- Kannapolis Intimidators
name = Kannapolis Intimidators
founded = 1995
city = Kannapolis, North Carolina
class level = A
past class level=
current league =
South Atlantic League
division = Southern Division
past league =
Chicago White Sox(2001-present)
nickname = Kannapolis Intimidators (2001-present)
pastnames = Piedmont Phillies (1995)
Piedmont Boll Weevils (1996-2000)
Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium
leaguechamps = 1 (2005)
The Kannapolis Intimidators is a
minor league baseballteam in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The team is a Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Soxand has played in the South Atlantic Leagueunder various names and team affiliations since its inception in 1995.
The current manager is Bobby Bright. The Intimidators franchise moved to Kannapolis in
1995from Spartanburg, South Carolina, where they had been a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Debate raged in the Kannapolis area over what to name the team, with the team's front office changing how it answered the phones almost constantly - from "Piedmont Phillies" (in reference to the region of North Carolinathat Kannapolis is situated in), to "Kannapolis Phillies," and for a time even "Lake Fisher Phillies" (Lake Fisher is a small reservoir that sits near the team's stadium). Team officials finally decided to call the team the Piedmont Phillies for the 1995 season. A name-the-team contest in the fall of 1995 drew thousands of entries, and team officials settled on the boll weevilas the team's new mascot, indicative of Kannapolis' history as a textilemill town (Kannapolis natives are even called "lintheads"). The Piedmont Boll Weevils would keep that mascot until after the 2000 season, when NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardtpurchased a share in the team's ownership. It was then that the name was changed to the Kannapolis Intimidators, in honor of Earnhardt's legendary nickname. It was also during that offseason that the team's parent club changed from the Phillies to the Chicago White Sox, making the Intimidators the third White Sox farm team to be located in the Carolinas, following the Charlotte Knights(who actually play their home games in suburban Fort Mill, South Carolina) and the Winston-Salem Warthogs. Dale Earnhardt, whose drove car number 3 in NASCAR, was killed in an accident at the Daytona 500 in February 2001. Following Earnhardt's death, the Intimidators avoided assigning the number 3 for team members. Team manager Razor Shines, originally slated to wear #3, subsequently changed his uniform number to #43. The team officially retired number 3 on May 15, 2002, in memory of their former co-owner, similar to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheimretiring the number 26 (the 26th man) in honor of former owner Gene Autry.
The team's logo was designed by Sam Bass, who has designed paint schemes and uniforms on many NASCAR, Champ Car, and IRL race cars.
The team plays in
Fieldcrest Cannon Stadiumin Kannapolis. "The Cannon" was still under construction when the Piedmont Phillies began play in 1995. Upon completion in the winter of 1996, the stadium seated 4,700 fans.
Current or former
Major League Baseballplayers to pass through Kannapolis include Jimmy Rollinsand David Cogginof the Philadelphia Phillies. Also, NFLrunning back Ricky Williamsplayed for the Boll Weevils during the late 1990's while he was also playing college footballfor the University of Texas.
All 140 games are broadcast live over the internet by play-by-play man Dan Bumpus.
Smith Family Baseball, owned by
Illinoisbusinessman Dale Smith and his son Brad (the team's President) bought the team from Dale Earnhardt, Inc.and motorsports magnate Bruton Smithin December of 2004. Larry and Sue Hedrick, the owners who bought the Spartanburg Phillies in 1993and eventually moved them to Kannapolis, retained a minority share of the team's ownership.
The Kannapolis franchise has appeared in two SAL championship series, winning one:
1995(Piedmont Phillies) - lost to Augusta 3 games to 2
2005(Kannapolis Intimidaors) - defeated Hagerstown 3 games to 1
* [http://www.intimidatorsbaseball.com Official team website]
* [http://www.baseballpilgrimages.com/A/kannapolis.html Photos of Fieldcrest Cannon and information about team history]
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