Asheville Tourists

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Asheville Tourists
Founded in 1897
Asheville, North Carolina
AshevilleTourists.PNG AshevilleTouristscap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Class A (1976–present)
Previous
  • Double-A (1968–1975)
  • Class A (1967)
  • Double-A (1963–1966)
  • Class A (1959–1962)
  • Class B (1932), (1934–1942) (1946–1955)
  • Class C (1931)
  • Class B (1924–1930)
  • Class D (1910–1917)
Minor league affiliations
League South Atlantic League (1980–present)
Division Southern Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Current
Minor league titles
League titles 7 (1915, 1939, 1961, 1968, 1984, 2012, 2014)
Team data
Nickname
  • Asheville Tourists (1976–present)
  • Asheville Orioles (1972–1975)
  • Asheville Tourists (1915–1971)
  • Asheville Mountaineers (1913–1914)
  • Asheville Moonshiners (1897, 1910–1912)
Mascot
Ballpark McCormick Field (1924–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Mike Dewine and family
Manager Fred Ocasio
General manager Larry Hawkins

The Asheville Tourists are a minor league baseball team based in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. They play in the Class A South Atlantic League and have been a farm team of the Colorado Rockies since 1994.

Asheville teams have played under the Tourists moniker in different leagues and classifications for decades, with the earliest dating to 1897. The current team has played continuously in what is now known as the South Atlantic League since 1976. They have won three league championships, first in 1984 and most recently in 2014. Previous Tourists teams won a total of four additional championships.

The Tourists play home games at McCormick Field. The park opened in 1924, renovated in 1959, and renovated again for the 1992 season. McCormick Field seats 4,000 fans. People get a kick out of the scoreboard which reads "Visitors" in the guest slot and "Tourists" in the home slot.[1]

History[edit]

Earlier teams[edit]

Professional baseball in Asheville, North Carolina, dates to 1897, when the Asheville Moonshiners took the field.[1] It has been played continuously for nearly every year since 1909, with early teams such as the Redbirds (1909) and the Mountaineers (1910-1914).[1][2] The "Tourists" name dates to 1915, when local sportswriters began referring to the Mountaineers team as the Tourists.[1]

The original Tourists brought Asheville its first ever professional sports championship in 1915. They continued playing in the Class-D North Carolina State League until 1917, when the league suspended operations due to World War I. In 1924 the "Asheville Skylanders" started play in the South Atlantic League; however, they soon adopted the Tourists nickname.[1] They played in the South Atlantic League until 1930, when they jumped to the Piedmont League, where they played for two seasons before folding. In 1934 the Columbia Sandlappers moved to Asheville, taking up the Tourists name.[3] This incarnation won the 1939 Piedmont League championship; however the league suspended operations in 1942, due to the outset of World War II.[1]

In 1946 a new Tourists franchise started up in the Tri-State League. During the 1940s they shared McCormick Field with the Asheville Blues, an independent Negro Leagues team.[4] They folded along with their league in 1955.[2] In 1959 a new South Atlantic League (later the Southern League) franchise came to town. McCormick Field was renovated. The team initially wanted a new name, and organized a fan vote to pick. However, fans voted overwhelmingly to keep the Tourists nickname.[1] The team won two league titles, in 1961 and 1968. In 1968, the Tourists won the Southern League championship under manager Sparky Anderson, who went on to manage the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers during his 26 years in Major League Baseball.

In 1972 Asheville became affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles MLB team. As part of Baltimore's "Oriole Way" system, the Asheville team was rebranded the Asheville Orioles, adopting the logo and colors of their affiliate. The team had four successive winning seasons, but after the 1975 season the Orioles relocated their Double-A franchise to Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Charlotte Orioles.[1]

Current team[edit]

McCormick Field would not be unoccupied for the 1976 season, however. Shortly after the AA franchise moved to Charlotte, their place was taken by an expansion team in the Western Carolinas League (now the modern South Atlantic League). Like many teams before it, it assumed the Tourists nickname. The team has remained in Asheville continuously since, winning the 1984 league championship. They are currently a farm team of the Colorado Rockies, with whom they have been affiliated since 1994. They were previously affiliated with the Texas Rangers (1976–81) and the Houston Astros (1982–93).

The Tourists played a minor role in the 1988 film Bull Durham. In the film Kevin Costner's character, Crash Davis, finishes his baseball career with the Tourists after being cut from the Durham Bulls, and with them breaks the all-time minor league home run record.

On January 5, 2010 it was reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times that Palace Sports and Entertainment have sold the team to former U.S. senator Mike DeWine and his family. It was reported that Brian DeWine, son of Mike, would be the team president.[5]

Year-by-year record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1915 74–46 1st Jack Corbett League Champs
1916 58–54 4th Jack Corbett none
1917 12–16 -- Ernest "Doc" Ferris none
Team disbanded 1917–1923
1924 58–63 5th Bob Higgins none
1925 66–63 5th Bob Higgins / Larry Gardner none
1926 80–66 2nd Larry Gardner none
1927 76–73 4th Larry Gardner none
1928 97–49 1st Ray Kennedy none
1929 84–62 2nd Mike Kennedy Lost League Finals
1930 79–61 3rd George Speirs
1931 66–67 4th Ray Kennedy / Bobby Hipps
1932 35-33 -- Joe Guyon Team disbanded July 7
Team disbanded 1933
1934 34–59 (55–78 overall) 5th Bill Laval / Possum Whitted Columbia moved to Asheville June 7
1935 75–62 1st Billy Southworth Lost League Finals
1936 40–103 6th Billy Southworth
1937 89–50 1st Hal Anderson Lost in 1st round
1938 63–75 7th Hal Anderson
1939 89–55 1st Hal Anderson League Champs
1940 75–60 2nd Tommy West Lost in 1st round
1941 64–76 7th Nick Cullop
1942 61–77 6th Bill DeLancey
Team disbanded 1943–1946
1946 83–57 2nd Bill Sayles Lost in 1st round
1947 65–74 6th Bill Sayles
1948 95–51 1st Clay Bryant Lost in 1st round
1949 76–71 3rd Ed Head Lost in 1st round
1950 83–62 2nd Clay Bryant Lost League Finals
1951 85–55 2nd Ray Hathaway Lost League Finals
1952 65–75 5th Bill Hart / George Tesnow
1953 83–67 2nd Ray Hathaway Lost in 1st round
1954 86–54 1st Ray Hathaway Lost League Finals
1955 53–63 3rd Earl Naylor
Team disbanded 1956–1958
1959 70–70 5th Clyde McCullough
1960 62–77 6th Chuck Kress
1961 87–50 1st Ray Hathaway none League Champs
1962 70–70 4th Ray Hathaway Lost in 1st round
1963 79–61 2nd Ray Hathaway
1964 52–86 8th Ray Hathaway (28–53) / Bob Clear (24–33) none
1965 80–60 2nd Pete Peterson none
1966 78–61 2nd Pete Peterson none
1967 64–74 10th Chuck Churn
1968 86–54 1st Sparky Anderson none League Champs
1969 69–69 3rd Alex Cosmidis none
1970 59-80 8th Jim Snyder none
1971 90-51 2nd Larry Sherry Lost League Finals
Team known as Asheville Orioles 1972–1975
1976 76–62 1st Wayne Terwilliger Lost League Finals
1977 81–58 2nd Wayne Terwilliger
1978 73–67 4th Wayne Terwilliger none
1979 75–63 2nd Wayne Terwilliger
1980 69–71 5th Tom Robson
1981 74–68 4th Tom Robson
1982 65–76 8th Dave Cripe
1983 64–80 9th (t) Tom Spencer
1984 73–70 5th Tom Spencer League Champs
1985 76–62 4th Fred Hatfield
1986 90–50 2nd Ken Bolek Lost League Finals
1987 91–48 1st Keith Bodie Lost League Finals
1988 65–75 9th Gary Tuck / Jim Coveney
1989 68–70 8th Jim Coveney
1990 66–77 9th Frank Cacciatore
1991 55–83 14th Frank Cacciatore
1992 74–66 4th Tim Tolman
1993 51–88 14th Bobby Ramos
1994 60–73 11th Tony Torchia
1995 76–63 5th Bill McGuire Lost in 1st round
1996 84–52 1st P.J. Carey Lost in 2nd round
1997 62–76 12th Ron Gideon
1998 71–69 7th Ron Gideon
1999 64–77 11th Jim Eppard
2000 66–69 8th (t) Joe Mikulik
2001 68–71 9th Joe Mikulik
2002 64–74 12th Joe Mikulik
2003 74–65 6th Joe Mikulik
2004 64–75 13th Joe Mikulik
2005 71–67 10th Joe Mikulik
2006 74–63 6th Joe Mikulik
2007 80–58 4th Joe Mikulik
2008 83–56 2nd Joe Mikulik
2009 68–70 7th Joe Mikulik Lost in 1st round
2010 69–70 7th Joe Mikulik
2011 69–70 9th Joe Mikulik
2012 88–52 1st Joe Mikulik League Champs
2013 63–73 9th Fred Ocasio
2014 89–49 1st Fred Ocasio League Champs

Roster[edit]

Asheville Tourists roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 34 Alex Balog
  • 22 Trent Blank
  • 24 Andrew Brown
  • 25 Matt Carasiti
  • 37 Trent Daniel
  • 35 Carlos Estevez
  • 36 Kyle Freeland
  • 27 Zach Jemiola
  • 31 Johendi Jiminian
  • -- Sam Moll
  • 23 Troy Neiman
  • 29 Matt Pierpont
  •  9 Antonio Senzatela
  • 11 Konner Wade

Catchers

  •  4 Jose Briceno
  •  6 Ashley Graeter
  •  3 Wilfredo Rodriguez

Infielders

  • 18 Michael Benjamin
  • 14 Emerson Jimenez
  •  5 Ryan McMahon
  •  7 Alec Mehrten
  •  2 Zach Osborne
  • 32 Correlle Prime

Outfielders

Manager

  • 28 Fred Ocasio

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Colorado Rockies 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated November 19, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Colorado Rockies minor league players

References[edit]

External links[edit]