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John Henry Moss
Born: 11/10/18 in Kings Mountain, N.C.
(Photo credit: Tony Farlow/

07/01/2009 5:03 PM ET

Moss leaves behind legacy

The late John Henry Moss, who founded what would become the South Atlantic League in 1959 and headed the circuit until 2007, left an unforgettable mark on Minor League Baseball and baseball as a whole after his 60 years of service to the sport.

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Photo Gallery

Remembering John Henry Moss 

John Henry Moss served his final year as president of the South Atlantic League in 2007 and was then honored over the entire 2008 season throughout the circuit.


“John was one of those people who was just extraordinary in his willingness to help you. Anybody. Whether it was an operator, whether it was a colleague, he just had the very best interest of baseball, always foremost.”

Tom Kayser, Texas League president

“The real true essence of baseball, and Minor League Baseball especially, are the people you meet along the way. The relationships that you make and have for years and years. Sometimes we need to step back and do a personal account of our relationships and our friendships, because we lost a true giant today.”

Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive VP of MLB

“[Moss] plowed the field we toil in today. He fought the fights and won the wars, allowing guys like me the opportunity to have the experiences we've had. He always understood the need for solid ownership and good management.”

Pat O'Conner, President of MiLB

“The imprint that John Henry Moss has left on Minor League Baseball and pro sports in the Southeast will never be forgotten. His shoes will never be filled, but we want to stay in those footsteps.”

Alan Stein, President of Lexington Legends

Career Highlights

Summary of Accomplishments

  • Established Western Carolina League in 1947
  • Became youngest person elected president of pro baseball league in 1948
  • Western Carolina League was approved for membership in the NAPBL in Oct. 1947
  • Served as Tigers' Minor League director from 1950-55
  • Won three league titles as GM of Wausau Muskies
  • Appointed to reorganize Western Carolinas League in 1959
  • Served as mayor of Kings Mountain, N.C., from 1965-1988
  • Secured more than $40-million in grants for the town of Kings Mountain
  • Western Carolinas League becomes South Atlantic League in 1980
  • Helps to bring baseball to 43 cities in the U.S.
  • Elected to South Atlantic League Hall of Fame in 2004
  • Elected to North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004
  • South Atlantic League retires No. 50 in Moss' honor in 2008
  • Gardner-Webb University renames stadium after John Henry Moss in 2009
  • As of 2009, South Atlantic League has 16 clubs spanning eight states