By Gordon Anderson |

After three seasons operating under the ownership of the Old North State League, the Sanford Spinners have been sold to a new owner.

Albert Anderson of Turnersville, New Jersey recently purchased the team under the umbrella of the Anderson Sports Group. Anderson, a retired police officer and volunteer firefighter in southern New Jersey, now owns Philly Photo and Philm, a photography, video production, photo booth and drone company, as well as Rival Sports Media, which specialized in live-streaming of various sporting events.

“I don’t see a lot of big change happening” with the team, Anderson told The Rant. “I’m more interested in helping the Spinners become even more known and more popular in Sanford and Lee County, and making the experience even better for fans.”

Albert Anderson, the new owner of the Sanford Spinners, with his wife.

In particular, Anderson said he hopes to expand the food and beverage options available at games, currently held at Tramway Park adjacent to Southern Lee High School.

“My parents owned a luncheonette in South Philadelphia and were involved in the food and beverage side of some casinos in Atlantic City, so that’s something that’s in my background,” he said. “So I’m hoping we can bring a taste of South Philly and see how that fits with some Carolina food.”

Anderson said owning a sports team was a “childhood dream,” but one he never really thought he’d achieve. But due to his involvement with sports media, he became aware of opportunities like the Spinners and realized it was something he could do.

“I dove down that rabbit hole and ended up meeting the broker for the Old North State League, and after hours of phone calls and meetings, I saw there was something there,” he said.

Anderson traveled to Sanford as part of his research and was immediately impressed.

“The first thing I saw was the train” at Depot Park, he said. “My son loves trains, and it almost felt like a sign. Everywhere I looked – I kept looking for reasons why it might not work – everybody was so warm and kind. And then I went to the game itself, and it was amazing. I told (Head Coach Jeremy Palme and General Manager Danielle Spivey) ‘this isn’t really my team. This is your team, and the town’s team.’ I just want to help there be more of a singular focus on the team, and for the Sanford Spinners to a part of the community, and more than as just an entertainment option.”

The Old North State League is a collegiate level summer program for college players who want to continue honing their skills during their off season. The season runs through June and July. The Spinners – named for a minor league team that played in Sanford in the 1930s, 40s and 50s – joined the league in 2021 and have reached the playoffs the last two years. The team lost in the first round of the 2023 playoffs.

Games are currently played on Southern Lee High School’s baseball field at the county-owned Tramway Park, and with changes to the proposed sports complex it’s still unclear whether the Spinners will eventually move to the complex or make upgrades to the current field that would accommodate more visitors.

“I’ve got pie in the sky dreams,” Anderson said. “I would love to add grandstands, or there have been conversations about moving to the new park. I want to make contributions to those efforts. I’ve been in touch with the Parks and Recreation department, and I’m looking forward to meeting more people in town so we can have more of those discussions. A lot of it spins on approvals. But there are still a lot of people that don’t even know the Spinners are here, and I want to focus on that first. These kids deserve to have a big crowd follow them.”

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