Hartford Yard Goats
- Location: Hartford, CT
- League: Eastern League 2016-2019; Double-A Northeast 2021; Eastern League 2022-
- Affiliation: Colorado Rockies 2016-
- Ballpark: Road team 2016; Dunkin' Donuts Park 2017-
The Hartford Yard Goats, of the Eastern League and briefly in Double-A Northeast, play in a city with two claims to baseball fame: an original-eight National League team and the only big-league service of curveball inventor William "Candy" Cummings. They play their home games at Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford, CT.
How does one figure out how to make a pitch change direction? Cummings simply applied a childhood pastime of slinging clam shells to throwing baseballs.
After Hartford announced it would build a new stadium for the then-New Britain Rock Cats, construction delayed the 2016 home opener. The contractor was fired and the Goats never came home that year - yet the Rockies renewed their affiliation agreement before construction resumed. The Yard Goats played some home games at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT, 40 miles away, before the Connecticut Tigers of the short-season New York-Pennsylvania League began their season.
The ballpark finally opened in 2017. The Goats' sloppy move from New Britain, CT, cost them their long-time parent Minnesota Twins. They then joined the Colorado Rockies, who stayed with them through their construction troubles and after MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization. The city had not hosted professional baseball since 1952.
The nickname "honors Hartford's rich railroad history," as the team said in announcing the moniker. It is rail-yard slang for "an engine that switches a train to get it ready for another locomotive to take over." In a subsequent news release, the ball club elaborated: "A Minor League Baseball player is like that humble Yard Goat. Not a glamorous job but working day in and day out away from the big city lights to assure that the Major League affiliate is kept on track." Despite the railroad derivation, the Yard Goats' logo and merchandise tend more toward the animal.
The Goats play Copa de la Diversión Hispanic engagement campaign games as Chivos de Hartford (Hartford Goats - another example of leaning toward the living, breathing kind of goat).
|Year||Record||Finish||Manager||Playoffs||Hitting Coach||Pitching Coach||Coach|
|2016||74-67||6th||Darin Everson||Jeff Salazar||Dave Burba|
|2017||62-77||10th||Jerry Weinstein||Tim Doherty||Dave Burba|
|2018||65-72||7th||Warren Schaeffer||Lee Stevens||Mark Brewer|
|2019||73-66||6th||Warren Schaeffer||Lee Stevens||Steve Merriman|
|2021||39-79||12th||Chris Denorfia||Tom Sutaris||Frank Gonzales||Cesar Galvez|
|2022||Chris Denorfia||Tom Sutaris||Blaine Beatty||Luis Lopez|
- Josh Norris: "Eastern League moves Hartford's home games for duration of 2016", Baseball America, July 22, 2016.