Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey

New Review: Rochester Red Wings

One of the oldest continuously operating minor league baseball teams resides in Rochester, New York, where the Red Wings operate as the AAA International League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The gameday experience at Frontier Field, however, is hardly old school. Review by Regional Correspondent Dave Cottenie.

Rochester, New York has an extremely rich baseball history. Baseball in Rochester can be traced back to the mid-1800?s. The current baseball team, the Rochester Red Wings, can trace their roots back to 1899, but in the late fifties, it almost all came crashing down. From 1929 through 1957, the Red Wings were owned and operated by their parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals. However, in 1957 the Cardinals let their intentions be known that they no longer wished to operate the farm team and were going to move the affiliation elsewhere. Enter Morrie Silver and his Miracle. In 72 days, Morrie Silver led a community stock drive that would purchase the team and the stadium from the Cardinals and keep the team in Rochester. This would be known in Rochester as the 72 Day Miracle. Silver would go on to be the team president for over twenty years, and his daughter Naomi Silver remains the current president of the team. The current ownership structure of the Red Wings remains similar as when the team was purchased, with around 215 shareholders, each controlling an equity of between 0.1% to 5%.

The Red Wings are currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and have been since 2003. Home for the Red Wings is Frontier Field. Located on a street that now bears the Morrie Silver name, Frontier Field is just outside of downtown Rochester and provides a great home for Triple-A baseball in a quintessential American minor league city. The naming rights for the stadium, which was built for the 1996 season, are held by Frontier Communications and the stadium is owned by Monroe County, New York. A trip to see the Red Wings at Frontier Field will no doubt be an enjoyable one, but curiously, the support from the fan base is not quite at miracle status.

Click to read the complete review of Frontier Field

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