Gastonia Rangers

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Gastonia Rangers
(8 Seasons as Gastonia Rangers)
Gastonia, North Carolina
Previous Class A
Minor league affiliations
Previous leagues
North Carolina State League (1938)
Tar Heel League (1939–1940)
Tri-State League (1952–1953)
Western Carolinas League (1950, 1960, 1963–1970, 1972–1979),
South Atlantic League (1959, 1980–1992)
Major league affiliations

Minor league titles
League titles 1973
Division titles 1989
Team data
Previous names

Previous parks
Sims Legion Park

The Gastonia Rangers were a class A minor league baseball team located in Gastonia, North Carolina. 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Iván Rodríguez played for Gastonia in 1987. The team played first as the Rangers in the Western Carolinas League (1973–1974), then later in the same league renamed as the South Atlantic League (1987–1992), during their affiliation with the Texas Rangers. The franchise was also the Gastonia Tigers (1986), Gastonia Jets (1985), Gastonia Expos (1983–1984) and Gastonia Cardinals (1980–1982). Their home stadium was Sims Legion Park. After the 1992 season, the team moved to another North Carolina city, Hickory, and have been known as the Hickory Crawdads ever since.

The End in Gastonia[edit]

Charlotte Hornets and Charlotte Knights owner George Shinn purchased the Gastonia franchise from Jack Farnsworth prior to the 1989 season. In doing so, it allowed Shinn the freedom to move the Charlotte Knights to Fort Mill, SC without the move being challenged by the Gastonia franchise under Minor League Baseball's 35-mile territorial right rule. Once Shinn was able to acquire a Class AAA expansion franchise to play in Fort Mill, he no longer needed to control the interests of the Gastonia franchise and sold the team to Donald Beaver.

This is the last known statistical link of the Gastonia Rangers baseball club. The Rangers were 74–54 in their first season and tied with the Charleston Pirates for the league title. [2] In their last season, they went 66–70 (.485), 12 games back in the SAL's Northern Division. While Gastonia, NC no longer has a team in the South Atlantic League it has since 2002 has been home to the Gastonia Grizzlies of the collegiate Coastal Plain League.

Notable Gastonia Alumni[edit]

Baseball Hall of Fame alumni

Notable Gastonia Alumni

One Day Players

Former Owners[edit]

  • Jack Farnsworth
  • George Shinn

Fred Nichols – 1974 Pat McKernan – 1973


The Gastonia Rangers (as well as the future Gastonia Grizzlies) played at Sims Legion Park.