Ripken in the Minors
Crockett Park: Charlotte, North Carolina
Originally called Clark Griffith Park, the ballpark was renamed Jim Crockett Memorial Park a year after the Crockett family purchased the minor league Orioles baseball franchise and brought the team from Asheville NC to Charlotte for the 1976 season. The team was the AA farm affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, and played in Charlotte until 1988. The O's won a couple of Southern League titles including in a 1980 championship for a team led by Cal Ripken, Jr. Charlotte had been without baseball since 1972.
Frances Crockett oversaw baseball operations for the Crockett family business and was the president of the Charlotte Orioles, and at one time was the commissioner of the Southern League.
The ballpark was built in 1940 and when the Oriloles began play there, it held over 5,000 fans. Mid-Atlantic Wrestling cards were held there occasionally. It was destroyed by fire on March 16, 1985.
The ballpark was renamed from Clark Griffith Park to Jim Crockett Memorial Park in June of 1977. The clippings below for two outstanding Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events on 5/30/77 and 6/12/77 reflect the name change.
A luxury residential development called Olmstead Park now occupies the 12.5 acre site that was Crockett Park. Houses now sit where the bleachers and grandstands once stood, and upscale apartments now occupy what had been the infield for the Charlotte O's.
We currently have 2 galleries of images of Crockett Park. To see our first gallery, which includes pictures of Crockett Park as well as newspaper clippings about the acquisition of the Charlotte O's as well as the acquisition and destruction of Crockett Park, please visit http://www.ripkenintheminors.com/crockettparkgallery.htm. A very special thank you to Dick Bourne and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Gateway (http://www.midatlanticgateway.com) for the biography and images about Crockett Park.
Our second gallery includes 16 pictures of Crockett Park courtesy of Eric & Wendy Pastore at http://www.digitalballparks.com. To see the gallery, please visit http://www.ripkenintheminors.com/crockettparkgallery2.htm