• Steve Potter

7/1/2020 - Phillies Minor League History - The Maine Guides/Phillies


Tme Period - 1987 to 1988


Venue : The Ball Park


City : Old Orchard Beach, ME


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Franchise History :


The Maine Guides were a minor league franchise that existed between 1984 and 1988. The international League ( AAA level ) club was named in honor of Maine’s hunting and wilderness guides, the team name changed to Phillies for their final season.


In 1982, Jordan Kobritz purchased the Charleston Charlies franchise from Carl Steinfelt. The Charlies played in Charleston, SC in 1983 but Kobritz moved the team to Maine ahead of the 1984 season and renamed them the Guides. Sportscaster Gary Thorne initially co-owned the Maine franchise.


The Guides were the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians from 1984 to 1986. In 1987, the Indians departed and the club became an affiliate of the Phillies. In October of 1987 new franchise ownership announced intentions to move the club to a ballpark being built in Lackawanna County, PA. The new ballpark would not be ready until 1989 and the team remained in Old Orchard Beach for the 1988 season - renamed as the Phillies.


The franchise relocated to Moosic, Pennsylvania for the 1989 season and was renamed the Red Barons and remained the AAA affiliate of the Phillies thru the 2006 season. In 2007 they became an affiliate of the Yankees and remain so today ... the team was named Yankees till the 2013 season when they became the Rail Riders.


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The Stadium the Phillies teams played in :


The Ballpark :


Location: One Park Way, off T-for-Turn Road & Saco Avenue.

Capacity: 5,000 (1985); 5,300 (1988)

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 327-402-327 (1985)


Although Old Orchard Beach is not generally one of Maine's year-round population centers, it is a popular summer vacation destination. In 1983 new Maine Guides team owner Jordan Kobritz oversaw the construction of a new Old Orchard Beach baseball stadium, called the Ball Park on the outskirts of town. Kobritz believed that, due to the large amount of vacation traffic that the town enjoyed in the summer months, numerous vacationers would attend games.


“Although attendance was not a major problem during the franchise's existence, the park was hampered by three main driving forces: First, in the summer the stadium was home to a large population of Maine Black Flies and mosquitoes that pestered fans. Second, there was only one road leading to and from the stadium, thus creating a traffic nightmare. Finally, soon after the stadium was built, other existing Triple-A stadiums were expanded and many new ones were built, making it normal for most Triple-A stadiums to hold well over 10,000 people, far above the 6,000 that the newly-constructed Ball Park held, so that very shortly after its construction it was essentially obsolete.


Kobritz fell behind on debt payments to The Finance Authority of Maine which had lent him the funds to construct the ballpark in 1984. In July 1987 he agreed to relinquish the deed to the ballpark to The Old Orchard Beach Town Council in exchange for his being released from his financial obligations.


By the 2000s, the Ballpark was shuttered and the facility had suffered from years of neglect. The grass turned into brush and overgrowth, and the walls of the facility started to fall down. A fire occurred as well.


In 2008, a local volunteer organization known as The Ball Park Group took on the task of cleaning up the 53-acre property and renovating the facility to a condition suitable for hosting games and special events. The volunteers removed the debris from the skybox fire, cleared vegetative overgrowth, rebuilt the dugouts and outfield wall, leveled off the playing field and planted new sod. Much of the skilled work was completed with the volunteer help of local plumbers, contractors, carpenters and electricians with most of the funding coming from private donations.” - Wikipedia


The park now hosts ball games for local youth organizations, collegiate summer league games and a men’s amateur league.


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The Seasons :


1987


International League (AAA ) ... Manager : Bill Dancy ... 60-80 , 7th place ... Attendance: 104,219


25 year old Catcher Darren Daulton appeared in 20 games ... the club had 45 different players on the roster during the season ... 31 of which had either played or would play in the major leagues.


1988


International League (AAA ) ... Manager : George Culver ... 62-80 , 4th place ... Attendance: 80,071


24 year old outfielder Ron Jones hit 16 home runs and drove in 75 in 445 AB’s


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️


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