Carolina League

From BR Bullpen

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The Carolina League is a class A minor league that began play in 1945. It has historically been based around cities in North Carolina and Virginia.

The league currently operates as a ten-team circuit, with two divisions of five teams each, following the addition of two teams prior to the 2017 season. While the league has been in operation continuously since 1945, it almost went out of business in the mid-1970s, when it dwindled to just four teams from 1975 to 1977. Adding a couple of unaffiliated franchises in the wake of the expansion of 1977 saved the circuit.

The film Bull Durham is set in the Carolina League.

Current Teams, Managers, and Affiliations[edit]

Carolina League Teams
Northern Division Southern Division
Team Manager Parent Team Team Manager Parent Team
Fayetteville Woodpeckers Nate Shaver Houston Astros Carolina Mudcats Joe Ayrault Milwaukee Brewers
Frederick Keys Ryan Minor Baltimore Orioles Down East Wood Ducks Corey Ragsdale Texas Rangers
Lynchburg Hillcats Jim Pankovits Cleveland Indians Myrtle Beach Pelicans Steve Lerud Chicago Cubs
Potomac Nationals Tripp Keister Washington Nationals Salem Red Sox Corey Wimberly Boston Red Sox
Wilmington Blue Rocks Scott Thorman Kansas City Royals Winston-Salem Dash Justin Jirschele Chicago White Sox

League Champions and Award Winners[edit]

Year Champion Most Valuable Player Pitcher of the Year Manager of the Year
1945 Danville Leafs - - Herb Brett
Danville Leafs
1946 Raleigh Capitals - - Floyd Patterson
Durham Bulls
1947 Raleigh Capitals - - Buddy Bates
Burlington Bees
1948 Martinsville A's Lewis Hester
Reidsville Luckies
- Buddy Bates
Burlington Bees
1949 Burlington Bees Leo Shoals
Reidsville Luckies
- Ace Parker
Durham Bulls
1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals Bill Evans
Burlington Bees
- George Kissell
Winston-Salem Cardinals
1951 Winston-Salem Cardinals Ray Jablonski
Winston-Salem Cardinals
- Ace Parker
Durham Bulls
1952 Reidsville Luckies Len Matarazzo
Fayetteville Athletics
- Herb Brett
Raleigh Capitals
1953 Danville Leafs Ramon Monzant
Danville Leafs
- Herb Brett
Raleigh Capitals
1954 Fayetteville Highlanders Guy Morton
Greensboro Patriots
- Stan Wentzel
Burlington-Graham Pirates
1955 Danville Leafs Danny Morejon
High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms
- Jimmy Brown
High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms
1956 Fayetteville Highlanders Curt Flood
High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms
- Johnny Pesky
Durham Bulls
1957 Durham Bulls Fred Van Dusen
High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms
- Bobby Mavis
Durham Bulls
1958 Burlington Indians Fred Valentine
Wilson Tobs
- Vern Hoscheit
Greensboro; Pinky May
Burlington
1959 Wilson Tobs Carl Yastrzemski
Raleigh Capitals
- Ken Deal
Raleigh Capitals
1960 Greensboro Yankees Ed Olivares
Winston-Salem Red Birds
- Pinky May
Burlington Indians
1961 Wilson Tobs Chuck Weatherspoon
Wilson Tobs
- Jack McKeon
Wilson Tobs
1962 Kinston Eagles Rusty Staub
Durham Bulls
- Lou Fitzgerald
Durham Bulls
1963 Wilson Tobs Jim Price
Kinston Eagles
- Pat Colgan
Burlington Indians
1964 Winston-Salem Red Sox Ed Stroud
Tidewater Tides
- Bill Slack
Winston-Salem Red Sox
1965 Portsmouth Tides Bobby Murcer
Greensboro Yankees
- Pinky May
Peninsula Grays
1966 Rocky Mount Leafs Robbie Snow
Winston-Salem Red Sox
- Joe Morgan
Raleigh Pirates
1967 Durham Bulls Don Money
Raleigh Pirates
- Clyde McCullough
Durham Bulls
1968 High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms Tony Solaita
High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms
- Don Hoak
Salem Rebels
1969 Raleigh-Durham Phillies Luther Quinn
Salem Rebels
- Al Federoff
Rocky Mount Leafs
1970 Winston-Salem Red Sox Cliff Johnson
Raleigh-Durham Triangles
- Cliff Davis
Raleigh-Durham Triangles
1971 Peninsula Phillies Richard Giallella
Peninsula Phillies
- Gene Hassell
Kinston Eagles
1972 Salem Pirates Dave Parker
Salem Pirates
- Gene Hassell
Kinston Eagles
1973 Winston-Salem Red Sox Terry Whitfield
Kinston Eagles
- Dick Phillips
Lynchburg Twins
1974 Salem Pirates Miguel Dilone
Salem Pirates
- Johnny Lipon
Salem Pirates
1975 Rocky Mount Phillies Luke Wrenn
Salem Pirates
- Cal Emery
Rocky Mount Phillies
1976 Winston-Salem Red Sox Marshall Brant
Lynchburg Mets
- Tony Torchia
Winston-Salem Red Sox
1977 Peninsula Pilots Ossie Olivares
Salem Pirates
- Jack Aker
Lynchburg Mets
1978 Lynchburg Mets Ozzie Virgil
Peninsula Pilots
- Jack Aker
Lynchburg Mets
1979 Peninsula Pilots Bob Dernier
Peninsula Pilots
Thomas Hart
Peninsula Pilots
Bill Slack
Winston-Salem Red Sox
1980 Peninsula Pilots Julio Franco
Peninsula Pilots
Roy Smith
Peninsula Pilots
Johnny Lipon
Salem Redbirds
1981 Hagerstown Suns Brad Komminsk
Durham Bulls
Mike Brown
Winston-Salem Red Sox
Grady Little
Hagerstown Suns
1982 Alexandria Dukes Juan Samuel
Peninsula Pilots
Charles Hudson
Peninsula Pilots
Bill Dancy
Peninsula Pilots
1983 Lynchburg Mets Lenny Dykstra
Lynchburg Mets
Dwight Gooden
Lynchburg Mets
Sam Perlozzo
Lynchburg Mets
1984 Lynchburg Mets Barry Lyons
Lynchburg Mets
Randy Myers
Lynchburg Mets
Mike Cubbage
Lynchburg Mets
1985 Winston-Salem Spirits Shawn Abner
Lynchburg Mets
Kyle Hartshorn
Lynchburg Mets
Grady Little
Kinston Blue Jays
1986 Winston-Salem Spirits Gregg Jefferies
Lynchburg Mets
Dave Pavlas
Winston-Salem Spirits
Jim Essian
Winston-Salem Spirits
1987 Salem Buccaneers Casey Webster
Kinston Indians
Blaine Beatty
Hagerstown Suns
Mike Hargrove
Kinston Indians
1988 Kinston Indians Mickey Pina
Lynchburg Red Sox
Kent Mercker
Durham; Kevin Bearse
Kinston
Dick Berardino
Lynchburg Red Sox
1989 Prince William Cannons Phil Plantier
Lynchburg Red Sox
Charles Nagy
Kinston Indians
Grady Little
Durham Bulls
1990 Frederick Keys Gary Scott
Winston-Salem Spirits
Frank Seminara
Prince William Cannons
Wally Moon
Frederick Keys
1991 Kinston Indians Pedro Castellano
Winston-Salem Spirits
Sam Militello
Prince William Cannons
Brian Graham
Kinston Indians
1992 Peninsula Pilots Bubba Smith
Peninsula Pilots
John Cummings
Peninsula Pilots
Marc Hill
Peninsula Pilots
1993 Winston-Salem Spirits Bubba Smith
Winston-Salem Spirits
Julian Tavarez
Kinston Indians
Dave Keller
Kinston; Pete Mackanin
Frederick
1994 Wilmington Blue Rocks Larry Sutton
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Bart Evans
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Mike Jirschele
Wilmington Blue Rocks
1995 Kinston Indians Richie Sexson
Kinston Indians
Bartolo Colon
Kinston Indians
John Mizerock
Wilmington Blue Rocks
1996 Wilmington Blue Rocks Jose Guillen
Lynchburg Hillcats
Noe Najera
Kinston Indians
Jack Mull
Kinston Indians
1997 Lynchburg Hillcats Aramis Ramirez
Lynchburg Hillcats
Cliff Politte
Prince William Cannons
Joel Skinner
Kinston Indians
1998 Wilmington Blue Rocks Joe Crede
Winston-Salem Warthogs
Rick Ankiel
Prince William Cannons
Chris Cron
Winston-Salem Warthogs
1999 Myrtle Beach and Wilmington (tie) Marcus Giles
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Josh Kalinowski
Salem Avalanche
Eric Wedge
Kinston Indians
2000 Myrtle Beach Pelicans Troy Farnsworth
Potomac Cannons
Christian Parra
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Brian Snitker
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
2001 Salem Avalanche Victor Martinez
Kinston Indians
Trey Hodges
Myrtle Beach; Jimmy Journell
Potomac
Brad Komminsk
Kinston Indians
2002 Lynchburg Hillcats Brad Hawpe
Salem Avalanche
Sean Burnett
Lynchburg Hillcats
Jeff Garber
Wilmington Blue Rocks
2003 Winston-Salem Warthogs Chris Shelton
Lynchburg Hillcats
Zack Greinke
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Dave Clark
Lynchburg Hillcats
2004 Kinston Indians Brad Eldred
Lynchburg Hillcats
Zach Duke
Lynchburg Hillcats
Torey Lovullo
Kinston Indians
2005 Frederick Keys Leo Daigle
Winston-Salem Warthogs
Jim Johnson
Frederick Keys
Ivan DeJesus
Salem Avalanche
2006 Kinston Indians Jordan Brown
Kinston Indians
Chuck Lofgren
Kinston Indians
Jim Pankovits
Salem Avalanche
2007 Frederick Keys Mitch Einertson
Salem Avalanche
Rowdy Hardy
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Mike Sarbaugh
Kinston Indians
2008 Potomac Nationals Beau Mills
Kinston Indians
Jake Arrieta
Frederick Keys
Rocket Wheeler
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
2009 Lynchburg Hillcats Brandon Waring
Frederick Keys
Zach Britton
Frederick Keys
Joe McEwing
Winston-Salem Dash
2010 Potomac Nationals Tyler Moore
Potomac Nationals
Jordan Hotchkiss
Lynchburg Hillcats
Joe McEwing
Winston-Salem Dash
2011 Frederick Keys Ian Gac
Winston-Salem Dash
Robbie Ross
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Aaron Holbert
Kinston Indians
2012 Lynchburg Hillcats Dan Black
Winston-Salem Dash
Gus Schlosser
Lynchburg Hillcats
Tommy Thompson
Winston-Salem Dash
2013 Salem Red Sox Chris Curley
Winston-Salem Dash
Cody Anderson
Carolina Mudcats
Jason Wood
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
2014 Potomac Nationals Joey Gallo
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Glenn Sparkman
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Tripp Keister
Potomac Nationals
2015 Myrtle Beach Pelicans Nellie Rodriguez
Lynchburg Hillcats
Matt Heidenreich
Winston-Salem Dash
Mark Johnson
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
2016 Myrtle Beach Pelicans Bobby Bradley
Lynchburg Hillcats
Trevor Clifton
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Mark Budzinski
Lynchburg Hillcats
2017 Lynchburg and Down East Ademar Rifaela
Frederick Keys
Triston McKenzie
Lynchburg Hillcats
Tony Mansolino
Frederick Keys
2018 Buies Creek Astros Bobby Dalbec
Salem Red Sox
Wil Crowe
Potomac Nationals
Omar Vizquel
Winston-Salem Dash

NOTE: 1999 Mills Cup Championship Series canceled because of Hurricane Floyd with the series tied 2-2. In 2017, the finals were canelled because of Hurricane Irma. In both, cases two teams were declared co-champions.

League Presidents[edit]

Cities Represented[edit]

Alumni[edit]

Hall of Famers[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

External Link[edit]



Minor Leagues

AAA AA A-Advanced A A Short-Season Rookie Rookie Academy
International League
Pacific Coast League
Mexican League
Eastern League
Southern League
Texas League
California League
Carolina League
Florida State League
Midwest League
South Atlantic League
New York-Penn League
Northwest League
Appalachian League
Pioneer League
Arizona League
Gulf Coast League
Dominican League

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