Lynchburg Twins

From BR Bullpen

Formerly the Lynchburg White Sox, the Lynchburg Twins began with a 57-83 record in the 1970 Carolina League under the guidance of Tom Umphlett and Red Robbins, three games out of last. They improved in the second half, going 33-37, after a 24-46 start. 42,326 fans came to the games, putting them 5th in the 8-team league in attendance. The club was outscored 603-497. All-Star OF Bob Storm (.265/~.342/.397) led the league with 28 doubles while All-Star 3B Steve Braun (.279/~.401/.377) was 9th in average and presumably higher in OBP. E. Gene Baker (11-5, 9 Sv, 2.21, 28 BB in 110 IP) led the staff while fellow reliever Ed Nottle (6-2, 4 Sv, 2.72) also posted a good ERA amidst the struggles of the club.

The next year, they moved up to third in total record (68-67) and fourth in attendance (38,902) under manager Johnny Goryl despite having no All-Stars. They allowed 8 more runs than they scored (578-570). OF Craig Kusick (.267/~.409/.503) was second in the league in home runs (20) and led in RBI (91). Future minor league legend Moe Hill hit just .221/~.260/.394.

In 1972, the club was 4th of the six teams at 70-68 and drew 60,282 fans, the most in the league. Kerby Farrell, a long-time minor league skipper, was in charge. The Twins scored 593 and allowed 548, two more than the most stingy Carolina League team that year. Jim Hughes (13-9, 2.58) was second in the league in ERA and led with five shutouts. C Tom Smithson (.305/~.354/.405) was the only All-Star on the team. 1B-OF Jack Maloof hit .308/~.417/.382 and was third in the league in the average, led in walks (86) and OBP and was third with 82 runs (behind Dave Parker and Ed Ott).

The 1973 season started off on a high note as the Twins captured the first-half title (40-28), and they were almost as good in the second half (38-32, 1 game behind the Winston-Salem Red Sox). In the finals, though, they fell 3 games to 2 to Winston-Salem. All-Stars were manager Dick Phillips and 1B Jim Obradovich (.304/~.395/.541, third in the league in average, first in slugging, tied with Terry Whitfield for the home run lead). The club scored 596 and allowed 529, the stingiest team in the league. Bill Stiegemier (15-6, 2.56) was second in the Carolina League in ERA and tied Roy Thomas for the win lead.

Harry Warner managed the team in their last year, as they were second in the first half, tied for second in the second half and second overall. They scored 719, three less than the league-leading champion Salem Pirates. Guiding the offense were All-Star OF Willie Norwood (.309/~.387/.451, 93 R, 91 RBI, 31 steals in 39 tries, fifth in the league in average), All-Star 1B Randy Bass (.256/~.390/.492, 96 walks, a league-leading 30 homers and 112 RBI), OF Russ Noah (.301/~.445/.515, 11 triples, 15 HR, second in the league with 101 walks, 10th in average) and 3B Frank Grundler (.335/~.446/.485, the batting and OBP champion, the leader with 16 triples and 115 runs and 246 total bases, 98 walks). Bill Clauss (9-7, 12 Sv, 2.46, 22 BB in 95 IP) and Steve Blood (11-7, 2.77) led the staff; Clauss had the most saves and games pitched (65) in the league while Blood ranked fifth in ERA.

They became the Lynchburg Rangers in 1975.

Sources: 1971-1975 Baseball Guides

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1970 57-83 8th Tom Umphlett / Spencer Robbins
1971 68-67 3rd Johnny Goryl
1972 70-68 4th Kerby Farrell
1973 78-60 1st Dick Phillips Lost League Finals
1974 78-62 2nd Harry Warner none