Knights Open Tonight in Norfolk
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (0-0, 2014) (65-78, 3rd South – 2013)
@ Norfolk Tides (0-0, 2014) (77-67, 2nd South – 2013)
Norfolk, VA ~ Harbor Park – 7:05 PM (Game 1 of 4) (Game 1 of 144)
THU: CHA RHP Scott Carroll (0-2, 4.32, BIR, 2013)
@ NOR RHP Eddie Gamboa (2-5, 6.23, NOR, 2013)
THE NEW LOOK KNIGHTS: It was a busy offseason for the Charlotte Knights franchise. The team underwent a number of cosmetic changes – as well as a zip code change. First, the team officially changed their colors and logo set on October 24, 2013. The Knights added four new logos – all designed by Brandiose — and came up with entirely new colors. The new design starts with a metallic gold-colored letter “C” in the form of a horse’s tail wrapped around a Knights armored helmet topped off with a crown signifying the Queen City of Charlotte. Queen Charlotte’s crown appears again in the team’s name in the letter “H”. The road hat incorporates a jousting Knight on horseback oriented horizontally across the front of the cap crown. Both the alternate and batting practice caps feature artistic versions of the letter “K” with swords. The alternate cap also introduces a dragon into the team’s portfolio.
A NEW KINGDOM FOR THE KNIGHTS: On September 14, 2012, the Charlotte Knights broke ground on BB&T Ballpark – their new Uptown Charlotte home which is set to officially open its gates on Friday, April 11th. The $54 million ballpark, which has a capacity of 10,200, is located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.
FROM THE BEGINNING: The Knights last played in Charlotte during the 1988 season. That season was the first year of the Knights franchise after spending the previous 12 seasons as the Charlotte O’s. From 1976-1987, the O’s were owned by the Crockett family and the team played at Crockett Park in Charlotte. After the 1987 season, the Crocketts sold the team to George Shinn and he immediately made changes. There was a name-the-team contest – in which the new name was Knights and Crockett Park became Knights Park. A year later (1989), the Knights moved across the state line to Fort Mill, SC. They played in a temporary facility in Fort Mill until 1990 when they opened Knights Castle.
THE FINALE AT THE CASTLE: After 24 seasons at Knights Stadium, the Knights played their final game at the Castle on September 2, 2013 and beat the Gwinnett Braves by a score of 4-0. Charlotte began playing there in 1990 as a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs before moving to Triple-A in 1993 and as an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. After two years with Cleveland (93-94), the Knights switched affiliates again, this time becoming the Triple-A team for the Florida Marlins from 1995-1998. The Chicago White Sox entered the picture in 1999 and have been the parent team ever since. A six-year extension (through 2020) of the PDC was signed in December.
FAMILIAR FACES: 17 of the 25 active players on the Charlotte Knights Opening Day roster have spent time with the team in the past. Jordan Danks has spent the most time with the franchise as he enters his fifth season with the club. In fact, Danks has appeared in more games with the Knights than ever player to ever don the Knights uniform except for one – Joe Borchard. Borchard played in a franchise record 447 games, while Danks has appeared in 370. He needs 77 to tie and 78 to break the record. The 2014 season marks the fourth season for Josh Phegley with the Knights, while it marks the third for Dylan Axelrod, who is the all-time franchise leader in ERA with a Knights career mark of 2.58. Currently, Axelrod would line up to pitch the BB&T Ballpark opener on Friday, April 11th. Deunte Heath (4), Charlie Leesman (3), and Hector Gimenez (3) are a few of the other recognizable faces in Charlotte in 2014.
WELCOME MATT: 3B Matt Davidson is ranked by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the White Sox system and he starts the year with the Knights. Davidson is a newcomer to the organization after coming over from Arizona in a trade for closer Addison Reed on December 16, 2013. In five Minor League seasons, Davidson has compiled a .268 batting average with 80 home runs and 374 RBIs. Last season with Triple-A Reno, the California native hit .280 with 17 home runs and 74 RBIs. He won the ‘13 All-Star HR Derby.