1972 (80-64, 2nd)
The Red Davis-managed Charlies finished one game behind IL-leading Louisville, then fell in the playoffs to third-place tidewater ... Richie Zisk led the league in homers (26) ... Pitchers Gene Garber (2.26 ERA) and Jim McKee (159 strikeouts) also topped the IL.
1973 (85-60, 1st-S)
With the IL split into two four-team divisions, Charleston the South by 10 games, but IL Manager of the Year Joe Morgan's club eventually fell to Pawtucket in the best-of-five IL Governors' Cup final series ... OF Dave Parker makes IL all-Star team and contributes to Watt Powell Park legend by homering into moving rail car ... SS Frank Taveras also was an All-Star and @B Willie Randolph hit .280.
1974 (62-81, 3rd-S)
Manager Steve Demeter's club was filled with future Major League names, but finished 25 1/2 games behind in the divisional race ... Art Howe, Tony LaRussa, Steve Blass and Kent Tekulve were Charlies ... Watt Powell attendance slipped to 92,237.
1975 (72-67, 4th)
Odell Jones starred on the mound, leading the IL in wins (tie, 14) and strikeouts (157), and 2B Willie Randolph was an All-Star (batting .339 in 91 games) ... Charlies finished 13 games behind first-place tidewater ... Crowds dwindled to just more than 1,100 per game at Watt Powell.
1976 (62-73, 6th)
Manager Tim Murtaugh's club was the last Charleston team affiliated with Pittsburgh, and the Charlies finished 24 1/2 games behind Rochester ... Attendance fell to 72,543 for the season ... OF Omar Moreno was an IL all-Star and future Major League manager Ken Macha played his last of three seasons in town.
1977 (78-62, 2nd)
Attendance soared by almost 60,000 and for good reason. With Houston replacing the Pirates as the parent club, the Charlies won the IL playoff title after finishing two games behind Pawtucket. Charleston swept the Red Sox 4-0 in the Governors' Cup series ... Tom Dixon won the league's ERA title (2.25) for Manager Jim Beauchamp's club.
1978 (85-55, 1st)
With Beauchamp back as skipper (he was IL Manager of the Year), the Charlies produce the best IL record, but fall to the fourth-place Richmond Braves in the playoff first round ... Charlies teammates Gary Wilson and Dan Larson shared the IL wins lead (14) and Frank Riccelli won the ERA crown (2.78) ... Keith Drumright's 159 hits topped the IL, and 3B Robert Sperring and DH Jim Obradovich were IL All-Stars, too.
1979 (65-74, 6th)
Yankee farm Columbus drew almost 60,000 fans, and the Charlies finished 20 games behind the champion Clippers ... It was the last Charleston season for Beauchamp and the Astros' affiliation (replaced Texas at Tucson, Ariz.) ... Keith Drumright's .295 average led Charleston in hitting.
1980 (67-71, 5th)
The Charlies affiliated with the Texas Rangers for one season, and Manager tom Burgess' club finished 15 games behind IL-leading Columbus ... P Bob Babcock, 2B Mike Richardt and 3B Thomas Ashford were IL All-Stars.
1981 (67-72, 5th)
Cleveland's Triple A affiliation moved from Tacoma, Wash., and the Indians returned after being Charleston's Class AA Eastern League parent club in the early '60s ... The 99,537 season attendance was the lowest in Triple A ball ... Cal Emery and Frank Lucchesi managed the team, 21 games behind Columbus ... Charlies C Chris Bando is IL All-Star.
1982 (59-81, 8th)
The last-place Charlies are managed by West Virginia native Doc Edwards ... Attendance climbs to 145,357 (still last in IL), but team finishes 23 1/2 games behind first-place Richmond ... Joe Charbonneau, who was the American League Rookie of the Year in '80, spends part of a second season in Charleston trying to relocate his success.
1983 (74-66, 3rd)
In city's final Class AAA and Charlies' season, Edwards returns as manager, and club finishes nine games behind Columbus and are swept in playoff opening series by Richmond ... Jack Perconte leads league in hitting (.346) and tom Brennan's 3.31 ERA in league's best. DH Karl Pagel is IL All-Star ... Charlies sold and for 1984 IL season are Maine (Old Orchard Beach) Guides.
1984-86 (No team)
1987 (37-33, 2nd-N; 29-40, 4th-N; 66-72)
After three-year absence, pro baseball returns to Charleston with the South Atlantic League (low Class A) and brash owner Dennis Bastien ... The Wheelers, a co-op club with no single affiliation (six clubs provided players), finish second in first half season in North Division, but slip from there ... Team has an ominous start, as April 8 home opener is snowed out ... Season attendance of 97,563 ranks third in SAL ... On June 3, Wheelers' Danny Weems pitches 3-0 no-hitter against Greensboro.
1988 (23-44, 5th-N; 28-42, 5th-N; 51-86)
Chicago Cubs join Wheelers as parent club, and despite finishing 27 games behind Greensboro (overall) it's a memorable season for Manager Brad Mills' team ... a 21-inning win on July 10 over Fayetteville ties for the longest game in SAL history ... The Wheelers scored only 413 runs in 137 games - still an SAL record today for fewest runs in a season ... Attendance climbs to 125,998.
1989 (25-38, 6th-N; 33-38, 5th-N; 58-76)
The two seasons with the Cubs end with a last-place effort, 31 games (both halves) behind Gastonia for Manager Greg Mahlberg ... Watt Powell Park hosts SAL All-Star Game, which draws 7,318, then a league record (stood until 2002, Lakewood).
1990 (30-41, 4th-N; 47-25, 1st-N; 77-66)
The Cincinnati Reds begin a nine-year run as the Charleston low Class A parent club, and continue a torrid second half into the last league championship the city won in pro baseball ... Winfield High graduate and Manager Jim Lett's Wheelers went 5-0 in the postseason, sweeping Fayetteville, then Savannah in a best-of-five SAL Championship Series ... Wheelers won 24 of final 27 games in a season in which shortstop Trevor Hoffman converts to the mound (later to become a Major League-record holder for saves) ... Tim Pugh's 15 wins lead league and his 1.93 ERA sets club record ... Other stars are C Dan Wilson and P Bobby Ayala.
1991 (46-26, 1st-N; 46-24, 1st-N; 92-50)
Manager Dave Miley's Wheelers win both halves in the SAL Northern Division and post best overall season record in Charleston baseball history ... Wheelers fall in SAL finals in three-game sweep to Columbia (S.C.) Mets ... Watt Powell attendance of 185,389 stands as team record until 2005 (first year in Appalachian Power Park) ... John Roper's 189 strikeouts are franchise record, and John Ray goes 16-9 ... OF Steve Gibralter is an SAL All-Star, and the club sent six to the league's midsummer All-Star Game.
1992 (45-26, 3rd-N; 32-3, 7th-N; 77-64)
Wheelers win Northern Division first half, but Manager P.J. Carey's club falls to last place in second half ... Charleston wins opening playoff series over Spartanburg, then is swept 3-0 in SAL title series by Myrtle Beach Hurricanes (Toronto club) ... John Courtright and Scott Robinson lead the pitching staff, and 3B Bobby Perna, 1B Jamie Dismuke (both All-Stars) and SS Pokey Reese are major contributors on a club that loses significant personnel at midseason.
1993 (38-32, 2nd-N; 38-32, 2nd-N; 76-64)
Wheelers get new manager in former Major League C Tom Nieto ... Attendance falls to 110,118, down 75,000 from two seasons earlier ... P David Tuttle and 3B Dan Kopriva are SAL All-Star Game participants ... Bastein sells the club to Wheelers Baseball Ltd., a local ownership group headed by accountant Mike Paterno.
1994 (29-39, 7th-N; 36-36, 3rd-N; 65-75)
Nieto returns as manager, and Wheelers rebound from last-place first half to a .500 second half ... INF Steve Gann and OF Cobi Cradle play in SAL All-Star Game ... Watt Powell gets $350,000 in needed renovations, mostly to clubhouses to comply with new minor league ballpark standards ... Hotdogs remain priced at $1 ... Paterno says club is considering a name change. Among suggestions are Capitals, Miners and a return to Charlies.
1995 (34-36, 5th-N; 43-29, 3rd-N; 77-65)
Charleston's new Manager is Razor Shines, and the club's new nickname is Alley Cats - with popular mascot Al E. Cat. The affiliation with Cincinnati remains ... On June 29, Alley Cats blank Augusta, 23-0 ... An August bench-clearing brawl at Charleston, S.C., brings suspensions to 13 Alley Cats, including Shines ... Future Major Leaguer Brett Tomko went 4-2 with 1.84 ERA in 49 innings, and Cedric Allen went 13-7 ... Allen, Pete Magre and Emiliano Giron combined on a 4-0 no-hitter over Hagerstown. Giron finished with 20 saves, and Brendan Donnelly had 12 (with a 1.19 ERA).
1996 (29-41, 4th-N; 29-43, 4th-N; 58-84)
The Alley Cats started 18-12 and looked like SAL contenders, but they were doomed by a 6-24 stretch. ... Veteran Manager Tommy Thompson was replaced by Donnie Scott in the second half, but it didn't matter much. Furuer Reds catcher Jason LaRue went out with a broken leg due to a home plate collision in late June ... Mike Hampton played four positions, and while he batted only .217, he led the club with 13 homers ... RHP John Riedling became a reliable starter in the season's second half ... OF Jaqmes Davis led the club's hitting (.288).
1997 (39-30, 1st-N; 37-32, 1st-N; 76-62)
Charleston reached the SAL playoffs for the first time since 1992, but fell to Delmarva in the playoff semifinals after sweeping the Northern Division in both halves ... Manager Barry Lyons got 20 homers and a .311 average from Jason Parsons, and LaRue returned behind the plate from injury and hit .315, with a club-record 50 doubles and 81 RBI ... Buddy Carlyle was the mound ace, at 14-5 with a 2.77 ERA ... On July 26 in a win over Augusta, Stephen Larkin became the first alley Cat to hit for the cycle.
1998 (25-44, 4th-N; 19-52, 4th-N; 44-96)
The Reds' last year as Charleston's parent club was a struggle for a young team that included 16-year-old pitcher Jacobo Sequea ... Jose Acevedo went 9-9 with a 3.91 ERAS as the pitching ace, but the loss of Robert Averette (up to Class AA Chattanooga) after some early success hurt the Cats ... August brought a Charleston baseball record 15-game losing streak, during which the club was outscored 105-39.
1999 (30-42, 3rd-N; 31-38, 4th-N; 61-80
Kansas City takes Charleston as affiliate after Reds move their low Class A club to new park in Dayton (Ohio) of the Midwest League ... It's the 50th anniversary of Watt Powell Park, and a struggling team draws 92,738 through the gates ... Manager tom Poquette had a team built on speed, and the Alley Cats stole 270 bases, a Charleston club record ... Mike Curry's 61 steals (in only 85 games) is a club record that lasts for seven years ... Cary Ammons and Jeremy Affeldt are the pitching staff leaders, and Brian Shackelford hits .200 before a transition to pitching that eventually gets him to the Majors in Cincinnati.
2000 (24-47, 7th-N; 29-33, 4th-N; 53-80)
Kansas City's second and last season with Charleston PDC brought a dreadful start. The Alley Cats started 1-11 ... Young left-hander Jimmy Gobble (12-10, 3.66) anchored the pitching staff and OF Norris hopper had a solid year at the plate (.280, 24 SB). 3B Donovan Ross led the club in hitting (.303) and homers (13) ... The season included a four-game visit by Hickory star J.R. House, and while the former Nitro High football star went 1-for-9 in the first three games, he ripped two homers in the finale as the Cats drew more than 10 percent of their season attendance (91,434) for that series.
2001 (21-47, 8th-N; 30-40, 7th-N; 51-87)
Toronto moves in as the Alley Cats' parent club ... Attendance dips to 83,074, the lowest for a Watt Powell season since 1979 ... Cuban refugee Rolando Pino arrives as the manager, and the young Jays start 4-3 before losing 10 straight ... Star OF Alex Rios leads the A-Cats in hits (126) and RBI (58) in 130 games ... SS Raul Tablado struggles afield (38 errors), but has 23 doubles and nine homers ... RHP Andy McCullough is the A-Cats' MVP (the team's only player in the SAL All-Star Game) with 17 saves and five wins ... Illinois' entrepreneurs Tom Dickson and Sherrie Myers buy the club ... Attendance is only 83,074, a club low in its SAL years.
2002 (25-45, 8th-N; 36-34, 6th-N; 61-79)
An 11-game improvement in the second half (36-34) ends a string of nine consecutive losing SAL half-seasons for the Cats, who won their final seven games for Manager Paul Elliott ... Charleston was a woeful 6-20 in April ... Dustin McGowan leads the SAL in strikeouts (163) with 11 wins, and Jesse Harper in second in ERA (2.16) ... IF Mike Snyder was the top hitter, finishing fourth in the SAL in RBI (87) and third in hits (148), batting .286 with 16 homers ... Rob Cosby led the Cats in hitting (.294) and had a nine-game hitting streak in August.
2003 (27-36, 7th-N; 30-40, 7th-N; 57-76)
Alley Cats lost first six under Manager Mark Meleski, then won next six - both streaks were season's longest ... Ranked 15th in 16-team SAL in batting (.231), but ninth in pitching with respectable 3.58 staff ERA ... OF Rodney Medina led team in most offensive categories, while D.J, Hanson (10 wins, 2.54 ERA) was the top pitcher ... Former Capital High and West Virginia State star David Smith was moved from extended spring training by the Blue Jays in late May. The center fielder batted .243 with eight homers in 86 games.
2004 (41-29, 1st-N; 43-27, 2nd-N; 84-56)
In the Alley Cats' and Watt Powell Park goodbye, Charleston has a big sendoff - winning the first half and missing a Northern Division sweep by closing three games behind Hickory in the second half. Manager Ken Joyce's club falls in the opening playoff round to the Crawdads, however ... Charleston batted an average .259 as a club, but a 3.54 ERA led the league in pitching. Staff ace Tom Mastny (a Major League reliever in 2006) went 10-3 and won the SAL ERA title (2.17) ... Local product David Smith returned in center (.278) and catcher Robinzon Diaz (.287) had a strong arm. He and Mastny made the SAL season All-Star Team, and six Cats played in the midsummer league All-Star Game ... Under new ownership (West Virginia Baseball LLC), the Cats drew a game average of 1,852 (season 125,979) to Watt Powell.
2005 (25-45, 7th-N; 35-33, 3rd-N; 60-78)
The West Virginia Power makes its debut in a new East End ballpark, Appalachian Power Park, with a new parent club in the Milwaukee Brewers ... Team starts 0-7 and 2-13, but draws a Charleston minor league attendance record of 233,143, eclipsing the old Watt Powell Park standard by about 48,000 ... June 3 record crowd of 10,103 ... Manager Ramon Aviles has club that ranks last in league in hitting (.251) ... Double-play combination of Hernan Iribarreen (2B) and Alcides Escobar (SS) are quality prospects ... in only 16 Power games, 3B Ryan Braun bats .406 with 14 extra-base hits and 17 RBI ... Top Brewer pitching draft pick Mark Rogers struggles, but right-hander Yovani Gallardo shines before callup.
2006 (39-30, 2nd-N; 35-32, 2nd-N; 74-62)
Power draws a record 239,721 through the gates and has two winning halves, but does not make the SAL playoffs ... First-year Manager Mike Guerrero has a team built around speed and pitching ... Ofs Lorenzo Cain (.307, 34 SB) and Darren Ford (.283, 69 SB) set the table for a club that leads the SAL in hitting (.277) by a robust six points ... Cain's 162 hits are club record and lead the league ... RHP Will Inman, despite some arm problems, goes 10-2 and easily wins league ERA title (1.71) ... On May 4 at "the APP," Power hit SAL single-game record seven homers (in fivbe innings), including six in a 12-run first inning, against Lexington. Six in one inning tied an all-time minor league record (by Kansas City, 1952 American Association.
2007 (48-20, 1st-N; 34-34, 3rd N; 82-54)
The Power, again a Milwaukee farm team, cruised to the SAL first-half Northern Division title, winning the race by a comfortable 11 games over second-place Greensboro. West Virginia slipped to 34-34 in the second half, but that was the fifth straight half of .500 or above for a franchise that had known mostly second-division finishes ... The Power won the best-of-three northern Division playoffs, 2-1, over Hickory, but fell in a three-game Columbus (Ga.) sweep in the SAL Championship Series ... Manager Mike Guerrero's club had a 14-game winning streak to reach a 16-4 start in April, breaking the SAL club record of 12 in a row, set in 1990 and tied in 2004 ... That team also set a franchise attendance record of 248,766 (including playoffs, 255,838) ... Andrew LeFave of the Power won the SAL batting title with a .345 average (a team record, breaking Jason LaRue's .315 mark of 1997), and the team average of .281 was also a franchise record - four points higher than the previous season's record ... The Power had power, too. OF Stephen Chapman set a team mark with 24 homers, topping the 20 hit by Jason Parsons in 1997 ... The Brewers sent two first-round draft picks to Charleston. RHP Jeremy Jeffress went 9-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 18 starts, while OF Matt LaPorta arrived after being selected in the June 2007 draft and hit .318 with 10 homers and 27 RBI in only 23 games ... 3B Taylor Green (.327) was the Power's lone postseason SAL All-Star selection.
2008 (32-37, 6th-N; 45-25, 1st-N; 77-62)
Under new Manager Jeff Isom, the Power's first-half struggles turned around in the second half as the club reached the playoffs for a second straight year in the Milwaukee Brewers' system. West Virginia topped second-place Lakewood by three games in the second half. The team started the second half 18-5, winning 14 of 15 within that stretch, with an eight-game winning streak ... The September results were the same, however. West Virginia won the best-of-three Northern Division series over Lake County, 2-1, before falling in a three-game sweep to the Augusta GreenJackets in the SAL Championship Series ... The club started 3-12, a stretch that included a seven-game losing streak, but by the end of the season, the Power had led the SAL in team batting average (.276) for the third straight year and had a second straight league batting champ in Eric Fryer (.335) ... The regular-season attendance fell off in the fourth season for Appalachian Power Park, to 213,030 (down more than 35,000 from the previous season) ... Besides Fryer's batting crown, OF Steffan Wilson finished second in the league in RBI, with 100 (he also had a team-leading 19 homers), and RHP Evan Anundsen's 12-8 mound record was the most pitching wins for the franchise since Buddy Carlyle went 14-5 in 1997 ... Fryer, Wilson and OF Caleb Gindl of the Power made the postseason SAL all-Star Team ... A few days after the 2008 season ended, the Power announced it had a new two-year Player Development Contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the Brewers were returning their low Class A farm to the Midwest League.
2009 (27-43, 8th-N; 40-27, 2nd-N; 67-70)
The Pirates named former Major League shortstop Gary Green as the Power manager, and Green began with a young club that struggled in the first half. The Power rebounded in the second half to finish 13 games over .500 and four games behind division-winning Kannapolis ... in between those halves, Appalachian Power Park hosted the annual SAL All-Star Game, making it the return of the midseason classic to Charleston for the first time since 1989 at Watt Powell Park. A crowd of 5,689 appeared for an 8-7 Northern Division win on June 23. The game-winning hit was a single by the Power's Calvin Anderson. He also led the Power in homers, with 12 ... The Pirates' top 2009 pick, C Tony Sanchez, his .316 in 41 games for West Virginia after signing with Pittsburgh. SS Chase d'Arnaud was a midseason SAL all-Star pick before being moved up in the system, and OF Robbie Grossman led the Power with 35 steals. OF Quincy Latimore's 10 triples ranked second in the SAL, and also tied a franchise record ... LHP Rudy Owens, who went 10-1 with a franchise record 1.70 ERA in 19 starts (101 IP) before he moved up to high Class A, was Pittsburgh's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He also was the SAL Pitcher of the Year and was the lone Power player on the full-season SAL All-Star Team ... After three straight years of leading the SAL in team batting, the Power fell to second (.262), but the club ranked last in team pitching (4.18 ERA) ... The Power's 2009 attendance dipped with the standings position, to only 177,691, ranking 11th in the 16-team SAL.
The Power begins its sixth season at Appalachian Power Park, and Pittsburgh returned Gary Green as the club's manager in the final year of the Power-Pirates Player Development Contract.