portland 3-0 in semifinals; defeated Akron 3-1 in championship series.
  • 2010 season: Defeated New Hampshire 3-0 in semifinals; lost to Altoona 3-1 in championship series.

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Waterfront ParkEdit

File:Waterfront Park.jpg
Main article: Mercer County Waterfront Park

Official Name: Samuel J. Plumeri, Sr. Field at Mercer County Waterfront Park

Address: One Thunder Road, Trenton, NJ 08611

Opened: May 9, 1994

Seating Capacity: 6,440

Dimensions: LF - 330 ft, CF - 407 ft, RF - 330 ft

MascotsEdit

BoomerEdit

The Thunder's mascot is a blue "Thunderbird" named Boomer. He wears a Thunder uniform as well as purple and yellow shades. Boomer traditionally takes part in many of the promotions and activities throughout Thunder home games, such as a race around the bases against a young fan. Boomer's likeness has appeared on numerous pieces of merchandise, and he is involved with several programs assisting children in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

StrikeEdit

Strike is the Thunder's newest mascot, debuting during the 2008 season. He is a yellow lightning bolt and his character is also depicted on the team's alternate caps. Strike can be seen all over Waterfront Park during a Thunder game, usually in tandem with Boomer, the Thunder's original mascot. Together Strike and Boomer take part in such in-game activities as shooting t-shirts off into the crowd, racing a youngster around the bases for a prize, and even competing against one another to pick the loudest section in the stadium on a given night. Strike's name was chosen via an online poll, as over 1,000 suggestions were made with "Strike" being the most popular name mentioned by the fans.

ChaseEdit

Chase "That Golden Thunder" is a six-year-old Golden Retriever who has been part of the Thunder family since late in the 2002 season. He often serves as "batdog" during the first inning at most Thunder home games, retrieving bats and balls and returning them to the Thunder dugout. Contrary to popular belief, his teeth do not leave marks in the equipment, as Retrievers are trained to carry birds without puncturing them. Later in the game, Chase usually catches frisbees to win a cash prize for a lucky fan. He does however have a golden tooth due to his bat carrying duties. Chase has garnered significant media attention, appearing on FOX, CNN, YES Network, UPN9, WNBC4, and even Japanese television. In 2008, Chase sired a litter of pups. One of the pups is being trained to be his successor and was named Derby in a fan poll during the offseason.

OwnershipEdit

Joe Plumeri, Trenton-born and Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings, owns the Trenton Thunder.[3][4] The team plays at Samuel J. Plumeri, Sr. Field, the 6,341-seat stadium which Plumeri named after his father in 1999.[3][5][6][7]


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