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Greensboro Grasshoppers
Founded in 1980
Greensboro, North Carolina
GBOgrasshoppers.PNG
Team Logo
Grasshoppers cap.PNG
Cap Insignia
Class-level
  • Single-A
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
Name
  • Greensboro Grasshoppers (2005-present)
  • Greensboro Bats (1994-2004)
  • Greensboro Hornets (1980-1993)
Ballpark
Minor league titles
League titles None
Division titles None
Owner(s)/Operated by:
Manager: Edwin Rodriguez
General Manager: Donald Moore

The Greensboro Grasshoppers (formerly the Greensboro Bats and the Greensboro Hornets) are a minor league baseball team in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. They are a Class A team in the South Atlantic League, and have been a farm team of the Florida Marlins since 2003.

The Grasshoppers play home games at NewBridge Bank Park (formerly First Horizon Park), which opened in 2005 and seats 7,499 fans. The team's logo was changed to a cartoon Grasshopper prior to the inaugural season at the new ballpark. Prior to that, all home games for the Hornets and Bats were held at World War Memorial Stadium, just northeast of downtown Greensboro.

Contents

History

Greensboro has fielded professional teams since the early 1900s, in several different leagues. Early on, the nickname Greensboro Patriots was applied to those teams, in reference to the Battle of Guilford Court House.

There were a few false starts. The North Carolina League of 1902 fielded a Greensboro team, but the league failed in mid-season. The Virginia-North Carolina League of 1905 also included a Greensboro franchise. The league completed its season but disbanded thereafter.

The Patriots joined the Carolina Association in 1908 and began a run of 10 straight seasons in pro ball. The league was reorganized as the North Carolina Association for 1913 and renamed itself the North Carolina State League in 1916. The league played one more season and then disbanded after 1917. By then, America's involvement in World War I was well under way, and many minor leagues folded after 1917.

With peacetime, interest in professional baseball and the minor leagues revived. The Greensboro Patriots were revived as well, joining the newly-formed Piedmont League in 1920, winning its inaugural championship. The Patriots also won the league title in 1926. In 1930, the club began a five-year affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Greensboro clubs initially played their home games at Cone Athletic Park, better known as simply Cone Park, a small facility on the grounds of the Cone Mills textile plant. World War Memorial Stadium opened in 1926 (on Armistice Day), but the Patriots continued to play at Cone Park until 1930, when the addition of lights and other improvements to the Stadium, spurred by the affiliation with the Cardinals, resulted in the team moving to the Stadium. The various Greensboro clubs would call the Stadium "home" for the next 75 years.

After the Cardinals contract expired, the franchise transferred to Asheville Tourists in 1935. Five years later, minor league ball returned to Greensboro for a couple of years, with another Piedmont League entry called the Greensboro Red Sox, which played during 1941-1942.

After the Piedmont League years, another Greensboro team operated in the Carolina League during 1945-1968. The club was known variously as the Patriots (1945-1951), the Greensboro Pirates (1952-1954), the Patriots again (1955-1957), the Greensboro Yankees (1958-67), and the Patriots once again (1968). Following the 1968 season, Greensboro dropped out of professional ball for the next ten years, during a time when minor league baseball had lost popularity. That situation would start to change for the better in the late 1970s, and Greensboro would benefit from it.

The minors returned to Greensboro in 1979, with a new entry in the Western Carolinas League. The WCL renamed itself as the South Atlantic League the next year, reviving the name once used by the Southern League. Abandoning the old nickname of "Patriots", which by then was best known for the New England Patriots of the NFL, the new club instead decided to adopt the nickname Greensboro Hornets. That nickname was better known for teams based in Charlotte, but the Charlotte Hornets baseball team had abandoned its nickname after the 1973 season, and the new Greensboro team adopted it. Some naming rights complications arose when the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA began play in 1988. The nicknames co-existed in the state until 1994, when the Hornets settled with the NBA and changed their name to the punning nickname Greensboro Bats. Consequently, the team mascot switched from a hornet to a flying bat wielding a baseball bat.

With the move from 80-year-old War Memorial Stadium to the new park in 2005, the club further expanded its corporate face-lift by changing nicknames again, to the alliterative Greensboro Grasshoppers.

In the 2008 season 18 year old rookie Michael Stanton, former second round pick by the Florida Marlins set the single season home run record for the Hoppers with 39 homers. [1]

Former Greensboro players

Greensboro alumni who had lengthy major league careers include:

Roster

Greensboro Grasshoppers roster
Players Coaches/Other
Pitchers
  • 40 Ramon Benjamin
  • -- Robert Bono
  • 54 Arquimedes Caminero
  • -- Luis Chirinos
  • -- Natividad Dilone
  • 32 Johnny Dorn
  • 43 Rodolfo Encarnacion
  • 22 Brad Hand
  • 53 Graham Johnson
  • 38 Kyle Kaminska
  • 46 Sandy Rosario
  • -- Sean Teague
  • 16 Brandon Todd
  • 34 Jared Yecker
Catchers
  • 14 Jose Ceballos
  •  2 Torre Langley
  •  8 Kyle Skipworth
  • 17 Robert Taylor

Infielders

  • 15 Paul Gran
  • 33 Ryan Keedy
  • 23 Ben Lasater
  • -- Michael Pasek
  • 12 Daniel Pertusati
  • 11 Jake Smolinski
  • 14 Brandon Turner

Outfielders

  •  1 Justin Bass
  • 27 Isaac Galloway
  • 41 Thomas Hickman
  • 21 Justin Jacobs
  • 28 Kevin Mattison
Manager
  • -- Darin Everson

Coaches

  • -- Robert Bell (hitting)
  • -- Charlie Corbell (pitching)

† Disabled list
* On Florida Marlins 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated 2009-12-17
Transactions

Sources

  • Professional Baseball Franchises, Peter Filichia, Facts on File Books, 1993.
  • Baseball in North Carolina's Piedmont, Chris Holaday, Arcadia, 2002.

References

  1. ^ http://www.news-record.com/content/2008/09/02/article/grasshoppers_end_season_with_walk_off_home_run

External links








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