Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1965-1971 Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs

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Texas League (1965-1971)

Born: 1965 – The Fort Worth Cats re-brand as the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs.
Folded: Postseason 1971

Stadium: Turnpike Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners: Lamar Hunt & Tommy Mercer

 

The Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs were a popular minor league baseball entry in the Class AA Texas League for seven summers between 1965 and 1971.  The Spurs formed in 1965, shortly after Dallas’ Class AAA ballclub, the Dallas Rangers of the Pacific Coast League, shifted to Vancouver.  At the same time, the nearby city of Arlington opened 10,000-seat Turnpike Stadium.  The Fort Worth Cats, a one-year old club in the Texas League, quickly moved in to fill the void, signing a new lease at Turnpike Stadium and re-branding the team as the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs.

The Spurs were originally affiliated with the Chicago Cubs from 1965 to 1967.  After one summer as a Houston Astros farm club (1968), the Spurs became a Baltimore Orioles affiliate for their final three seasons of existence from 1969 to 1971.

The Spurs produced dozens of future Major Leaguers, with the Orioles years being especially rich in future stars.  Notable players to pass through Turnpike Stadium in these years included Don Baylor, Enos Cabell, Doug DeCinces, Bobby Grich and Joe Niekro.  Future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. was a batboy for the team.

Legendary sports owner Lamar Hunt was co-owner of the Spurs, along with Tommy Mercer.  Hunt helped found the American Football League, Major League Soccer and World Championship Tennis, so his involvement in minor league baseball is typically overlooked.  Mercer also owned the Fort Worth Braves of the Continental Football League.

The Spurs run came to an end after the 1971 season when the American League’s Washington Senators relocated to Arlington and displaced the minor league team.  The Senators became the Texas Rangers and Turnpike Stadium was renamed Arlington Stadium with the arrival of Major League Baseball in the spring of 1972.  Arlington Stadium remained the home of the Rangers until 1993.  The building was demolished in 1994.

 

==Downloads==

1966 Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs vs. Arkansas Travelers Scorecard Insert

1969 Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs Affiliation Agreement with Baltimore Orioles

 

==Links==

Texas League Media Guides

Texas League Programs

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Written by AC

October 20th, 2013 at 10:44 pm

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