First season: 1993
Years in league: 1993-94
Ballparks: Paul Fyffe Field and WC. Hambley Sports Complex
The Kentucky Rifles were one of the Frontier League's eight charter teams. They split their home games between two high school fields. Part of their games were at W.C. Hambley Sports Complex at Pikeville, Kentucky, an Appalachian town with a population of just over 6,000. The rest of their games were at Paul G. Fyffe Field at Johnson Central High School in Paintsville. Paintsville, with a population of about 4,500, is nearly 40 miles north of Pikeville. Both cities had been members of the Appalachian league in the early 1980s.
The Rifles beat the Ohio Valley Redcoats 6-5 in their home debut on June 2, 1993 in front of a crowd of 240 fans. The Rifles continued to play well and had the best record in the league in the first half, but had a losing record the second half and just missed the playoffs. The following season the team had nearly identical records in both halves; unfortunately they were both under .500.
The biggest excitement in Kentucky during the 1994 season was outfielder Kendra Hanes. Although she had no hits in ten at-bats, she played professional baseball in a men's league a full three years before Ila Borders pitched in the Northern League. The Rifles folded following that season and were replaced by the Richmond Roosters in 1995.
(top) W.C. Hambley Sports Complex in Pikeville, KY, one home of the Kentucky Rifles
(bottom) Paul G. Fyffe Field in Paintsville, KY, the other home of the Kentucky Rifles
|Year||Won||Lost||GB||Finish||Attendance||Manager||Playoffs First Round||Playoffs Second Round|
Major Award Winners: none
Rifles Post-Season All-Stars: none
Players on FL Tenth Anniversary All-Star Team: none
Franchise Player: 1B Billy Brice (1993-94) led the Rifles offense in batting average and home runs in both of the team's seasons.
Rifles in the majors: none