Owners of the Macon Pirates, a Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, have announced they will move the team to Augusta, giving the city its first minor league baseball team in 25 years.
The announcement was made by Len Monheimer, owner of the Macon club and the senior partner in the new team's management, and junior partner Bill Heaton, a retired Army colonel who has worked for six years to get a minor league club in Augusta.
The franchise move was approved last Sunday by the board of directors of the South Atlantic League, of which the team is a member.
The first word of the move came when Heaton announced that the owner of a South Atlantic League franchise had agreed to move his team to Augusta. He would not identify the team at the time.
Macon has had a minor league franchise for eight years, joining the South Atlantic League as an expansion team in 1980. The original team moved to Savannah following the 1983 season, but Monheimer moved his franchise from Greenwood, S.C., to Macon in time for the 1984 season.
The Macon Pirates drew 41,728 fans in 1987, an average of 200 to 250 per game, and finished second in the league's Southern Division for the second half of the season.