Baseball, the late Major League Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti wrote, is designed to break your heart, since the game is played in the warmth of the summer sun and the season ends in the fall, when the memory of those sunny days is most needed. It is a sentiment shared by fans of the sport in this region, who find themselves without an area team for the first time in generations.
A local group of investors and business leaders hopes to change that by raising money to conduct a study of whether a minor-league team would generate sufficient support among Greenville residents and its potential economic impact. The idea is attractive, and though a massive investment in public money would seem imprudent, organizers’ efforts certainly deserve community support.
From 1937 to 1952, eastern North Carolina served as a hotbed of baseball, where teams like the Ayden Aces, Goldsboro Goldbugs, Williamston Martins and New Bern Bears competed in the Coastal Plain League. Our own Greenville Greenies, which played from 1937-41 and 1946-49, won the league title in their final year before the team was sold, a few years before the league followed it into history.
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