Tar Heel League

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The Tar Heel League was a mid-20th century Class D professional minor baseball league, based in North Carolina in the United States. It operated during the full seasons of 1939, 1940 and 1953, and from the opening of the season through June 21, 1954.

The first incarnation of the league began and ended the 1939 season with six clubs, but the following year saw the Shelby Nationals and Newton-Conover Twins — one third of the Tar Heel League — drop out on July 19, 1940. The entire league then shut down for 1941 and through World War II.

During the postwar boom in minor league baseball, the Tar Heel circuit remained dormant, while the Class D North Carolina State League resumed play in 1945 and a new Class D circuit, the Western Carolina League, entered organized baseball in 1948. When the 1950s brought dwindling attendance to minor league baseball and clubs and leagues began to contract, the North Carolina State and Western Carolina leagues merged into a revived Tar Heel League for 1953. An unwieldy, ten-club circuit, the 1953 THL shed two teams on June 11 and relocated a third. The 1954 Tar Heel League could field only four teams, and it gave up the ghost 50 games into the season. The Western Carolina League returned to baseball in 1960, and still plays as the Class A South Atlantic League.

Member teams[edit]


1- 1939 League Championship
2- Played only in 1939
3- Played only in 1940
4- 1940 League Championship


1- Played in 1953 only
2- First place in 1954 before the league folded
3- 1953 League Championship
4- Played in 1954 only