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Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

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Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:23 am

The Kinston franchise was sold today, and as part of a three team shuffle, they will move to Zebulon, NC starting in 2012. With this the Cleveland Indians affiliation will also move to Zebulon, the city where the Double-A Carolina Mudcats played. The old Mudcats team is moving to Florida...while Kinston is left without a team for the time being.

What this means for the Indians is they simply will now have their High-A Carolina League affiliate located in Zebulon. It also means some pretty nice improvements as the facility and fan support there is much, much better than it was in Kinston. All that said, I'm sad to see the run with Kinston come to an end.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby petes999 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:31 am

Tony, does this make your vacation plans harder or easier? Do you leave your family out on the beach as you go watch the games? So is this further? Or, can you convince your wife to stay in Raliegh (go shopping) as you go watch the games? But, this would be harder on the pocket book :biggrin:

Maybe down the road, you can convince your kids to go to NC or Duke to "visit them". :pleasantry:
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:25 am

petes999 wrote:Maybe down the road, you can convince your kids to go to NC or Duke to "visit them". :pleasantry:


Not a bad idea since my second favorite college basketball team are the Tar Heels. :biggrin:

Anyway, I don't think this changes much for me. Not really that big of a move....I think, what, an hour or hour and a half northwest of Kinston? So just means about 3 hours less of total driving time to and from if I drive down to Kinston. Also now just a hop skip and a jump from the Raleigh-Durham airport.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:06 pm

It works out very well for me because it's a lot easier to get to when visiting relatives in western SC.

That said, sad to see the run in Kinston end. What's the longest affiliation now, Canton-Akron/Akron?

Finally, any word as to whether the team stays the Indians or becomes the Carolina Mudcats?
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:19 pm

Update: They will be the Mudcats

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/docu ... vingPR.pdf

So, there will now be two MiLB franchise (as opposed to complex-based) teams named the Indians, neither affiliated with the Indians.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:20 pm

Upper Box Woodchuck wrote:Finally, any word as to whether the team stays the Indians or becomes the Carolina Mudcats?


To early to tell. I'd venture to guess though they become the Carolina Mudcats. Would cost a lot of money for the Mudcats to change their logo/name, etc.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby GhostofTedCox » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:34 pm

My vote would be for the Zebulon Zephyrs. The marketing slogan could be: "Catch some Z's while wide awake!" :s_laughat
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:37 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:My vote would be for the Zebulon Zephyrs. The marketing slogan could be: "Catch some Z's while wide awake!" :s_laughat


Don't know if you caught my 2nd post. The linked document made it sound like it will be Mudcats.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Edible14 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:35 pm

Upper Box Woodchuck wrote:Update: They will be the Mudcats

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/docu ... vingPR.pdf

So, there will now be two MiLB franchise (as opposed to complex-based) teams named the Indians, neither affiliated with the Indians.


Interesting. Is the "Mudcats" franchise that's moving to Pensacola going to retain their name?

Kinston will get another team for sure. From everything I've heard they're a supportive fan base, and even a quick google search will find evidence for that. At the very least, one of the independent leagues would probably love to have a team in Kinston.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:42 pm

Edible14 wrote:Interesting. Is the "Mudcats" franchise that's moving to Pensacola going to retain their name?

Kinston will get another team for sure. From everything I've heard they're a supportive fan base, and even a quick google search will find evidence for that. At the very least, one of the independent leagues would probably love to have a team in Kinston.


The Pensacola team is I believe an "expansion" team in that they are a new minor league city. So, I'd expect new name, colors, etc.

As for Kinston, it's no slam dunk they get another team. Also the fan support is not very good as they have the worst attendance in minor league baseball (or close to it). The few fans and diehards who do go to K-Tribe games are GREAT, but it's not a big fanbase nor pool of people in the area to draw from (smallest city affiliated in minor league baseball).
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby ktriber » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:15 pm

Tony's right - we have the smallest market in minor league baseball. The whole county only has 50,000 people. We draw 4,000 + a few times per year on special occasions. The field is excellent and the stadium is old, but adequate. Some improvements have been made over the years. If we land another team, I'm betting it will be Low A at best. I've been a box seat holder for several years, hate to see it end.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:50 am

ktriber wrote:Tony's right - we have the smallest market in minor league baseball. The whole county only has 50,000 people. We draw 4,000 + a few times per year on special occasions. The field is excellent and the stadium is old, but adequate. Some improvements have been made over the years. If we land another team, I'm betting it will be Low A at best. I've been a box seat holder for several years, hate to see it end.


Yes, sad to see it end....and contrary to what the K-Tribe ownership group says, I think they are in trouble as far as landing another team. It's an old, small stadium and the facilities are average at best. But where are they going to get a team from in A? Obviously can't play in the Florida State League and Midwest League, so the South Atlantic League and Carolina league appear to be the only options.

But who is moving? Wilmington, Frederick, Winston-Salem, Myrtle Beach all have superior stadiums in the Carolina League. Potomac's is crap, so who knows there, the draw there is their proximity to the parent team in DC. I am unaware of Salem or Lynchburg's situation or what their facilities are like, so those are two potential teams they could draw to Kinston.

There is one facility in the SAL that I have heard is awful...can't remember offhand....want to say Hagerstown. A few others I believe that are not up to good standards, so maybe they woo a Low-A team in.

But I think at this point it is doubtful.

What I can't wrap my hands around is why Kinston sold? I understand why the Mudcats moved and why their move to the Carolina League makes sense.....but even after the comments made by ownership I don't understand did Kinston sold the team yet feels they can get another.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:45 am

TonyIPI wrote:
ktriber wrote:There is one facility in the SAL that I have heard is awful...can't remember offhand....want to say Hagerstown. A few others I believe that are not up to good standards, so maybe they woo a Low-A team in.

Yes, I've been there several times (family in the area), and Hagerstown is certainly the one you're thinking of. They like to pass it off as historic, and they do have a long history of minor league baseball there, but the facilities are ancient and basically high school level. Of course, they're a great example of how far minor league baseball has come, when you consider that they were a member of the AA Eastern League less than 20 years ago. The prospects and the "Scoreboard Cowboy" are the only reasons to attend Hagerstown games. I think they're probably on a bit more stable ground now that they've been a Nationals affiliate for a couple years (they've been bounced by the Giants, Mets and I think the Jays in recent years).

Massive renovations would seem like a must at some point (it would blow your mind that Lake County and Hagerstown were in the same league, and still the same level). However, Hagerstown has about twice the population as Kinston, and I believe it's still growing as more of the population from Baltimore/DC is heading west to Frederick and beyond to escape the city. It's also conveniently located just off a major interstate (I-70) and in a general area that's just as saturated with minor league baseball as North Carolina.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby ktriber » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:52 pm

There was an article in our paper about possible expansion of the Carolina League by two teams.That's probably the only way we stay in the Carolina League. It was more of a dream scenario than anything else.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:15 pm

I hate to say it, but the term "summer college baseball" is floating around in my head re: Kinston's future.

Best of luck in getting a pro team back, Kinston!
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:13 am

Expansion is really the only option for Kinston, but even in that case so many factors have to align. I'd put the possibility at very slim they get an affiliated team for 2012. The glaring thing to me is that they sold the team to begin with. Going to be hard to get another team in there, no matter what is being publicly said in order to appease the fans.

I do think they could get another team in there, but I believe it won't be affiliated ball....maybe an independent team is their best chance. Dunno.
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Re: Kinston sold, Indians moving to Zebulon, NC

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:15 pm

Unfortunately, the deep south is something of a "dead zone" for independent pro leagues. I'll have to check if a new league is starting up down there.
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