Founded in 1985
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Southern League (1985–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Milwaukee Brewers (1999–present)|
|Previous||Oakland A's (1985–1998)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1985, 1994, 2001|
|Division titles||1985, 1986, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007|
|Nickname||Huntsville Stars (1985–present)|
|Colors||Blue, Red, Gray, Yellow, White
|Ballpark||Joe W. Davis Stadium (1985–present)|
|Miles Prentice / Huntsville Stars, LLC|
|General manager||Buck Rogers|
The Huntsville Stars are a minor league baseball team of the Southern League and are the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in Huntsville, Alabama and are named for the space industry with which Huntsville is economically tied (NASA conducts operations at the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center).
The Stars play their home games at Joe W. Davis Stadium, named after the former mayor of Huntsville; built in 1985, the park seats 10,200 fans and is sometimes referred to as "The Joe." The team has served as a farm club for two major league franchises. The Stars won the Southern League Championship in 1985 and 1994 as the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland A's and in 2001 with the Brewers.
Athletics era (1985–1998)
The Stars came to Huntsville by way of Evansville, Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee. In June 1984, Larry Schmittou purchased the Triple-A Evansville Triplets and, after the season, moved them to Nashville where they became the Nashville Sounds. His previous Double-A Southern League franchise was relocated to Huntsville. The City of Huntsville, led by Mayor Joe W. Davis, built a brand new 10,000 seat multipurpose stadium which lured the franchise to town. The Triplets' history was retired, the Sounds inherited the Double-A franchise's history, and the Stars began their own history.
The Stars began play in the Southern League as the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics in 1985 with Don Mincher (1938–2012) as the team's General Manager. Mincher, a Huntsville native and 12-year veteran of the Major Leagues, guided the franchise through its infancy as they won the Southern League Championship in their first season. The Stars won the league championship by defeating the Charlotte Knights three games to two. Future superstar José Canseco was the MVP of the league that year.
Terry Steinbach won the MVP award in 1986 solidifying the base of the A's Championship teams of the late 1980s. That same season the Stars met again with Charlotte in the championship series, this time losing the series two games to three.
In 1994, Mincher and a group of local investors purchased the team from Schmittou to keep baseball in Huntsville. The Stars once again won the Southern League title that season. Led by Ernie Young, the Stars swept the Chattanooga Lookouts to win the Western Division, then defeated the Carolina Mudcats three games to one to take the title. In 1997, the Stars made another appearance in the league championship series losing to the Greenville Braves three games to two.
Brewers era (1999–present)
Following the 1998 season, the Stars and A's parted ways and the Milwaukee Brewers came to town as the new Stars affiliate. Long regarded as having one of the best Minor League systems around, the Brewers struggled through management changes but still managed to give the Stars their third Southern League title in 2001. With the help of all-time Stars home run leader Josh Klimek, the Stars made the playoffs and went on to defeat their rivals, the Birmingham Barons, in the fifth game of the series for the Western Division crown. The Stars would face the Jacksonville Suns, who dominated the Eastern Division winning both halves and the first round, but due to the September 11 attacks, the championship series was cancelled and the Stars and Suns were declared co-champions.
In 2000, Mincher became the Interim President of the Southern League when League President Arnold Fielkow left for the NFL. At the conclusion of the 2000 season, Mincher and his group put the Stars up for sale once again. He resigned from his position as President of the Stars and the Southern League removed the "interim" tag to make him league president for 2001. Pulling double duty until the team was sold, Mincher desired to keep the Stars in Huntsville. The group waded through countless offers to buy the Stars looking to find the right investors who would commit to keeping the team in the Tennessee Valley. Early in 2001, Mincher found his man in New York attorney Miles Prentice who also owns the Double-A Texas League Midland RockHounds, serves as a Director for the Texas League, and is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Minor League Baseball. Prentice promised to keep the team in Huntsville despite several offers for new stadiums in various locales.
In 2003, the Stars played against the Carolina Mudcats in the Southern League championship series where they lost three games to two. They made another championship attempt in 2006, losing three games to two against the Montgomery Biscuits. In 2007, Stars manager Don Money was named the Southern League's Manager of the Year as voted upon by the league's field managers, radio broadcasters, and print media. Also in 2007, the team captured its division title (beating the Tennessee Smokies three games to two) and went on to the SL championship series where they lost to Montgomery, three games to two.
To start the 2008 season, the Stars set a new team record for best start, by sweeping their first series with the Mississippi Braves 5 games to nothing to start the season 5–0. On April 26, 2008, the Stars turned their second triple play in franchise history, the last coming in 2002. The Stars won the 2009 first-half title, qualifying them for the playoffs, but lost the North Division Title to the Tennessee Smokies, 1–3.
|Huntsville Stars Season-by-Season Record|
|Record||Win %||Finish*||Record||Win %||Result|
|1985||78–66||.542||2nd||6–3||.667||Won Western Division Championship vs Knoxville Blue Jays, 3–1
Won SL Championship vs Charlotte Orioles, 3–2
|1986||78–63||.553||1st||5–4||.556||Won Western Division Championship vs Knoxville Blue Jays, 3–1
Lost SL Championship vs Columbus Astros, 2–3
|1987||74–70||.514||1st||0–3||.000||Lost Western Division Championship vs Birmingham Barons, 0–3|
|1989||82–61||.573||2nd||?||?||Lost Western Division Championship vs Birmingham Barons, ?–?|
|1992||81–63||.563||2nd||1–3||.250||Lost Western Division Championship vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 1–3|
|1994||81–57||.587||1st||6–1||.857||Won West Division Championship vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 3–0
Won SL Championship vs Carolina Mudcats, 3–1
|1997||77–62||.554||1st||5–5||.500||Won West Division Championship vs Mobile Bay Bears, 3–2
Lost SL Championship vs Greenville Braves, 2–3
|1998||72–68||.514||2nd||0–3||.000||Lost West Division Championship vs Mobile Bay Bears, 0–3
|2001||75–63||.543||3rd||3–2||.600||Won West Division Championship vs Birmingham Barons, 3–2
SL Championship series vs Jacksonville Suns canceled due to September 11, 2001 attacks.
Both teams are declared co-champions.
|2003||75–63||.543||1st||5–5||.500||Won West Division Championship vs Birmingham Barons, 3–2
Lost SL Championship vs Carolina Mudcats, 2–3
|2006||67–71||.486||4th||4–3||.571||Won North Division Championship vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 3–0
Lost SL Championship vs Montgomery Biscuits, 1–3
|2007||75–62||.547||3rd||5–5||.500||Won North Division Championship vs Tennessee Smokies, 3–2
Lost SL Championship vs Montgomery Biscuits, 2–3
|2009||63–75||.457||5th||1–3||.250||Lost North Division Championship vs Tennessee Smokies, 1–3|
|Totals||1,972–1,961||.501||–||?||?||3 League Championships|
|Note: * Finish denotes their position in the overall league standings.
? denotes missing information.
Huntsville Stars roster
- 5 – Don Mincher, General Manager (1985–2001) and owner (1994–2001), Retired June 6, 2008
- 42 – Jackie Robinson., Retired throughout professional baseball on April 15, 1997
Notable former players
- John Axford
- Tim Belcher
- Mike Bordick
- Michael Brantley
- Ryan Braun
- Scott Brosius
- Greg Cadaret
- Lorenzo Cain
- José Canseco
- Eric Chavez
- Alcides Escobar
- Prince Fielder
- Yovani Gallardo
- Jason Giambi
- Tony Gwynn, Jr.
- Bill Hall
- Corey Hart
- Ramon Hernandez
- Tim Hudson
- Stan Javier
- Darren Lewis
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Mark McGwire
- Brad Nelson
- Charlie O'Brien
- Manny Parra
- Luis Polonia
- Jean Segura
- Ben Sheets
- Terry Steinbach
- Adam Stern
- Miguel Tejada
- Todd Van Poppel
- Carlos Villanueva
- Rickie Weeks
- Walt Weiss
- Wally Whitehurst
- "Southern League Champions". Southern League. August 3, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
- "Huntsville Stars". Bush League Factor. June 20, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Pollock, Brett. "Stars Start Season With Series Sweep." Huntsville Stars. April 7, 2008. Retrieved on June 22, 2009.
- 2010 Media Guide (PDF). Huntsville, AL: Huntsville Stars. April 8, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Stars Retire No. 5 in Honor of Mincher." Huntsville Stars. June 6, 2008. June 11, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Huntsville Stars.|
- Official Huntsville Stars website
- Huntsville Stars statistics at Baseball-Reference
- Huntsville Stars statistics at The Baseball Cube
|Nashville Sounds||Huntsville Stars
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