(1907–1912, 1919–1931, 1938–1942, 1946–1952, 1954–1955, 1961–1972)
Greenville, South Carolina
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Western Carolinas League (1962–1972)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||7 (1910, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1948, 1963, 1970)|
The Greenville Spinners were a minor league baseball team located in Greenville, South Carolina.
The team moved to the low Class A Western Carolinas League and became an affiliate of the Milwaukee Braves in 1963 and 1964 and changed their name to the Greenville Braves. This two-year affiliation was brief, but produced the 1963 playoff champions of the WCL. When the New York Mets replaced the Braves as the team's parent in 1965, the nickname was changed.
As a New York Mets affiliate, they were called the Greenville Mets during the 1965 and 1966 seasons in the Class A Western Carolinas League. This team produced future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and strikeout king Nolan Ryan as well as another hurler, Jerry Koosman, who would go on to star on the New York Mets' 1969 "Miracle Mets" team.
Koosman played on the 1965 club, posting a lackluster 5-11 won/lost record and an earned run average of 4.71. But Ryan dominated the 1966 Western Carolinas League. He won 17 games, lost only two, and struck out 272 batters in 183 innings pitched. The Greenville Mets also produced future MLB players Duffy Dyer, Ed Figueroa and Dick Selma, among others.
Greenville Red Sox
The Greenville Red Sox was the name of an American minor league baseball franchise representing Greenville, South Carolina, that played for five seasons, 1967–1971, in the Class A Western Carolinas League. It played its home games at Meadowbrook Park.
When the Mets vacated Greenville after the 1966 season, the Boston Red Sox, seeking to replace the Oneonta Red Sox as its third full-season Class A farm club, took the Mets' place. The Greenville Red Sox produced future Major League Baseball players such as Rick Burleson, Cecil Cooper, Billy Conigliaro, John Curtis, Bo Díaz, Dwight Evans, Mike Garman, Mike Nagy, Don Newhauser, Ben Oglivie and Dick Pole during their five years of existence. The team won one league championship, in 1970. Attendance ranged between 41,000 and 59,000 — in the middle to lower tier of WCL franchises of the time.
When Red Sox decided to trim their farm system for 1972 — they had two other full-season Class A affiliates, the Winston-Salem Red Sox and the Winter Haven Red Sox — the Texas Rangers replaced them in Greenville, and renamed the team.
The Greenville Rangers played in Greenville only for the 1972 season and no team called the city home until the new version of the Greenville Braves moved to town in 1984 as a member of the Southern League. That team left town after the 2004 season and became the Mississippi Braves. The Capital City Bombers then moved in for the 2005 season, first as the Greenville Bombers and then the Greenville Drive.
Notable Greenville alumni
Baseball Hall of Fame alumni
- Tommy Lasorda (1949) Inducted, 1997
- Nolan Ryan (1966) Inducted, 1999
- Tim Blackwell (1971)
- Rocky Bridges 91948) MLB All-Star
- Rick Burleson (1971) 4 x MLB All-Star
- Cecil Cooper (1969) 5 x MLB All-Star
- John Curtis (1969)
- Bo Diaz (1971) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Duffy Dyer (1966)
- Dwight Evans (1970) 8 x Gold Glove; 3 x MLB All-Star
- Cito Gaston (1964) MLB All-Star; Manager: 2 x World Series Champion -- Toronto Blue Jays (1992-1993)
- Oscar Grimes (1950) MLB All-Star
- Jerry Koosman 91965) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Clem Labine (1947) 2 x MLB All-Star
- Pepper Martin (1947) 4 x MLB All-Star
- Ray Moore (1948)
- Danny O'Connell (1948)
- Ben Oglivie (1969) 3 x MLB All-Star; 1980 AL Home Run Leader
- Sherry Robertson (1941)
- Mickey Vernon (1938) 7 x MLB All Star; 2 x NL Batting Title (1946, 1953)
- Dixie Walker (1930) 5 x MLB All-Star; 1944 NL Batting Title
- Harry Walker (1938) 2 x MLB All-Star; 1947 NL Batting Title
- Tillie Walker (1928-1929) 1918 Al Home Run Leader