Tag: yard goats

Hartford Base Ball Park of 1896

Long before the Yard Goats roamed Dunkin’ Donuts Park, there was a place named Hartford Base Ball Park. Also called Wethersfield Avenue Grounds, the park was constructed in 1896. Hartford’s minor league team Manager William “Bald Billy” Barnie led the effort to build the minor league venue. That season, grandstand tickets were 15 cents and Newark finished in first place in the Atlantic League. However, Hartford protested their victory.

City planning map showing Hartford Base Ball Park, 1896.

Manager Barnie argued that Newark’s record was unfairly inflated due to a dozen extra games played. Newark also used a suspended pitcher named Joseph Frye who had left Hartford mid year. As a result, the 2nd place Hartfords challenged Newark to a 7-game series. Newark declined the invitation but the 3rd place Paterson club accepted and prevailed over Hartford.

Hartford Base Ball Park, (c.) 1900.

By November of 1896, the matter was put to rest by Sam Crane, President of the Atlantic League who declared Newark as champions. Manager Barnie passed away in Hartford in 1900 beloved by local fans. He was buried alongside many other baseball greats in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York. Hartford finally won a minor league pennant in 1909 at Hartford Base Ball Park.

Bill Barnie, Manager, Hartford, 1900.
Hartford vs. Brockton at Wethersfield Avenue Grounds (Hartford Base Ball Park), 1901.

Chris Denorfia Coming Home to Manage Yard Goats

Former GHTBL outfielder signs on as Hartford Yard Goats Manager.

At 39 years old, Chris Denorfia has been named Manager of the Hartford Yard Goats. In his new role Denorfia will be greeted back to his home state of Connecticut following a 10-year Major League career.  He was a journeyman outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and for other minor league clubs. In 2018 he joined the Cubs as Special Assistant to the President/General Manager, Theo Epstein.  During the 2019 MLB season Denorfia was the Cubs’ Quality Assurance Coach as part of Manager Joe Maddon’s staff.

Chris Denorfia carried by Cubs teammates after game-winning homer, 2015.
Chris Denorfia doused by Cubs teammates for a walk-off homer, 2015.

Denorfia was born in Bristol and was raised in Southington, Connecticut.  He played prep school baseball at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, under Head Coach Tom Yankus and was inducted into the Choate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.  During the summer of his high school years Denorfia was a standout player for the Wallingford Legion program. 

Chris Denorfia inducted into Choate Athletics Hall of Fame, 2012.
Chris Denorfia inducted into Wheaton College Athletic Hall of Fame, 2013.

He went on to play college ball at Wheaton College where he was a Division III All-American and would later be inducted in the Wheaton College Athletic Hall of Fame. In the summer of 1999 Denorfia played in the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League for a full season with a Simsbury-based franchise operated by Tim Vincent and Tom Vincent of Simsbury, Connecticut.

Hartford Courant excerpt, 1999.
Chris Denorfia, Outfielder, Wheaton College, 2000.

Denorfia officially became a professional prospect when he led the Manchester Silk Worms of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in the summer of 2000 and 2001, making the NECBL All-Star Game both years.  Winsted native, former Major Leaguer and GHTBL alumnus, Moe Morhardt was Denorfia’s manager with the Silkworms in 2000. 

Hartford Courant excerpt, 2001.

Denorfia was said to be a highly coachable ballplayer, a plus defender, fleet of foot and capable of hitting for power.  He was later picked out of Wheaton College in the 19th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds and later made his Major League debut for the Reds in 2005.

Chris Denorfia, Cincinatti Reds organization, 2002.
Dayton Daily News excerpt, 2007.

Perhaps the top highlights of Denorfia’s baseball career came from starring in the World Baseball Classic in 2009 and 2013 for Team Italy.  After hitting 41 home runs, driving in 196 runs and batting for a .272 average in the big leagues, Denorfia played his last MLB game on October 4, 2015 with the Cubs. 

Chris Denorfia celebrates home run at World Baseball Classic, 2013.

He signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants the following season.  Listed at 6 feet tall and 195 pounds, he ended his playing career after the 2017 season in the Colorado Rockies organization with the Triple-A affiliate, Albuquerque Isotopes. Denorfia’s invaluable baseball experience and ties to the Greater Hartford community is expected to serve the Hartford Yard Goats very well as Manager in their 2020 Eastern League campaign.

Chris Denorfia (left) doused during interview after walk-off homer, 2013.

#spreadingORANGE Series for MS

  • Sunday, July 21, 2019
  • 10:00 AM  8:00 PM
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Park, 1214 Main Street Hartford, CT, 06103 (map)
  • Google Calendar  ICS

All 8 GHTBL franchises will play 4 Regular Season games in a day to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research and spread awareness about the disease.

$10 admission at the main gate. Free for all kids 14 and under.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FROM MS4MS

GHTBL Raises $4,500 for CT Children’s Medical Center

The Hartford Yard Goats and Dunkin’ Donuts Park hosted the Twi-loop’s Charity Series.

The Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League achieved the 2nd Annual Charity Series at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22. 

8 teams made up of current and former college ballplayers as well as several ex-professionals competed under the lights. 

Adult fans paid $10 at the Main Gate and helped us raise $4,500 to be donated to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.

(Pictured above – L to R: Wes Ulbrich, GHTBL Secretary and Bill Holowaty, GHTBL President present a check to Nicholas Giampetruzzi of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.)

Thank you to all of the friends, family, and fans who came out to the ballpark and we hope to see you again throughout the 2018 season and for next year’s Charity Series.

All the best,

Bill Holowaty
GHTBL President

Charity Series at Dunkin’ Donuts Park

4 GHTBL games to benefit Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to be held June 21 and 22.

June 21st and June 22nd – first pitch at 6:10 PM each night.

The GHTBL Charity Series will feature a pair of doubleheaders on back-to-back nights to raise funds for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

 South Windsor Phillies East Hartford Jets6:10 PM EDT 
06/21/18
 Rainbow Graphics Vernon Orioles8:00 PM EDT 
06/21/18
 People’s United Bank Middletown Outlaws6:10 PM EDT 
06/22/18
 Record-Journal Expos Ulbrich Clippers8:00 PM EDT 
06/22/18

Tickets are $10.00 per person; free entry for kids 14 and under.
Reserve tickets or pay at the Main Gate – 1214 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Event open to the public; tickets valid for any and all games. 

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE TICKETS

Thank you to the Hartford Yard Goats for facilitating our stadium rental.

We’ll see you at the ballpark for this great cause!