The Tucson Saguaros are a professional baseball team based in Tucson, Arizona that began play in 2016. The club is a member of the Pecos League, an independent baseball league which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball.
|League||Pecos League (Pacific)|
|Colors||Green, black, gold|
Announced in November 2015 as an expansion franchise, Tucson began play in the 2016 season. The team plays its home games Thursday through Sunday at Cherry Field. The team plays neutral site home games Monday through Wednesday in Winslow at Vargas Field.
The team's home field was Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium for the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the exception of Sunday games, which were played at Warren Ballpark in Bisbee. The Saguaros moved to Reid Park Field #5 at the beginning of the 2018 season for Thursday through Sunday games, but then moved to Cherry Field on July 4, 2018.
The team conducts Spring Training at Pascua Yaqui Pueblo Park on the Pascua Pueblo Yaqui Reservation. Spring Training was also conducted at Reid Park Field #5 starting in 2018, where they were joined by the Ruidoso Osos. They are known colloquially as the "Cactus Crew."
2016: Inaugural season and a Pecos League championship
2016 Saguaros manager J.D. Droddy was featured in the 2014 Fox Sports 1 six-episode reality TV show "The Pecos League" as the manager of the Trinidad Triggers. He spent twenty years in the United States Air Force, flying 44 combat missions in the Vietnam War. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1989, he practiced law in Portland, Oregon, but "hated every minute of practicing law." Afterward, he became a college professor, wrote plays, and became a self-taught composer, writing a ballet called the "Lady of White Sands." Before managing the Trinidad Triggers, he was a host for Pecos League players.
The Saguaros opened their inaugural season 6-0, sweeping the Santa Fe Fuego in a 4-game series. In a high-scoring 22-12 victory on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 against the White Sands Pupfish in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the Saguaros had 29 hits and four home runs, one of which was hit by the starting pitcher, Carlos Diaz.
On August 11, 2016, the Saguaros became the 2016 Pecos League Champions by defeating the Trinidad Triggers 2 games to 0 in a 5-4 victory. Entering the bottom of the 9th inning, the Trinidad Triggers were leading 4-1. Catcher Jesse Baker scored the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning when Christian Schneider threw a wild pitch to pinch hitter Thomas McKenna. The Saguaros set a Pecos League record with 51 wins in a season.
2017: Best record in Pecos League
Kirby Campbell was announced as the new manager on October 12, 2016, while the previous manager, J.D. Droddy, remained on the Saguaros as the Director of Player Procurement until becoming the manager of the Salina Stockade (baseball) of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Campbell, a 2014 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, began the 2016 season as the starting first baseman of the Great Bend Boom and became Great Bend's manager midway through the season. Five players returned from the inaugural season: pitchers Brandon Cook, Jake Eaton, and Matt Kelley, as well as outfielders Burnell Dailey and Thomas McKenna. The Saguaros finished the season with the best record in the Pecos League, 46-11, but they lost in the playoffs to the High Desert Yardbirds 1-2 in the Pecos League Pacific Division Series.
2018: Moves to Reid Park and Cherry Field and 1st Place in Southern Division
The Saguaros moved from the Pacific Division to the Southern Division of the Pecos League. The team also moved their home field to Gene C. Reid Park Field #5. Bill Moore, a resident of Mesa was announced as the new manager on December 16, 2017. He had originally considered taking the job in 2016. Ryan Retz, a Canyon del Oro High School graduate and Pecos League All-Star in 2016 for the Saguaros, returned after a one-year hiatus from the team. Left-Handed Pitcher Ryan Baca and Infielder Kevin Baron returned from the previous year. The Saguaros played a Spring Training game against the Ruidoso Osos at Reid Park Field #5 on Sunday, May 20, 2018. It was the first time the team had played a Spring Training game against another team. On July 4, 2018, the Saguaros moved to Cherry Field since it had lights so that home games could be played at night and start later at 7:00 P.M.
2019: Full Season at Cherry Field
The Saguaros moved back to the Pacific Division. On December 8, 2018, Bill Rogan, from Denver was named the new manager. He worked for the Colorado Rockies Specialty Ticket Sales. 2018 Pecos League All-Star Outfielder Lawrence Chavez was the only returning player from the previous year.
Tucson Saguaros roster
|2016||51||14||.785||1st of 5 South Division||Division: defeated Roswell Invaders 2-1
Championship: defeated Trinidad Triggers 2-0
|2017||46||14||.766||1st of 6 Pacific Division||Division: lost High Desert Yardbirds 1-2|
|2018||41||18||.695||1st of 4 Southern Division||Semi-Finals: lost Bakersfield Train Robbers 0-2|
|2019||30||30||.500||4th of 6 Pacific Division||DNQ|
- First Game: vs Santa Fe Fuego, 11-4 win (5/19/2016)
- First Hit: Burnell Dailey, (5/19/2016)
- First Home Run: Adam Urbania, (5/19/2016)
- First Winning Pitcher: David Contreras (5/19/2016)
- First Save: Daniel Hurtado (5/21/2016)
Pecos League Pitcher of the Year
- 2016 - Steven Borkowski
Pecos League Pacific Division Pitcher of the Year
- 2017 - Clay Miller
Pecos League Southern Division Pitcher of the Year
- 2018 - Skylar Sylvester
Pecos League Pacific Division Hitter of the Year
- 2017 - Fernando Garza
Pecos League Southern Division Hitter of the Year
- 2018 - Austin Hoffman
Pecos League All-Star
- Adam Urbania (2016)
- David Robles (2016)
- Jesse Baker (2016)
- Michael Morris (2016)
- Ryan Retz (2016)
- Steven Borkowski (2016)
- Brandon Cook (2017)
- Clay Miller (2017)
- Darryl Baca (2017)
- Eric Morell (2017)
- Fernando Garza (2017)
- Frank Trimarco (2017)
- Kevin Baron (2017, 2018)
- Matt Kelley (2017)
- Nicholas Vitale (2017)
- Thomas McKenna (2017)
- Tre Porter (2017)
- Zack Gonzalez (2017)
- Austin Hoffman (2018)
- Billy Damon (2018)
- Charlie Padilla (2018)
- Jaquese Moore (2018)
- Kevin Carr (2018)
- Lawrence Chavez (2018, 2019)
- Skylar Sylvester (2018)
- Tatum Hendrix (2018)
- Willie Ethington (2018)
- Evan Douglas (2019)
- Joe Rivera (2019)
- Michael Klein (2019)
- Patrick Clifford (2019)
- Riley Richarz (2019)
- Robby Medel (2019)
- Will Morris (2019)
Single season records
- Games: Burnell Dailey, 65 (2016), Thomas McKenna, 65 (2016), Ryan Retz, 65 (2016)
- Batting Average: Jimmy Heck, .426 (2016)
- On-base Percentage: Thomas McKenna, .489 (2017)
- Slugging Percentage: Fernando Garza, .687 (2017)
- At Bats: Ryan Retz, 281 (2016)
- Runs: Ryan Retz, 73 (2016)
- Doubles: Austin Hoffman, 22 (2018)
- Triples: Ryan Retz, 7 (2016)
- Home Runs: Fernando Garza, 14 (2017)
- RBI: Fernando Garza, 69 (2017)
- Walks: Michael Morris, 47 (2016)
- Strikeouts: Burnell Dailey, 64 (2016)
- Stolen Bases: Ryan Retz, 42 (2016)
- Singles: Michael Morris, 98 (2016)
- Earned Run Average: Redmond Floyd, 1.12 (2017)
- Won-Loss Percentage: Steven Borkowski, 1.000 (2016), Clay Miller, 1.000 (2017), Eric Morell, 1.000 (2017)
- WHIP: Tyler Herr, .550 (2016)
- Games: David Robles, 29 (2016)
- Saves: Garrett Baker, 8 (2017)
- Innings: Steven Borkowski, 79.1 (2016)
- Strikeouts: Steven Borkowski, 92 (2016)
- Complete Games: Billy Damon, 5 (2018)
- Walks Allowed: Steven Borkowski, 46 (2016)
- Hits Allowed: Cameron Cox, 79 (2016)
- Wins: Steven Borkowski, 10 (2016)
- Losses: Aaron Smith, 3 (2016), Brian Luebcke, 3 (2016), Garrett Baker, 3 (2017), Josh Freeman, 3 (2017)
- Earned Runs Allowed: Cameron Cox, 43 (2016)
- Putouts: Ryan Retz, 506 (2016)
- Assists: Michael Morris, 167 (2016)
- Fielding Average by an Infielder: Jesse Baker, .995 (2016)
- Fielding Average by an Outfielder: Jay Stout, 1.000 (2018)
- "Pecos League Moves to Tucson, Arizona for 2016". PRWeb. 25 November 2015.
- "Baseball returns to Kino Sports Complex". Pima County. 3 March 2016.
- "Baseball returns to southern AZ thanks to the Pecos League". Tucson News Now. 10 May 2016.
- "Bisbee home games on slate for inaugural Saguaros". Sierra Vista Herald. 16 May 2016.
- "Tucson Saguaros - Home". Facebook. 24 May 2017.
- "Tucson to host Spring Training for Ruidoso Osos and Tucson Saguaros". Pecos League. 28 Mar 2018.
- "Martinez signs pro baseball contract with Tucson". Mesabi Daily News. 4 January 2016.
- "NJIT's Mike Rampone Signs Professional Contract with Tucson Saguaros". NJIT Highlanders. 3 February 2016.
- "Lake Catholic grad Adam Urbania of Slippery Rock signs with Independent League Tucson Saguaros". The News-Herald. 6 March 2016.
- "JD Droddy retires from Triggers". Pecos League. 30 September 2014.
- "J.D. Droddy: From ballet to baseball and everything in between". KGUN 9. The E.W. Scripps Co. 24 May 2016.
- "Tucson Saguaros take on Alpine Cowboys May 26–28". Pima County. 25 May 2016.
- "Tucson Saguaros vs White Sands Pupfish: 22-12". Pointstreak. 25 May 2016.
- "The Roswell Invaders take out the Tucson Saguaros with help from Coffman 8-4". Pecos League. 5 July 2016.
- "The Tucson Saguaros are 2016 Pecos League Champions". Pecos League. 11 Aug 2016.
- "Kirby Campbell to manage Tucson Saguaros for 2017 Season". Pecos League. 22 Oct 2016.
- "Saguaros to defend Pecos League Title on Thursday night". KGUN9. 24 May 2017.
- "Kirby Campbell - Head Coach / Instructor". Gators Baseball. 22 Oct 2016.
- "Tucson Saguaros Roster". Saguaros Baseball. 24 May 2017.
- "Tucson Saguaro's season ends". KGUN 9. The E.W. Scripps Co. 6 Aug 2017.
- "Pecos League will feature realignment for 2018 season". Pecos League. 28 Nov 2017.
- "Tucson Saguaros moving from Kino Stadium to Reid Park". KGUN 9. The E.W. Scripps Co. 7 Dec 2017.
- "Tucson Saguaros set for 2018 season at Reid Park #5". KGUN 9. The E.W. Scripps Co. 23 May 2018.
- "Bill Moore will be 2018 Tucson Saguaros Manager". Pecos League. 16 Dec 2017.
- "Tucson Saguaros move to Cherry Field". Pecos League. 29 Jun 2018.
- "Tucson Saguaros 4th season underway in the Old Pueblo". KOLD News 13. Gray Television, Inc. 2 Jun 2019.
- "Bill Rogan named 2019 Tucson Saguaros Field Manager". Pecos League. 8 Dec 2018.
- "Santa Fe Fuego vs Tucson Saguaros: 4-11". Pointstreak. 19 May 2016.