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Winston-Salem at Greensboro: Baseball teams will meet this week for the first time since 1968
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Winston-Salem at Greensboro: Baseball teams will meet this week for the first time since 1968

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Greensboro Grasshoppers are back (copy) (copy)

The baseball season opened in Greensboro to limited capacity on May 4, but the Grasshoppers are now permitted 100 percent capacity. Greensboro will host Winston-Salem for a six-game series beginning Tuesday night.

Updates at 10:22 a.m. Tuesday to include information about High Point-Thomasville HiToms:

Minor-league baseball teams from Winston-Salem and Greensboro will play each other on Tuesday night for the first time since both franchises belonged to the Carolina League in 1968.

What you need to know about this week's series, plus a look back at a less-than-memorable season in the standings for both teams, some names you might remember and others you won't, and some events elsewhere that will never be forgotten.

Dash at Grasshoppers

What: Winston-Salem at Greensboro, six-game series in the High-A East League.

When: Tuesday-Sunday. 

Where: First National Bank Field, Greensboro.

Start times: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday; noon Wednesday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Promotions: $2 Tuesday – $2 hot dogs, 16-ounce soft drinks, 12-ounce waters and domestic beer. Thirsty Thursday – $2 16-ounce soft drinks, waters and domestic beer; $3 premium beer. Friday – Hat giveaway (1,000 fans). Saturday – Postgame fireworks. Family Funday Sunday – Food and merchandise discounts, Kids Run the Bases.

Major-league affiliations: Dash, White Sox; Grasshoppers, Pirates.

How they stand: Each team is 12-12, two games behind Bowling Green (Rays) in the South Division.

Tickets: gsohoppers.com.


Remembering 1968

Nicknames

Winston-Salem: Red Sox.

Greensboro: Patriots.

Major-league affiliations

Winston-Salem: Red Sox.

Greensboro: Astros.

Records

Winston-Salem: 56-81, 27½ games behind Salem in the West Division.

Greensboro: 61-79, 24 games behind Salem.

Home fields

x.ERNIE SHORE FIELD.B0077/JPEG

The 1968 Winston-Salem Red Sox played home games at Ernie Shore Field.

MEMORIAL2

The 1968 Greensboro Patriots played home games at War Memorial Stadium.

Winston-Salem: Ernie Shore Field.

Greensboro: War Memorial Stadium.

A year to remember

With U.S. troops in Vietnam and support at home weakening during a presidential election year, a tumultuous spring and summer unfolded in the United States and beyond. 

Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing a crowd at the National Cathedral in Washington, on March 31, 1968, just five days before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

RFK Assassination The Busboy

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, on June 5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in his last public appearance before he was assassinated.

Athlete Protests

Tommie Smith, center, who won the gold medal in the 200 meters at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, and John Carlos, right, who earned the bronze, raise their black-gloved fists during the 'Star-Spangled Banner' to protest racial discrimination in the United States.

In the major leagues, the Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.

Denny McLain

Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain won 31 games and the American League Cy Young Award during the 1968 season.

Bob Gibson; Norm Cash

St. Louis' Bob Gibson compiled a 1.12 ERA, going 22-9, in 1968, pitching the Cardinals to the World Series against the Tigers (above). After such dominant seasons in 'The Year of the Pitcher,' Major League Baseball lowered the mound before play began in 1969.

The nation turned its lonely eyes to a Billboard No. 1 song that spring, one that referenced baseball's Joe DiMaggio.

On the silver screen, "Funny Girl," "Romeo and Juliet," "The Odd Couple" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" captivated audiences.

Oscars Streisand

Barbra Streisand collecting an Oscar in her first movie for her performance in 1968's “Funny Girl.” She shared the honor with Katharine Hepburn, who starred in "The Lion in Winter."

Our key players

Winston-Salem

John Mason: His .296 average led regulars, and he drove in 45 runs with eight home runs, according to baseball-reference.com. Did not make the major leagues.

Ron Durham: Led the Red Sox with 17 home runs and 67 runs batted in. Did not make the majors.

Ed Phillips: Led the pitching staff in wins (10-9, 2.65), starting 20 games and pitching in seven others. Threw 14 complete games with five shutouts. Pitched in 18 games for the Red Sox in 1970.

BILL LEE

The pitcher who would become known as "Spaceman" made six starts in his eight appearances (3-3, 1.72). Lee made his major-league debut in 1969 with the Red Sox and pitched in 14 seasons, the last four with the Expos. He went 119-90 with a 3.62 career ERA, pitching in the 1975 World Series against the Reds and in two 1981 postseason series for the Expos against the Phillies and Dodgers.

Greensboro

Oliverio Sparks: Hit .319 with team-leading totals of 22 home runs and 76 RBIs. The outfielder never made the major leagues.

Ken Forsch: Pitched in only three games, totaling six innings, but he made his major-league debut with Houston in 1970 and won 114 games for his career with a 3.37 ERA. No-hit the Braves in 1979, pitched in the 1980 National League Championship Series and made two All-Star Games.

Baseball  Playoff   AL   Royals  Yankees    Game 1

John Mayberry, right, with Royals teammates in 1977, played in 43 games for Greensboro, hitting .329 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs. Mayberry played in the majors in parts of 15 seasons, including four games with the Astros in 1968. Mayberry made two All-Star Game appearances and two postseason appearances.

Notable

The Carolina League's West Division also included the High Point-Thomasville HiToms, who were managed by Jack McKeon and went 69-71, according to StatsCrew.com, but won the league championship by beating Greensboro, Lynchburg and Raleigh-Durham. Burlington also fielded a team in the West Division. The East Division featured four North Carolina teams: Raleigh-Durham Mets (Mets), Wilson Tobs (Twins), Rocky Mount Leafs (Tigers) and Kinston Eagles (Yankees).

 While the Grasshoppers franchise is run by team president and general manager Donald Moore, Greensboro's roster in 1968 also included a player named Donald Moore. The latter was a 20-year-old from South Boston, Va., who was in his second and final pro baseball season. The Virginia Donald Moore, who played second and third base, hit .245 with 17 RBIs in 216 at-bats.

 Among the other players in the Carolina League that season: Jon Matlack (Raleigh-Durham; Mets), Ron Blomberg (Kinston; Yankees), Gene Tenace (Peninsula, A's), Gene Lamont (Rocky Mount; Tigers), Dave Cash (Salem: Pirates), Carlos May (Lynchburg; White Sox) and Toby Harrah (Burlington; Senators).

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