• Steve Potter

Spartanburg & Piedmont


In 1963 the Spartanburg Phillies ( Spartanburg, SC ) were born as an A level member of the Western Carolinas League, then switching to the South Atlantic League concurrent with the league’s 1980 name change. The Spartanburg franchise also changed it’s name to the Traders for the 1980 season, the Spinners in 1983 and the Suns in 1984 before reverting back to the Phillies name in 1986.


In 1995 Spartanburg’s franchise moved to Kannapolis, NC and became the Piedmont Phillies ... later named the Boll Weevils and served as an affiliate from 1995 to 2000.


Spartanburg - 1963 to 1994


1963 to 1969 :


Managers - Lou Kahn ( 1963, 1967 ), Dick Teed ( 1964 ), Moose Johnson ( 1965 ), Bob Wellman ( 1966 ), Bobby Walkmus ( 1968 to 1969 )


The team was league champions in 1966 and 1967 and championship finalists in 1968


1966 - went 91-35 ... 20 year old Larry Bowa hit .312 in 429 AB’s - he stole 24 bases ... 22 year old Denny Doyle hit .308 in 497 AB’s - he swiped 28 bases ... 19 year old Gilberto Torres led the league in hitting with a .365 average in 378 AB’s - 21 year old John Penn went 15-4 in 24 starts with a 2.21 ERA in 179 IP


1967 - went 80-43 ... 20 year old Ken Reynolds went 13-9 in 24 starts with a 2.89 ERA in 168 IP ... 23 year old Ken Huebner won the batting title with a .354 batting average in 302 AB’s ... 19 year old John Vukovich played in 74 games


1968 - went 71-54 ... John Vukovich hit .313 in 37 games before moving to Tidewater to finish the season ...


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1970 to 1979 :


Managers - Howie Bedell ( 1970, 1973 to 1974 ), Bob Wellman ( 1971 to 1972 ), Lee Elia ( 1975 to 1976 ), Mike Compton ( 1977 ), Ron Clark ( 1978 ) and Bill Dancy ( 1979 )


The team was league champions in 1972, 1973 and 1975 and championship finalists in 1979


1972 - went 89-43 ... 23 year old Jerry Martin hit .316 in 513 AB’s with 30 doubles, 6 triples, 12 home runs and 112 RBIs with 21 stolen bases ... 22 year old Terry Periman went 11-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 27 games ( 122 IP ) ... 21 year old Chuck Kniffin went 13-1 in 18 games with a 2.11 ERA in 132 IP - he tossed 11 complete games


1973 - went 67-61 ...19 year old Tommy Underwood went 13-6 with a 2.10 ERA in 26 games ( 193 IP)


1975 - went 81-59 ...19 year old Lonnie Smith led the league in hitting with a .323 batting average in 465 AB’s with 23 doubles, 4 triples, 7 home runs and 56 stolen bases ... 22 year old Gary Begnaud hit 25 home runs and had 100 RBIs ...


1979 - went 73-66 ... 19 year old George Bell hit 24 doubles, 15 triples, 22 home runs and 102 RBIs hitting .305 in 491 AB’s ... 19 year old Ryne Sandberg had 21 doubles and 21 stolen bases in 138 games ... 23 year old John DeVincenzo posted a 1.75 ERA in 50 games ( 72 IP ) with 10 wins and 12 saves


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1980 to 1989 :


Managers : Tom Harmon ( 1980 to 1981 ), Tony Taylor ( 1982 ), PJ Forbes ( 1982 ), Jay Ward ( 1984 ), Roly DeArmas ( 1983, 1985 to 1986 ), Ramon Aviles ( 1987 ), Mel Roberts ( 1988 to 1989 )


The 1988 team was league champions defeating the Charleston Rainbows in the Championship Series


1981 - 20 year old Jeff Stone stole 123 bases in 134 games ... Darren Daulton & Juan Samuel were also on the team


1983 - 19 year old Keith Hughes finished 5th in the league in hitting with a .329 average in 484 AB’s


1988 - Andy Carter went 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 25 games ( 156 2/3 IP )


1989 - 23 year old Mickey Morandini led the league in hitting with a .338 batting average in 231 AB’s


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1990 - 1994 :


Managers - Mel Roberts (‘90 & ‘91 ), Roy Maityka ( ‘92 - ‘94 )


Players who made it the the Major Leagues :


1990 Team - OF Tom Marsh, Pitchers : Paul Fletcher, Donnie Elliott and Bob Wells


1991 Team - OF Steve Beiser, C Mike Lieberthal, SS Kevin Stocker, Pitchers : Mike Farmer, Joel Adamson, Ricky Bottalico, Brad Brink, Donnie Elliott, Mike Grace and Jeff Patterson


1992 Team - 1B Gene Schall, 1B John Zuber, Pitchers : Ricky Bottalico, Ron Blazier, Mike Grace and Mike Whisenant


1993 Team - C Gary Bennett, IF Dave Doster, Pitcher Larry Mitchell


1994 Team - C Bobby Estalella, 3B Scott Rolen, Pitchers : Matt Beech, Tony Fiore and Mike Grace


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Piedmont - 1995 - 2000 : 1995 League Championship Finalist


Managers - Roy Maityka ( ‘95 - ‘96 ), Ken Oberkfell ( ‘97-‘99 ), Greg Legg ( 2000)


The 1995 team were championship series finalists losing to the Augusta Green Jackets


Players who made it the the Major Leagues


1995 Team - IF Jose Flores, Pitchers Jason Boyd and Rich Hunter


1996 Team - OF Reggie Taylor, Pitchers : David Coggin, Jason Kershner and Anthony Shumaker


1997 Team - SS Jimmy Rollins, Pitchers Adam Eaton and Thomas Jacquez


1998 Team - C/1B Andy Dominique, C Johny Estrada, OF Eric Valent and Pitcher Brandon Duckworth


1999 Team - SS Anderson Machado, OF Jorge Padilla, Pitchers : Franklyn Nunez, Carlos Silva and Derrick Turnbow


2000 Team - OF Marlon Byrd, OF Jorge Padilla, Pitchers : Frank Brooks, Ryan Madson and Brett Myers


Till tomorrow ... Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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