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1993 Kinston Indians

From BR Bullpen

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1993 Kinston Indians ("K-Tribe")

BR Team Page

Parent Club: Cleveland Indians

Affiliates: Charlotte Knights, Canton-Akron Indians, Columbus Red Stixx, Watertown Indians, Burlington Indians

  • Composite Record: 70-68, Finished 4th in Carolina League composite standings
    • 1st Half Record: 37-32, Finished 0 GB in Southern Division
    • 2nd Half Record: 33-36, Finished 5.5 GB in Southern Division

Managed by Dave Keller

Ballpark: Grainger Stadium

Pre season[edit]

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The Indians started preparing for the upcoming season by renovating Grainger Stadium. Twenty-five new box seats were installed creating better sightlines, new aluminum bleachers were installed down the left field line, the picnic area on the first base side of the ballpark was enlarged and renamed the Bojangles' Picnic Pavilion, two new concrete light poles were placed in left field. The playing surface was given a crushed brick warning track, and a twenty-four foot tall batter's eye was created in center. This was all meant to be the first half of a two year renovation project funded by the team, the city and the local Tourism Authority.

Leo Mazzone was inducted into the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame during the team's Hot Stove Banquet. Mazzone was the manager of the 1978 Kinston Eagles.

The Indians played an exhibition game against ECU on April 7th.

Regular season[edit]

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Kinston, Durham, and Salem spent much of the first half neck and neck around .500, but Kinston pulled away towards the end to claim the crown and a playoff spot. The second half nearly went Kinston's way as well. A second half win would have given the KTribe a bye for the first round of the playoffs under the rules then in place. Going into a three-game series against Winston-Salem in late August, Kinston was one game ahead. The Spirits proceeded to sweep Kinston 12-6, 14-3, and 9-2. The Indians soon found themselves stuck in third place where they stayed to finish out the campaign.

The pitching staff was anchored by future major leaguer Julian Tavarez (11-5, 2.42 ERA) and closer Ian Doyle (5-1, 23 saves). Jason Fronio barely beat out Tavarez for the league ERA title with a 2.41 season. Kinston pitchers struck out Keith Thomas six times in a 13 inning game against Salem on May 13.

The top performer at the plate was Marc Marini (.300 BA) who tied the Kinston record for doubles in a season with a league leading 34. He also led the team in on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, hits, and walks. Much was made of the fact that Marini closely resembled the comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and there was an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to have Seinfeld come down and take the field briefly during an official game. Pork Chop Pough led the nine in RBI and shared the team home run title with John Cotton who also led the team in runs scored and stolen bases.

At the All-Star Game in Winston-Salem on July 25th, Julian Tavarez and Ian Doyle represented the KTribe. In the game, the North won a come from behind victory with a score of 6-3 over the Southern Division teams.

Post season[edit]

Winston-Salem and Kinston faced each other in the first round of the playoffs in a best of three series for the Southern Division crown. Game 1 saw Motorboat Jones hit a two out, three run homer in the bottom of the eighth to give the Spirits a 4-3 win. Kinston answered back with a 3-2 victory in Game 2. A ninth inning solo home run by Bobby Perna clinched Game 3 and the title for Winston-Salem. The Spirits went on to defeat Wilmington in the championships.

Post season awards were won by Julian Tavarez (Carolina League Pitcher of the Year) and Dave Keller (Carolina League Manager of the Year).

Marketing and media[edit]

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Kinston's attendance for the year was 134,506 which was an amazing twenty-seven percent increase over the previous year's total. The front office kept individual ticket prices the same as the year before (reserved: $4; GA: $3). They also held the line with season ticket packages (res.: $145; GA: $130). Season ticket prices were raised to $1020 for the newly renovated box seats.

Giveaways in 1993 included magnet schedules, seat cushions, bats, balls, replica jerseys, t-shirts, beach towels, neon caps, regular caps, lunchbags, broken bats, baseball cards and card albums. Also bringing in fans were special appearances by the Phillie Phanatic, and The Famous Chicken. Theme nights included an Easter Egg Hunt, a WRNS night, and something called Frigidaire Night.

New concession deals brought the fans of Kinston baseball Domino's Pizza, Bojangles chicken, and Andy's burgers and cheese steaks. The Bojangles partnership would become especially important as the restaurant's owner would also soon include the KTribe within his investments.

The team's exploits were reported each day in the Kinston Free Press. All games were broadcast over WRNS AM960. There were also select games broadcast over WJNC 1240AM. Two games, the May 9th and June 27th Durham Bulls contests, were televised over WRAL.

Complete Roster[edit]

Roster Coaching Staff Off Field Staff

Pitchers


Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

Ownership

  • The Kinston Group (corporation)
  • Wiley A. "Tuck" Tucker (principal owner)
  • Jim Thomas (executive vice president)

Front Office

  • North Johnson (president/general manager)
  • Billy Johnson (asst. general manager)
  • Marci Smoot (office manager)
  • Mark Wharton (dir. marketing)
  • Dave Mesker (dir. broadcasting)

Support Staff

  • Truman Skinner (groundskeeper)
  • Karl Grant (official scorer)
  • George Brown & Jim Kelso (PA announcers)
  • Delmont Miller (scoreboard operator)
  • Anne Robinson (team mama)

Sources[edit]

  • Carolina League Media Guide and Record Book
  • Kinston Indians 1993 Souvenir Program
  • Sumner, Jim L., Separating The Men From The Boys: The First Half-Century Of The Carolina League, John F. Blair, Pub. - Winston-Salem, NC (1994), p. 224-227, 249.

Related links[edit]