Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1984-1986 Prince William Pirates

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Prince William PiratesCarolina League (1984-1986)

Born: July 11, 1983 – The Alexandria Dukes announce relocation plans to Woodbridge, VA.
Affiliation Change: 1987 (Prince William Yankees)

Stadium: Davis Ford Park Stadium

Team Colors:



The Prince William Pirates were the Class A farm club of the Pittsburgh in the Carolina League from 1984 through 1986.  The ball club originated in 1978 as an expansion team in nearby Alexandia, Virginia known as the Alexandria Dukes.  They played in a truly crummy little stadium called Four Mile Run Park.  Midway through the 1983 season, Dukes President Eugene Thomas announced that his team would relocate to Prince William County, Virginia for the 1984 season, where local officials approved funding for a modern 6,000-seat ballpark.

Key players to come through Prince William during the Pirates era included Barry Bonds, who appeared in 71 games in 1985 in his first year of pro ball as a 1st round draft pick out of Arizona State University.  Future Major League All-Stars Bobby Bonilla (3B) and John Smiley (P) also played for the 1985 Prince William squad.  (Smiley would also return in 1986).

Heading the other direction, Joe Charbonneau wound down his injury-plagued career with Prince William in 1984.  Charbonneau was the 1980 American League Rookie-of-the-Year with the Cleveland Indians, but never played a full season in the Majors again.  At age 29, Charbonneau was the oldest player in the Carolina League in 1984.  He hit. 289 and earned a promotion to the Pirates Class AAA club in Hawaii, but retired at the end of the season.

Prince William’s working agreement with Pittsburgh expired after the 1986 season.  The team struck a new deal with the New York Yankees and returned in 1987 as the Prince William Yankees.   The franchise still exists today in Prince William County, but it is now known as the Potomac Nationals after several further name changes.



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