The Bristol Red Sox was an American minor league baseball franchise. Based in Bristol, Connecticut, it was the Double-A Eastern League farm system affiliate of the Boston Red Sox for ten seasons, 1973 through 1982, and played at Muzzy Field.
The team was created during the 1972–1973 offseason, when the parent Red Sox decided to move their Triple-A franchise, the Louisville Colonels, to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of the Sox' Eastern League farm team, the Pawtucket Red Sox, since 1970.
The Double-A PawSox' owner, Joe Buzas, selected Bristol as the site for his relocated EL franchise. The city had previously hosted the Bristol Owls of the Class B Colonial League in 1949–1950 (the league disbanded on July 14, 1950) and the Tramps, Bellmakers and Woodchoppers of the Connecticut State League at the turn of the 20th century (1897; 1899–1901).
Despite the presence of future Boston stars Jim Rice and Fred Lynn on the 1973 squad, the maiden season of the Bristol Red Sox was a losing one — but the next nine editions of the club sported over .500 records and won Eastern League titles in 1975, 1978 and 1981. Other future MLB or Red Sox stars who played for Bristol included Marty Barrett, Wade Boggs, Oil Can Boyd, Bo Díaz, Rich Gedman, Butch Hobson, Bruce Hurst, Steve Lyons, Al Nipper, Bob Stanley, Dave Stapleton, John Tudor and Ernie Whitt.
Managers included former Major League players Stan Williams, Dick McAuliffe and John Kennedy, but the most successful Bristol skipper was Tony Torchia, who piloted the club for its final five seasons, winning two championships.
The franchise shifted to New Britain, Connecticut, in 1983, where it still plays as the New Britain Rock Cats, a Minnesota Twins affiliate since the 1995 season. Boston's current Eastern League affiliate is the Portland Sea Dogs.
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Famous quotes containing the words bristol and/or red:
“Its of a rich squire in Bristol doth dwell,
There are ladies of honour that love him well,
But all was in vain, in vain was said,
For he was in love with a charming milkmaid.”
—Unknown. Squire and Milkmaid; or, Blackberry Fold (l. 14)
“One encounters very capable fathers abashed by their piano-playing daughters. Three measures of Schumann make them red with embarrassment.”
—Alfred Döblin (18781957)