7/26/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - One Year stints in North Carolina
Time Period - 1945 & 1955
Venues : see below
Cities : Greensboro & Reidsville, NC
Franchise Histories :
The Carolina League has existed since 1945. The league was officially announced on October 29, 1944 as a successor to the Bi-State League. The Phillies have had player development contracts with eight different cities in the Carolina League ( Greensboro, Reidsville, Wilson, High Point, Portsmouth, Raleigh-Durham, Newport News and Rocky Mount ). I’ve written about the others in separate posts ... this article covers Greensboro and Reidsville.
Greensboro Patriots :
Greensboro has fielded professional baseball teams since the early 1900s, in several different leagues. Early on, the nickname Patriots was applied to those teams, in reference to the Battle of Guilford Court House.
Greensboro teams operated in the Carolina League from 1945 to 1968. Following the 1968 season, Greensboro dropped out of professional ball for the next ten years. The minors returned to Greensboro in 1979 with a new entry in the Western Carolinas League (WCL ). The WCL renamed itself as the South Atlantic League ( SAL ) the next year, the franchise continues today in the SAL as the Greensboro Grasshoppers - an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over the years thirteen MLB organizations had player development contracts in Greensboro including the Phillies in 1945.
Reidsville Phillies :
The Reidsville Luckies played in the Bi-State League from 1935–1940 and returned in 1947 as part of the Tri-State League. They switched to the Carolina League in 1948 and remained there till the team was dissolved after the 1955 season.
The team took its name from Lucky Strike cigarettes which were produced by the American Tobacco Co. in Reidsville, NC. They played as the Phillies in 1955 when they affiliated with Philadelphia. The Brooklyn Dodgers were the only other MLB club to have an affiliation in Reidsville ( 1937 & 1939 )
All Team information taken from Wikipedia
The Stadiums the Phillies teams played in :
War Memorial Stadium - Greensboro, NC
Location: 510 Yanceyville Street.
Capacity: 7,500 (1941); 10,000 (1950); 8,000 (1983); 7,500 (1994)
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 327-401-327
War Memorial Stadium, is currently the home of the NC A&T collegiate baseball team.
It was the home of various minor league teams from 1930 through 2004.
One of the stadium's notable features is a triple-arched entrance which made a cameo appearance during the "road trip" segment of the 1988 movie Bull Durham.
Kiker Stadium - Reidsville, NC
Part of Old Reidsville High School grounds.
Capacity: 4,500 (1950)
The stadium hosted local high school football games and served as the venue for graduation ceremonies for Reidsville High School. It was also the home of minor league baseball for almost fifteen years.
It was torn down in 1984 and was replaced by condominiums. One of the concrete stanchions from Kiker Stadium was placed in the north end of the current High School Field ( Community Stadium ) with a small sign on it...the players rub it for luck before each home game.
The Seasons :
1945 - Greensboro :
Carolina League ( A ) ... Managers : Wes Ferrell, Charles Burgess, Charles Eastman & John Allen ... 53-83 , 8th place ... Attendance : 52,000. Lost in Playoffs to Durham Bulls 4 games to 2
16 year old RHP ... yes 16! 😳 ... Steve Ridzik made his pro debut by pitching in 7 games ( 36 IP ) ... he would make his big league debut in 1950 as a 21 year old with the Phillies and would pitch in 12 major league seasons from 1950 to 1966 with the Phillies, Reds, Giants , Indians and Senators ... he finished his career where he began it ... with the Phillies. Ridzik pitched in 314 major league games and tossed 782.2 innings
1955 - Reidsville :
Carolina League ( A ) ... Manager : Charlie Gassaway ... 68-70, 5th place ... Attendance : 38,181
20 year old RHP Dallas Green pitched in seven games ( 17 IP ) during his first pro season after being promoted from Mattoon ... Dallas went on to become a Phillies legend ... 8 major league seasons as a player, 8 as a manager as well as key front office roles in multiple organizations ... the skipper of the 1980 WS Champion Phillies 👍
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️