In the early 1980s, a minor league Red Sox team in Bristol, Conn., was looking to move. Bill Troubh tried to bring that team to Portland but couldn’t sway the majority of the city council he served on.
Troubh never stopped trying and in 1993, the Portland Sea Dogs debuted at Hadlock Field.
“Without him there would be no Sea Dogs,” said the team president, Charlie Eshbach.
Troubh died last November at 78. His memory was honored Thursday before the Sea Dogs’ home-opening game against the New Britain Rock Cats. (New Britain, by the way, is where the Bristol team moved to, and eventually switched affiliates from the Red Sox to Twins).
In addition to his years of service as a city councilman and mayor, Troubh also served as president of the Eastern League for six years. In recent years he worked as legal counsel for the team. He was inducted into the Sea Dogs Hall of Fame in 2010.
The Sea Dogs said the skybox Troubh used will be named after him. The “Troubh Box” was previously named after former Red Sox player Rico Petrocelli. The box features a Sea Dogs jersey with Troubh’s name, as well as a plaque listing his contributions to the team.
The only other skybox not named after a former Red Sox player is the Ganley Box, named after the late Bob Ganley, the Portland city manager who also helped land the Sea Dogs in Portland.
The team also announced the creation of the William Troubh Community Service Award, which will be given annually to a citizen “making a positive impact within the city of Portland.” Starting in 2015, the award winner will be recognized at a Sea Dogs game.
Troubh’s grandchildren threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Thursday’s game.
PORTLAND’S LINEUP was missing some of its top prospects Thursday. Catcher Blake Swihart and shortstop Deven Marrero were getting scheduled days off, according to Manager Billy McMillon.
Swihart is batting .368 with a .926 OPS. Marrero has hit safely in the five games he’s played and has a .318 average. Marrero missed time in spring training with a sore hamstring muscle but said he feels fine now.
THE SEA DOGS made one roster switch before the game, sending outfielder Bo Greenwell to Class A Greenville and receiving outfielder Peter Hissey from Pawtucket.
Greenwell, son of former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell, was originally supposed to go to Greenville but was summoned to the Sea Dogs before the season to fill Hissey’s spot. Hissey, likewise had been sent to Pawtucket to fill a vacancy.
When the Red Sox needed room on the Pawtucket roster to send down pitcher Brandon Workman, Hissey packed his bags for Hadlock Field.
NEW BRITAIN’S ROSTER was expected to have outfielder Byron Buxton, the top-ranked prospect in baseball according to Baseball America (Xander Bogaerts was No. 2).
Buxton, 20, sprained his wrist in spring training and may not join the Rock Cats for another month.
THE NEXT PITCHER up for Portland is left-hander Miguel Pena, going Friday night against New Britain lefty Taylor Rogers.
The anticipated first home start by Sea Dogs left-hander Henry Owens is Monday at 6 p.m. against the Binghamton Mets.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: