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Carolina League

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Sport
  
Baseball

No. of teams
  
10

Most recent champion(s)
  
Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Founded
  
1945

Country
  
USA

Classification
  
Class A-Advanced

The Carolina League is a Minor League Baseball affiliation which operates along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. It is classified as a "Class A-Advanced" league.

Contents

The organization that later became the Carolina League formed in 1945, just as World War II was ending, and consisted of only two teams based in southern Virginia. Historically, however, as many as 12 teams in a given year have competed in the Carolina League. Today, the league consists of 10 teams in a region stretching from Delaware to South Carolina, and is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern Division.

History

The league originated in the vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina, and has since branched out.

A few of the many Carolina League players who have gone on to star in the Major Leagues are: Johnny Bench (Peninsula, 1966), Wade Boggs (Winston-Salem, 1977), Barry Bonds (Prince William, 1985), Rod Carew (Wilson, 1966), Dock Ellis (Kinston, 1965), Dwight Evans (Winston-Salem, 1971), Dwight Gooden (Lynchburg, 1983), Zack Greinke (Wilmington, 2003), Andruw Jones (Durham, 1996), Chipper Jones (Durham, 1992), Willie McCovey (Danville, 1956), Joe Morgan (Durham, 1963), Dave Parker (Salem, 1972), Tony Pérez (Rocky Mount, 1962), Andy Pettitte (Prince William, 1993), Jorge Posada (Prince William, 1993), Darryl Strawberry (Lynchburg, 1981), Bernie Williams (Prince William, 1988), and Carl Yastrzemski (Raleigh, 1959).

Director and screenwriter Ron Shelton's 1988 film Bull Durham, starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon, depicted a fictionalized account of the Durham Bulls, at that time a Carolina League team (they have since become a Class AAA team in the International League). Before he began making films, Shelton had a five-year minor league career in the Baltimore Orioles' organization, which included a stint in the Carolina League.

On August 22, 2016, it was announced that the Carolina League would add two expansion teams for the 2017 season to fill two vacant spots at the High-A level previously occupied by the California League's Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks franchises, which ceased operations at the end of the 2016 season. The Down East Wood Ducks will play in Kinston, North Carolina, as an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The Buies Creek Astros will play in Buies Creek, North Carolina, in 2017 and 2018, until a new stadium in nearby Fayetteville is built for the 2019 season.

Carolina League champions

(1) ^ Myrtle Beach and Wilmington were declared co-champions when the series was tied 2–2 and canceled because of Hurricane Floyd.

Awards

For league awards, go to the league website, click on "History" and then click on "Carolina League Award Winners."

See also: Baseball awards#Carolina League.

All-time teams (1945–present)

All teams that have competed in the Carolina League from its founding in 1945. Teams in bold are currently active.

References

Carolina League Wikipedia


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