Founded in 1995
Kannapolis, North Carolina
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||South Atlantic League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Chicago White Sox (2001–present)|
|Previous||Philadelphia Phillies (1995–2000)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (1)||2005|
|Nickname||Kannapolis Intimidators (2001–present)|
|Piedmont Boll Weevils (1996–2000)
Piedmont Phillies (1995)
Spartanburg Phillies (1963-1995)
|Colors||Red, black, white
|Ballpark||Intimidators Stadium (1995–present)|
|General Manager||Randy Long|
The Kannapolis Intimidators are a minor league baseball team in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The team is a Class Low-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and has played in the South Atlantic League under various names and team affiliations since its inception in 1995.
The Intimidators franchise moved to Kannapolis in 1995 from Spartanburg, South Carolina, where they had been a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Debate raged in the Kannapolis area over what to name the team, with team officials finally decided 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 team officials 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 would keep that mascot until after the 2000 season, when NASCAR racing legend 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 legendary nickname. 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, now called the Winston-Salem Dash.
Earnhardt, who drove the #3 car in NASCAR, was killed in an accident at the Daytona 500 in February 2001. Following Earnhardt's death, the Intimidators avoided assigning the number 3 for team members. Team manager Razor Shines, originally slated to wear #3, subsequently 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 the winter of 1995, the stadium seated 4,700 fans. The stadium officially changed names on April 3, 2012 under a new naming rights agreement for the 2012 season. For 2016, the naming rights deal quietly ended, with the name reverting back to Intimidators Stadium.
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. 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.
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. The Kannapolis city council voted to transfer the lease of the stadium to Intimidators Baseball Club LLC. The city is studying the possibility of building a new stadium to replace Intimidators Stadium, owned by the city since 2012.
The Kannapolis franchise has appeared in two SAL championship series, winning one:
- 1995 (Piedmont Phillies) – lost to Augusta 3 games to 2
- 2005 (Kannapolis Intimidators) – defeated Hagerstown 3 games to 1
- Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals starting pitcher.
- Mike Lieberthal, All Star and Gold Glove catcher.
- Sergio Santos, Toronto Blue Jays closer.
- Mitch Mustain, former collegiate quarterback with the Arkansas Razorbacks and the USC Trojans.
Kannapolis Intimidators roster
2014 Player stats
As of July 5, 2014
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; BB = Base on balls; SO = Strikeouts; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
|Brett Austin, C||10||38||5||9||3||0||0||6||2||14||.237||0|
|Jeremy Dowdy, C||36||135||11||40||8||1||1||18||10||23||.296||0|
|Nolan Earley, OF||9||31||4||10||0||1||1||2||3||7||.254||1|
|Adam Engel, OF||42||168||29||38||9||4||1||12||17||51||.226||20|
|Danny Hayes, 1B||78||274||47||80||19||3||6||40||45||78||.292||0|
|Hunter Jones, OF||41||156||27||32||5||1||5||15||16||45||.205||11|
|Kale Kiser, OF||27||88||7||21||6||4||1||5||9||21||.239||1|
|Ryan Leonards, 3B||3||10||1||3||1||0||1||1||1||2||.300||1|
|Trey Michalczewski, 3B||82||296||43||87||19||5||8||52||37||96||.294||4|
|Jacob Morris, OF||79||292||43||66||20||2||5||26||39||109||.226||8|
|Omar Narvaez, C||38||127||7||37||3||0||0||20||9||11||.291||0|
|Cleuluis Rondon, 2B||77||301||35||70||9||0||0||16||26||65||.233||13|
|Tyler Shryock, SS||44||138||13||24||2||0||0||8||15||27||.174||4|
|Christian Stringer, 2B||27||97||12||25||8||1||3||13||5||16||.258||2|
|Carl Thomore, OF||71||232||23||58||10||0||2||32||31||76||.250||11|
|Zach Voight, 3B||26||97||6||23||4||0||1||8||5||28||.237||1|
|Tyler Williams, 3B||64||222||21||43||8||1||5||28||17||105||.194||5|
Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; H = Hits allowed; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; HR = Home runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
- The Earnhardt Connection. "TEC | Kannapolis Intimidators". Daleearnhardt.net. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- Dave Rodman, Turner Sports Interactive (2001-02-21). "Earnhardt dies following Daytona 500 accident – February 21, 2001". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- "Name Game: Welcome to CMC-NorthEast Stadium | Kannapolis Intimidators News". Kannapolis.intimidators.milb.com. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
- "Baseball Reference: 2000 Piedmont Boll Weevils". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "Baseball Reference: 1996 Piedmont Boll Weevils". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- "Intimidators baseball team in Kannapolis under new ownership". Independent Tribune. 2016-03-15. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- Smith, Deirdre (2016-03-16). "Kannapolis Intimidators have new owners, big plans". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2016-03-16.