Page 37 - Salem Magazine Spring 2014
P. 37

     The 2001 Avalanche won the Mills Cup title the night before September 11. Winning Another Title
Six years after settling into the new stadium, the Avalanche were enjoying well deserved success. The 1999 season marked the first time attendance drew in excess of 200,000 fans and the team was winning games.
Baseball in Salem
1995 - 2002
CAROLINA LEAGUE
SALEM AVALANCHE
COLORADO ROCKIES (1995-2002)
 Two seasons later, Macko was elevated to General Manager and the Avalanche earned their way back into the Carolina League playoffs for the first time since 1988. The Kinston Indians won both halves of the Southern Division, but due to a new league rule stating that if a team won both halves, the runner-up in the second half would be given a wild card entry. Salem finished second and had a chance.
“We squeaked into the playoffs with that wild card spot and pulled off the upset over Kinston,” Macko explained. “We knew there was something special. The team had a lot of gamers. They weren’t stars at the time, but they came together at the end. That team was a lot of fun.”
 2001 General Manager Stan Macko recalls the championship year.
“Lindsey stepped up in the championship game with a few home runs and we pulled it off,” said Macko. “We had some great crowds in that series. What a special night that was winning the title.”
P JAMEY WRIGHT
1B LARRY WALKER* 2B ERIC YOUNG*
P BILL SWIFT
P CURT LESKANIC P SHAWN CHACON* SS CHONE FIGGINS* C JOSH BARD
OF MATT HOLLIDAY* SS JUAN URIBE
P AARON COOK*
P JASON JENNINGS P CLINT BARMES 1B BRAD HAWPE*
(COL, MIL, STL, KC, SF, 1995 18+ TEX, CLE, SEA, LAD, TB)
1996 17 (MON, COL, STL)
1996 15 (LAD, COL, CHC, MIL, SF, TEX, SD) 1996 13 (SEA, SF, COL)
1996 11 (COL, MIL, KC, BOS) 1998-99 8 (COL, NYY, PIT, HOU) 1999-00 11 (LAA, SEA)
2000 10 (CLE, BOS, SD, WAS, SEA) 2000-01 10+ (COL, OAK, STL)
2000 13+ (COL, CHW, SF, LAD) 2000-01 11 (COL, BOS)
2000 9 (COL, HOU, TEX)
2001 11+ (COL, HOU, PIT)
2002 9 (COL, TB, SD, LAA)
That 2001 team featured nine future major league players including Matt Holliday, Clint Barmes, Choo Freeman, Aaron Cook and John Lindsey.
That September 10, 2001 championship night featured plenty of champagne toasts. Knowing that would be the final game of the season, many players already had their bags
packed to travel home on the morning of September 11.
“We celebrated quite a bit that night we won, so we were all rolling into the
office at different times not knowing what was going on,” Macko said when he learned about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. “All these players had flights going out and some had already taken off from Roanoke. We were getting sparse messages about where our guys were.”
Many of the foreign-born players never left Roanoke and remained at the team hotel for the week following. All the American players were on the road or in the air. Some got as far as Cincinnati where they stayed with Aaron Cook, who was from that area. The rest managed to make it home safely.
Colorado remained the parent club of the Avalanche for one more season. In the eight seasons with the Rockies, All-Star players like Larry Walker, Eric Young, Shawn Chacon, Chone Figgins, Holliday, Cook and Brad Hawpe played for the Avalanche.
The Houston Astros, who showed interest in moving their Single-A team to Salem in 1995, became the team affiliate in 2003. John Katz was hired as the new
541-571 OVERALL RECORD (.487 W-L%)
www.salemva.gov | SPRING 2014
37
Photo courtesy of Stan Macko




























































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