The Charlotte Knights today announced it’s fourth member of the Charlotte Baseball Roundtable of Honor, and Knights owner Don Beaver will be inducted into this exclusive club, which was established last year, prior to this Sunday night’s game against the Buffalo Bisons at BB&T Ballpark, with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.
Beaver, along with Bill Allen and Derick Close, purchased the Charlotte Knights from former owner George Shinn on December 31st, 1997, and during his almost 20 years as owner of the Knights, the franchise would embark on a long-standing relationship with it’s current MLB parent club, the Chicago White Sox, while capturing the International League’s Governors Cup championship in 1999, and to provide fans in the Charlotte region with the most affordable family fun entertainment value each night.
One of Beaver’s biggest accomplishments as Knights owner was overseeing the team’s transition from it’s long-time home, Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, South Carolina to it’s current home, BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. After years of hard work and delays, his dream was finally realized when the ballpark opened its doors to fans on April 11, 2014. Since that time, BB&T Ballpark has welcomed over 2 million fans to its home, and going on to lead all of minor-league baseball in attendance in its last 3 seasons.
In addition to his ownership of the Charlotte Knights, Beaver also owns the Hickory Crawdads, the single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers in the South Atlantic League, serves as a part-owner in the New Orleans Baby Cakes of the Pacific Coast League, serves as a member on the Pittsburgh Pirates board of directors, while owning part of that teams ownership interest, and owns the and Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, North Carolina. His first foray into baseball came back in 1952, when he was a pitcher in the Little League World Series for his team in Mooresville, North Carolina, and 40 years later in 1992, he bought the Gastonia Rangers and moving them to his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina and renamed them the Crawdads. Outside of baseball, Beaver also achieved success as a successful businessman, Beaver founded the Brian Center Corporation, a chain of nursing homes in 1973 and served as its CEO until 1995, when his company merged with Living Centers of America. He currently serves as president and CEO of Universal Health Care and president of Choice Health Management Services.
Beaver will join three other Charlotte baseball legends into the Charlotte Baseball Roundtable of Honor, including former Charlotte Knight Jim Thome, Charlie Manuel, a former Charlotte Hornets baseball player and manager of the 1993 International League champion Charlotte Knights, and former Charlotte O’s General Manager Frances Crockett, who were all inducted last season.