FAYETTEVILLE — Good news for Cumberland County baseball fans. The Cape Fear Crocs are staying put. There had been speculation that the minor league team would leave after this season, but their major league affiliate has renewed their contract.
This past season was a successful one for the Cape Fear Crocs. Attendance was up and the team made the playoffs. But the biggest victory was won off the field, and it gives the organization some much needed stability.
"I know every night our fans came up to us and said 'hey I heard rumors that you guys are leaving' and we tried to squash those rumors every single night," said Buck Rogers, who work with the Crocs. "Finally the Expos came to town and said 'hey were pleased with the efforts you guys made. As a show of faith we want to sign you guys for a couple more years.'"
The Crocs will be a Montreal Expos' minor league affiliate through the year 2000, but there is a hitch. The club must build an improved hitting tunnel and enlarge and improve their aging clubhouse.
Members of the organization say they have already secured some private funding, but they have gotten a lukewarm response in their initial requests for county money.
"We're sure hoping they're going to jump up and prove to everyone, and we would like to help prove it also, that minor league baseball is important in this community," Said Brad Taylor, who works with the Crocs. "It is good family entertainment and it's something that I think needs to be kept here in Fayetteville."
Team officials say they will do everything in their power to make sure the Cape Fear Crocs are part of Cumberland County's long term future.
The Crocs finished the second half of the season in third place. They replaced the Generals who called Fayetteville home for nine years.