1994 Kinston Indians

From BR Bullpen


1994 Kinston Indians ("K-Tribe")

BR Team Page

Parent Club: Cleveland Indians

Affiliates: Charlotte Knights, Canton-Akron Indians, Columbus Red Stixx, Watertown Indians, Burlington Indians

  • Composite Record: 60-78, Finished 7th in Carolina League composite standings
    • 1st Half Record: 32-37, Finished 3.5 GB in Southern Division
    • 2nd Half Record: 28-41, Finished 10.5 GB in Southern Division
      • DNQ for playoffs

Managed by Dave Keller

Ballpark: Grainger Stadium

Pre season[edit]


The Indians started preparing for the upcoming season by renovating Grainger Stadium. A new 5,800 square foot clubhouse was built with office space, a clubroom, a greatly expanded dressing area, a laundry and storage room, an equipment room, a weight room, a conference room and offices for the manager and coaches. A new entrance way was built for the stadium as well with brick columns and wrought-iron gates. A new roof was installed over the grandstand and much of the stadium was given a new paint job. In addition, the parking lot was also resurfaced.

Cecil Fielder was inducted into the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame during the team's Hot Stove Banquet. Fielder was a member of the 1984 Kinston Blue Jays.

The Indians played an exhibition game against ECU on April 5th.

Regular season[edit]


Kinston had a dismal year on the field in 1994. Only the Lynchburg Red Sox ended the season with a worse record in the Carolina League. The 60-78 record posted by the team is still the worst won-loss total for Kinston since becoming affiliated with the Cleveland Indians in 1987.

The pitching staff included Paul Shuey who accomplished the rare feat of climbing from Kinston to the majors within the year and managed to pick up five major league saves. When Shuey left Kinston, his role in the bullpen was taken over by Pep Harris who picked up eight saves before being sent up to Canton-Akron. Daron Kirkreit led the starters with eight wins and a 2.67 ERA.

The top performer at the plate was Jon Nunnally who led the team in every offensive category but triples and stolen bases.

At the All-Star Game in Wilmington on July 20th, Steve Soliz, Juan Andujar, and Jon Nunnally represented the KTribe. Daron Kirkreit was also selected, but he had already moved up prior to the matchup. In the game, the North won 2-1 over the Southern Division teams.

The final game of the season on September 4, was against the Durham Bulls at their home ballpark, Durham Athletic Park. This was the last regular season home game of the historic stadium, and there were a number of souvenirs produced featuring the Bulls and KTribe logos including bats, baseballs and oversized game tickets.

Post season[edit]

The K-Tribe's dismal record meant no playoffs at the end of the year.

General Manager North Johnson won the Carolina League's Executive of the Year honors, and the team won Baseball America's Bob Freitas Award as the top Class A franchise in professional baseball based on the team's business success despite having professional baseball's smallest market.

During the winter, Jon Nunnally was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 1994 Rule V Draft.

Marketing and media[edit]


In 1994, the team was purchased by sixty local investors incorporated under the name Slugger, Inc. which continues to control the team up to the current season. The main investor was Cam McRae who owns and operates 33 Bojangles Chicken restaurants, the local Peach House Restaurant, and two RightWay convenience stores. General Manager North Johnson also continued on as part owner in the club.

Kinston's attendance for the year was 122,557 which was a drop of some twelve thousand from 1993. Besides the poor showing on the field, part of the reason for the dropoff can be attributed to the overwhelming bad publicity baseball received throughout the year due to Major League baseball's labor problems which eventually resulted in the cancellation of the World Series. The front office kept individual ticket prices the same as the year before (reserved: $4; GA: $3). They also held the line with season ticket packages (res.: $145; GA: $130; boxes: $1020).

Giveaways in 1994 included magnet schedules, thermos mugs, card albums, balls, bats, coolers, beach towels, caps, replica jerseys, mugs, t-shirts, and book bags. Also bringing in fans were special appearances by the Charlotte Knights mascot Homer the Dragon, The Chicken, and imitators of the Blues Brothers.

The team's exploits were reported each day in the Kinston Free Press. All games were broadcast over WELS 102.9FM. There were also select games broadcast over WJNC 1240AM and WNCT 1070 AM.

Complete Roster[edit]

Roster Coaching Staff Off Field Staff








  • Slugger, Inc. (corporation)
  • Cam McRae (principal owner)

Front Office

  • North Johnson (president/general manager)
  • George Whitfield (asst. general manager)
  • Marci Smoot (office manager)
  • George Soltow (dir. food operations)
  • Bob McElligott (dir. broadcasting)

Support Staff

  • Truman Skinner (groundskeeper)
  • Karl Grant (official scorer)
  • Jim Kelso (PA announcers)
  • Delmont Miller (scoreboard operator)
  • Anne Robinson (team mama)


  • Carolina League Media Guide and Record Book
  • Kinston Indians 1994 Souvenir Program
  • Kinston Indians 1995 Souvenir Program

Related links[edit]