Bowie Baysox History
Bowie Baysox History
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Team has been in Bowie since 1993
- Baysox have yet to win a playoff round
Some Minor League Baseball teams have eventful histories that include numerous affiliations and name changes. The Bowie Baysox have been an Eastern League constant since 1993, and very little has changed in the last two decades. Between 1989 and 1992, the Baltimore Orioles Eastern League team was the Hagerstown Suns, but a swell in demand for professional baseball in Bowie prompted the O's to move Hagerstown to Class-A and introduce a new AA affiliate.
The name for the new franchise was put to the fans, and after more than 3,500 fans voted, the Baysox was chosen, giving a nod to Bowie's close proximity to Chesapeake Bay. Red tape and politics prevented the Baysox new ballpark from being built on time, so the team played its inaugural season in 1993 in Baltimore's Municipal Stadium, which was vacant because of the Orioles' move to Camden Yards. Ground was finally broken on Prince George's Stadium in the fall of 1993, but bad weather throughout the winter meant the park couldn't be finished on time. The Baysox were forced to play the opening months of the 1994 campaign in four different "home" parks before moving into Prince George's Stadium permanently in mid-June.
Despite all the chaos surrounding the team's ballpark, the Baysox fared well on the field. They made the Eastern League playoffs in 1993 and 1994, although fell in the opening playoff round each year. After sub-par years in 1995 and 1996, the team was playoff bound again in 1997, but couldn't escape in the first round. Unfortunately for fans, the playoff drought has been the standard in Bowie. The team finished out of the playoffs from 1998 through 2007 and after a stellar regular season (84-58) in '08, the Baysox were, you guessed it, eliminated in the first round. They haven't made the postseason since.
Jerry Hairston, Jr.
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