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Rocky Mount Phillies

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The Rocky Mount Phillies replaced the Rocky Mount Leafs in Rocky Mount, NC in 1973. The Carolina League club went 75-65 its first year under the guidance of Bob Wellman. They were 41-29 in the first half, losing a playoff spot by two percentage points to the Lynchburg Twins. Overall, their run differential was 587-540. The team had four All-Stars - C Bill Nahorodny (.262/~.335/.433, .989 fielding, best at the position), SS Greg Pryor (.293/~.379/.393, 9 triples, fifth in the league in average), P Roy Thomas (15-8, 2.24, the league leader in ERA, shutouts [4], wins [tied] and strikeouts [193] to win the pitching Triple Crown) and P Randall Hill (14-4, 2.93, 7th in ERA). They were last in attendance (28,389).

At 73-66 the next year under Cal Emery, they finished fourth and had a 601-569 edge in runs, allowing the fewest in the Carolina League. Dan Greenhalgh (15-9, 2.56) was second in the league in wins and ERA (trailing Don Aase of Winston-Salem) and led in strikeouts (177 in 204 innings) while tying Aase and another pitcher with four shutouts. Amazingly, SS Todd Cruz was the lone All-Star despite a .193/~.261/.256 batting line and 49 errors. 38,677 fans came out, putting them third in attendance.

Emery's team won it all in their last year with a dazzling 91-51 campaign. They won the first half (48-24) and the second half (43-37) and went an impressive 38-8 against Western Carolinas League teams in interleague play. Emery's team drew 24,345 fans, last in the league, though he won Manager of the Year efforts. They scored 677 while allowing only 508, the fewest by a solid margin. Cruz (.203/~.272/.331) hit a bit better but the main punch came from 3B Jim Morrison, the league leader in home runs (20), runs (98) and total bases (239). Morrison batted .288/~.377/.481 and was six homers ahead of the runner-up; he was second in the league in RBI (88). Joining him on the All-Star team were 1B John Poff (.267/~.387/.393) and P Warren Brusstar (14-8, 2.22). Brusstar was second in the league in ERA and tied for the lead in wins despite a league-high 23 wild pitches. Oliver Bell (14-11, 2.54) was fourth in ERA and part of the three-way tie for the win lead.

Pro baseball was not played in Rocky Mount again until the 1980 Rocky Mount Pines.

Sources: 1974-1976 Baseball Guides

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1973 75-65 3rd Bob Wellman
1974 73-66 4th Cal Emery none
1975 91-51 1st Cal Emery none League Champs
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