Carolina League logo
|No. of teams||10|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans|
|Official website||Official Website|
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 ten teams in a region stretching from Delaware to South Carolina, and is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern Division.
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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. One team has been confirmed for Kinston, North Carolina, temporarily known as Kinston Baseball, as an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The second team is likely headed to Fayetteville, North Carolina, pending approval.
|Northern||Frederick Keys||Baltimore Orioles (since 1982)||Frederick, Maryland||Harry Grove Stadium||5,400|
|Lynchburg Hillcats||Cleveland Indians (since 2015)||Lynchburg, Virginia||Calvin Falwell Field||4,281|
|Potomac Nationals||Washington Nationals (since 2005)||Woodbridge, Virginia||G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium||6,000|
|Wilmington Blue Rocks||Kansas City Royals (since 2007)||Wilmington, Delaware||Daniel S. Frawley Stadium||6,404|
|Southern||Carolina Mudcats||Milwaukee Brewers (from 2017)||Zebulon, North Carolina||Five County Stadium||6,500|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans||Chicago Cubs (from 2015)||Myrtle Beach, South Carolina||TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark||6,599|
|Salem Red Sox||Boston Red Sox (since 2009)||Salem, Virginia||Lewis-Gale Field||6,300|
|Winston-Salem Dash||Chicago White Sox (since 1997)||Winston-Salem, North Carolina||BB&T Ballpark||5,500|
2017 Expansion teams
|TBD||Kinston Baseball||Texas Rangers (from 2017)||Kinston, North Carolina||Grainger Stadium||4,100|
|TBD||Fayetteville (pending)||Houston Astros (from 2017)||Fayetteville, North Carolina (pending)||TBD||TBD|
Current team rosters
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.
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.
- Glaser, Kyle. "Carolina League To Add Two Franchises In 2017". BaseballAmerica.com. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- Young, Ryan (April 3, 2013). "Pelicans Through the Years". The Sun News. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- "2013 Carolina League Media Guide and Record Book". p. 4.