Lake County Captains History

The Lake County Captains History
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Team has been in Eastlake since 2003
  • Choo, Vizquel and Westbrook among alumni
Plaques recognizing former Captains are mounted along a walkway in the right field corner.

The Captains have played in Eastlake, OH since the 2003 season, although the franchise dates back to more than two decades earlier. Originally known as the Columbus Indians because of their affiliation with Cleveland, the team was founded in 1991 as a member of the South Atlantic League. That year, the team played to a 73-69 record. A year later, the club switched its name to the Columbus RedStixx -- a name that lasted from 1992 through 2002. In that 11-season span, the team remained in the South Atlantic League and enjoyed several successes. The RedStixx won the SAL first- or second-half division championship seven times, but were never able to clinch the league title.

The team wrapped up operations in Columbus following the 2002 season, as a move to Eastlake was in the works. Newly named the Lake County Captains, the club remained in the SAL from 2003 through 2009. The move appeared to have little effect on the Captains. In their first season, they finished 97-43, winning their division in the first and second half of the season. The Captains posted winning records in five of their next seven seasons, including in 2010, when they switched to the Midwest League and won the league championship.

In 2011, the franchise had the worst season in its history, winning only 53 games and losing 86 times.

Several current Major Leaguers have suited up for the Captains, although most did so during rehab stints, rather than spending full seasons with the club. When the franchise played in Columbus, its players included Russell Branyan, Victor Martinez, CC Sabathia and Jhonny Peralta.

Notable alumni

Casey Blake
Fausto Carmona
Shin-Soo Choo
Trevor Crowe
Kevin Kouzmanoff
Aaron Laffey
Tony Sipp
Omar Vizquel
Jake Westbrook