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Wilmington County’s on-again, off-again relationship with minor league baseball could be rekindled in the near future.

With news that the Texas Rangers have approached the city of Leland to build a baseball stadium and entertainment complex off US 17, Southeastern North Carolina may be returning to America’s past.

PLAY BALL?The Texas Rangers are considering Leland as a minor league baseball stadium, an entertainment venue

Here’s to the history of baseball in the area, dating back to the 1920s.

Wilmington Pirates

The area’s first foray into minor league baseball began in 1928 with the Wilmington Pirates.

The Pirates had three franchises in three different leagues in 1928-29, 1932-34 and 1946-50 and were affiliated with the Boston Red Sox and Cincinnati Reds during those tenures.

Port City Roosters

Wilmington was a planned two-year stop in 1995 and 1996 for Charlotte’s Double-A franchise, which moved to Nashville and was supposed to land in Springfield, Missouri, but ended up in Mobile, Alabama.

The Seattle Mariners farm club lost a few records while playing at UNCW’s Brooks Field, but local fans got to see future major leaguers Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe and Raul Ibanez, among others.


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