Montreal withdrew from Kinston following the 1974 season. With no major league sponsor and very little fan support, Kinston likewise withdrew from the Carolina League. By 1978, the Carolina League decided to expand back to twelve teams due to a renewed fan interest in baseball as well as the introduction of two new major league teams. Former airline pilot Ray Kuhlman brought minor league baseball back to Kinston by investing in one of the new Carolina League franchises. The Kinston Eagles were unaffiliated for their first season back in the circuit in 1978. By the next campaign, they were associated with the Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto stayed with Kinston for seven years, and the team eventually took on the Blue Jays name. Kinston did not win any championships during the Blue Jays years. Kuhlman and his wife ran the team themselves and saw steady annual increases in attendance each year.
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