Miami Storm

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Miami Storm
Founded in 1995
Miami, Forida Usa.png
Miami storm.png
Team logo

Affiliations
League Bull League
Subleague Metropolitan League

Lake League (1995-2017)

Division East
Team Info
Name Miami Storm

Previous names Kingston Cannons (2010-2017)

Kingston Battlements (1995-2009)

Previous locations Kingston, ON Flag of Canada.svg.png (1995-2017)

Colors Blue, white, black

              

Owner Marquis Williams
Ballpark
Ballpark Stormcenter (2018-)
Former Cannon Field (1995-2017)
Titles
Bull Cup championships (1) 2000
League pennants (3) 1996, 2000, 2012
Division titles (5) 1996, 1998, 2000, 2012, 2015
Playoff appearances (8) 1996, 1998, 2000, 2011—2013, 2015, 2022



The Miami Storm are an American professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida. The team competes in the Bull League playing in the Metropolitan League (ML) East division. They play their home games at Stormcenter.

The team has a total of seven playoff appearances, including a Bull Cup championship win in 2000. However, since moving from Kingston to Miami in 2018, they have no postseason appearances.

The team all-time win-loss record at the end of 2019 was 1072-1060 (.503).

History

1995-2000: Expansion Success

In 1995, the league underwent a major reorganization, and added four teams to the existing twelve. The Kingston Battlements were an expansion team added to the LL East, while the Hamilton Industrials joined the LL West.

The Battlements name evoked the architectural features of the former capital of Canada, a military fortress town dotted with imposing stone buildings featuring mock defensive towers and "battlements" such as the infamous Kingston Penitentiary.

The team found early successes, with a surprisingly firm 51-29 (.637) finish in their inaugural season, and the third-highest attendance in the LL at 1,239,576. The Battlements had the highest producing offense in the LL, at 5.6 runs per game.

The lineup featured two Gold Crown Award winners in future Hall of Fame catcher Mike Lapi, and home run slugger Mike Stetser. Lapi slashed .326/.434/.602 and hit 17 homers, 54 RBIs, while Stetser added 23 dingers to tie for 2nd in the LL, and 60 ribbies, with an impressive slash of .384/.483/.806.

On the pitching side of the ledger, LHP Cliff Cameron was named tot he all-star team and led the LL in wins with 11, tying Sandy Koufax Award winner Marty McSouthpaw of the Montreal Metros.

The Battlements followed up their strong first year with another one, finishing 49-31 (.613) and landing in first place, two games above division rivals, Montreal. The team had achieved the rare and coveted Blue Rose Award for finishing the year with the top team average and the top ERA, at .291 and 3.59 respectively.

Kingston also made the Bull Cup championships in 1996, just their second year of existence, topping the LL West pennant winners, New York Minutemen in a best-of-five, 3-1, then moving on to face the Richmond Ravens. They fell to a 3-0 sweep against the Ravens in what was widely regarded as a shocking upset, despite Kingston being the newer team, and despite the Ravens having won the Bull Cup the year previously.

Two years later, they made the playoffs again, this time falling to New York in the 1998 edition of the LLCS. The Minutemen were in the midst of their 3-year consecutive Bull Cup championship run, having quickly become the dominant force after their defeat by Kingston in 1996.

In 1999, the team finished in 2nd place again, just one game behind Chicoutimi. They had lost Stetser to free agency after 1995, and Lapi followed, leaving for the Toronto Ducks after the 1997 season. But they continued to rely on solid hitting and speed from personalities like Brooklyn native, RF Terry Waugh, and SS/LF Mike Moczulski, who was a clubhouse favorite and charismatic leader.

But by now Brian Bell had come over from Chicago to firm up the bullpen, becoming the team's lock-down closer just a year after winning the AEL Wodochuck Trophy with the Pit Bulls. Perennial Sandy Koufax contender Jimmy "The Mick" McDonalds, who had joined Kingston in a trade from Toronto in 1996, was notching up strikeouts at a ripping pace.

With the roster they had in place it was only a matter of time before Kingston would be back in the playoffs again. They didn't have to wait long, in 2000 it was finally their year. With a franchise-best 53-27 (.662) finish to clinch first place for the third time in five years, Kingston would find themselves up against the surging other 1995 LL expansion team, the Hamilton Industrials.

Kingston bested their fellow expansion rivals, and moved on to the Bull Cup finals for the second time in their history, where they went the distance against the California Tidals, beating them 3-2 in that best-of-five series. The 2000 Kingston squad saw McDonalds finally earn the Sandy Koufax Award, Bell take home a Woodchuck Trophy, and 1B Sean Underhay was named to the Gold Crown.

2001-2010: A Decade of Decline

That early taste of success which culminated in a Bull Cup evaporated quickly after 2000. Offensive production fell to 5.1 runs/game, as Chicoutimi, New York and Ohio pushed up their run production. But the real challenge was the aging pitching roster, and the team ERA shot up in 2001 to 5.35. Only Toronto had worse runs allowed per game (6.9 compared to Kingston's 5.8), hits allowed (852 compared to 818), and WHIP (1.87 compared to 1.55).

A sure sign of the starting roster showing its grey hair was that Kingston was the only LL team to fail to throw a complete game.

2010-2017: A New Start

Former Kingston Cannons logo from 2010-2017

In 2010, the team changed its name to the Kingston Cannons, still paying homage to the strong military connection, but while hoping to reinvigorate the club and its fans to further success. In recent years, they have tasted some of that success again, winning the LL East division pennant in 2012 and going on to win the LLCS that year, and taking another division pennant in 2015.

For 2018, the team completed a relocation to Miami, Florida, and were renamed to the Miami Storm. They were moved to the American Eagle League's East division.

Rivalry with California Tidals

    See article: Coast-to-Coast series

The Miami Storm have a long-standing rivalry with the California Tidals, known as the Coast-to-Coast series. This rivalry actually dates back to when the Storm were previously the Kington Battlements, and the two clubs faced off against each other in the 2000 Bull Cup championships.

The Tidals, one of the original Bull League teams founded in 1989, were making their first Bull Cup appearance in the "modern era" while the upstart Kingston Battlements were in their second Bull Cup finals, having lost four years before to the Richmond Ravens. In a testy series that went the full five games, the Tidals fell 3-2, and the Battlements won their first (and so far only) Bull Cup.

A dozen years later, the Battlements had renamed to the Cannons, and the two teams faced off again. It was the first time back in the Bull Cup finals for either team since that 2000 series. This time, the California Tidals delivered a 3-0 series sweep over Kingston, taking their first-ever Bull Cup, and getting even with Kingston.

When the Cannons relocated to Miami for the 2018 season, the two clubs would face each other regularly throughout the season schedule as they were together in the AEL, though in opposing divisions. The series became known as the Coast-to-Coast series as the clubs are on opposite coasts of the US.

General managers

Miami Storm General Managers
Years Name Record Notes
2015—2017 Aaron O'Connor 140-124 (.530) O'Connor brought the Cannons to a first place finish and playoff run in 2015, but the team quickly petered off its success over the next two seasons.
2018—present Troy Vogel 126-128 (.496) Troy oversaw the move of the team from Kingston, Canada, to Miami, leading them to a 3rd and then a 2nd place finish over the subsequent two seasons.


Awards and other achievements

Players awards

Carl Simms MVP Award

    See article: Carl Simms MVP Award

Sandy Koufax Award

    See article: Sandy Koufax Award

Woodchuck Trophy

    See article: Woodchuck Trophy

Team records

For career hitting percentage records, 2,000 plate appearances are required.[1] For career pitching percentage records, 500 innings pitched are required.[2]

Statistic Single season record Career record
Player Record Year Player Record
Batting average Xavier de Soto .340 2019 Xavier de Soto .312
On base percentage Johnny Bannink .439 2019 Justin Good .369
Slugging percentage Andy Laboy .571 2019 Justin Good .476
At bats Xavier de Soto 650 2019 Xavier de Soto 5,552
Runs Xavier de Soto 103 2019 Xavier de Soto 796
Hits Xavier de Soto 221 2019 Xavier de Soto 1,732
Doubles Xavier de Soto 49 2019 Xavier de Soto 347
Triples Ben Day
Koichi Masuda
9 1996
2015
Xavier de Soto 56
Home runs Andy Laboy 44 2019 Justin Good 101
Runs batted in Andy Laboy 110 2019 Xavier de Soto 589
Stolen bases Celestino Caparica 44 2019 Xavier de Soto 228
Earned runs average Jake Figurski 2.70 2019 Ron Alder 3.08
Wins Kyle Cahill 16 2019 Ron Alder 68
Losses Alex Orellana 14 2019 Ron Alder 44
Saves Nick MacLellan 28 2012 Ju-ho Kim 149
Games pitched Cam Knickle 45 1998 Ju-ho Kim 306
Games started Alex Orellana 34 2019 Ron Alder 133
Complete games Kyle Cahill 10 2019 Jake Figurski 26
Shutouts Kyle Cahill 3 2019 Jake Figurski 5
Innings pitched Alex Orellana 242.0 2019 Ron Alder 1,086.1
Strikeouts Alex Orellana 210 2019 Ron Alder 918

Hall of Fame players

Names in bold have been inducted wearing a Storm uniform.

Miami Storm Hall of Famers
Player Position Years with Pit Bulls Inducted
Mike Lapi Catcher 1995—1997 2017
Hugh Mulholland Pitcher 1995 2009

Championships

Miami-BC-2000.png

The Miami Storm have won the Bull Cup Championship Series once (as the Kingston Battlements), in 2000. They have three appearances in all, their last appearance was in 2012.

Bull Cup champions
Preceded by:
New York Minutemen
2000
(As Kingston Battlements)
Succeeded by:
Hamilton Industrials
Lake League pennants
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
1996
(As Kingston Battlements)
Succeeded by:
New York Minutemen
Preceded by:
New York Minutemen
2000
(As Kingston Battlements)
Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
2012
(As Kingston Cannons)
Succeeded by:
Montreal Metros
Lake League East division titles
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
1996
(As Kingston Battlements)
Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
1998
(As Kingston Battlements)
Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
2000
(As Kingston Battlements)
Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
2012
(As Kingston Cannons)
Succeeded by:
Montreal Metros
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
2015
(As Kingston Cannons)
Succeeded by:
Montreal Metros

Minor League Affiliations

Miami Storm Minor League Affiliates
Level Team League Location
AAA Thunder Bay Rail Heads Cow League Thunder Bay, Ontario
AA Seba Beach Miners Heifer League Seba Beach, Alberta
A Markham Tar Heels Calf League Markham, Ontario
Short Season A Bonnyville Dinos Milk League Bonnyville, Alberta
Rookie Tallahassee Storm Florida Rookie League Tallahassee, Florida

References

  1. Kingston Cannons Batting Leaders. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_7_batting_leaders.html. Accessed: 18 April 2017.
  2. Kingston Cannons Pitching Leaders. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_7_pitching_leaders.html. Accessed: 18 April 2017.