Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Coastal Carolina Stadium’ tag

1987-1992 Myrtle Beach Blue Jays / Myrtle Beach Hurricanes

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South Atlantic League (1987-1990)

Born: October 1986 – Florence (SC) Blue Jays relocate to Myrtle Beach.
Died: 1991 – Re-branded as Myrtle Beach Hurricanes.

Stadium: Coastal Carolina Stadium (3,500)

Team Colors:

Owner: Winston Blenckstone

 

This Class A farm club of the Toronto Blue Jays marked the first time that minor league baseball came to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Or, at least, near Myrtle Beach.  The Blue Jays played on the campus of Coastal Carolina University about 12 miles away from the Grand Strand.

The club was owned by Baltimore oxygen salesman Winston Blenckstone, who purchased the Sally League’s unloved Florence (SC) Blue Jays for $200,000 in October of 1986 and moved the club to Myrtle Beach.

The Blue Jays home debut on April 8, 1987 against the Savannah Cardinals drew a standing room-only crowd of 4,030, but attendance quickly settled in at less than a thousand a night.  Myrtle Beach’s attendance was among the worst in the South Atlantic League, just as it had been in Florence previously.  By April 1989, Blenckstone was frustrated and threatening to move his ball club if city leaders wouldn’t commit to a $2 million new stadium.  Blenckstone ultimately hung in for four more summers.  He re-branded the team as the Myrtle Beach Hurricanes in 1991, but that did nothing to change the club’s box office fortunes.  In late 1992, with stadium negotiations going nowhere, Blenckstone pulled up stakes and moved the franchise to Hagerstown, Maryland.

A number of notable Toronto prospects came through Myrtle Beach during the Blue Jays/Hurricanes era, including future American League Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen and first baseman Chris Weinke, who never made the Major Leagues but went on to win the Heisman Trophy eight years later as a 28-year old quarterback at Florida State

 

==Key Players==

  • Derek Bell
  • Carlos Delgado
  • Pat Hentgen
  • Mike Timlin
  • Chris Weinke

 

==Links==

South Atlantic League Programs

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