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 Atlantic League

ALPB Bullpen 4.25.24

April 25, 2024 - Atlantic League (AtL) News Release


The Week Ahead: The Atlantic League opens its 26th season with a full slate of games on Thursday, April 25. Defending champion Lancaster will start the year at Long Island while runner-up Gastonia will be at home vs. So. Maryland.

Three-Peat: Lancaster has pulled off quite a bit of magic the last two years, coming from the back of the pack after the first half to win consecutive ALPB titles. The ALPB has never had a team pull a three-peat. The only previous back-to-back champions were the Somerset Patriots in 2008-09, the York Revolution in 2010-11 and the Long Island Ducks in 2012-13. None of the three were able to reach the League Championship Series in their third try.

Four New Brands: The Atlantic League in 2024 features four new brands. The newest member of the ALPB is the Hagerstown Flying Boxcars who will play in brand new Meritus Park in Hagerstown, Md. Three clubs have re-branded for 2024. The Lancaster Barnstormers have shortened their name to Stormers. After a year as the Lexington Counter Clocks, new ownership has returned to the Legends. And Gastonia, also under new ownership, will play the 2024 season as the Gastonia Baseball Club while exploring a new long-term nickname.

Leap Year Champs: The Long Island Ducks will be seeking to claim their third Leap Year ALPB title. The Ducks were champions in the Leap Years of 2004 and 2012 and 2024 is yet another Leap Year. Other ALPB Leap Year champs include Nashua in 2000, Somerset in 2008 and Sugar Land in 2016.

Mason Returns: Mark Mason returns to the Atlantic League to manage the Hagerstown Flying Boxcars after a year in the Frontier League with the Empire State Greys. Mason managed York from 2013 through 2022, compiling a record of 666-611. Mason enters the 2024 campaign ranked fourth all-time in ALPB wins. He led the Revolution to the league championship in 2017 and was the Manager of the Year in 2014.

Cliburn Climbing: So. Maryland skipper Stan Cliburn will be entering his 37th year as a manager and starts the season ranked No. 17 all-time in minor league wins with 1,962. Only 12 managers all-time have reached 2,000 career wins. With 3,913 all-time games managed, Cliburn will surpass the 4,000 mark for games managed in the second half of the season.

Keefe Nearing 2,000: High Point's Jamie Keefe will manage his 2,000th career game during the 2024 season. Keefe began his managerial career in 2001 with the Chillicothe (Ohio) Paints of the Frontier League.

New Faces in New Places: There are five managers in the ALPB that will be managing their club for the first time. However, three are ALPB veterans. Mark Minicozzi will manage Staten Island, his fourth team in four years in the ALPB, and P.J. Phillips will lead Charleston after having won a title with Lexington in 2021. The aforementioned Mark Mason is back with Hagerstown while Lew Ford takes over in Long Island. Lexington's new manager, Gregg Zaun, is the only one without prior Atlantic League experience.

The First to Four: Staten Island manager Mark Minicozzi is the first Atlantic League manager to helm four different teams in the Atlantic League. After managing the West Virginia Power/Charleston Dirty Birds to the playoffs in 2021, he piloted the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes in 2022 and the Spire City Ghost Hounds in 2023. Minicozzi moves past Butch Hobson (Nashua, So. Maryland, Lancaster) and Wayne Krenchicki (Newburgh/Lehigh Valley, Camden, Newark) who each managed three ALPB clubs.

Two Times Five: With five new managers in the league in 2024, it ties the mark for the most managerial newcomers in a season in ALPB history. In 2007, there were five new managers in the league, all with MLB playing experience: Butch Hobson (So. Maryland), Chris Hoiles (York), Tommy John (Bridgeport), Joe Ferguson (Camden) and Wayne Krenchicki (Newark).

Managers in Spotlight: The Atlantic League in 2024 will have three active managers who rank among the top 10 in career games managed. Leading the pack is Hagerstown's Mark Mason who has 1,217 all-time ALPB games, ranking fourth in league history. Mason, in his 10th season, is 122 games shy of passing Wayne Krenchicki who managed 1,338 games in his 11 seasons in the league. So. Maryland's Stan Cliburn is in his eighth year and ranks eighth all-time with 936 games. Lancaster's Ross Peeples has led the Stormers in 780 games, the 10th-most in league history.

New Places: The Hagerstown Flying Boxcars will start their first year in the Atlantic League and have been placed in the North Division. To make room for the Boxcars, Southern Maryland has moved to the South Division. The Spire City Ghost Hounds will take a one-year respite from play and are expected back in the ALPB in 2025.

Did you know: Why the York-Lancaster ALPB series is known as the War of the Roses? The original War of the Roses was a series of civil wars staged in England from 1455-1487 between the towns of York and Lancaster. In baseball, the namesake cities staged their own War of the Roses between the York White Roses and the Lancaster Red Roses, a series that dates back as far as 1923.

Scott Kelly's Back: A familiar face in the Atlantic League is Long Island infielder Scott Kelly. About to start his 10th season in the league, Kelly began with Somerset in 2014, spent the 2021-22 seasons in Charleston and split time between Spire City and Long Island in 2023. Without much fanfare, Kelly ranks among the top 10 in Atlantic League history with 163 stolen bases, 78 hit by pitch and is No. 2 all-time with 68 sacrifice hits.

Not bad for a Centenarian: So. Maryland pitcher Daryl Thompson is not yet 100 years old but he is closing in on the century mark for wins. Already the Atlantic League's all-time leader in starts (226), shutouts (6), and strikeouts (1,034) , Thompson will start his 11th year in the ALPB with a record of 97-58. The all-time wins leader is far past his competition. Tim Cain (1998-2007) is second with 74 wins.

Last Three Seasons: Over the last three seasons, Ben Aklinski leads the Atlantic League with 372 base hits. Aklinski spent 2021 with Lexington and has been with High Point in 2022 and '23... So. Maryland's Alex Crosby is second with 363 hits while Lancaster's Andretty Cordero has mashed 350 hits in just two seasons... Alejandro De Aza ranks fourth with 345 hits, all with Long Island while J.C. Encarnacion has 317 safeties ... York's Nellie Rodriguez had 303 hits over the last three seasons with the Revolution... With 37 victories since 2021, So. Maryland's Daryl Thompson has a wide margin over Long Island lefty Joe Iorio who has won 29 games over the last three years.

Most Home Runs (2021-23)

Nellie Rodriguez, York ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š75

Ben Aklinski, LEX/HP ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š71

Zander Wiel, HP ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š61

Carlos Franco, YRK/GAS ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š60

Jimmy Paredes ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š53

Most RBI (2021-23)

Ben Aklinski, LEX/HP ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š281

Nellie Rodriguez, York ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š245

Andretty Cordero, LAN ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š234

Alex Crosby, SMD ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š211

Carlos Franco, YRK?GAS ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š210

Most Wins (2021-23)

Daryl Thompson, SMD ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š37

Joe Iorio, LI ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š29

Dom DiSabatino, LAN ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š22

Nile Ball, LAN ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š21

Brent Teller, LAN ‚¬â€š19

Liam O'Sullivan, SMD/HP/LEX ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š19

Players with MLB Experience on

Opening Day Rosters

Charleston ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š5

Gastonia ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š6

Hagerstown ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š7

High Point ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š8

Lancaster ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š4

Lexington ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š0

Staten Island ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š11

So. Maryland ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š1

Staten Island ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š6

York ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š2

Oldest ALPB Players on

Opening Day Rosters

Wei-Yin Chen, LI ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š38+279 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š7/21/85

Welington Dotel, HAG ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š38+206 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š10/2/85

Daryl Thompson, SMD ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š38+175 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š11/2/85

Youngest ALPB Players on

Opening Day Rosters

Jose Acuna, LEX ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š21+213 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š9/25/02

Wilmin Candelario, LEX ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š22+227 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š9/11/01

Antonio Barranca, LAN ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š22+275 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š7/25/01

Gus Sosa, SI ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š22+283 ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š ‚¬â€š7/17/01

2 of a Kind

Brooks Robinson

Bud Harrelson

SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 25

Southern Maryland at Gastonia, 6:00

Hagerstown at York, 6:30

Staten Island at Charleston, 6:35

Lancaster at Long Island, 6:35

High Point at Lexington, 6:45

Friday, April 26

High Point at Lexington, 10:15 am

Hagerstown at York, 6:30

Staten Island at Charleston, 6:35

Lancaster at Long Island, 6:35

Southern Maryland at Gastonia, 7:00

Saturday, April 27

Hagerstown at York, 6:30

Staten Island at Charleston, 6:35

Lancaster at Long Island, 6:35

Southern Maryland at Gastonia, 7:00

High Point at Lexington, 7:00

Sunday, April 28

Lancaster at Long Island, 1:35

Southern Maryland at Gastonia, 2:00

High Point at Lexington, 2:00

Hagerstown at York, 2:00

Staten Island at Charleston, 4:05

Monday, April 29

York at Gastonia, 6:30

Tuesday, April 30

York at Gastonia (DH), 3:00

Charleston at High Point, 6:35

Staten Island at Long Island, 6:35

Hagerstown at Lancaster, 6:45

Lexington at Southern Maryland, 7:05

Wednesday, May 1

Charleston at High Point, 6:35

Staten Island at Long Island, 6:35

Hagerstown at Lancaster, 6:45

Lexington at Southern Maryland, 7:05

2 of a Kind (answer)

The Atlantic League lost two of its cornerstones recently with the passing of Brooks Robinson and Bud Harrelson. A Hall of Famer and native of York, Pa., Robinson was one of the founders of the Revolution. Harrelson, the former Mets great who passed in January, co-founded and co-owned the Long Island Ducks. He was the Ducks' first manager in 2000.

By the Numbers

2

Gastonia's Mauro "Goose" Gozzo in 2023 became the first in the ALPB to win back-to-back Manager of the Year awards

3

The Lancaster Stormers are back-to-back defending ALPB champions. No team has ever won 3 consecutive titles

4

Number of new brands in the Atlantic League in 2024 with the return of the Lexington Legends, the new Hagerstown Flying Boxcars and the re-branded Lancaster Stormers and Gastonia Baseball Club

97

Career ALPB wins for Southern Maryland P Daryl Thompson


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