"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Let's play ball!
Since 1892 – that's right – 1892, Charlotte has been home to a baseball club of some kind.
The original Charlotte Hornets baseball team was founded at the end of the 19th Century.
That team existed in some form until 1976, memorably playing in the Dilworth Neighborhood at Griffith Park, built around 1940.
In '76, Jim Crockett, Jr., a wrestling promoter, bought the AA Asheville Orioles and moved the team to Charlotte.
That team, affectionately known as the Charlotte O's, played in the re-named Crockett Park until 1985, when a fire took down the charming stadium.
The devastating fire almost ended Charlotte baseball.
The Crockett family built a temporary facility, but were not able to re-build at the Dilworth location.
In 1987, NBA Charlotte Hornets Owner George Shinn bought the team and moved it to Fort Mill.
He renamed the team the Charlotte Knights.
Now, after a long and contentious process -- including numerous court battles --the Knights come back to downtown Charlotte with a sparkling new home - BB&T Ballpark.
We say "well done" to the team, the city and all who worked so hard for so long to make the new stadium a reality.
Now – let's play ball!