Fenway Sports Group announced today the renaming of the Class-A Salem Avalanche to the Salem Red Sox. FSG, a group owned by the Boston Red Sox, purchased the then Houston Astros affiliated Advanced Carolina League team in December of last year.
The newly named club will switch its affiliation to the Red Sox starting in 2009.
"We're thrilled to bring Red Sox Nation and everything associated with it to the Roanoke Valley," said Fenway Sports Group President and Red Sox Chief Operating Officer Mike Dee. "This is not merely a cosmetic change but a change in the organization's culture. This will be reflected in all aspects of our organization as we deliver on our commitment to field a championship-caliber baseball team, provide a unparalleled fan experience, and operate a franchise that continues to grow deep roots into the community."
This announcement marks the sixth time that the Boston Red Sox will hold an affiliation with a Carolina League team, but only the third time the franchise will bear the Red Sox name. Previous clubs include the Wilmington Blue Rocks (2005-06), the Lynchburg Red Sox (1988-94), the Winston-Salem Red Sox (1961-84), the Raleigh Capitals (1958-60) and the Greensboro Patriots (1953-57).
"The Red Sox brand is one of the strongest in the game of baseball today," said Salem Red Sox General Manager John Katz. "To link the Red Sox name to the Salem franchise further builds on the rich history of
hardball in the Roanoke Valley. We look forward to ushering in the next era of Red Sox baseball."
The now-named Salem Red Sox plays its home games at Lewis-Gale Medical Center Field at Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium. The 6,300-seat ballpark opened in August 1995, and has hosted more than 2.5 million fans since the stadium's inaugural game.
Source: Fenway Sports Group