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.
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.
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.
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.
Template:Div col Tigers
- David Eckstein
- Nomar Garciaparra
- Shea Hillenbrand
- Adam Hyzdu
- Trot Nixon
- Carl Pavano
- Bret Saberhagen†
- Jeff Suppan
- John Valentin†
- Kevin Youkilis
- Alfredo Aceves
- T. J. Beam
- Kevin Brown†
- Melky Cabrera
- Andy Cannizaro
- Robinson Canó
- Joba Chamberlain
- Roger Clemens†
- Tyler Clippard
- Phil Coke
- Matt DeSalvo
- Octavio Dotel†
- Shelley Duncan
- Brett Gardner
- Alberto Gonzalez
- Phil Hughes
- Austin Jackson
- Derek Jeter†
- Jeff Karstens
- Ian Kennedy
- Kenny Lofton†
- Hideki Matsui†
- Carl Pavano†
- Edwar Ramirez
- David Robertson
- Omir Santos
- Chien-Ming Wang
- Bernie Williams†
- Francisco Cervelli
- Andy Pettitte†
†Made only appearance(s) for franchise during rehab assignment
†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.
|1994||Tigers||Tom Runnells||55-85, 5th place South|
|1995||Red Sox||Ken Macha||73-69, 1st place South (tie)|
|1996||Red Sox||Ken Macha||86-56, 1st place South|
|1997||Red Sox||DeMarlo Hale||71-70, 4th place South|
|1998||Red Sox||DeMarlo Hale||71-70, 3rd place South|
|1999||Red Sox||DeMarlo Hale||92-50, 1st place North|
|2000||Red Sox||Billy Gardner, Jr.||67-75, 5th place North|
|2001||Red Sox||Billy Gardner, Jr.||67-75, 5th place North|
|2002||Red Sox||Ron Johnson||63-77, 5th place North (tie)|
|2003||Yankees||Stump Merrill||70-71, 4th place North|
|2004||Yankees||Stump Merrill||64-78, 6th place North|
|2005||Yankees||Bill Masse||74-68, 2nd place North|
|2006||Yankees||Bill Masse||80-62, 1st place North|
|2007||Yankees||Tony Franklin||83-59, 1st place North|
|2008||Yankees||Tony Franklin||86-54, 1st place North|
|2009||Yankees||Tony Franklin||69-72, 3rd place North|
|2010||Yankees||Tony Franklin||83-59, 1st place East|
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
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.
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.
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.
Joe Plumeri, Trenton-born and Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings, owns the Trenton Thunder. The team plays at Samuel J. Plumeri, Sr. Field, the 6,341-seat stadium which Plumeri named after his father in 1999.
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