History

  • December 9, 2010: Steel City Baseball LLC officially purchases certain and specific assets of the previous professional baseball team that played in Silver Cross Field. The new team’s General Manager John Dittrich announces that they will be taking ideas from the public for the new team’s yet to be determined name.
  • December 13, 2010: It’s announced that the new team will compete in the Frontier League and will open their season on May 19, 2011.
  • January 12, 2011: The organization announces that the new team’s name is the “Slammers.”
  • January 24, 2011: Bart Zeller is named the first manager in Slammers’ history.
  • February 10, 2011: The Slammers sign their first player: outfielder Josh Flores.
  • February 16, 2011: Former Cub Carmen Pignatiello is named the Slammers’ first pitching coach.
  • February 21, 2011: The Slammers announce they will unveil their logo at “The Grand Slammer: Identity Released” on March 10 at the Rialto Square Theatre. As the days go on, the Slammers reveal a plethora of special guests who will be on hand at the event.
  • February 28, 2011: Former professional baseball player and Northwestern alum. Dan Grunhard is named the Slammers’ first hitting coach.
  • March 2, 2011: The Slammers announce that “The Grand Slammer” is sold out.
  • March 4, 2011: Chicago radio personality Chet Coppock is selected as the emcee for the Grand Slammer.
  • March 8, 2011: It’s a big day for “The Grand Slammer” as the team announces that both Jim Cornelison and American Idol’s Chris Medina will perform.
  • March 10, 2011: The Grand Slammer is a big hit as a sold out Rialto Square Theatre witnesses the team team’s logo and uniform unveiling as part of a show for the ages. Many baseball legends including Maury Wills, “Sudden” Sam McDowell, Bill Madlock and others are on hand and sign autographs for fans at the red carpet event.
  • March 17, 2011: Slammers sign former major leaguer Billy Petrick to the squad.
  • March 26, 2011: A jobs fair is held at Silver Cross Field to find day of game staff for the Slammers’ inaugural season.
  • April 4, 2011: Mark Vasko named the first “voice of the Slammers” as the organization announces they will be airing every game on 1340 WJOL. Slammers’ President Bill Waliewski announced as Vasko’s number two man in the booth. Media Relations Coordinator Aaron Morse will serve as pre and post-game host and fill-in play-by-play announcer.
  • April 9, 2011: Open tryouts are held at Silver Cross Field for aspiring PA announcers, national anthem singers, and mascots.
  • April 14, 2011: Slammers announce that Maury Wills will serve as a special instructor in training camp.
  • April 17, 2011: An egg-citing day is highlighted by the Slammers’ Easter egg hunt at Silver Cross Field and participation in the city’s Easter parade.
  • April 26, 2011: Slammers release their Exhibition Schedule, which features five games before Opening Night.
  • April 27, 2011: The team’s first TV commercial is unveiled. The commercial begins with a black and white shot of a prison. As the image shakes, it cuts to a shadowy figure walking through the prison. Atmospheric music plays underneath as the stick he’s holding clangs against the prison bars. At the end the music gets louder as the camera tilts up to reveal the “prison guard” is actually a Slammers baseball player in full uniform pounding a bat into his hand as he stares at the camera. It ends with a full screen telling fans about Opening Weekend, which runs May 19-21.
  • April 29, 2011: Zach Rodeghero, one of the first players signed by the Slammers, announces his retirement to take an IT job in the “real world.”
  • April 30, 2011: Slammers hold open tryouts at Silver Cross Field. Joliet native Trevor Vermillion earns an invite to Spring Training.
  • May 2, 2011: ATI is announced as the Slammers’ presenting sponsor.
  • May 3, 2011: Slammers release their promotional schedule on the eve of individual tickets going on sale.
  • May 4, 2011: At 12:01 a.m., individual tickets go on sale at www.jolietslammers.com. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m.
  • May 5, 2011: The Slammers open their Spring Training at Silver Cross Field.
  • May 10, 2011:  The Slammers announce the hiring of Mike Slodki as their PA announcer for the 2011 season.
  • May 10, 2011: Team plays their first spring training game, losing 14-3 to the Windy City ThunderBolts in Crestwood. Matt Fields hits a homer.
  • May 11, 2011: Slammers hold Media Day at Silver Cross Field. The press gets the chance to chat with the players and coaches for the first time.
  • May 12. 2011: Slammers drop their second Spring Training game, losing 7-4 at Normal despite holding a late lead.
  • May 12, 2011: The Slammers unveil their opening weekend plans, which includes the introduction of the mascot, magnetic schedule giveaways, a tee shirt giveaway, Jim Cornelison performing the National Anthem, fireworks, Maury Wills signing autographs, and much more.
  • May 13, 2011: In a rain shortened affair, the Slammers fall to Normal 5-3.
  • May 13. 2011: The Slammers announce Levy Restaurants as their official restaurant partner and unveil their menu.
  • May 14, 2011: Season ticket holders get their chance to chat with the Slammers at “Meet the Team Night” at Silver Cross Field.
  • May 15, 2011: The team’s Spring Training game against Normal is rained out despite relocating the game to Normal to try and avoid the weather.
  • May 17. 2011: Slammers tie their final Spring Training game by a score of 5-5 with the ThunderBolts.
  • May 19, 2011: OPENING NIGHT! Slammers win 7-0 as Billy Petrick goes eight strong innings, retiring the last 19 batters he faces. Devin Shepherd records the first hit in Slammers’ history and scores the first run as well.
  • June 13, 2011: Closer Ryan Quigley’s contract is purchased by the Washington Nationals.
  • June 17, 2011: Quigley returns to the Slammers after failing his physical with the Nationals due to an old injury that does not impact his current ability to pitch.
  • June 21, 2011: Reliever Aaron Dott’s contract is purchased by the New York Yankees.
  • July 4, 2011: Four Slammers get named to the 2011 Frontier League All-Star Game. Erik Lis and Josh Flores are named starters while Ryan Quigley and Bobby Leeper make the team as well.
  • July 13, 2011: Erik Lis earns Frontier League All-Star Game MVP honors as he went 2-3 with a run scored, a triple, and two RBI in the East’s 4-2 victory over the West.
  • July 27, 2011: Andrew Moss throws the first no-hitter in team history as the Slammers defeat the Lake Erie Crushers by a final score of 10-1 in Avon, Ohio. It was the second no-hitter thrown in Ohio that day as Ervin Santana tossed one for the Angels against the Indians.
  • August 19, 2011: Ballpark Digest names the Slammers’ logo the 2011 Logo of the Year in professional baseball.
  • August 31, 2011: The Slammers clinch the Frontier League East Division title.
  • September 7, 2011: Joliet wins their first playoff game in franchise history by a  final score of 5-2 over the Lake Erie Crushers.
  • September 10, 2011: The Slammers finish their three-game sweep of the Crushers to advance to the Frontier League Championship series.
  • September 18, 2011: Joliet wins game four by a final score of 6-5 to clinch the Frontier League title over the River City Rascals. Brad Netzel is named Championship Series MVP.
  • September 27, 2011: Slammers announce that the Frontier Cup will go on a tour of Joliet.
  • October 14, 2011: Slammers release their 2012 schedule.
  • October 19, 2011: Slammers trade Opening Night starter Billy Petrick to the San Angelo Colts for a Player To Be Named Later.
  • October 27, 2011: Joliet native Ryan Quigley becomes the second Slammers player to sign with an affiliated team when his contract is purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • January 18, 2012: Slammers President Bill Waliewski named the Minor League Executive of the Year by the Pitch & Hit Club of Chicago.
  • February 15, 2012: Aaron Morse is named the new “voice” of the Joliet Slammers. All games will once again air on AM 1340 WJOL and online at www.wjol.com.
  • February 27, 2012: Slammers honor the first baby born at the new Silver Cross Hospital.
  • March 1, 2012: Darien native Chris Pack becomes the third Slammer to join affiliated baseball as his contract is purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • March 6, 2012: Slammers announce that manager Bart Zeller, VP of Baseball Operations Ron Biga and pitching coach Carmen Pignatiello will return for the 2012 season.
  • March 25, 2012: Slammers hold their second annual Easter Candy Run at Silver Cross Field.
  • March 29, 2012: Ryan Quigley signs with the San Diego Padres and will start the season in high single-A with the Lake Elsinore Storm.
  • March 31, 2012: Single game tickets for the 2012 baseball season go on sale.
  • April 26, 2012: The Slammers install new infield grass thanks to “The Sodfather” Roger Bossard.
  • May 17, 2012: The Slammers open their 2012 regular season in Crestwood against the Windy City ThunderBolts. The ThunderBolts prevail 4-2.
  • May 22, 2012: RHP Gaby Hernandez becomes the fourth Slammers player signed to affiliated ball when his contract is purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • May 22, 2012: The Slammers drop their 2012 home opener by a score of 7-3 to the Traverse City Beach Bums.
  • June 10, 2012: Slammers defeat the London Rippers by a score of 13-12 in the longest game (13 innings, 5 hours and 34 minutes) in franchise history.
  • June 30, 2012: A severe storm blows the tarp off the infield of Silver Cross Field and swallows up the grounds crew. Luckily no one is hurt and video of the “Tarpocalypse” goes viral. Slammers are featured on Deadspin, ESPN, MLB Network, and many other national and local news outlets.
  • July 30, 2012: Hector Pellot, who hit .500 in the playoffs in 2011, announces that he will be returning to Puerto Rico to get his college education in hopes of becoming a doctor. “Captain” Jake Renshaw, who led the Frontier League in wins in 2011, announces that he is retiring to spend more time with his family in California.
  • August 19, 2012: Closer Amalio Diaz and reliever Daniel Carela become the fifth and sixth Slammers to get picked up by affiliated baseball as their contracts are purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • August 27, 2012: LHP Geoff Brown becomes the seven Slammer to get picked up buy affiliated baseball as his contract is purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • August 30, 2012: The Slammers’ Guy Massaro is named the 2012 Frontier League Groundskeeper of the Year.
  • September  2, 2012: The Slammers finish their second season on a high note with a sweep of the Normal CornBelters in a double header at the Corn Crib.
  • September 29, 2012: The Slammers hold the first annual “Hopstring Fest” at Silver Cross Field, a celebration of craft beer and roots rock music.
  • October 15, 2012: Joliet Community Baseball & Entertainment, LLC purchases the Slammers from Steel City Baseball, LLC.
  • October 18, 2012: The Slammers release their 2013 schedule.
  • December 4, 2012: The Slammers announce a Media Day to formally introduce the new ownership group, led by CEO Josh Schaub, and the team’s new General Manager: Joliet native Chris Franklin.
  • January 2, 2013: The Slammers hire Mike Breyman as their second field manager in franchise history.
  • January 8, 2013: The Slammers hold a press conference at the corporate headquarters of their presenting sponsor ATI Physical Therapy to introduce new field manager Mike Breyman. Hitting Coach Dave Garcia and Pitching Coach Eric Coleman join the new coaching staff as well.

 

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