Alexandria Dukes

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Alexandria Dukes
(1978-1983)
Alexandria, Virginia
Class-level
Current Class-A
Minor league affiliations
Previous leagues
Carolina League
Major league affiliations
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles 1 (1982)
Team data
Previous names
  • Alexandria Dukes (1978, 1980-1983)
  • Alexandria Mariners (1979)
Previous parks
Municipal Stadium at Four Mile Run

The Alexandria Dukes were a minor league baseball team that existed from 1978-1983. The team was a member of the Class-A Carolina League and was affiliated with Seattle Mariners and the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout its history. However Alexandria was unable to secure a major-league affiliate for its inaugural season, and again in 1980, forcing the team to operate as a co-op franchise for those two seasons.

History[edit]

Inaugural season[edit]

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the Dukes' home stadium was known as Municipal Stadium at Four Mile Run Park--a ballfield adjacent to Cora Kelly Elementary School. Because the field was the property of the Alexandria City School District, alcohol was not served at any game. Seating in the park was limited to several hundred open-air, backless bleacher seats. The Dukes finished their inaugural season in fourth place in both the first and second halves of the season, posting records of 29-37 and 29-38, respectively.

Alexandria Mariners[edit]

The Dukes' second season proved more successful than the first, as the team was picked up by the Seattle Mariners as an affiliate. The team dropped the "Dukes" nickname for the Alexandria Mariners. Both halves of the season, the team finished in second place, winning more games than it lost, finishing 38-29 and 36-33. In 1979, third baseman Gary Pellant made baseball history on April 30 when he hit two grand slams in one inning, one batting right-handed and the other left-handed. The 1980 campaign marked a return to a co-op management and a revival of the Dukes name--and a return to a sub-.500 winning percentage.

Alexandria Dukes II[edit]

The following year, Alexandria was able to once again obtain major-league affiliation, signing a six-year player development contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates as the team finished in second place and fourth place, posting records of 33-34 and 29-41 in the Northern Division.

The 1982 season would prove the most successful season in the Dukes' six-year history. The first half of the season, Alexandria was victorious in nearly 70% of its games, winning the division with a 45-20 mark, securing a post-season appearance. After defeating the Lynchburg Mets in a one-game playoff, the Dukes swept the Durham Bulls in three games, giving the team its only championship in its six-year history.

In their final season in 1983, the Dukes posted a third place record. With the construction of G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in nearby Woodbridge, Virginia, the Dukes were reborn as the Prince William Pirates, who are now the Potomac Nationals. Ironically, their Alexandria location had previously been inside the limits of Potomac, Virginia, which existed as a separate town from 1894-1903 before Alexandria annexed it.

Season-by-season[edit]

(from Baseball Reference Bullpen) (from Baseball Reference Bullpen)

Year Record Win-Loss % Manager Regular Season Finish Playoffs
1978 58-75 Les Peden 4th place
1979 74-62 Bobby Floyd 2nd place
1980 54-86 Mike Toomey 7th place
1981 62-75 Mike Toomey 8th place
1982 80-54 Johnny Lipon 2nd place Won 1 game playoff vs. Lynchburg Mets, 1-0
Won Championship vs. Durham Bulls, 3-0
1983 69-68 .673 Johnny Lipon 4th place

External links[edit]