The Texas Rangers announced today that it plans to bring a new Class-A Advanced Carolina League franchise to Kinston's historic Grainger Stadium in 2017.
 The team doesn't have a name yet, and the Rangers are asking fans to submit suggestions for a name and brand identity that represents eastern North Carolina. Find a submission form and more details on the new website
 The Kinston club is one of two new proposed teams; the second location has not been announced. If approved by Minor League Baseball, the new franchises will expand the Carolina League to 10 teams.
 The Kinston club will play in 4,100-seat Grainger Stadium, a venue that hosted a Carolina League franchise in all but three seasons from 1962-2011.
 The Rangers are planning stadium renovations including a home and visitor's clubhouse, a weight room and expansion of the concession stands.
 The city of Kinston has nearly a century-long history of minor league baseball, beginning in 1921.
 To celebrate the return of minor league baseball to Kinston, the Rangers and the city of Kinston will host a celebration at noon Thursday at Grainger Stadium, 400 E. Grainger Ave. An on-field ceremony will be held, and there will be free hot dogs and soft drinks.
 “Baseball’s Back in Kinston” T-shirts will be available for purchase at the Thursday event, online at and at the Woodmen Community Center, 2602 W. Vernon Ave.