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New Britain Rock Cats Fans Bid Farewell

The New Britain Rock Cats played their last home game on Sunday. The Double A minor league baseball team will be moving to Hartford next season, where they’ll be known as the Yard Goats.

For the past 20 years, New Britain Natives Kevin Johnson and his dad, Keith, have rooted for the Rock Cats. Today, Kevin said they’re saying goodbye from some of the nicest seats they’ve ever bought at New Britain Stadium.

“I’ve never sat right in the reserve seating area," he said.

Keith Johnson said it’s the fullest he’s seen the stands since the Rock Cats made the minor league playoffs in 2009. He says he kept coming to see players develop into major league stars.

“I saw David Ortiz play here, I saw, oh, Torii Hunter...I saw, oh, there's so many,” he said.

One of them is Former American League MVP Justin Morneau from the Colorado Rockies. He played for the Rock Cats in the final game on Sunday. The Rock Cats are a minor league affiliate of the major league team. Morneau joined the team while he made his way back to the majors after an injury. He was able to help bring in a few runs for the Rock Cats.

The Johnsons got their money’s worth with those seats. The Rock Cats won their last ever home game against the Portland Sea Dogs with a walk-off home run in the 15th inning.

Next spring, the team starts as the Hartford Yard Goats. New Britain Stadium has plans to attract an independent minor league baseball team.

The New Britain Rock Cats play their last game under that name in Portland, Maine on Sept. 7.

Updated 9/2 1:00 p.m

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced that an Atlantic League baseball team may soon move to the city. The Atlantic League, which includes the Bridgeport Bluefish and the Long Island Ducks, said in a statement that one of its 8 teams will relocate to New Britain stadium. The mayor, city, and Atlantic League Board will have to finalize the deal. 


Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.
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