Posted by: Larry Smith Jr. | January 31, 2010

From Oneonta to Norwich

It was recently announced that the Oneonta Tigers, the Short-Season A-ball affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, are moving their franchise from Oneonta, NY to Norwich, CT.

The move fills a void made in Norwich when their own AA franchise moved to Richmond, VA. The Tigers, who will be known as the Connecticut Tigers in 2010 before the franchise changes its name again in 2011 will move into Dodd Stadium, former home of Norwich‘s previous minor league franchise.

This isn’t a huge deal but I have mixed feelings about it personally. On one hand, I think it’s a good thing for the (Detroit) Tigers. No matter how far down you go on the organization ladder, it is always good to have better conditions in your organization. While I’ve heard nothing specifically negative about Oneonta, the very fact that it was a short season A city for forty years and that the Tigers were playing in a 70 year old stadium in that city lends itself to an intuitive belief that it probably wasn’t in the best condition — Even if it wasn’t a place like Toledo’s old park, which was notoriously bad.

In moving to Norwich, the now-Connecticut Tigers move into what was built as a AA class stadium (read: For players of higher skill level and prestige) and they’re moving into a stadium that is just fifteen years old with about two-thousand more seats in seating capacity. Playing in front of larger crowds (assuming sellouts) in a larger market in a newer facility can only be a good thing for developing players, even those who are so far away from the Major Leagues (There are four minor league class levels that separate Short Season A ball teams from the Majors). And again, while I have no explicit knowledge of the situation, it seems intuitively that a newer AA class stadium would have better field conditions than an older short season A class stadium.

These are all good things for the Detroit Tigers.

On a personal level, I’m not as enthusiastic about it. I wanted to go to Oneonta last year but just couldn’t find the time or money, and I had a trip there loosely scheduled in my mind for 2010. Oneonta is fairly close to Cooperstown and the idea of checking out an O-Tigers game and going to the Hall of Fame in a single trip was very attractive. I’m still interested in going to a Connecticut Tigers game and/or NYPL game in general, but Norwich is about two and a half hours East of Oneonta, at the very edge of what I would consider a reasonable driving distance. About 13 hours from Eastern Michigan, where I live.

In any event, it is good for the Tigers young players and future mid round draft picks that they’ll be in a newer facility and a bigger town to cut their professional teeth. Hopefully this move works out well for all involved.



  1. No I don’t. The Connecticut Tigers haven’t yet set up an official site so I wasn’t able to get any further information. I’d keep checking for when they do though, I’m sure they’ll have some information posted.

  2. Do you have any idea how one applies for a summer job there in the new location.

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