The Springfield, Missouri-based Springfield Cardinals are a minor league baseball team, owned and operated by the St. Louis Cardinals. The team, which was nicknamed the Springfield Cardinals in 2005, has also found its home at Hammons Field since that year. The Springfield Cardinals are of the AA class-level, playing within the North Division of the Texas League. Prior to becoming the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis cardinals major-league club, the Tennessee Smokies of Sevierville, Tennessee held the title.
History of the Springfield Cardinals
Baseball had a presence in Springfield, Missouri long before the start of the Springfield Cardinals, dating back to as early as 1905. In that year, the Springfield Highlanders were the team representing the town. The team named changed over the course of 30 or so years, however, sometimes referred to as the Jobbers, the Midgets or the Merchants. 26 years after the start of minor league baseball in Springfield, the St. Louis Cardinals swept in and purchased one of the minor league teams, deeming it to then be referred to as the Cardinals.
Once purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals, the team, which was relocated to Springfield, went on to win many games and titles that year, including from the Western Association. The Cardinals also saw victory in the playoff games in 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1941. The Cardinals also went on even further to win the league title in 1931, 1932, 1934, 1937, and 1939.
In 1946, however, changes were made to the team. The St. Louis Cardinals decided to move the minor league team to St. Joseph, Missouri until the year 1953. For the next 63 years, there was no solid team in Springfield, although the Chicago Cubs did move their minor league team to the city for one season. Years later in 2005, the Cardinals were back.
In both 2003 and 2004, the St. Louis Cardinals owned the Tennessee Smokies as their Double-A affiliate team. In 2005, however, the owners of the El Paso Diablos decided to sell their franchise on account of poor attendance and the want to increase revenue in a faster-growing city. At this time, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased the El Paso Diablos, renaming them the Cardinals and moving them back to Springfield.
The Springfield Cardinals are currently managed by Johnny Rodriguez. The general manager of the team is Dan Reiter. The team has three different coaches: Jobel Jimenez, who assists with hitting, Aaron Klinec, who assists with coaching, and Jason Simontacchi, who assists with pitching. There are 13 pitchers on the team: Landon Beck, Brady Bowen, Tyler Bray, Eric Carter, Pedro Echemendia, Chris Ellis, Jacob Evans, Austin Gomber, Jordan Hicks, Connor Jones, Corey Littrell, Dailyn Martinez and Trey Nielson.
The Springfield Cardinals have two catchers on the team: Andrew Knizner and Brian O’Keefe. The minor league team has six infielders: Eliezer Alvarez, Tommy Edman, John Nogowski, Darren Seferina, Jacob Wilson and Andy Young. The team also has five outfielders: Randy Arozarena, Anthony Garcia, C.J. McElroy, Oscar Mercado and Magneuris Sierra.