Page 34 - Salem Magazine Spring 2014
P. 34

 Cover Story
1987 - 1994
CAROLINA LEAGUE
A New Owner and a New Outlook
    SALEM BUCCANEERS
PITTSBURGH PIRATES (1987-1994)
And it worked.”
The team did its part too.
1B JEFF KING
SS CARLOS GARCIA* 3B ORLANDO MERCED P STAN BELINDA
P RICK REED*
OF MOISES ALOU*
3B JOHN WEHNER
P TIM WAKEFIELD* 3B KEVIN YOUNG
P RICK WHITE
OF MIDRE CUMMINGS P JASON CHRISTIANSEN SS TONY WOMACK*
P ESTEBAN LOAIZA* C JASON KENDALL*
1987 1988, 89 1988 1988 1988 1989 1989 1990 1991 1991, 92 1992 1992, 93 1993 1993 1994
11 (PIT, KC)
10 (PIT, TOR, ANA, SD)
13 (PIT, TOR, MIN, BOS, CHC, MON, HOU)
12 (PIT, KC, BOS, CIN, COL, ATL)
15 (PIT, KC, TEX, CIN, NYM, MIN)
17 (PIT, MON, FLA, HOU, CHC, SF, NYM)
11 (PIT, FLA)
19 (PIT, BOS)
12 (PIT, KC)
(PIT, TB, NYM, COL, STL, CHW, 12HOU, CLE, CIN, PHI, SEA)
11 (PIT, PHI, BOS, MIN, ARI, TB, BAL) 11 (PIT, STL, SF, LAA)
13 (PIT, ARI, COL, CHC, STL, NYY, CIN) 14 (PIT, TEX, TOR, CHW, NYY, WAS, OAK, LAD) 15 (PIT, OAK, CHC, MIL, KC)
After a rough first half of the season, Salem rebounded and won the second half of the Northern Division. The Buccaneers beat the Kinston Indians to win Salem’s third Carolina League Championship in 1987.
523-591 OVERALL RECORD (.469 W-L%)
34
Knownforhismasteryoftheknuckleball, Tim Wakefield pitched for 20 major league seasons with Pittsburgh and Boston.
Several seasons later, a young right-handed pitcher named Tim Wakefield was called up to the Buccaneers.
SPRING 2014 | www.salemva.gov
Kelvin Bowles, a cable television provider to over 20 Virginia communities, did not want to see minor league baseball disappear from Salem. A scout for the Montreal Expos, Bowles knew the team
was for sale so he bought the club for
$175,000 in December 1985.
 “I knew a couple of local people that were interested in buying the team, but they couldn’t put the deal together,” said Bowles, a Franklin County native. “I asked my boss in Montreal if it would be a conflict. He called me back and said, ‘Go for it.’ Two weeks later, the deal was done.”
Bowles remained a scout for the
Expos and left the day-to-day operations
to new General Manager Sam Lazzaro,
who came to Salem from the Elmira
Pioneers in the New York-Penn League. His task became a difficult one when the Rangers announced they were leaving Salem at the end of the 1986 season due to the age of Municipal Field. Instead of searching for a brand new affiliation, Lazzaro and Bowles looked to a former club affiliate.
“The Pirates had a good relationship before they left in the 1970s and came back in 1987,” Lazzaro explained. “They left it up to us to bring back the Pirates name or go with something with a new identity, so we created the Buccaneers name.”
With a new owner, a new brand, new lights at Municipal Field and a fan- favorite parent club, Salem baseball was back on track. Attendance increased by 25,000 between 1986 and 1987 in large part to the hard work of Lazzaro and his staff.
“We really had to make it a carnival atmosphere. The main thing was to get people in the gate,” Lazzaro said. “Once they got here they would say, ‘Hey, this is fun! We need to come back!’
Kelvin Bowles and Sam Lazzaro brought a new attitude to Salem baseball with the Buccaneers.
 “The Pirates wanted to develop a winning culture on all levels,” said Lazzaro. “They said kids needed to learn how to win. It was one of those years where everything came together. The second half we ran away with it and hid. When the playoffs arrived, we rolled right through it.”
Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame
















































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