Greenville Spinners

The Greenville Spinners were a minor league baseball team located in Greenville, South Carolina.

Greenville Spinners
(1907–1912, 1919–1931, 1938–1942, 1946–1952, 1954–1955, 1961–1972)
Greenville, South Carolina
  • Class A (1961–1972)
  • Class B (1951–1955)
  • Class A (1946–1950)
  • Class B (1938–1942)
  • Class D (1931)
  • Class B (1921–1930)
  • Class C (1919–1920)
  • Class D (1907–1912)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueWestern Carolinas League (1962–1972)
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Minor league titles
League titles 7 (1910, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1948, 1963, 1970)
Team data
Previous names
  • Greenville Rangers (1972)
  • Greenville Red Sox (1967–1971)
  • Greenville Mets (1965–1966)
  • Greenville Braves (1963–1954)
  • Greenville Spinners (1908–1912, 1919–1931, 1938–1942, 1946–1955, 1961–1962)
  • Greenville Mountaineers (1907)
Previous parks
Meadowbrook Park

They played in the Carolina Association from 1908–1912, the South Atlantic League from 1919–1930, 1946–1950 and 1961–1962, the Palmetto League in 1931 and the Tri-State League from 1954–1955.

The team had affiliation deals with the Washington Senators (1939–1941), Chicago White Sox (1946), Brooklyn Dodgers (1947–1950) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1961–1962).

Greenville BravesEdit

The team moved to the low Class A Western Carolinas League and became an affiliate of the Milwaukee Braves in 1963 and 1964 and changed their name to the Greenville Braves. This two-year affiliation was brief, but produced the 1963 playoff champions of the WCL. When the New York Mets replaced the Braves as the team's parent in 1965, the nickname was changed.

Greenville MetsEdit

As a New York Mets affiliate, they were called the Greenville Mets during the 1965 and 1966 seasons in the Class A Western Carolinas League. This team produced future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and strikeout king Nolan Ryan as well as another hurler, Jerry Koosman, who would go on to star on the New York Mets' 1969 "Miracle Mets" team.

Koosman played on the 1965 club, posting a lackluster 5-11 won/lost record and an earned run average of 4.71. But Ryan dominated the 1966 Western Carolinas League. He won 17 games, lost only two, and struck out 272 batters in 183 innings pitched. The Greenville Mets also produced future MLB players Duffy Dyer, Ed Figueroa and Dick Selma, among others.

The Mets moved to the Florida State League in 1967 and the Boston Red Sox became parents of the Greenville WCL club.

Year Record Finish Attendance Manager
1965 44-80 Eighth 30,250 Ken Deal
1966 86-40 Second 59,078 Pete Pavlick

Greenville Red SoxEdit

The Greenville Red Sox was the name of an American minor league baseball franchise representing Greenville, South Carolina, that played for five seasons, 1967–1971, in the Class A Western Carolinas League. It played its home games at Meadowbrook Park.

When the Mets vacated Greenville after the 1966 season, the Boston Red Sox, seeking to replace the Oneonta Red Sox as its third full-season Class A farm club, took the Mets' place. The Greenville Red Sox produced future Major League Baseball players such as Rick Burleson, Cecil Cooper, Billy Conigliaro, John Curtis, Bo Díaz, Dwight Evans, Mike Garman, Mike Nagy, Don Newhauser, Ben Oglivie and Dick Pole during their five years of existence. The team won one league championship, in 1970. Attendance ranged between 41,000 and 59,000 — in the middle to lower tier of WCL franchises of the time.

When Red Sox decided to trim their farm system for 1972 — they had two other full-season Class A affiliates, the Winston-Salem Red Sox and the Winter Haven Red Sox — the Texas Rangers replaced them in Greenville, and renamed the team.

Year Record Finish Attendance Manager
1967 59-61 Third 43,053 Matt Sczesny
1968 68-54 Third 59,368 Matt Sczesny
1969 56-68 Sixth 52,991 Bill Slack
1970 77-52 First 46,245 Rac Slider
1971 62-63 Third 41,402 Rac Slider

Later teamsEdit

The Greenville Rangers played in Greenville only for the 1972 season and no team called the city home until the new version of the Greenville Braves moved to town in 1984 as a member of the Southern League. That team left town after the 2004 season and became the Mississippi Braves. The Capital City Bombers then moved in for the 2005 season, first as the Greenville Bombers and then the Greenville Drive.

Notable Greenville alumniEdit

Baseball Hall of Fame alumniEdit

Notable alumniEdit

  • Cito Gaston (1964) MLB All-Star; Manager: 2 x World Series Champion -- Toronto Blue Jays (1992-1993)
  • Ben Oglivie (1969) 3 x MLB All-Star; 1980 AL Home Run Leader
  • Mickey Vernon (1938) 7 x MLB All Star; 2 x NL Batting Title (1946, 1953)

External linksEdit