Thurman Munson Stadium
Former -Canton-Akron Indians
Luckily this isn’t the end of the story. Thurman Munson Stadium had drawn 1.5 million fans in its 7 year Double-A history, which didn’t go un-noticed by independent baseball, who have become quite adept at picking up the discarded ballparks of affiliated baseball and turning them into their own personal treasures. The Frontier League saw Thurman Munson Stadium as potential and as soon as the Canton-Akron Indians moved into their new home, the Frontier League took their place in the ballpark. The new team would replace the Zanesville Greys which had been playing at the old Gant Memorial Stadium… a former Class D ballpark in Zanesville Ohio. The Greys had been playing since the beginning of the Frontier League’s beginnings in 1993 and never drew more than 25,000 in a single season. There was some hope that the new Canton Crocodiles could at least beat that mark at a ballpark which had drawn an average of 215,000 over the past 7 years. The new Crocs wouldn’t come close to that mark… but the 75,000 that they would draw in their first season at Thurman Munson Stadium was triple what the Zanesville Greys had drawn and 2nd in the Frontier League in attendance to the Evansville Otters, so to the Frontier League, this was as much success as they ever could have hoped for. On the field, the new Greys played excellent baseball with a lineup of Danny Johnson (17 2B, .337), Steve Mitrovich (12 2B, 10 HR, .278), Jason Klam (24 2B, 9 HR, .304), Rod Williams (19 2B, 4 HR, .332), Brent Sachs (13 2B, 5 HR, .293), Matt Bryant (15 2B, 5 HR, .326), Chris Briller (23 2B, 5 3B, .314) and Preston Aspeslet (106 AB, .349). On the mound Michael Arner (6-2, 2.28) and Eric Schultz (6-2, 3.14) were two of the league’s top starters and after a slow start, the Croc’s finished the 2nd half in 1st place.