Gastonia Grizzlies

The Gastonia Grizzlies were a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Coastal Plain League. The team played its home games at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia, North Carolina, where they were known for their unique promotional events and fireworks shows. It was reported in October 2020 that the team was moving to Spartanburg, South Carolina starting with the 2021 season.[1] The team's new name was announced as the Spartanburgers.[2]

Gastonia Grizzlies
Grizzlies Logo FULLsmaller.jpg
Minor league affiliations
LeagueCoastal Plain League
Minor league titles
League titles
  • 2011
  • 2017
Team data
ColorsBlack, Gold, White, Purple
BallparkSims Legion Park
Jesse Cole
ManagerCharles Bradley

Home fieldEdit

The Grizzlies have played at Sims Legion Park since their founding in 2002. There is an ongoing effort to build a new ballpark in Gastonia, but it is not guaranteed to be a new home for this team.[3][4] City officials are favoring a potential partnership which would put an Atlantic League expansion team in the new ballpark.[5] Grizzlies ownership have said they would not share the stadium.[5]

Midnight MadnessEdit

The inaugural Midnight Madness game took place on July 9, 2010 against the Forest City Owls. The first pitch was at midnight with festivities before the game including bed races, eating contests, players in the dunk tank, home run derby and a live band in the Beer Garden. The game drew 3,150 fans with the last fan entering the ballpark at 1:39 am. The game won best promotion at 2010 Summer Ball Conference. The 2011 Midnight Madness was even a bigger success drawing more fans than the previous year.

2014 seasonEdit

2014 was the most successful season in the Grizzlies thirteen-year history, both on the field and off the field. The Grizzlies drew just under 60,000 fans, breaking the previous attendance record that has been set for four straight years The Grizzlies also set the single game attendance record with 4,381 fans; along with two other games over 4,000 fans.


Prior to the 2014 season, the Gastonia Grizzlies were named the Gaston Gazette "Person of the Year". Normally the award goes to an individual but the Grizzlies continued community impact helped earn them the honor.

The Coastal Plain League congratulated the Grizzlies with the title of Organization of the Year in 2012.

The Grizzlies have also received multiple Promotion of the Year awards at the National Summer League Conference.

CPL ChampionsEdit

The 2011 Grizzlies entered the CPL playoffs as the 6 seed and went on to upset the #3 seed Thomasville Hitoms, the #4 seed Forest City Owls in the Semifinals and the #1 seed in the nation the Edenton Steamers to win the Pettit Cup Championship. Michael Heesch was named Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year by finishing the season at 9-0 including three shutouts in the CPL playoffs. Heesch in addition to RHP Derek Epps were named to the Perfect Game Summer Ball All American Team. The Grizzlies finished the year as the #30 ranked team in the country by Perfect Game.


The Grizzlies have broken their own attendance record for 10 straight seasons. The team averages 2,053 fans per game for the season. The team's single game attendance record was set on May 31, 2014, with 4,381 fans. The Grizzlies would go on to sell out two other games in 2014.

Highest single-season attendance figuresEdit

Season Total Att. Openings Game Average
2014 59,543 29 2,053
2013 57,023 26 2,193
2012 59,399 29 2,048
2011 51,910 27 1,848
2010 42,758 27 1,574


  1. ^ Hughes, Joe (October 22, 2020). "'The roar is gone': Grizzlies bolt south for new name, fresh start". The Gaston Gazette. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  2. ^ "Spartanburg Team Name Revealed: It's the "SPARTANBURGERS"". Coastal Plain League (Press release). February 18, 2021.
  3. ^ Barrett, Michael (January 20, 2019). "Many questions remain about what teams will play in FUSE stadium". The Gaston Gazette. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  4. ^ Spedden, Zach (January 23, 2019). "Grizzlies Not Guaranteed Use of Proposed Gastonia Ballpark". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Spedden, Zach (August 5, 2019). "Atlantic League Could Land in New Gastonia Ballpark". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved August 5, 2019.

External linksEdit