Excellent Adventure Day # 57
An Excellent Adventure Goes to the Beach
Ironically we began a string of really nice weather the day we saw the Myrtle Beach Hurricanes play. We found a lovely campsite right on the ocean just outside Myrtle Beach and after driving over from Columbia spent some time there before heading up to the suburb of Conway, SC for the game that night.
The Myrtle Beach Hurricanes was a short-lived name. The four seasons before we came the team was known as the Myrtle Beach Blue Jays after relocating from Florence, South Carolina. Then…after the 1992 season the team moved to Hagerstown, MD to replace the Double A team we saw there and that franchise has been in Hagerstown ever since.
The Hurricanes played on the campus of Coastal Carolina University, which, as I noted on the video, became famous for its Chanticleers nickname in the 1991 NCAA tournament but it was otherwise a fairly nondescript park.
The Blue Jays affiliate did have a nice run of players during those years in Myrtle Beach, however. Several of the players that won consecutive world championships in 1992 and 1993 with Toronto played on the Grand Strand and, although he played in just two games for the latter of those two championship teams, Carlos Delgado was on the 1991 Hurricanes as was pitcher Steve Karsay who was 10-2 with the 1999 Indians. Myrtle Beach lost that night, though 6-4 to visiting Fayetteville.
As noted in the introduction, there isn’t a ton of video of Coastal Carolina Stadium…it was a college ballpark and the team would leave after the following season. There are some nice shots of Myrtle Beach State Park and our excitement about miniature golf was notable. Ahh to be 20-something again.
The Myrtle Beach Hurricanes are long gone and the Coastal Carolina stadium has been replaced. But in 1999 the old Carolina League franchise that had been the Durham Bulls before the Bulls became a Triple-A team, arrived in Myrtle Beach and took on the name the Pelicans at a brand new park in Myrtle Beach itself, now known as TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. I saw it on my 2003 trip and it was an enormous upgrade. The Pelicans are affiliated with the Chicago Cubs.
Tomorrow we move into North Carolina to one of the smallest towns in Minor League baseball with one of the grandest histories – Kinston, NC where in 1991 we saw the Kinston Indians at lovely Grainger Stadium.
Also, coming up Saturday morning, I’ll have an interview on the Low Mileage Tour on 435 Voices podcast with North Johnson who was the General Manager of the Indians in 1991 and spent 17 years in Kinston.