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Portland's 20th Anniversary All-Stars

April 10, 2013
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A look at some of the most successful Sea Dogs

The Portland Sea Dogs are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season. The team's first season was 1994; they began life as the AA affiliate for the expansion Florida Marlins. They remained part of the Marlins system through 2002, when the team switched affiliation and joined the Red Sox farm system, where they remain to this day.

A lot of future big leaguers have worn the Sea Dogs uniform. In honor of this auspicious anniversary, it seemed fitting to assemble an all-time lineup. Here's a look at some of the best players ever to grace the grass at Hadlock Field.

(Note: This list is intended to include only those players whose stint in Portland preceded their big league successes. Players whose Sea Dogs tenure consisted solely of injury rehab will not be included.)

charles johnson studio portrait photofileCatcher Charles Johnson

Johnson caught 132 games for the Sea Dogs during their inaugural season in 1994. Over the course of a 12-year big league career, Johnson batted .245 with 167 home runs and 570 RBI and made one All-Star team. He was also considered one of the best defensive catchers in the league, winning four consecutive Gold Gloves at one point. His last big league season was 2005.

AdrianGonzalezFirst Base Adrian Gonzalez

In 2002, 20-year-old Adrian Gonzalez played 138 games for Portland. He would be in the big leagues two years later; he's currently in his tenth season. Gonzalez has over 200 home runs, 750 RBI and a batting average just shy of .300. He is a four-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove recipient. Last season, Gonzalez was traded from the Red Sox to Los Angeles, where he is currently playing.

DustsinPedroiaSecond Base Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia played for Portland in 2005, appearing in 66 games during his meteoric rise to the bigs. Since his 2006 arrival in Boston, all Pedroia has done is win Rookie of the Year and an MVP award while being named to three All-Star teams and winning two Gold Gloves. He is also one of the most beloved players in recent Boston history. He sports a batting average over .300 in his seven-plus seasons.

EdgarRenteriaShortstop Edgar Renteria

Renteria was just 18 in 1995, when he started 135 games for the Sea Dogs. He made the Marlins the next year and went on to a stellar 16-year career with seven different teams. The five-time All-Star won two Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers. He won the 2010 World Series MVP while with San Francisco. For his career, Renteria stole nearly 300 bases and scored 1,200 runs while batting .286.

KevinYoukilisThird Base Kevin Youkilis

For 94 games in 2003, Youkilis was a hitting machine for Portland. He moved up from there, bouncing between Pawtucket and Boston until he stuck in 2006. Youk then proceeded to become a cult figure in Boston, making three All-Star teams, winning a Gold Glove and sweating more than any human should. For his ten-year career, he has hit .283 to go with 148 homers, 643 runs scored and 610 RBI.

RandyWinnLeft Field Randy Winn

Winn spent part of the 1997 season at Portland before making his big league debut the next year. He proceeded to put together a 13-year big league career with five different teams. While never a star, Winn put up decent numbers for over a decade, finishing with nearly 1,800 hits and over 200 steals.

JacobyEllsburyCenter Field Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury spent time in Portland in both 2006 and 2007. His time in the bigs has been injury-riddled, but when he has been healthy, he's been one of the game's most dynamic performers. His 2011 season in particular was one for the ages he finished second in the MVP voting. For his career, he has batted .297; despite playing only three full seasons, he has nearly 200 career stolen bases.

Mark-KotsayRight Field Mark Kotsay

Kotsay played 114 games for Portland in 1997 before getting called up to the Marlins. He is currently playing his 17th season in the majors for his seventh team. While he is no longer a regular starter, he is one of the most feared pinch-hitters in the game. He has appeared in over 1,800 games in the majors. He currently plays in San Diego.

Josh-BeckettStarting Pitcher Josh Beckett

Beckett went 8-1 in 13 starts for the 2001 Sea Dogs team. He is now in his 13th season in the majors, pitching for his third team. He won the 2003 World Series MVP with Florida and the 2007 ALCS MVP with Boston; in addition, he made three All-Star teams. Over the course of his career, he has 132 wins and 1,757 strikeouts to go along with an ERA of 3.91. Beckett currently pitches for the Dodgers.

Jonathan-PapelbonCloser Jonathan Papelbon

Papelbon made 14 starts for Portland in 2005. However, it is as a reliever that he has made his name in the big leagues. Over the course of his nine years, he has become one of the most feared closers in the game. He is a five-time All-Star who has saved at least 30 games in each of the past seven years. For his career, Papelbon has 258 saves and over 600 strikeouts in just 500 innings pitched.


There are plenty of other Sea Dogs who have gone on to MLB success. Kevin Millar, Livan Hernandez, Hanley Ramirez, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, A.J. Burnett, Ryan Dempster, Alex Gonzalez the list goes on and on. So why not take a trip to Hadlock Field sometime this summer - maybe you'll catch a glimpse of the next future star.

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