The Lancaster Barnstormers are an American professional baseball team based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Barnstormers have played their home games at Clipper Magazine Stadium in the city's Northwest Corridor since 2005.
|League||Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Freedom Division)|
|Ballpark||Clipper Magazine Stadium|
|League championships||(2) 2006, 2014|
|Division championships||(2) 2006, 2012|
|Former name(s)||Lancaster Barnstormers (2005–present)|
|Colors||Red, black, khaki, white|
|Ownership||Dakota Baseball, LLC|
|General Manager||Michael Reynolds|
The team's name, selected in a fan ballot, refers to the act of "barnstorming", which means to travel around an area appearing in exhibition sports events, especially baseball games. The term was used to describe Lancaster's baseball teams as early as 1906. Their primary logo incorporates the colors red, navy blue, and khaki which were previously used by the Lancaster Red Roses of affiliated Minor League Baseball from 1940 to 1961. The name and logo also allude to Lancaster County's agricultural heritage and its inclusion of Amish culture and lore.
Prior Lancaster teams
Baseball first came to Lancaster County in the 1860s by soldiers returning home from the Civil War. They learned the rules while serving in the military and wanted to continue playing. The very first professional baseball teams in Lancaster were the Lancaster Lancasters and the Lancaster Ironsides. The Lancasters played in the Keystone Association while the Ironsides played in the Eastern League, both starting in 1884. The following season, the Lancasters joined the Eastern League, and the two teams became rivals. They competed against each other for fan support, league affiliation, and money at the gate. At its peak, insults and refusals to play against each other were the norm. The teams finally agreed to play each other at the end of the 1884 season, in which the Ironsides defeated the Lancasters after seven very close games. Only the Lancasters continued play the next season.
In the 1894 to 1895 seasons, a team called the Lancaster Chicks played in the Keystone Association. An all-African-American team called the Lancaster Giants followed in 1887, and many Lancastrians supported the team despite the social pressure of the day. The Giants hosted many exhibition games against the Philadelphia Giants of the Keystone Club.
Between 1896 and 1899, the first team called the Lancaster Maroons played in the original Atlantic League. In 1905, the second inception of the Maroons played in the Tri-State League.
In 1906, the Maroons became the Lancaster Red Roses. As both teams were named for the opposing factions in England's historic Wars of the Roses, the name change infuriated the rival White Roses from the nearby city of York.
In 2003, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball formally announced an expansion team for the city of Lancaster. In November 2004, the Barnstormers announced the signing of Tom Herr, a Major League Baseball veteran and Lancaster native, as the team's first manager. The Barnstormers' were set to begin competition in 2005 at the newly built Clipper Magazine Stadium.
On May 11, they lost their first game, 4–3, to the Atlantic City Surf, in front of 7,300 fans. They finished the 2005 season with a record of 64 wins and 76 losses. In finishing the first half of the 2006 season with a record of 38–25, the Barnstormers qualified for their first Atlantic League playoff berth. They also won the second half, posting a record of 37–26. After defeating division challenger, Atlantic City, in the first round of the playoffs, the Barnstormers swept the Bridgeport Bluefish to win their first Atlantic League championship, in only their second season. Pitcher Denny Harriger threw a complete game, breaking a franchise record for consecutive pitches. It was the city of Lancaster’s first professional championship since 1955, when the former Red Roses won the Piedmont League title. The Barnstormers played in the 2012 Atlantic League Championship Series but were ultimately defeated by the Long Island Ducks in Game 5. In 2012, the Lancaster Barnstormers set an Atlantic League record with 88 wins.
Herr managed the team from 2005 to 2006 and from 2009 to 2010. In 2008, the Barnstormers were coached by Von Hayes, a former teammate of Herr from the 1989 and 1990 Philadelphia Phillies. Rick Wise, the winning pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, is also a managerial alumnus of the Lancaster Barnstormers. He was the team's third base coach from the inaugural 2005 season to the end of the 2008 campaign. Herr, in his second term, was succeeded by Butch Hobson.
The Lancaster Barnstormers were originally owned by Opening Day Partners (ODP), a company that specializes in baseball club and stadium operations. ODP also created Atlantic League clubs in York, Pennsylvania, Southern Maryland, and Sugar Land, Texas. On November 12, 2014, ODP transitioned their ownership of the Barnstormers to Dakota Baseball, LLC to focusing solely on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Dakota Baseball comprises Ian Ruzow, Rob Liss, Steve Zuckerman, and Bob Zuckerman, Lancastrians and founders of Clipper Magazine - the Barnstormers' naming rights partner.
Logos and uniforms
The primary colors of the Barnstormers are red, black, khaki, and white. These are similar to the colors previously used by the Red Roses so as to reflect the area's baseball heritage. The primary logo consists of a typical red barn outlined in black with a curving baseball. Unlike most sports logos, the geographical location is prominently featured rather than the team nickname, thus emphasizing the Lancaster community. In 2011, the Barnstormers substituted black for navy blue and unveiled three agriculture-themed alternate logos: a hex sign, a weather vane, and the barn-planked "LB" initials. The hex-sign logo incorporates the team's initials and a Pennsylvania Dutch design complete with a baseball and two crossed bats. Additionally, it includes two red roses symbolizing Lancaster's nickname, "Red Rose City."
For the 2015 season, the Barnstormers partnered with Zephyr Headwear for their caps and with the Pennsylvania-based Majestic Athletic for their uniforms. The home cap is red throughout and is charged with a stylized cursive "L" in white with black and khaki outline interweaving with a curving baseball. The away cap is black and also features the cursive "L" logo. The home jerseys are white with red piping and the cursive "Lancaster" wordmark across the front in red, khaki, and black. The away jersey is solid gray, featuring the blocked "Lancaster" wordmark arched across the chest in red with black outline. The alternate jersey is black with the barn-planked "Stormers" wordmark and the primary logo on the right sleeve. The Barnstormers wear red belts, socks, and undershirts with all uniforms.
In 2016, the Atlantic League partnered with Rawlings to design unique catcher's gear for all eight teams. The design for the Barnstormers features a golden sunrise over a red barn, symbolizing the Lancaster County's agricultural heritage.
- 2 Atlantic League Championships (2006, 2014)
When the team issues a "Code Red", all employees and fans wear red shirts and wave red rally towels to support the Barnstormers. It is usually declared for important home games, especially when the club competes against the York Revolution, their local rival. It was first instituted during the Barnstormers' 2006 playoff run.
War of the Roses
The South Central Pennsylvania cities of Lancaster and York have a historical rivalry in all sporting events from the high-school level to the professional. Since both cities are named after the English cities of Lancaster and York, the former Pennsylvania baseball teams were named for the opposing sides of the Wars of the Roses. As a metaphor, "War of the Roses" describes the intense baseball matches fought between the Lancaster Red Roses and the York White Roses. With the addition of York to the Atlantic League, the Barnstormers continue the Red Roses' tradition as they battle the York Revolution for lower Susquehanna supremacy.
The "War of the Roses" was rekindled with the sound of celebratory cannon-fire at the start of the 2007 Atlantic League season in Wrightsville, a borough located on the Susquehanna River, the natural boundary between Lancaster and York counties. The winner of the War of the Roses is presented with the Community Cup, while the defeated team is obligated to sing the ballpark classic "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and plant a rose garden at the opponent's ballpark with their representative color: red for Lancaster, white for York. The first Community Cup was championed by the Barnstormers in the 2007 season, though the Revolution avenged them by winning it in 2008. The clubs also competed in the Route 30 Showdown in 2009–2011, an annual cross-county doubleheader inadvertently created at the conclusion of the 2008 season by a rain-delay.
|Year||Series Winner||Barnstormers W||Revolution W||Notes|
|2007||Barnstormers||10||8||first Community Cup|
|2010||Revolution||4||16||the earliest Cup win; July 24|
|2012||Barnstormers||10||10||Lancaster retains cup in tie|
|2014||Revolution||7||13||first consecutive Cup win|
Radio and television
Every Barnstormers game was broadcast on WLAN (1390 AM) and WPDC (1600 AM) by Dave Collins, their announcer. Select home games are televised on Blue Ridge Cable-11. However, the cost of airtime became too expensive so all games are now only streamed on Youtube.
The Lancaster Barnstormers' mascot is an anthropomorphic, red cow named Cylo. He wears the team's home jersey with striped socks and retro-style sneakers. Cylo debuted on March 4, 2005, at the Mascot Roller Mill in the Lancaster County village of Mascot. His name in full is Cyloicious L. Barnstormer, alluding to Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young and to silos, representing the county's agricultural heritage. The mascot was designed by the Raymond Entertainment Group, which also produces the Phillie Phanatic's costume.
Lancaster Barnstormers roster
|Active (25-man) roster||Coaches/Other|
Major League Baseball alumni
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