Long Beach Armada
The Long Beach Armada were an independent professional baseball team based in Long Beach, California, in the United States. The Armada was a member of the North Division of the now-defunct Golden Baseball League, which was not affiliated with either Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball. From the 2005 season to the present, the Armada has played its home games at Blair Field.
|Long Beach Armada|
|League||Arizona Summer League (2010–11)|
Arizona Winter League (2011)
|Location||Long Beach, California|
|Ballpark||Blair Field (Long Beach, California)|
|Division championships||1 (2007)|
|Former name(s)||Long Beach Armada (2005–2012)|
|Colors||Navy blue, brown, red, white|
|Ownership||Diamond Sports & Entertainment|
The Armada fielded a team for the Arizona Summer League in 2010 months after suspending GBL operations. They would later field a team in the Arizona Winter League in 2011. The franchise has been owned by Diamond Sports & Entertainment, primary investors in the current North American League (NAL), since 2005.
The team has had 13 different players, during its first five seasons, that played at the major league level. In addition, 21 Long Beach Armada players have had their contracts purchased by major league organizations over the last five years.
The team was one of the original eight GBL charter teams that began play in 2005 along with the Chico Outlaws, Fullerton Flyers and San Diego Surf Dawgs in California; Mesa Miners, Surprise Fightin' Falcons and Yuma Scorpions in Arizona and the traveling Japan Samurai Bears. They began play in May 2005, three years after their predecessors, the Long Beach Breakers folded along with the Western Baseball League. Ironically, former Armada manager Steve Yeager managed the Breakers to the WBL Championship in 2001, that team's inaugural season, beating the Chico Heat 3 games to 2.
Legal issues with the city
On December 18, 2009, the Long Beach Armada, to protect its ability to play at Blair Field, engaged lawyers to take action against the City of Long Beach and Long Beach State University alleging that the two public entities conspired to prematurely end the Armada's permit to play at Blair Field that still had three years left on it. The City of Long Beach made an arrangement to either sell or provide a long-term lease to Long Beach State University for the college to take over the maintenance and cost of running Blair Field; but first, the city had to revoke the Armada's permit which was standing in the way of completing a deal and had usage and concessions rights. As a result, the Armada suspended operations following the 2009 season.
Arizona Summer League (2010–present)
Arizona Winter League (2011–present)
On January 5, 2011, the Arizona Winter League released their schedule and it was announced the Armada would be joining the league along with the returning Sonora Pilots and two new teams, the Arizona RoadRunners and Team Mexico and would become the second team (behind the Surf Dawgs) to have played in all three leagues within the GBL/NABL system.
Notable former Armada players include former MLB star José Canseco; ex-Yankee Hideki Irabu; outfielder Josh Womack, who became a web sensation in June 2009 with the video of his "spinning bat trick"; and former Dodger José Lima, who was on the roster at the time of his death in May 2010.
In February 2008, The Armada signed Tony Torcato, who has since been traded to the Chico Outlaws. One month later, in March 2008, the Long Beach Armada signed former Major League Baseball pitcher Jerome Williams.
Other ex-major leaguers who have played for the Long Beach Armada include Bud Smith, Nick Bierbrodt, Adam Pettyjohn (the only Armada to have made it back to the big leagues from the club), Mark Quinn, Alan Newman, Chris Wakeland, Cleatus Davidson, Steve Smyth, and Seth Etherton.
Golden Baseball League (2005–2009):
|2005||49||41||.544||3rd, California Division||Wild Card|
|2006||37||43||.463||3rd/5th||Did not qualify|
|2007||48||28||.632||2nd/1st||Lost in GBL Championship Series, 3-1|
|2008||47 (19/28)||40 (19/21)||.540||3rd/1st, South Division||Won South Division 2nd Half Title. Lost to Orange County in Division Series.|
- 1 2008 Season in Progress
Arizona Summer League (2010):
- Golden Baseball League adds Maui, Tijuana teams for '10; drops Long Beach, Ballpark Digest, January 15, 2010
- "Knuckleballer Canseco walks five, hits four in debut". ESPN. August 17, 2006. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- longbeacharmada (14 May 2009). "Josh Womack's crazy bat skills at Long Beach Armada 2009 Training Camp" – via YouTube.
- Jerome Williams