KINSTON, Lenoir County - Governor Pat McCrory was part of the celebration in Kinston as the city formally recognized the return of baseball there for the first time since the end 2011.
McCrory joined other big names who were celebrating in Kinston, including Texas Rangers Chairmen Ray Davis and Neil Leibman, and Hall of Famer Rusty Greer. An afternoon ceremony was held where hot dogs and drinks were served for free. T-shirts and other memorabilia were also on sale to mark the occasion.
The Texas Rangers announced Tuesday it would move its California Single-A team to Kinston to participate in the Carolina League starting in 2017. A new team representing the Houston Astros in Fayetteville is also joining the league, one Kinston teams have played in for years.
"I am thrilled that baseball is coming back to the historic 1949 Grainger Stadium," said McCrory in a press release from the governor's office. "This is great news for our state, for our economy and for baseball fans in eastern North Carolina."
NewsChannel 12's Matt Bylis was at Grainger Stadium in Kinston and will have a full report in our evening news starting at 5. In the meantime, you can click here to see his Facebook live video from Grainger Stadium. Then, go to our page or to his page and give us your thoughts on what you feel should be the nickname of the new team.