It's a reassignment back to the minors again this week, as
baseball writer Dale Tafoya ("One Season in Rocket City")
joins the 'cast for a look back at the unforgettable inaugural 1985
season of the Southern League's Huntsville Stars - the Oakland As'
talent-laden, then-Double-A affiliate that took both the city and
the sport by storm.
Named after Huntsville’s celebrated space industry, the Stars
became one of the biggest attractions in all of Minor League
Baseball that season - boasting a dugout full of top Oakland
prospects who would ultimately fuel the Athletics' big-league
success later in the decade, including a 1989 World Series title
sweep of the San Francisco Giants.
Led by hot prospects/future MLB notables like Tim Belcher,
Stan Javier, Luis Polonia, Terry Steinbach, and José Canseco, the
Stars also featured a solid cast of gutsy minor-league role players
who, despite never getting called up to "The Show," proved crucial
to the team's championship that magical first season.
Though merely an opening chapter in Huntsville's baseball
history now (the Stars moved to Biloxi, MS in 2015 to become the
Shuckers; the Southern League's Rocket City Trash Pandas brought
minor league ball back to the nearby suburb of Madison in 2020),
the team and their story is one worth remembering.