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Lexington Legends

Lexington Legends
Founded in 2001
Lexington, Kentucky
Team logo Cap insignia
Current Single A (2001–present)
Minor league affiliations
League South Atlantic League (2001–present)
Division Southern Division (2009–present)
Major league affiliations
Current Kansas City Royals (2013–present)
Previous Houston Astros (2001–2012)
Minor league titles
League titles (1) 2001
Division titles (1) 2001
Team data
Nickname Lexington Legends (2001–present)
Ballpark Whitaker Bank Ballpark (2001–present)
William Shea / Ivy Walls Management
Manager Brian Buchanan

The Lexington Legends is a Minor League Baseball team in the South Atlantic League (SAL), and the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The team is located in Lexington, Kentucky, and plays its home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, located in a commercial area on the northeast side of the city just inside New Circle Road. The team's mascot is "Big L", a mustachioed baseball player.


  • History 1
  • Season by season results 2
    • Notes 2.1
  • Current roster 3
  • Legends Hall of Fame 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The Houston Astros moved their high Class-A team, the Kissimmee Cobras, out of the Florida State League to Lexington following the 2000 season. The 2001 season began under the guidance of manager Joe Cannon. That year, the team finished the regular season with an overall record of 92 wins and 48 losses; this was the best record in the sixteen team South Atlantic League. In the postseason, the Legends defeated the Hagerstown Suns in the first round and advanced to play the Asheville Tourists in the League Championship Series. The series, however, was cancelled due to the September 11 attacks and the Legends and Tourists were declared Co-League Champions.

Cannon returned to manage in 2002 and led the team to another winning season. The Legends narrowly missed advancing to playoffs that season. Lexington made a return trip to the playoffs in 2003, but were defeated by the Lake County Captains in the first round.

In 2004, the Legends finished with a record of 68 and 72, the first losing record in team history. They returned to their winning ways in 2005 when manager Tim Bogar led the way to an overall 81 and 58 regular season record, an SAL best.

On May 31, 2006, it was announced that Roger Clemens would be coming out of retirement for the third time to pitch for the Houston Astros for the remainder of the 2006 season. Planning to keep himself to a strict 60-pitch limit, Clemens returned to baseball with the Legends where his oldest son, Koby, played. Father and son quashed reports that Koby would catch his dad for the return. "He doesn't listen to me," Roger Clemens said. "We'd be shaking each other off and arguing too much."[1] He threw 62 pitches, allowed no walks, and only 1 run while striking out 6 batters in three innings of work with the Legends, who won the game, 5–1.

The team came into the national spotlight for a second time as a result of events that occurred during a game with the Asheville Tourists on June 25, 2006. In the fifth inning of that game, Tourists manager Joe Mikulik went on an extended tirade after being ejected from the game following an argument with an umpire. The event received coverage on various television programs including NBC's The Tonight Show, ESPN's Pardon the Interruption and SportsCenter, and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Roger Clemens' appearance as a Legend as well as Joe Mikulik's meltdown are chronicled in the 2011 documentary film Legendary: When Baseball Came to the Bluegrass.

The Legends experienced three straight losing seasons from 2007 to 2009. In 2007, the team finished in 13th place overall, the second worst finish in team history in the South Atlantic League with 59 wins and 81 losses. In 2008, the team finished in 15th place overall, the worst finish in team history, in the South Atlantic League with 45 wins and 93 losses. The 2009 Legends compiled a 68–72 record. In 2010, Lexington finished the season with a 71–68 record, good for fourth place in the division.

On September 19, 2012, WLEX-TV broke a story that the Lexington Legends would change their affiliation from Major League Baseball's Houston Astros to the Kansas City Royals.[2]

Season by season results

Since its inception in Lexington, Kentucky, the Lexington Legends franchise has played thirteen seasons (all in the South Atlantic League). As of the completion of the 2012 season, the club has played in 1,668 regular season games and compiled a win–loss record of 843–825; this equates to a .505 winning percentage. The team has a postseason win–loss record of 4–4.

League Champions
Post-season Berth
Season Manager Record[a] Win % League[b] Division[c] GB[d] Post-season record[e] Post-season win % Result MLB affiliate
Joe Cannon 92–48 .657 1st 1st 4–0 1.000 Won first round vs Hagerstown Suns, 2–0
Led Asheville Tourists 2–0 in League Championship Series
Declared Co-League Champions[f]
2002 Joe Cannon 81–59 .579 2nd 2nd Houston
Russ Nixon 75–63 .543 7th 2nd 25 0–2 .000 Lost first round vs Lake County Captains, 0–2 Houston
2004 Iván DeJesús 68–72 .486 10th 7th 17 Houston
2005 Tim Bogar 81–58 .583 1st 1st Houston
Jack Lind 75–63 .543 5th 3rd 0–2 .000 Lost first round vs Lakewood BlueClaws, 0–2 Houston
2007 Gregg Langbehn 59–81 .421 13th 7th 25 Houston
2008 Gregg Langbehn 45–93 .326 16th 8th 34 Houston
2009 Tom Lawless 68–72 .486 9th 5th Houston
2010 Rodney Linares 71–68 .511 6th 4th Houston
2011 Rodney Linares 59–79 .428 12th 6th 19½ Houston
2012 Iván DeJesús 69–69 .500 7th 4th 18 Houston
2013 Brian Buchanan 68–70 .493 - Kansas City


  • a This column indicates overall wins and losses during the regular season and excludes any postseason play.
  • b This column indicates overall position in the league standings.
  • c This column indicates overall position in the divisional standings.
  • d Determined by finding the difference in wins plus the difference in losses divided by two, this column indicates "games behind" the team that finished in overall first place in the division.
  • e This column indicates wins and losses during the postseason.
  • f Due to the September 11 attacks, the 2001 best-of-five League Championship Series against Asheville was cancelled. Asheville and Lexington were declared SAL Co-Champions.

Current roster

Legends Hall of Fame

The Legends have honored ten past members of the organization by inducting them in the Legends Hall of Fame.[3] These individuals are:



  • "Lexington, Kentucky Minor League History." Baseball-Reference. Retrieved on September 11, 2010.
  • "Lexington History (SAL)." The Baseball Cube. Retrieved on September 11, 2010.


  1. ^ Bailey, Rick "Pitch and catch at the park, Clemens style FATHER, SON 'GET AT IT' IN 90-MINUTE SESSION." Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved on June 2, 2006.
  2. ^ "Lexington Legends Switching Major League Affiliation" WLEX-TV 18. Retrieved on September 19, 2012
  3. ^ "Lexington Legends Hall of Fame." Minor League Baseball. Retrieved on September 11, 2010.

External links

  • Lexington Legends official website
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