name = Tulsa Drillers
founded = 1977
city = Tulsa, Oklahoma
class level = AA
past class level=
current league =
division = North Division
past league =
pastmajorleague = Texas Rangers
nickname = Tulsa Drillers (1977-Present)
Lafayette Drillers (1975-1977)
pastparks = Oiler Park
leaguechamps = 1982, 1988, 1998
divisionchamps = 1999, 2002, 2006 (1st half)
owner = Chuck Lamson
The Tulsa Drillers are a
minor league baseballteam based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockiesmajor-league club. The Drillers play in Drillers Stadium, located at 15th and Yale in midtown Tulsa, though it was announced on June 26, 2008that the Drillers will relocate to a new stadium in downtown Tulsa's Greenwood district by 2010, though the future of the planned stadium is now uncertain due to the collapse of the largest donor, SEMGroup. [ [http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080626_11_A1_Tepooe406892 Tulsa World: Drillers site: Greenwood ] ]
The Drillers came into being in
1977, when a Lafayette, Louisianateam was transferred to Tulsa. Before that time, the Triple-A Tulsa Oilers had been the city's only minor league club, but owner A. Ray Smith moved the team to New Orleans, Louisianadue to concerns over the dilapidated condition of Oiler Park. Tulsa Countycompleted 8,000 seat Robert B. Sutton Stadium in 1981, naming it for its chief benefactor, a local oil executive. (The team name also pays homage to the oil industry which has been a large part of the Tulsa economy.) Sutton, however, was convicted in 1982 of fraud, and as a result the County renamed the park Tulsa County Stadium. In 1989, Drillers Stadium received its current name. The stadium now seats 10,997.
From 1976 to 2002, the Drillers were the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. In 2002, Rangers owner
Tom Hickspurchased the Shreveport, LouisianaTexas League franchise with the intention of moving the team to Frisco, Texas, a suburban city north of Dallas, Texas. At the time, the Shreveport Swamp Dragons were affiliated with the San Francisco Giants; Hicks cast aside this association and bought out the remaining two years of Tulsa's Player Development Contract. The Drillers then signed a two-year agreement with the Colorado Rockies.
In March 2006, Chuck Lamson bought out much of owner Went Hubbard's stock in the team and is now president and majority owner of the Drillers.
The Drillers have been Texas League champions three times: 1982, 1988, and 1998. As well as Eastern Division Champions in 1999, and 2002. The Drillers also appeared in the Texas League playoffs during the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons.
ESPN Sportscenteranchor John Anderson has often alluded to team alumni as "former Driller(s)" on-air. Anderson was a weekend sports anchor for Tulsa CBSaffiliate KOTVbefore joining ESPN.
The Tulsa Drillers radio announcer is Mark Neely and is broadcast on sports radio 1430, the Buzz in
Mike Coolbaughwas killed in a freak accident on July 22, 2007. While standing in the first base coach box, he was hit in the head by a line drive[http://sports.aol.com/mlb/story/_a/tragedy-strikes-on-baseball-field/20070723020009990001 AP Sports, retrieved 02007-07-23] ; although CPR was administered at the scene, he died less than an hour later. The Drillers and Travelers suspended their game, which the Travelers had been leading, 7-3, in the ninth inning. The Drillers also postponed their game the following night. [ [http://www.tulsadrillers.com/news/?id=4984 Tulsa Drillers ] ] The coroner concluded that Coolbaugh was actually hit in the neckwith the line drive instead of the head, which ruptured an artery in his neck, killing him. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/wires/07/25/2010.ap.bbm.coach.killed.coroner.0215/]
* [http://www.tulsadrillers.com/ Tulsa Drillers official website]
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