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Carolina League

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The Carolina League has a long history as the starting grounds for many great players in Single-A. The league is now a High Class A league, with its best players generally in their first or second seasons of pro ball. A rundown of the teams, with their history, contact information and more.

Carolina Mudcats

Cleveland Indians logo

Ballpark: Five County Stadium (Zebulon, N.C.), opened in 1991, capacity 6,500

Current affiliation: Cleveland Indians

Division: Southern

History: The franchise was founded in 1959 as a Southern League franchise of the Chicago White Sox in Charleston, S.C. The latest team joined the Carolina League in 2012 when the Kinston (N.C.) franchise was shuttered and moved to Zebulon. Franchise affiliations since moving to North Carolina:

  • 1991-98: Pirates, Southern League (AA)
  • 1999-2002: Rockies, SL
  • 2003-08: Marlins, SL
  • 2009-11: Reds, SL
  • 2012-: Indians, Carolina League (A)

Championships:

  • Southern League 2 (1995, 2003)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Steve Bryant

Frederick Keys

Baltimore Orioles logo

Ballpark: Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick, Md.), opened in 1990, capacity 5,500

Current affiliation: Baltimore Orioles

Division: Northern

History: The franchise was founded in 1980 in Rocky Mount, N.C., and moved to Hagerstown, Md. from 1981-88 before moving to Frederick in 1989. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1989-: Orioles, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 4 (1990, 2005, 2007, 2011)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Ken Young, president of Maryland Baseball Holding, LLC

Lynchburg Hillcats

Atlanta Braves logo

Ballpark: Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.), opened in 1940, capacity 4,291

Current affiliation: Atlanta Braves

Division: Northern

History: The franchise was founded in 1966 as the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1966-69: White Sox, CL
  • 1970-74: Twins, CL
  • 1975: Rangers, CL
  • 1976-87: Mets, CL
  • 1988-94: Red Sox, CL
  • 1995-2009: Pirates, CL
  • 2010: Reds, CL
  • 2011-: Braves, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 6 (1978, 1983, 1984, 1997, 2002, 2009)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Rex Angel, president, Lynchburg Baseball Corp.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Texas Rangers logo

Ballpark: TicketReturn.com Field (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), opened in 1999, capacity 6,600

Current affiliation: Texas Rangers

Division: Southern

History: The franchise was founded in 1998 in Danville, Va., and moved to Myrtle Beach a year later as the Carolina League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1998-2010: Braves, CL
  • 2011-: Rangers, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 2 (1999, 2000)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Chuck Greenberg

Potomac Nationals

Washington Nationals logo

Ballpark: G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium (Woodbridge, Va.), opened in 1984, capacity 6,000

Current affiliation: Washington Nationals

Division: Northern

History: The franchise was founded in 1978 in Alexandria, Va., as the Alexandria Dukes and moved to Woodbridge as the Prince William Pirates in 1984, and became the Potomac Cannons in 1999, then the Potomic Nationals in 2005. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1978: None
  • 1979: Mariners, CL
  • 1980: None
  • 1981-86: Pirates, CL
  • 1987-93: Yankees, CL
  • 1994-96: White Sox, CL
  • 1997-2002: Cardinals, CL
  • 2003-04: Reds, CL
  • 2005-: Nationals, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 4 (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Art Silber

Salem Red Sox

Red Sox logo

Ballpark: Lewis-Gale Field (Salem, Va.), opened in 1995, capacity 6,300

Current affiliation: Boston Red Sox

Division: Southern

History: After being formed as a rookie-level Appalachian League franchise in 1963, it became a Carolina League franchise in 1968. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1968-80: Pirates, CL
  • 1981-83: Padres, CL
  • 1984-86: Rangers, CL
  • 1987-94: Pirates, CL
  • 1995-2002: Rockies, CL
  • 2003-08: Astros, CL
  • 2009-: Red Sox, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 4 (1972, 1974, 1987, 2001)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Fenway Sports Group

Wilmington Blue Rocks

Kansas City Royals logo

Ballpark: Daniel S. Frawley Stadium (Wilmington, Del.), opened in 1993, capacity 6,532

Current affiliation: Kansas City Royals

Division: Northern

History: The modern Blue Rocks franchise was founded in 1993 as the Southern League affiliate of the Royals. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1993-2004, 2007-: Royals, CL
  • 2005-06: Red Sox, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 4 (1994, 1996, 1998, 1999)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Tom Palmer, Jack Minker and Bob Stewart

Winston-Salem Dash

White Sox logo

Ballpark: BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.), opened in 2010, capacity 5,500

Current affiliation: Chicago White Sox

Division: Southern

History: The franchise is the oldest in the Carolina League, playing continuously since 1945. Franchise affiliations over the years:

  • 1945-54, 1957-60: Cardinals, CL
  • 1955-56: Yankees, CL
  • 1961-84: Red Sox, CL
  • 1985-92: Cubs, CL
  • 1993-96: Reds, CL
  • 1997-: White Sox, CL

Championships:

  • Carolina League 8 (1950, 1951, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1986, 1993, 2003)

Famous past players:

Ownership: Billy Prim, Sports Menagerie

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