FARGO-MOORHEAD REDHAWKS HISTORY
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks joined the Northern League in 1996 as an expansion team and quickly established the franchise as a league powerhouse. That first season, Fargo-Moorhead finished a league-best 53-31 and advanced to the Northern League Championship Series before falling to the St. Paul Saints. The 53 wins tied the league record at the time.
After losing in the first round of the playoffs to Winnipeg in 1997, the RedHawks returned in 1998 and put together one of the greatest teams in independent baseball history. Leading almost wire-to-wire, the RedHawks posted a 64-21 record and set a mark for highest winning percentage in league history, a mark which still stands. Fargo-Moorhead cruised through the playoffs, beating Winnipeg (3 games to 1) and St. Paul (3 games to 0). Baseball America would later name the 1998 RedHawks the Independent Team of the Decade for the 1990s.
The RedHawks ran their streak of post-season appearances to six with playoff berths from 1999-2001, but were shut out of the post-season for the only time in their history in 2002 despite a 52-37 record.
Fargo-Moorhead regrouped in the off-season and returned to the top of the Northern League in 2003. After a 62-28 regular season, the RedHawks edged the Schaumburg Flyers in the first round of the playoffs (3 games to 2) before winning their second league title in Winnipeg with a 3 games to 1 victory in the Northern League Finals. The 2004 RedHawks again advanced to the post-season before falling to St. Paul in the Division Finals (3 games to 1).
In 2005, the RedHawks dominated the regular season, winning a league record 68 games and posting an incredible 40-7 mark in the second half. The ‘Hawks rattled off a league-record 14-game winning streak from Aug. 17-Sept. 1. Despite the gaudy numbers, the RedHawks fell in the finals to Gary 3 games to 2.
The 2006 RedHawks extracted revenge for the 2005 season, defeating Gary in the Northern League Finals (3 games to 1). The 2006 ‘Hawks posted a 63-33 record and landed three players on the Northern League All-Star Team, including league MVP Joe Mathis.
The 2007 saw Fargo-Moorhead win the second half of the Northern League North Division and finish with the second-best overall record in the league (57-38). The RedHawks were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Calgary Vipers. Joe Mathis was selected to the Northern League All-Star Team, and Mike Just was named Rookie of the Year. In addition, Mathis was named the league's top defensive player, while closer Nate Cotton earned Relief Pitcher of the Year honors.
In 2008, the RedHawks posted the top record in the regular season, going 62-34. Despite the club's regular season success, Fargo-Moorhead was swept out of the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season, this time by the Kansas City T-Bones. Three members of the RedHawks were named to the Northern League All-Star Team: catcher Alan Rick, second baseman Carlo Cota and outfielder Steve Mortimer. Joe Mathis earned his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year Award and Billy Weitzman was named the Rookie Pitcher of the Year. Manager Doug Simunic was selected Manager of the Year for the sixth time, while GM Josh Buchholz was named Executive of the Year.
2009 brought a 4th Northern League Championship season to the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks organization. Behind N.L. Most Valuable Player Nic Jackson, RedHawks went 53-42 finishing 3rd in the regular season. The RedHawks advanced to the Championship round by taking Game 5 of a Best-of-Five series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. After losing Game 1 of the NL Finals to the Gary SouthShore RailCats, the RedHawks won three straight to take the series three games to one. LHP Jeremy Hauer was named the Championship Series MVP. Catcher Alan Rick and Outfielder Nic Jackson were named to the 2009 All-Independent League Teams.
The 2010 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks were able to put their stamp on the Northern League with their NL record 5th (and second consecutive) Championship season. A 61-39 record was tops in the Northern League. The RedHawks swept through the playoffs, with T.J. Stanton finishing off the Kansas City T-Bones with a 14-strikeout complete game shutout to win the title for the hometown fans. RHP Casey Hoorelbeke was named the NL Relief Pitcher of the Year, Doug Simunic won NL Manager of the Year, and GM Josh Buchholz took home his second Executive of the Year award.
In 2011 the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks began play in the American Association of Independent Baseball. The RedHawks posted their first losing record in team history (44-56) and missed the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.