The history of Minor League Baseball in Augusta has a rich and storied past that began in 1885 with the Augusta Browns in the Southern League and included 6 league championships by 1963. But baseball departed Augusta that year when the New York Yankees ended their affiliation and the league folded. For 25 years (from 1964 to 1987, the playing fields of Augusta were empty of professionals and the stands were silent of fans.
Then in 1988, longtime baseball fan, US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Bill Heaton put together a partnership to bring baseball back to Augusta. It was a huge undertaking, but he succeeded in securing a franchise in the reorganized South Atlantic League, or "SALLY" League, got an agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates to provide players and coaches, hastily built a no-frills ballpark named Heaton Stadium on this site, and financed the team's operation. In 1989, in just their second year of operation, the Augusta Pirates won their first South Atlantic League title, the 7th Championship in Augusta's history.
Bill sold the team a few years later, it was renamed the GreenJackets, and they began playing in the new Lake Olmstead Stadium. The GreenJackets repeated as South Atlantic League Champions in 1995, 1999, and 2008, their 10th Championship. Without Bill, none of this would have happened - he is a true champion, and now he's a member of the Augusta GreenJackets Hall of Fame.