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Portsmouth

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  Explorers

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Portsmouth Explorers

First season: 1993

Years in league: 1993-1995

Ballpark: Branch Rickey Stadium

Like so many of the cities that played in the early seasons of the Frontier League, Portsmouth had an older ballpark that had hosted Class-D baseball in the thirties and forties, and the Frontier League marked the return of professional baseball after decades.

A charter member of the Frontier League, the Explorers were always a mediocre team, although they had a couple of outstanding individual performances. Joe Miller in 1994 became the first Frontier League player to reach the .400 plateau when he won the batting crown with a .402 mark. Jeff Snyder became the second Explorer in a row to win a batting crown, posting a .398 mark in 1995. With one more hit he would also have become the second Explorer to reach the .400 mark.

The Explorers finished last in the league in attendance in 1995, drawing less than 12,000 fans for the season. With the league moving to better ballparks in bigger markets, it was only a matter of time before the Explorers left. When the Midwest League vacated Springfield, IL following the 1995 season, the opportunity was too good to pass up. The Explorers were sold and became the Springfield Capitals in 1996.

Branch Rickey Stadium in Portsmouth, OH, home of the Portsmouth Explorers, was built in 1935.

Year   Won   Lost   GB   Finish   Attendance   Manager   Playoffs First Round   Playoffs Second Round
1993   10   18   8   3E   10,479   Keith Throckmorton        
    10   13   4.5   2E                
1994   13   17   2.5   2S   10,717   Ralph Cole        
    11   21   4   4S                
1995   28   41   18   7   11,931   Wayne Albury        

Major Award Winners: none

Explorers Post-Season All-Stars:

1994 2B Dan Bartolomeo; OF Joe Miller

1995 SS Robert Camarillo; OF Jeff Snyder

Players on FL Tenth Anniversary All-Star Team: none

Franchise Player: OF Joe Miller (1994) only played one season in Portsmouth, but he made the best of it. He hit .402-10-45 to win the team's Triple Crown. His .402 mark led the league.

Explorers in the majors: none