New York Dragons

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New York Dragons
Founded in 1989
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Team logo
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Secondary logo
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Team Uniforms (Home/Away)

Affiliations
League Bull League
Subleague Lake League
Division East (From 2012)

West (1991–2011)

Team Info
Name New York Dragons (2017-present)

Previous names New York Minutemen (1995-2017)

North York Might (1993) North York Yankees (1992) New York State Fastballs (1991) New York Fastballs (1989)

Previous locations Buffalo, NY (1995-2016)

North York, ON (1992-1993) Buffalo, NY (1991) New York, NY (1989-1990)

Colors Green, white, brown, black

                   

Owner Doug Persson, Jr.
Ballpark
Ballpark The Redoubt
Titles
Bull Cup championships (5) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008
League pennants (5) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008
Division titles (8) LL West - 1996—1999, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2011
Playoff appearances (14) 1996—1999, 2001, 2003, 2007—2011, 2014, 2016, 2019


The New York Dragons are an American professional baseball team based in New York, New York. The team competes in the Bull League playing in the Lake League (LL) East division. They play their home games at The Redoubt.

The team is a founding club of the Bull League and was originally formed in 1989 as the New York Fastballs, before undergoing a series of name changes before finally settling as the New York Minutemen in 1995. In 2017, they were relocated from Buffalo to New York City, and renamed again, to their current moniker, the New York Dragons.

The Dragons are the only team to remain undefeated in Bull Cup championships, winning it five times and never having lost a finals series. They are also the only club to have won five Bull Cups, and hold the record for the longest consecutive championship streak, winning three years straight from 1997 to 1999. They have a total of 15 playoff appearances since 1995.

The team has an all-time win-loss record of 1414-1119 (.558) as of the end of 2021.

History

1989-1995: Settling on a home

The New York Fastballs of 1989 were originally based in New York City, before becoming the New York State Fastballs after a move to Buffalo the following year. When the Central League was disbanded and the league reformed into the current Lake League and American Eagle League (now Metropolitan League), the team was realigned into the LL's West division.

In 1992, they moved to North York, Ontario, and became the North York Yankees. In 1993, the commissioner disallowed the team name "Yankees" and the team was simply referred to by it's city, North York. During the 1993 season, the team owner chose a new name, the North York Might, which was approved by the commissioner.

Former New York Minutemen logo (1995-2016)

The 1994 season was abandoned due to a work stoppage, and when the league reformed in 1995, the team no longer had an owner. The league renamed the team to the Minutemen, evoking the by-gone revolutionary militiamen that were called to action during the War of Independence. The team was moved back to Buffalo, NY, where it remained until after the 2016 season.

1996-2008: Glory Years

The Minutemen commenced an historic run of success in 1996, starting with a division winning 48-32 finish that saw them into the playoffs. With 137 team home runs, 40 more than the Metros, New York nearly swept the end of season awards, with Jim Sure being named MVP, Jack Stevens taking the Sandy Koufax Award on a 10-2, 2.22 season, and an impressive .294, 33 runs scored debut for a young Juan Gonzales to capture a Rookie of the Year Award.

The following season, 1997, the Minutemen began their historic three consecutive season run of Bull Cup championships. Stevens, a future Hall of Famer, took the Koufax award two more times in that period, and even took the MVP in 1998.

Arjen van Leeuwen
2001 ROTY
In 2000, the Minutemen finished just 2 games behind the Hamilton Industrials and missed the playoffs, though a core infield of 2B Jim Sure, 3B Chris Felix, and SS Juan Gonzales, would capture Gold Crown Awards. Felix retired after the season, and Gonzales would be traded in 2001. But the club fielded another Rookie of the Year that season, Arjen van Leeuwen, and the club strung together a 50-30 record to finish first again, and get back into the playoffs. Though the Chicoutimi Cinquantes dashed their hopes of a fourth Bull Cup by knocking them out in the LLCS, the Minutemen proved they were still well tooled and in fighting form.

Though 2002 was another playoff miss, the following season New York found themselves right back in there with a 51-29 finish, 6 games ahead of Ohio for the West division title, and this time they would fend of Chicoutimi to advance to their fourth Bull Cup. They handily defeated the Nevada Speeders, 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

The team took three years off of playoff appearances after that, namely due to ageing veterans like Stevens, who was now 35 and hitting his decline, and Jim Sure, who had fully transitioned to the DH role as his power and defense cratered, hitting a career low 7 homers in 2004.

The team gathered their strength again, with van Leeuwen and Setsuo Kimura as the primary offensive pieces, for another playoff run in 2007, the first year that wild card teams qualified into the playoffs. New York managed to get in on a #3 seed, the first wild card spot, and were swiftly swept out by Montreal, who had topped the East division.

The following season, 2008, saw New York again seeded against their division champs, Ohio Oxen, as they repeated their #3 seed wild card qualification into the postseason. They managed to edge the Oxen out of the Elimination Round, then sweep Montreal to leverage their wild card into a fifth Bull Cup finals appearance. There they came up against the Nevada Speeders again, facing them for what was then an historic third Bull Cup meeting between the same two teams. The Minutemen would sweep again, giving them an incredible 9-2 postseason record that year.

2009-2021: Just Out of Reach

New York would remain in the mix for the long run after their five Bull Cups, with four more playoff appearances, and avoiding any last place finishes in their down seasons. In 2017, the team was renamed to the Dragons to coincide with a move to New York City.

NY Dragons logo from 2017–2023

In 2024, GM Dustin Parma announced the club's new logo, along with a brand new lineup, after opening the purse strings and spending large in offseason acquisitions.

NY Dragons logo from 2024

General managers

New York Dragons General Managers
Years Name Record Notes
2005–2016 Nick Bond Bond joined a proven, talented club, and brought them back to a series of playoff runs from 2007 to 2016 that included a Bull League record fifth Bull Cup. After Alex Sanderson was hired as GM, Bond moved to the assistant role before leaving after the 2019 season.
2017 Alex Sanderson 53-47 (.530) Alex took over the team when the club moved to New York City and were renamed the Dragons. He had a moderately successful season as GM.
2020–present Justin Lowe 164-127 (.564)
(as of end of 2021)
Rookie GM Lowe joined the club during the 2020 season, going 68-61 during his tenure (the team went 84-78 on the year). He saw immediate success the following season with a playoff appearance. He signed a slew of players to extensions, including rising star Alec Tricity, and is noted for signing hot prospect 1B Bill Vaillancourt in the 1st round of the 2020 Bull League draft as the 18th overall pick for a seemingly reasonable $1.33 million bonus.

Retired Numbers

The New York Dragons have retired two uniform numbers, though both players numbers were retired while the team was called Minutemen.

New York Dragons Retired Uniform Numbers
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Jim Sure
Second base
Retired 2005
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Jack Stevens
Pitcher
Retired 2007

Awards and other achievements

Player awards

Most Valuable Player Award

Sandy Koufax Award

  • 1996 — Jack Stevens
  • 1997 — Jack Stevens
  • 1998 — Jack Stevens

Rookie of the Year Award

Woodchuck Trophy

Team Records

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

Statistic Single season record Career record
Player Record Year Player Record
Batting average Alec Tricity .326 2019 Setsuo Kimura .298
On base percentage Hugh Lambert .444 2020 Jim Sure .414
Slugging percentage Pedro Rosario .573 2020 Jim Sure .589
Games Pedro Rosario 159 2019 Setsuo Kimura 1,332
At bats Tony Cruz 617 2019 Setsuo Kimura 5,674
Runs Tony Cruz 112 2019 Setsuo Kimura 816
Hits Alec Tricity 185 2019 Setsuo Kimura 1,463
Doubles Bubbles Smith 42 2021 Setsuo Kimura 263
Triples Nick Runner
Tony Cruz
Mark Fernandes
7 1998
2019
1996
Tony Cruz 36
Home runs Pedro Rosario
Tony Cruz
39 2020
2019
Setsuo Kimura 267
Runs batted in Pedro Rosario 124 2020 Setsuo Kimura 881
Stolen bases Robert Araica 54 2021 Tony Cruz 146
Earned runs average Steve Rollins 2.79 2021 Jack Stevens 3.06
Wins Ricky Naugler 20 2019 Jack Stevens 83
Losses A.C. Deucey 14 2019 Jack Stevens 44
Saves Herb Steward 33 2019 Steve Tyler 88
Games pitched Herb Steward 72 2019 Charlie Parra 190
Games started Steve Rollins 34 2020 Jack Stevens 175
Complete games Steve Rollins 15 2020 Steve Rollins 43
Shutouts Steve Rollins 6 2020 Steve Rollins 12
Innings pitched Steve Rollins 276.2 2020 Jack Stevens 1,167.1
Strikeouts Steve Rollins 246 2020 Jack Stevens 1,479

Hall of Fame Players

New York Dragons Hall of Famers
Player Position Inducted
Mark Fernandes Center fielder 2009
Flamer Flaherty Pitcher 2010
Jack Stevens Pitcher 2013
Jim Sure Second baseman 2012

Championships

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The New York Dragons are the winningest team in Bull League history, having won five Bull Cups, having never been defeated in any of their Bull Cup finals appearances. They are the only team in the Bull League to have won three Bull Cups in consecutive years (1997—1999). Each of the championship titles were won while the team was called Minutemen.

Bull Cup Champions
Preceded by:
Richmond Ravens
19971999 Succeeded by:
Kingston Battlements
Preceded by:
Hamilton Industrials
2003 Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
2008 Succeeded by:
Ohio Oxen
Lake League Champions
Preceded by:
Kingston Battlements
19971999 Succeeded by:
Kingston Battlements
Preceded by:
Hamilton Industrials
2003 Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
2008 Succeeded by:
Ohio Oxen
Lake League West Division Titles
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
19961999 Succeeded by:
Kingston Battlements
Preceded by:
Hamilton Industrials
2001 Succeeded by:
Hamilton Industrials
Preceded by:
Hamilton Industrials
2003 Succeeded by:
Ohio Oxen
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
2009 Succeeded by:
Ohio Oxen
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
2011 Succeeded by:
Ohio Oxen

Minor League Affiliations

Level Team League Location
AAA Anaheim Pharaohs Cow League Anaheim, California
AA Sacramento Marauders Heifer League Sacramento, California
A Duluth Trout Calf League Duluth, Minnesota
Short Season A Troy Titans New England League Troy, New York
Rookie West Palm Beach Dragons Florida Rookie League West Palm Beach, Florida

References