- Location: Gastonia, NC
- League: Western Carolinas League 1973-1974; South Atlantic League 1987-1992
- Affiliation: Texas Rangers 1973-1974, 1987-1992
- Ballpark: Sims Legion Park
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.
The End in Gastonia
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."
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
- Sammy Sosa
- Jeff Frye
- José Hernández
- Robb Nen
- Darren Oliver
- Iván Rodríguez
- Wilson Alvarez
- Juan Gonzalez
- Bill Haselman
- Dean Palmer
- Rey Sanchez
- Benji Gil
- Danny Patterson
- Scott Erickson
- Tug McGraw
|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|