|Southern Maryland Blue Crabs|
|League||Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (Freedom Division)|
|Ballpark||Regency Furniture Stadium|
|Colors||Columbia blue, navy, red, tan, white|
|Mascot||Pinch the Crab|
|Ownership||Crabs on Deck, LLC|
|General Manager||Courtney Knichel|
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs are an American professional baseball team based in Waldorf, Maryland. They are members of the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent baseball league which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Since 2008, the Blue Crabs have played their home games at Regency Furniture Stadium. They represent the counties of Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's, which are located on the Southern Maryland peninsula between Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River.
In 2006, Southern Maryland residents chose the name "Blue Crabs" in a team-sponsored fan ballot. The name refers to the indigenous blue crab, the official state crustacean of Maryland. The Blue Crabs' fanbase has been nicknamed the "Crustacean Nation", an allusion to the Cardinal Nation and the Red Sox Nation fan clubs of the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox.
Charles County initiated efforts to bring affiliated professional baseball, in the form of a relocated Class A Kinston Indians team, to the Southern Maryland region in 1985, but those plans fell through. The progress made on the ballpark was reversed after Charles County commissioners voted against its financial support, instead deciding to funnel money to infrastructure projects. There were also concerns about marketability of the baseball team in a then-largely rural area. However, Southern Maryland's population boomed soon after as the suburban expansion of Washington, D.C., encompassed the region.
In 2004, the town of Hughesville was targeted by Opening Day Partners to be the home of its Southern Maryland franchise, but the town's residents voted against the measure to retain the area's rural nature. After Hughesville residents denied the ballpark, all focus was shifted to Waldorf, a bedroom community of Washington, D.C. The Atlantic League formally announced an expansion team for Southern Maryland on February 15, 2006. The Blue Crabs were originally supposed to be an expansion team for the 2007 season, but the construction bids for Regency Furniture Stadium came in over budget. Instead, the Blue Crabs' inaugural season was pushed back to 2008. The team name was chosen in a name-the-team contest in Southern Maryland with six finalists to choose from: Blue Crabs, Blue Herons, Aviators, Rock Fish, Ospreys, and Eagles. Fans were able to vote online, through the mail, or at participating Southern Maryland-area Arby's Restaurants.
Initially, there was some concern about how the Blue Crabs would impact the attendance of the nearby Double-A Bowie Baysox, a Baltimore Orioles affiliate that plays approximately 32 miles (51 km) away. The Baysox anticipated a small attendance drop initially, but did not worry about the issue in the long term.
The Blue Crabs were owned by Opening Day Partners and Brooks Robinson, a former third baseman with the Baltimore Orioles from 1955 to 1977. Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. In November 2016, the team was sold to a new ownership group, Crabs On Deck, LLC, headed by Frank Boulton, the founder and CEO of the Atlantic League and owner of the Long Island Ducks and Bridgeport Bluefish.
The Blue Crabs were the runner-up in the 2009 Atlantic League Championship Series versus the Somerset Patriots. They again finished runner-up in the 2015 Atlantic League Championship Series versus Somerset.
On July 13, 2019, Blue Crabs outfielder Tony Thomas became the first player in professional baseball history to steal first base. Atlantic League/MLB rule changes introduced in 2019 allow batters to steal first base on any pitch not caught in flight.
Logos and uniforms
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs official colors are Columbia blue, navy blue, and red. The primary logo depicts a navy blue crab outlined and detailed in khaki. The crab possesses red pincers and red eyes, with a scowl of determination. Centered above the crab is the "Blue Crabs" wordmark in white with the words "Southern Maryland" centered above in red. Columbia blue and red ribbon-like lines underline the wordmark. The entire logo is outlined in khaki.
The Blue Crabs wear caps produced by OC Sports and uniforms by Alleson Athletic. The home caps for are Columbia blue with a navy brim and buttons, charged with the cap logo featuring a "B" interlocking with a C-shaped crab pincer. The away caps are navy blue throughout, also charged with the interlocking "BC" cap logo. The home jerseys are white with the "Crabs" wordmark centered across the chest in navy blue with Columbia blue outline. The away jersey is gray with the "Southern Maryland" wordmark in Columbia blue and navy blue outline. The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs wear navy blue alternate jerseys with the "Blue Crabs" wordmark centered across the chest in white. The Blue Crabs' batting practice cap is navy blue with the crab cap logo.
|Southern Maryland Blue Crabs - 2008–2016|
|Season||W - L Record||Winning Percentage||Finish||Playoffs|
|2008||74–66||.529||2nd in Liberty Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2009||79–61||.564||1st in Liberty Division||3–2 (won first round), 2–6 (lost championship)|
|2010||82–57||.590||2nd in Liberty Division||1–3|
|2011||65–57||.492||3rd in Liberty Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2012||69–71||.557||1st in Liberty Division||2–3|
|2013||65–74||.468||1st in Liberty Division||0–3|
|2014||57–66||.463||4th in Liberty Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2015||69–71||.493||2nd in Freedom Division||1–3 (lost championship)|
|2016||57–83||.407||4th in Freedom Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2017||67–73||.479||3rd in Freedom Division||1–3 (Lost division series)|
|2018||50–76||.397||4th in Freedom Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
|2019||59–81||.421||3rd in Freedom Division||Did not qualify for playoffs|
The Blue Crabs tied for first place in the Liberty Division for the second half of 2009, and won a first round playoff series against the Long Island Ducks, 3–2, on September 29, 2009. However, they lost the championship to the Somerset Patriots.
The Blue Crabs hold a series of charity events that benefit such organizations as the Southern Maryland Food Bank, The Salvation Army, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, Soldier's Angels, Orioles Advocates, and the American Red Cross. Other events such as the Red Cross blood drive and Prostate Cancer Awareness Night are held at Regency Furniture Stadium to promote health and wellness. On the team's final game of the 2008 season, the Blue Crabs raised $8,139 for the College of Southern Maryland as part of the institution's 50th anniversary. Prior to the 2009 season, the team partnered with the Charles County Hospice House to allow the non-profit charity to take advantage of theme nights for fundraising opportunities.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs' official mascot is an anthropomorphic, blue creature named Pinch. He wears a Blue Crabs home jersey with red and white sneakers. The mascot debuted on April 19, 2008, at the Charles County Youth League's opening day parade held at Laurel Springs Park in La Plata. Pinch's name alludes to the pincer of a crab. He resides at Crabby Cove, an artificial pond designed for recreational use at Regency Furniture Stadium.
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs roster
|Active (25-man) roster||Coaches/Other|
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- "Official Name for Southern Maryland's New Minor League Baseball Team Chosen". Southern Maryland Online. May 8, 2006. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
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That's a moniker founded by the St. Louis Cardinals and adopted by the Boston Red Sox — franchises with wide-ranging geographical support.
- Partlow, Joshua (September 9, 2004). "Ballpark Opponents Speak Out At Meeting". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
- Goldenbach, Alan (February 17, 2006). "Minor League Team Is Coming to Charles County". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
- "Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Approves Minor League Team for Southern Maryland". Southern Maryland Baseball (Press release). February 15, 2006. Archived from the original on May 5, 2006. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
- Seip, Jim (July 14, 2006). "Next up: Construction bids". York Daily Record. Archived from the original on July 20, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2006.
- Sohr, Nicholas (April 21, 2006). "On Deck in Waldorf: Minor League Baseball". Capital News Service. University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Archived from the original on June 13, 2006. Retrieved June 5, 2006.
- Mearns, Andrew (July 14, 2019). "Bask in the glory of the first ever "steal of first" in organized baseball". Cut 4. Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- "Crazy 8's Night jerseys benefit relief organizations". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. August 14, 2008. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2008.
- "Crabs raise money for the College of Southern Maryland". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. December 11, 2008. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- "Crabs partner with the Charles County Hospice House". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. December 4, 2008. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- "Pinch". Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Archived from the original on October 5, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
| Liberty Division Champions
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs