Delmarva Shorebirds History

The Delmarva Shorebirds History
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Team has been in Salisbury since 1996
  • Orlando Cabrera, Javier Vazquez among alumni
Jayson Werth and other former Shorebirds are recognized on banners throughout the ballpark's concourse.

If you plan to take in a Delmarva Shorebirds game at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, the first thing you need to know is Dalmarva isn't a city. It's a name given to this region and stands for DELaware, MARyland, VirginiA. The Shorebirds play in the town of Salisbury, MD, and have done so since 1996.

When the team first joined the South Atlantic League, it was affiliated with the Montreal Expos. In their inaugural season, the Shorebirds went 83-59 with a roster bolstered by future MLBers Michael Barrett, Orlando Cabrera and Javier Vazquez. That season, as a 19-year-old, Vazquez went 14-3 with a 2.68 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 164.1 innings. Needless to say, he was in the Bigs for good two seasons later.

After one year under the Expos umbrella, the Shorebirds switched to a more geographically wise affiliation with the Baltimore Orioles. The shift in affiliates didn't hamper the team's play. In 1997, the 'Birds went 77-65 and won their first South Atlantic League championship. The 1998 campaign also proved to be successful, as the team finished 20 games above .500. After an off year in 1999, the Shorebirds won another SAL title in 2000. This time, they were led by pitcher Erik Bedard, who would later see success as a member of the O's.

The 2000 title proved to be Delmarva's last. Since then, the team has had just three winning seasons and recent struggles with records of 59-81 and 55-85 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Over the years, Luke Scott, Pat Hentgen, Mike Bordick and Delino DeShields are some of the MLBers who spent time with the Shorebirds in rehab stints.

Notable alumni

Zach Britton
Adam Loewen
John Maine
Nick Markakis
Luis Matos
Darnell McDonald
Brian Roberts
Randy Ruiz
Jayson Werth
Javier Vazquez