Gastonia Rangers

From BR Bullpen


The Gastonia Rangers were a class A minor league team located in Gastonia, NC. The team played first as the Rangers in the Western Carolinas League (1973-1974), then later in the same league renamed as the South Atlantic League (1987-1992), and were affiliated with the Texas Rangers. Their home stadium was Sims Legion Park.

The team underwent numerous team name changes (see Gastonia, NC) as the Comers, Pirates, Rangers, Cardinals, Expos, Jets, Tigers, then finally the Rangers again in 1987 through 1992.


In 1989, 44-year-old Tug McGraw came out of retirement to pitch one game for the Gastonia Rangers[1]. His stat line was

1989 GAS SAL 44 Tex A 0 0 1.80 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 3 1 1 0 0 0 0

The End in Gastonia[edit]

It was previously a minor mystery what became of the Gastonia Rangers organization. Very little reference can be found made of them across the internet. But according to Minor League Baseball,

"Donald C. Beaver is Owner/President of the New Orleans Zephyrs. He is also the owner and President of the Class-A South Atlantic League Hickory (NC) Crawdads and owner of the Class AAA International League Charlotte Knights. He has ownership in the Pittsburgh Pirates and is on their board of directors.

Beaver received his Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University in 1962 and followed it up with a Masters of Business Administration in 1964. He embarked on a career as a hospital administrator and in 1975 he founded the Brian Center Corporation, where he served as CEO until 1995.

While he achieved success as a nursing home pioneer, Beaver never forgot his love of baseball. He was thrust into the spotlight at an early age as a pitcher in the 1952 Little League World Series. 40 years later he purchased the Gastonia Rangers and relocated the franchise to Hickory, and since then several clubs have been added. In 2000 he was inducted into the Little League World Series Hall of Fame."[2]

This is the last known statistical link of the Gastonia Rangers baseball club. In their last season, they went 66-70 (.485), 12 games back in the SAL's Northern Division. While Gastonia, NC no longer has a team in the South Atlantic League it has since 2002 has been home to the Gastonia Grizzlies of the collegiate Coastal Plain League.

Notable Former Players[edit]

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting Coach Pitching Coach
1973 74-54 2nd Rich Donnelly Lost League Finals
1974 84-48 1st Rich Donnelly none League Champs
1987 58-82 9th Chino Cadahia Art Gardner Rusty Gerhardt
1988 47-90 12th Orlando Gomez Jeff Melrose Rick Knapp
1989 92-48 1st Orlando Gomez Lost League Finals Jim Crawford Oscar Acosta
1990 82-61 2nd (t) Orlando Gomez Randy Whisler Marvin White
1991 69-73 8th Bump Wills Randy Whisler Jackson Todd
1992 66-70 10th Walt Williams Stan Cliburn Gary Mielke