Kinston Eagles
Minor league affiliations
Previous classes
  • D (1937–1941, 1946–1952)
  • semipro (1934–1936)
Previous leagues
  • Coastal Plain League (1934–1941, 1946–1952)
Major league affiliations
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles 1935, 1947
Team data
Name
  • Kinston Eagles
Ballpark

The Kinston Eagles were a Minor League Baseball team of the Coastal Plain League. They were located in Kinston, North Carolina. The team played its home games at Grainger Stadium, which opened in 1949 and holds 4,100 fans. Prior to that they played in Grainger Park.

The Eagles won the CPL Championship in 1947 as an affiliate of the Atlanta Crackers.

History

Coastal Plain League

The Great Depression took a great toll on the minor leagues, with only thirteen teams operating across the U.S. at a 1933 low point.[1] Like most, Kinston sat out the first few years of the Great Depression but reentered play for the 1934 season in the semi-professional Coastal Plain League. By 1937 the circuit had become a fully professional, Class D league as ranked by the National Association.[2] The city remained in the Coastal Plain League continuously until it was disbanded after 1952. As a member of this affiliation, Kinston saw many playoff appearances and won league championships in 1935 and 1947. Among the superior talent during this period was a young player named Charlie "King Kong" Keller who is listed as among the top forty major league players of all-time in terms of on-base percentage (.410).[3][4]

Grainger Stadium

Main article: Grainger Stadium

Grainger Grandstand, 2006.
Grainger Grandstand, 2006.

From 1949 on, the Kinston Eagles played their home games at Grainger Stadium located at 400 East Grainger Avenue in Kinston. The original structure was built by architect John J. Rowland in 1949 at a cost of $170,000 inclusive of everything except the land. $150,000 of the money was raised by bond issue.[5] A dedicatory plaque identifies the structure as "Municipal Stadium", but it has been called Grainger Stadium since it was first built.[6]

Season by season results

Year Name League Level Affiliation Record Manager Playoffs
1934 Eagles Coastal Plain semipro 36–24 Bunn Hearn Lost League Finals
1935 Eagles Coastal Plain semipro 41–26 Bunn Hearn League Champs
1936 Eagles Coastal Plain semipro 40–32 Herschel Caldwell Lost League Finals
1937 Eagles Coastal Plain D St. Louis Cardinals 32–65 Bess/Taylor
1938 Eagles Coastal Plain D St. Louis Cardinals 60–50 Tommy West Lost in 1st round
1939 Eagles Coastal Plain D St. Louis Cardinals 65–59 Henry/Lucas/Herring Lost League Finals
1940 Eagles Coastal Plain D 63–60 Sothern/Aerette Lost League Finals
1941 Eagles Coastal Plain D 42–77 McHenry/DeMasi
1946 Eagles Coastal Plain D 67–56 Frank Rodgers Lost League Finals
1947 Eagles Coastal Plain D Atlanta Crackers 74–65 Steve Collins League Champs
1948 Eagles Coastal Plain D 80–59 Steve Collins Lost League Finals
1949 Eagles Coastal Plain D 74–64 Steve Collins Lost League Finals
1950 Eagles Coastal Plain D Boston Red Sox 70–68 Wally Millies Lost League Finals
1951 Eagles Coastal Plain D 79–47 Wes Livengood Lost in 1st round
1952 Eagles Coastal Plain D Detroit Tigers 76–47 Wayne Blackburn Lost in 1st round

TABLE NOTES:

No Hitters

League histories

Newspapers

Footnotes

  1. ^ Voigt, David Quentin (1995). Baseball: An Illustrated History. Penn State Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-271-01448-7.
  2. ^ Johnson, Lloyd; Miles Wolff (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, second ed. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, Inc. p. 295. ISBN 0-9637189-8-3.
  3. ^ Gaunt, Robert (1997). We Would Have Played Forever: The Story of the Coastal Plain Baseball League. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, Inc. ISBN 0-945164-02-5.
  4. ^ Baseball-Reference.com. "Charlie Keller Statistics". Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  5. ^ Mock, Jr., Frank L. (June 1950). "Kinston's New Stadium". Athletic Journal. XXX (10): 14.
  6. ^ Rowland, John J.; Simpson, James M. (July 1949). "Stadium for All Municipal Functions, Kinston, N. C.". Architectural Record. 106 (1): 121–123.
  7. ^ Gaunt, Robert H. (1997). We Would Have Played Forever: The Story of the Coastal Plain Baseball League. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, Inc. p. 97. ISBN 0-9637189-8-3.