Founded in 1998
Nashua, New Hampshire
|Owner(s)/Operated By: John Stabile II|
|General Manager: Chris Hall|
The Nashua Pride were a professional baseball team based in Nashua, New Hampshire, in the United States, not affiliated with Major League Baseball. They played home games at Holman Stadium from 1998 through 2008, when they were sold and renamed the American Defenders of New Hampshire.
The Nashua Pride was one of the founding members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in 1998. The team name was based on the fact that in 1997, Money Magazine named Nashua the "best place to live" in the America. The team's primary home uniform logo was the word "Pride" in script, and included the number "1" inside the capital "P."
In the 2000 season, the team swept the Somerset Patriots in three games to win the Atlantic League Championship Series. However, the Patriots answered that loss by defeating the Pride in the 2003 and 2005 championships. Despite their on-field success, the Pride suffered as a result of having one of the lowest average attendances and being the farthest team from the core of the league.
In 2006, the team moved to the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, (Can-Am League). As Nashua is closer in proximity to the teams of the Can-Am League than those of the Atlantic, the Pride was relieved of the expensive travel to away games.
In 2007, the Pride won the Can-Am League championship. After that season, long-time manager Butch Hobson left the Pride to take the managerial job with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League, while former Boston Red Sox outfielder Rick Miller was hired as manager in Nashua. Former Boston Red Sox firstbaseman/outfielder Brian Daubach was hired as the hitting coach midway through the 2008 season.
Following the 2008 season, when the Pride lost an estimated $500,000, former owner John Stabile sold the team to the American Defenders of New Hampshire, LLC. Stabile, a Nashua resident, had bought the team in January 2006 to prevent it from relocating, and got assurances from the new owners that they would keep the team in Nashua.
The new owners changed the club's name from the Nashua Pride to the American Defenders of New Hampshire, placing less of an emphasis on the Nashua market. They kept General Manager Chris Hall and promoted Brian Daubach from Hitting Coach to Manager.
The Pride was one of several professional teams to play in Nashua, and one of five to have played at Holman Stadium:
- 1895: Nashua Rainmakers, New England Association
- 1901-1905: Nashua, New England League - B
- 1926-1927: Nashua Millionaires, New England League - B
- 1929-1930: Nashua Millionaires, New England League - B
- 1933: Nashua, New England League - B
- 1946-1949: Nashua Dodgers, New England League - B
- 1983: Nashua Angels, Eastern League - AA
- 1984-1986: Nashua Pirates, Eastern League - AA
- 1995-1996: Nashua Hawks, North Atlantic League - independent
- 1998-2005: Nashua Pride, Atlantic League - independent
- 2006-2008: Nashua Pride, Can-Am League - independent
- 2009- : American Defenders of New Hampshire, Can-Am League - independent
- Mike Easler (Manager) - 1998
- Brendan Donnelly - 1999
- Curtis Pride - 1999, 2003, 2004
- Sam Horn - 2000, 2001
- Paxton Crawford - 2003
- Dante Bichette - 2004
- Jeff Juden - 2004
- Darren Bragg - 2005
- Orlando Miller - 2005
- Jeff Sparks - 2005
- Rich Garces - 2007, 2008
- Butch Hobson (Manager) - 2000-2007
- Brian Daubach (Hitting Coach) 2008