Rocket City Trash Pandas hosted tribute night honoring Huntsville Stars’ squads
MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Friday night at Toyota Field was a different sight than normal on the mound for the Trash Pandas.
The baseball team wore throwback jerseys in honor of a special tribute to former teams of the Huntsville Stars, including 13 members of the esteemed inaugural 1985 squad that won a Southern League Championship.
More than 30 players from the Stars came together from across the country for the throwback night.
One of the players from the ‘85 winning team, Rocky Coyle said playing for the Stars was the greatest accomplishment for him over the last 20 years. Coyle also hit the game-winning home run in the 9th inning of Game 5 of the 1985 Southern League Championship Series to give the Stars their first title.
“The guys here were some of the greatest guys you could ever play with, and we won a championship under manager Don Mincher,” said Coyle. “It was the most wonderful experience and I’m so thankful for the Trash Pandas and so many people [who] made it possible, it was just a dream come true for me.”
The full list of former Huntsville Stars players that were in attendance:
- Charlie O’Brien – 1985 Stars
- Greg Cadaret – 1985-87 Stars
- Francisco Matos – 1990-93 Stars
- José Tolentino – 1987-87 Stars
- Steve Phoenix – 1991-94, 1997 Stars
- Rob Nelson – 1985 Stars
- Bert Bradley – Pitching Coach for the 1991-92 and 1997-98 Stars, Pitched for the 1997 Stars
- Wally Whitehurst – 1986-87 Stars
- Donovan Hand – 2008-11 Stars
- Rocky Coyle – 1985-86 Stars
- Chip Conklin – 1985 Stars
- Scott Whaley – 1985-86 Stars
- Bob Hallas – 1985 Stars
- Rick Stromer – 1985-86 Stars
- Wayne Giddings – 1985 Stars
- Brian Guinn – 1985-86 Stars
- John Marquardt – 1985 Stars
- Mark Bauer – 1985 Stars
- Dave Wilder – 1985-86 Stars
- Brad Fischer – 1985-87 Stars Manager
- Hunter Morris – 2011-12, 2014 Stars, 2012 Southern League MVP
- Brian Criswell – 1986-88 Stars
- Stan Hilton – 1986-87 Stars
- Russ Kibler – 1987-88 Stars
- Benji Grigsby – 1994-95 Stars
- Joe Kramer – 1986-97 Stars
- Roy Anderson – 1987 Stars
- Kevin MacLeod – 1990 Stars
- Jimmy Jones – 1987-88 Stars
- Doug Scherer – 1986-87 Stars
- Damon Farmar – 1986 Stars
- Darrin Duffy – 1987-88 Stars
- Kyle Heckathorn – 2011-12 Stars
For those unfamiliar with the Huntsville Stars, the team began as an Oakland A’s affiliate from 1985-98 before finishing as a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate from 1999-2014.
The memories of the Huntsville Stars’ past will give new hope to the Trash Pandas and its future at Toyota Field.
For six years there was no minor league team in the Tennessee Valley amid the Stars’ departure to the Biloxi Shuckers.
However, with a little bit of patience, the Trash Pandas brought the baseball fever back to the Rocket City in 2020... and it’s just getting started.
Click Here to Subscribe on YouTube: Watch the latest WAFF 48 news, sports & weather videos on our YouTube channel!
Copyright 2023 WAFF. All rights reserved.