Kannapolis Intimidators

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Kannapolis Intimidators
Founded in 1995
Kannapolis, North Carolina
Kannapolis Intimidators.PNGIntimidators cap.PNG
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentClass A
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League
DivisionSouthern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentChicago White Sox (2001–present)
PreviousPhiladelphia Phillies (1995–2000)
Minor league titles
League titles (1)2005
Division titles (1)2017
Team data
NicknameKannapolis Intimidators (2001–present)
Previous names
Piedmont Boll Weevils (1996–2000)
  • Piedmont Phillies (1995)
  • Spartanburg Phillies (1963–1995)
ColorsRed, black, white
              
BallparkIntimidators Stadium (1995–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Temerity Baseball, LLC
ManagerJustin Jirschele
General ManagerBrian Radle

The Kannapolis Intimidators are a Minor League Baseball team of the South Atlantic League and the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. They are located in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and are named for NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. They play their home games at Intimidators Stadium, but plan to leave for a new facility in 2020. The team was established in 1995 as the Piedmont Phillies. From 1996 to 2000, they were known as the Piedmont Boll Weevils. They became the Intimidators when Earnhardt, known as "The Intimidator", purchased a share of the team before the 2001 season.

Team history[edit]

Piedmont Boll Weevils logo (1996–2000)

The Intimidators franchise moved to Kannapolis in 1995 from Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it had been a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies since the franchise's beginning in 1963. Debate raged in the Kannapolis area over what to name the team, with team officials finally deciding to call the team the Piedmont Phillies for the 1995 season.

A name-the-team contest in the fall of 1995 drew thousands of entries, and the team settled on the boll weevil as the team's new mascot, indicative of Kannapolis' history as a textile mill town (Kannapolis natives are even called "lintheads"). The Piedmont Boll Weevils kept that mascot until after the 2000 season, when NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt purchased a share in the team's ownership. It was then that the name was changed to the Kannapolis Intimidators, in honor of Earnhardt's nickname.[1] The team's logo was designed by Sam Bass, who has designed paint schemes and uniforms on many NASCAR, IndyCar, and NHRA race cars.[1] It was also during that offseason that the team's parent club changed from the Phillies to the Chicago White Sox, making the Intimidators the third White Sox farm team to be located in the Carolinas, following the Charlotte Knights and the Winston-Salem Warthogs.

Earnhardt, who drove the number 3 car in NASCAR, was killed in an accident at the Daytona 500 in February 2001.[2] Following Earnhardt's death, the Intimidators avoided assigning the number 3 for team uniforms. Team manager Razor Shines, originally slated to wear the number, changed his uniform number to 43. The team officially retired number 3 on May 15, 2002, in memory of their former co-owner, similar to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim retiring the number 26 (the 26th man) in honor of former owner Gene Autry.

The team plays in Intimidators Stadium (formerly Fieldcrest Cannon and later CMC-NorthEast Stadium) in Kannapolis. "The Cannon" was still under construction when the Piedmont Phillies began play in 1995. Upon completion in late 1995, during the winter, the stadium seated 4,700 fans. The stadium changed names on April 3, 2012, under a new naming rights agreement for the 2012 season.[3] For 2016, the naming rights deal quietly ended, with the name reverting to Intimidators Stadium.[4]

Current or former Major League Baseball players to pass through Kannapolis include Jimmy Rollins and Dave Coggin of the Philadelphia Phillies, as well as Jack Egbert, Gordon Beckham, Chris Getz, Brent Morel, and Clayton Richard of the Chicago White Sox. Marlon Byrd, Jorge Padilla, Ryan Madson, and Brett Myers played for the 2000 Piedmont Boll Weevils.[5] Also, NFL running back Ricky Williams played for the Boll Weevils during the late 1996 and 1997 seasons while he was also playing college football for the University of Texas.[6]

On October 30, 2018, ground was broken on a new ballpark scheduled to be ready for the team's 2020 season.[7]

Ownership[edit]

Smith Family Baseball, owned by Illinois businessman Dale Smith and his son Brad (the team's President) bought the team from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and motorsports magnate Bruton Smith in December 2004. Larry and Sue Hedrick, the owners who bought the Spartanburg Phillies in 1993 and eventually moved them to Kannapolis, retained a minority share of the team's ownership.

A group led by Reese L. Smith III has announced the purchase of the Intimidators, subject to approval by the South Atlantic League, Minor League Baseball and the Commissioner of Baseball.[8] The Kannapolis city council voted to transfer the lease of the stadium to Intimidators Baseball Club LLC.[9]

The team was purchased by Temerity Baseball, LLC, following the 2018 season.[10]

Roster[edit]

Kannapolis Intimidators roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 24 Blake Battenfield
  • 25 Jake Elliott
  • 12 Kevin Escorcia
  • 13 Drew Harrington
  • 29 Will Kincanon
  • 39 Luis Ledo
  • 28 Zach Lewis
  • -- Kade McClure Injury icon 2.svg
  • 23 Aron McRee
  • 21 Joe Mockbee
  • 32 Jose Nin
  • 24 Andrew Perez
  • 28 Jhoan Quijada
  • 31 Parker Rigler
  • 35 Yosmer Solorzano
  • -- Ben Wright ‡

Catchers

Infielders

  • 20 Tate Blackman
  •  5 Johan Cruz
  • 16 Luis Curbelo
  • 37 Anthony Villa
  • 33 Justin Yurchak

Outfielders

  •  6 Nolan Brown
  • 14 Craig Dedelow
  •  1 Tyler Frost
  • 10 JJ Muno


Manager

  •  9 Justin Jirschele

Coaches

60-day disabled list

Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Chicago White Sox 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated July 1, 2018
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • South Atlantic League
Chicago White Sox minor league players

Championship series history[edit]

The Spartanburg/Kannapolis franchise has appeared in three SAL championship series, winning two:

  • 1988 (Spartanburg Phillies) – defeated Charleston, 3 games to 0
  • 1995 (Piedmont Phillies) – lost to Augusta, 3 games to 2
  • 2005 (Kannapolis Intimidators) – defeated Hagerstown, 3 games to 1
  • 2017 (Kannapolis Intimidators) – lost to Greenville, 3 games to 1

Notable franchise alumni[edit]

Baseball Hall of Fame alumni

Notable alumni

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Earnhardt Connection. "TEC | Kannapolis Intimidators". Daleearnhardt.net. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  2. ^ Dave Rodman, Turner Sports Interactive (2001-02-21). "Earnhardt dies following Daytona 500 accident – February 21, 2001". NASCAR.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2001. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  3. ^ "Name Game: Welcome to CMC-NorthEast Stadium | Kannapolis Intimidators News". Kannapolis.intimidators.milb.com. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  4. ^ Our Ballpark | Kannapolis Intimidators Content
  5. ^ "Baseball Reference: 2000 Piedmont Boll Weevils". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  6. ^ "Baseball Reference: 1996 Piedmont Boll Weevils". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  7. ^ Speddon, Zach (October 31, 2018). "New Kannapolis Ballpark Breaks Ground". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  8. ^ "Intimidators baseball team in Kannapolis under new ownership". Independent Tribune. 2016-03-15. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  9. ^ Smith, Deirdre (2016-03-16). "Kannapolis Intimidators have new owners, big plans". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  10. ^ "Temerity Baseball Buys Kannapolis Intimidators". Ballpark Digest. November 1, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.

External links[edit]