Kinston Eagles

From BR Bullpen

Several teams in baseball history have played in Kinston, North Carolina and been called the Kinston Eagles.

The first Eagles team played in the Virginia League from 1925 to 1927 before joining the Eastern Carolina League in 1928. Due to the Great Depression, the league folded after the 1929 season.

Another Eagles club played in the semiprofessional Coastal Plain League beginning in 1934. This team was lead by manager Bunn Hearn and had several outstanding players including Charlie Keller. These Eagles captured the league championship in 1935.

When the Coastal Plain League converted to a fully professional circuit in 1937, Kinston remained and retained the Eagles name. For their first two seasons, they were a St. Louis Cardinals farm team, but as an affiliate of the Atlanta Crackers, they won the league title in 1947. However, the league encountered financial difficulties and disbanded in 1952.

A third Eagles team began play in the Carolina League in 1956, when a club relocated from Burlington. However, early in the 1957 season, the club left town and moved to Wilson.

The Eagles returned to the Carolina League when a new club was formed in 1962. As a farm club of the Pittsburgh Pirates, they won the league championship in their first year. They later were an affiliate of the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves. In 1974, they switched affiliation to the Montreal Expos and became known as the Kinston Expos, but the team folded after just one season.

The final Eagles franchise also played in the Carolina League. They began play as an independent club in 1978 and then became part of the Toronto Blue Jays farm system in 1979. In 1982, the team's name was changed to the Kinston Blue Jays. After losing their affiliation with the Jays, they again took the Eagles name in 1986 and again operated as an independent team. The following year, they affiliated with the Cleveland Indians and became known as the Kinston Indians, a name the club retains to today.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1925 52-80 6th Johnny Nee none
1926 69-83 5th Johnny Nee none
1927 56-75 6th Mike Konnick / Arthur Hauger none
1928 55-59 4th Paul Bennett / Marty Walters
1929 46-71 6th Clarence Roper
1937 32-65 8th Krim Bess / Vern Taylor
1938 60-50 4th Tommy West Lost in 1st round
1939 65-59 4th Snake Henry / Luke Lucas / Bill Herring
1940 63-60 4th Denny Sothern / William Averette Lost League Finals
1941 42-77 8th Arthur "Cowboy" McHenry / Joe DeMasi
1946 67-56 2nd Frank Rodgers Lost League Finals
1947 74-65 2nd Steve Collins League Champs
1948 80-59 2nd Steve Collins Lost League Finals
1949 74-64 2nd Steve Collins Lost League Finals
1950 70-68 4th Wally Millies Lost League Finals
1951 79-47 1st Wes Livengood Lost in 1st round
1952 76-47 1st Wayne Blackburn Lost in 1st round
1956 66-87 7th Jack Paepke (57-82) / Tex Taylor (9-5)
1957 51-89 overall -- Pete Suder Team moved to Wilson May 11
1962 83-57 2nd Hardy Peterson League Champs
1963 77-66 3rd (t) Hardy Peterson Lost in 1st round
1964 79-59 2nd Hardy Peterson Lost in 1st round
1965 72-71 5th Bob Clear
1966 76-63 3rd Andy Pafko Lost in 1st round
1967 60-75 12th Andy Pafko
1968 62-75 9th Bob Bauer
1969 74-68 5th Gene Hassell
1970 72-65 4th Alex Cosmidis
1971 83-52 2nd Gene Hassell Lost League Finals
1972 73-64 3rd Gene Hassell
1973 68-69 4th Gene Hassell
1978 57-77 5th Leo Mazzone
1979 67-69 4th Duane Larson none
1980 69-69 6th Dennis Holmberg
1981 72-68 3rd John McLaren
1986 60-76 7th Dave Trembley