Saturday, November 6, 2021

Celebrating Our Braves Legacy


My Myrtle Beach Pelicans 

Championship rings, 1999 & 2000. 

Thank you, Brian Snitker!!!

The Sun News looks back.


The Durham Bulls have been affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays since 1998, and over two decades the Rays have won my love and loyalty. I must confess, however, to flirting with an old flame during the 2021 World Series - the Atlanta Braves. I was smitten with memories of Durham’s Single-A Braves’ affiliation in the Carolina League and Atlanta’s most glorious decade that began thirty years ago.

Capitol Broadcasting purchased the Bulls in 1991, and the parent club played in World Series that fall (losing to the Twins.) During the 90’s the Braves, under legendary skipper Bobby Cox, played in a total of five World Series. The Fall Classic in 1995 was their singular triumph.


The Bulls and Durham had an eighteen year marriage with Atlanta. Capitol was the local operator for the last seven years, then engineered the move to Triple-A in the International League with the Rays’ affiliation.


For Capitol the Braves connection didn’t end in 1997. With the blessing of the very gracious Braves’ GM John Schuerholz, we retained the Single-A franchise and moved the team to Myrtle Beach. They became the Pelicans playing in a brand new ballpark adjacent to the landmark shopping/entertainment complex Broadway at the Beach. 


Forgotten tidbits…

  • While Coastal Federal Field was under construction in 1998, Danville VA hosted the Single-A team for one season. It was named the Danville 97s, commemorating a legendary train collision. Indeed, the year in Danville was somewhat of a train wreck, but we were focused on the Pelicans’ SC premiere in the spring of 1999.
  • We originally intended to name the team Myrtle Beach Braves. I have one of the promotional caps! The logo incorporated the traditional Braves script surrounded by waves. In consultation with Atlanta we decided it would be better to develop a unique, hometown brand for the team. It was the right thing to do, but some diehard Braves fans in Myrtle Beach were (temporarily) disappointed.
  • Capitol sold the Pelicans in 2006. Affiliations have since changed; in 2011 to the Texas Rangers; in 2015 to the Chicago Cubs.

I have buried my lead in nostalgia. The motivation for this post was to celebrate Braves’ Manager Brian Snitker. I so wanted this week’s Series win for him. It was a Hollywood ending! Brian, a lifer in the Braves organization, played for the Bulls, then managed both the Bulls and Pelicans. This AP piece by Charles Odum is a story well told…with some help from Twitter:



Hearty congratulations to Brian Snitker and the Atlanta Braves!