Historic Grainger Stadium - Kinston, North Carolina

The word "Historic" appears on tickets and above the entrance to this vintage 1949 ballpark. Renovations began in preparation for the 2000 Carolina League All-Star game, which took place a few months after this visit, and the facelifting has continued, as documented on the team's web site.

The Kinston Indian dominates the advertisements in center field.

The Marlboro man wore out his welcome in minor league ballparks a few years earlier. Not wanting to let a perfectly good pole go to waste, the local club, a Cleveland affiliate since 1978, erected a self-promotional replacement. The recurring Pirate theme on the walls refers not to a former affiliation, but honors Blackbeard and that whole crowd who dominated commerce in the region three centuries earlier.

The press box sits back row, center.

The wooden seats in the foreground would never be painted again. They have since been replaced by plastic ones.

The view from behind third base.

A survey of season ticket holders resulted in a decision to leave the folding chairs as box seats. Steel light towers replaced wooden ones for the 2000 season.

Josh Bard of the Salem Avalanche takes a few practice swings.

In the eighth inning, with runners on second and third, a pitch sailed over Bard's mitt and ricocheted off the brick wall behind the plate. He tracked it down near third base, upon which stood two Indians. He tagged both and Victor Martinez was called out, caught stealing third, 2 unassisted. Two years later, Bard and Martinez began sharing catching duties with the Cleveland Indians.

There's plenty of visible brick.

The last row of wooden seats, as seen from the main concourse below.

The wheelchair section obstructs no one.

Peeking out from behind the shrubbery at right is a Bojangles sign. The owner of the team is a member of the Bojanglesí Hall of Fame and operates several franchises, including one at the ballpark. It's all about the pickle.

The secret of life is keeping a neat scorecard

PlayerTeam (organization)Seen hereBig league debut
Danys BaezKinston (Indians)5/3/2000 5/13/2001
Josh BardSalem (Rockies)5/3/2000 8/23/2002 (Indians)
Chone FigginsSalem (Rockies)5/3/2000 8/25/2002 (Angels)
Choo FreemanSalem (Rockies)5/3/2000 6/4/2004
Matt HollidaySalem (Rockies)5/3/2000 4/16/2004
Jensen LewisKinston (Indians)5/17/2006 7/16/2007
Victor MartinezKinston (Indians)5/3/2000 9/10/2002
Roy SmithKinston (Indians)5/3/2000 5/26/2001
Juan UribeSalem (Rockies)5/3/2000 4/8/2001

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