Port City Roosters
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The Port City Roosters were a minor league baseball team based in Wilmington, North Carolina. The team, which played in the Southern League, was the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners major-league club. The Roosters played in Brooks Field on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Opened in 1989, the park seats 3,000 fans.
The team began play in 1995, after the Nashville Xpress was relocated to Wilmington. Following the 1996 season, the Roosters franchise was relocated to Mobile, Alabama, and resumed play as the Mobile BayBears. The move was cited as a result of many factors including an inadequate stadium and low attendance.
The Roosters games were broadcast locally on WAAV-AM 980. David Kelly and Mike Ferreri did the play-by-play. Kelly is now a sports anchor/reporter at KMSB-TV in Tucson, Arizona. Ferreri is the Sports Director at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Among the better known major leaguers who wore the Roosters uniform, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek, pitchers Derek Lowe and Ryan Franklin, infielder Desi Relaford and outfielders José Cruz, Jr. and Raúl Ibañez.
The 1995 squad finished with an overall record of 62-80 in finishing last in their division. During the inaugural season the Roosters drew 110,233 fans.
The 1996 squad finished with an overall record of 56-84 in finishing last in their division. During their second and final season the Roosters drew 68,463 fans.
- Boaz, Mike. (September 3, 1996) "So long, Roosters; Port City plays for the final time." Wilmington Star-News.
- Carree, Chuck. (June 26, 1997) "Baseball a bust in the Port City, Mobile finds fans where Wilmington could not." Wilmington Star-News.
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