2023 saw the demolition of Potter County Memorial Stadium, the last physical piece of history linking the Amarillo Gold Sox to the city. They are still one of the most beloved sports franchises to ever play in Amarillo.

Being a baseball aficionado, and not a native to Amarillo, I decided to do a little digging into the Gold Sox, and what I found was amazing and unknown to me.

Awesome 98 logo
Get our free mobile app

The Gold Sox had some pretty decent teams, and even won a championship back in 1976 when they re-entered minor league baseball. However, it wasn't that particular team that caught my attention. It was the 1981 team that grabbed me.

They ended up in second place in their division that year with a 77-59 record, so no championship that season. It was a few of the players that were on the roster that I had no idea called Amarillo home, and one of them happened to be one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and look at the four players who went on to make the Major Leagues from that 1981 Amarillo Gold Sox squad.

Dave Dravecky
Getty Images


Dravecky was a starting pitcher for the Gold Sox who won 15 games that season for the squad. The lefty wasted no time getting called up to the big club, the San Diego Padres, and by 1983 was named an All Star pitcher in the bigs.

Dave would have his career derailed by cancer, ultimately breaking his arm in his second comeback attempt while throwing a pitch in a game. It would sadly lead to his throwing arm being amputated and ending his career.



Thurmond was a 24th round pick of the Padres back in 1978 out of Texas A&M. He spent three full seasons pitching here in Amarillo, with 1981 being his most successful season. He fired 193 innings and tossed a whopping 10 complete games out of 27 starts.

Mark would go on to be a serviceable pitcher at the big league level ending his career as a dependable relief pitcher. Thurmond played in the majors for nine seasons.

Getty Images
Getty Images


Hawkins was a member of the Gold Sox for just the 1981 season, and was one of their top pitchers that year. Andy tossed an even 200 innings over 27 game started, and threw a complete game in more than half of those starts, finishing the season with 14 of them.

Andy would go on to have a solid 10 year career in the major leagues, and was the only Padres pitcher to win a game in the 1984 World Series. He went on to a successful coaching career once his playing days were done, spending some time in Texas with the Rangers.

Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Getty Images


You knew I was going to save the best for last, right? I had absolutely no idea that Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn donned a Gold Sox uniform. It wasn't for very long though. After being drafted by the Padres in the third round of the 1981 draft (an absolute steal), Gwynn was assigned to Amarillo for his first professional baseball season.

Tony wouldn't stick around long though, just 23 games to be exact before being moved up a level. That's because all Gwynn did was hit .462 over 91 at-bats with the Gold Sox. It didn't take the Padres long to see they had something special in this kid.

Gwynn went on to an incredibly decorated career in the majors. playing 20 seasons, all with the Padres. He won the batting title eight different times, was named an All Star 15 times, and finished as high as third in MVP voting. He was enshrined to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first try in 2007.

Gwynn went on to be the head baseball coach at his alma matter, San Diego St., before passing away from cancer at the age of 54 in 2014.

LOOK: MLB history from the year you were born

Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, we've listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman

Josh Jung and the Frisco RoughRiders play in Amarillo at HODGETOWN