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Charlotte Knights

The Charlotte Knights have had a long history and today this team plays for Charlotte, North Carolina. This minor league team is a part of the International League. Charlotte Knights is the AAA associate of Chicago White Sox from the American League. The team conducts its activities and plays at the Knights Stadium in Fort Mill of South Carolina. The region is not very large and is basically suburban Charlotte.

Baseball has been a sport loved and played in Charlotte for a long time. In fact, baseball shed the tag of a casual sport to be played by youngsters in the evenings and put on the uniform of a professional sport in 1901. This means that the sport has enjoyed a place of repute for over a century in Charlotte. The initiation of the Charlotte Hornets team in 1901 indicated the seriousness with which the sport of baseball was treated in this region. The team operated independently for a considerable period of time, and that was until the Minnesota Senators purchased the team in 1937. The Minnesota Senators went on to be known by the name of the Minnesota Twins. However, the purchase did not affect the essentials of the baseball team of Charlotte. The Hornets remained associated with the Minnesota Senators for a lengthy period of 35 years. 1940 was a pretty important year in the history of the Charlotte Knights team as the team under the Minnesota Senators owner Clark Griffith. Calvin Griffith, the son of Clark Griffith, invested some real money into the well being of the team and built a 3,200 seating capacity park in the Dilworth region of Charlotte. The park was called the Calvin Griffith Park and would go on to become an integral part of the baseball sport in Charlotte for a good part of the subsequent times. Calvin Griffith also went on to become the owner of the Minnesota Twins in the future.

The Charlotte Hornets loitered about the base of the success ladders of the minor league charts well throughout the first half of the 20th century. It was not until the year 1954 when the team shook hands with the Class A South Atlantic League that the fortunes changed. The team had been a part of the South Atlantic League previously as well. The South Atlantic League itself was on a fast track of development in the times past the 1950s with the league becoming AA in 1963 and undergoing a renaming to Southern League in 1964. Almost seven decades past the first formation of a baseball team for Charlotte in 1972, the name of Charlotte Twins came into being. The long standing association with Minnesota Twins ended from 1972 onwards and the Twins could not link anything up with the newly formed Charlotte Twins team.

1976 marked an important year when promoter Jim Crockett, Jr. who had been associated with wrestling burst upon the scene and bought the AA affiliate of Baltimore Orioles (the team called Asheville Orioles), renaming them as Charlotte Orioles. The Griffith Park too underwent some serious renovations and was rechristened the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Park. The Charlotte team became popularly known as Os and they went on to win Southern League titles twice, once in 1980 and again in the 1984 season. Some special baseball players like Eddie Murray and Curt Schilling represented the Os.

In 1987, George Shinn bought the Os team from the Crocketts and renamed it as Knights in the same year. Also, the team was affiliated to the Chicago Cubs. Later, in 1993, Charlotte went on to acquire an International League franchise in the position of the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. This massive expansionary change brought with itself the name of the Charlotte Knights, and the earlier AA Southern League Knights went on a different route to come up as the present Mobile Bay Bears. The next important milestone came before the 1998 season when the team was sold to Don Beaver who then went into an AAA affiliation with Chicago White Sox. The agreement has seen an extension and this breeds well for the future of professional baseball in Charlotte.
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