Asheville Tourists

The Asheville Tourists are a minor league baseball team based in Asheville, North Carolina. They play in the Class A South Atlantic League and have been a farm team of the Colorado Rockies since 1994.

Asheville Tourists
Founded in 1897
Asheville, North Carolina
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentClass A (1976–present)
Previous
  • Double-A (1968–1975)
  • Class A (1967)
  • Double-A (1963–1966)
  • Class A (1959–1962)
  • Class B (1932, 1934–1942, 1946–1955)
  • Class C (1931)
  • Class B (1924–1930)
  • Class D (1910–1917)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueSouth Atlantic League (1980–present)
DivisionSouthern Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Current
Minor league titles
League titles (7)
  • 1915
  • 1939
  • 1961
  • 1968
  • 1984
  • 2012
  • 2014
Team data
Nickname
  • Asheville Tourists (1976–present)
  • Asheville Orioles (1972–1975)
  • Asheville Tourists (1915–1971)
  • Asheville Mountaineers (1913–1914)
  • Asheville Moonshiners (1897, 1910–1912)
Mascot
  • Ted E. Tourist (1991–present)
  • Mr. Moon (2011–present)
BallparkMcCormick Field (1924–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Mike DeWine and family
ManagerRobinson Cancel[1]
General ManagerLarry Hawkins

Asheville teams have played under the Tourists moniker in different leagues and classifications for decades, with the earliest dating to 1897. The current team has played continuously in what is now known as the South Atlantic League since 1976. They have won three league championships, first in 1984 and most recently in 2014. Previous Tourists teams won a total of four additional championships.

The Tourists play home games at McCormick Field. The park opened in 1924, renovated in 1959, and renovated again for the 1992 season. McCormick Field seats 4,000 fans, and is notable for the scoreboard which reads "Visitors" in the guest slot and "Tourists" in the home slot.[2]

History

Earlier teams

Professional baseball in Asheville, North Carolina, dates to 1897, when the Asheville Moonshiners took the field.[2] It has been played continuously for nearly every year since 1909, with early teams such as the Redbirds (1909) and the Mountaineers (1910–1914).[2][3] The "Tourists" name dates to 1915, when local sportswriters began referring to the Mountaineers team as the Tourists.[2]

The original Tourists brought Asheville its first ever professional sports championship in 1915. They continued playing in the Class-D North Carolina State League until 1917, when the league suspended operations due to World War I. In 1924 the "Asheville Skylanders" started play in the South Atlantic League; however, they soon adopted the Tourists nickname.[2] They played in the South Atlantic League until 1930, when they jumped to the Piedmont League, where they played for two seasons before folding. In 1934 the Columbia Sandlappers moved to Asheville, taking up the Tourists name.[4] This incarnation won the 1939 Piedmont League championship; however the league suspended operations in 1942, due to the outset of World War II.[2]

In 1946 a new Tourists franchise started up in the Tri-State League. During the 1940s they shared McCormick Field with the Asheville Blues, an independent Negro Leagues team.[5] They folded along with their league in 1955.[3] In 1959 a new South Atlantic League (later the Southern League) franchise came to town. McCormick Field was renovated. The team initially wanted a new name, and organized a fan vote to pick. However, fans voted overwhelmingly to keep the Tourists nickname.[2] The team won two league titles, in 1961 and 1968. In 1968, the Tourists won the Southern League championship under manager Sparky Anderson, who went on to manage the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers during his 26 years in Major League Baseball.

In 1972 Asheville became affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles MLB team. As part of Baltimore's "Oriole Way" system, the Asheville team was rebranded the Asheville Orioles, adopting the logo and colors of their affiliate. The team had four successive winning seasons, but after the 1975 season the Orioles relocated their Double-A franchise to Charlotte, North Carolina, as the Charlotte Orioles.[2]

Current team

McCormick Field would not be unoccupied for the 1976 season, however. Shortly after the AA franchise moved to Charlotte, their place was taken by an expansion team in the Western Carolinas League (now the modern South Atlantic League). Like many teams before it, it assumed the Tourists nickname. The team has remained in Asheville continuously since, winning the 1984 league championship. They are currently a farm team of the Colorado Rockies, with whom they have been affiliated since 1994. They were previously affiliated with the Texas Rangers (1976–81) and the Houston Astros (1982–93). The team has subsequently won two additional league titles in 2012 and 2014.

The Tourists played a minor role in the 1988 film Bull Durham. In the film Kevin Costner's character, Crash Davis, finishes his baseball career with the Tourists after being cut from the Durham Bulls, and with them breaks the all-time minor league home run record.

On January 5, 2010 it was reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times that Palace Sports and Entertainment have sold the team to former U.S. Senator and current Governor of Ohio Mike DeWine and his family. It was reported that Brian DeWine, son of Mike, would be the team president.[6]

Roster

Asheville Tourists roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • -- Alex Achtermann
  • 33 Jake Bird
  • 35 Jacob Bosiokovic
  • 29 Nick Bush
  • 14 Ryan Feltner
  • 10 Trent Fennell
  • -- Shelby Lackey
  • 28 Alexander Martinez
  • -- Mike Nikorak
  • 26 Frederis Parra
  • 27 Riley Pint
  • 15 PJ Poulin
  • 21 Raymells Rosa
  •  1 Colten Schmidt
  • 13 Reagan Todd
  • 38 Will Tribucher
  •  2 Derrik Watson

Catchers

  • 22 Max George
  •  9 Javier Guevara
  • 25 Greg Jones
  • 23 Willie MacIver

Infielders

  • 17 John Cresto
  •  3 Kyle Datres
  • 16 Danny Edgeworth
  • 34 Grant Lavigne
  •  5 Coco Montes

Outfielders

  • 19 Niko Decolati
  •  8 Will Golsan
  •  4 Cade Harris
  • 24 Daniel Montanto

Manager

Coaches


7-day injured list
* On Colorado Rockies 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated November 30, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB  South Atlantic League
Colorado Rockies minor league players

Notable alumni

Baseball Hall of Fame alumni

Notable alumni

Year-by-year record

YearRecordFinishManagerPlayoffs
191574–461stJack CorbettLeague Champs
191658–544thJack Corbettnone
191712–16--Ernest "Doc" Ferrisnone
Team disbanded 1917–1923
192458–635thBob Higginsnone
192566–635thBob Higgins / Larry Gardnernone
192680–662ndLarry Gardnernone
192776–734thLarry Gardnernone
192897–491stRay Kennedynone
192984–622ndMike KennedyLost League Finals
193079–613rdGeorge Speirs
193166–674thRay Kennedy / Bobby Hipps
193235-33--Joe GuyonTeam disbanded July 7
Team disbanded 1933
193434–59 (55–78 overall)5thBill Laval / Possum WhittedColumbia moved to Asheville June 7
193575–621stBilly SouthworthLost League Finals
193640–1036thBilly Southworth
193789–501stHal AndersonLost in 1st round
193863–757thHal Anderson
193989–551stHal AndersonLeague Champs
194075–602ndTommy WestLost in 1st round
194164–767thNick Cullop
194261–776thBill DeLancey
Team disbanded 1943–1946
194683–572ndBill SaylesLost in 1st round
194765–746thBill Sayles
194895–511stClay BryantLost in 1st round
194976–713rdEd HeadLost in 1st round
195083–622ndClay BryantLost League Finals
195185–552ndRay HathawayLost League Finals
195265–755thBill Hart / George Tesnow
195383–672ndRay HathawayLost in 1st round
195486–541stRay HathawayLost League Finals
195553–633rdEarl Naylor
Team disbanded 1956–1958
195970–705thClyde McCullough
196062–776thChuck Kress
196187–501stRay Hathawaynone League Champs
196270–704thRay HathawayLost in 1st round
196379–612ndRay Hathaway
196452–868thRay Hathaway (28–53) / Bob Clear (24–33)none
196580–602ndPete Petersonnone
196678–612ndPete Petersonnone
196764–7410thChuck Churn
196886–541stSparky Andersonnone League Champs
196969–693rdAlex Cosmidisnone
197059-808thJim Snydernone
197190-512ndLarry SherryLost League Finals
Team known as Asheville Orioles 1972–1975
197676–621stWayne TerwilligerLost League Finals
197781–582ndWayne Terwilliger
197873–674thWayne Terwilligernone
197975–632ndWayne Terwilliger
198069–715thTom Robson
198174–684thTom Robson
198265–768thDave Cripe
198364–809th (t)Tom Spencer
198473–705thTom SpencerLeague Champs
198576–624thFred Hatfield
198690–502ndKen BolekLost League Finals
198791–481stKeith BodieLost League Finals
198865–759thGary Tuck / Jim Coveney
198968–708thJim Coveney
199066–779thFrank Cacciatore
199155–8314thFrank Cacciatore
199274–664thTim Tolman
199351–8814thBobby Ramos
199460–7311thTony Torchia
199576–635thBill McGuireLost in 1st round
199684–521stP. J. CareyLost in 2nd round
199762–7612thRon Gideon
199871–697thRon Gideon
199964–7711thJim Eppard
200066–698th (t)Joe Mikulik
200168–719thJoe Mikulik
200264–7412thJoe Mikulik
200374–656thJoe Mikulik
200464–7513thJoe Mikulik
200571–6710thJoe Mikulik
200674–636thJoe Mikulik
200780–584thJoe Mikulik
200883–562ndJoe Mikulik
200968–707thJoe MikulikLost in 1st round
201069–707thJoe Mikulik
201169–709thJoe Mikulik
201288–521stJoe MikulikLeague Champs
201363–739thFred Ocasio
201489–491stFred OcasioLeague Champs
201572-672ndWarren SchaefferLost League Finals
201666-725thWarren Schaeffer
201768-705thWarren Schaeffer

References

  • Holaday, J. Chris (1998). Professional Baseball in North Carolina: An Illustrated City-by-City History, 1901–1996. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-0532-5.
  • Lloyd, Johnson; Miles Wolff, eds. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, third ed. Baseball America, Inc. ISBN 1-932391-17-7.
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