John Henry Moss is a verifiable institution in North Carolina. A Kings Mountain, N.C., resident, Moss has been the Sally League president since 1960 and was formerly the mayor of Kings Mountain from 1965-89. He broke into baseball back in 1948 when he helped form the Class D Western Carolina League, assuming the role of its league president. A member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Moss is preparing for his 47th season at the helm of the Sally League.
What makes the South Atlantic League special?
The most special thing, I think, is the historical aspect of the membership. Also, we have some vacation destinations in the league, like Savannah, Asheville, Charleston and Augusta, that have the capability to attract a lot of visitors.
Outside the Sally League, what's your favorite Minor League ballpark?
I like Knights Stadium in Charlotte. I think that's an outstanding facility.
Who is the best player you've seen come through the Sally League?
Mike Hargrove. He played for Gastonia in 1973, went straight to the Major Leagues and became the AL Rookie of the Year.
What's the one initiative you'd like to see accomplished before your term ends?
Well, I'd like to see us reach 4 million in attendance. We're at about 3.5 million now. Also, we have 13 new stadiums, and I'd like us get new ballparks for the other three: Hagerstown, Savannah and Columbus.
Favorite offseason activity?
I really don't have much of an offseason or vacation time. I'm not much of a golfer or hunter. I am principally involved with sports and community activities.
Being the league president is...
A lifelong endeavor for me ... It's also a real pleasure and privilege to work with the people in the various communities represented.
What's the best thing about Minor League Baseball?
We're dealing with players who are aspiring to greatness and are on the upswing of their careers, whereas in the Major Leagues the players have already achieved and may be on the downward trend of their careers. That and the closeness that we have to our communities and fans.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.