Carolina League

From BR Bullpen


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
Buies Creek Astros Omar Lopez Houston Astros Carolina Mudcats Joe Ayrault Milwaukee Brewers
Frederick Keys Keith Bodie Baltimore Orioles Down East Wood Ducks Howard Johnson Texas Rangers
Lynchburg Hillcats Tony Mansolino Cleveland Indians Myrtle Beach Pelicans Buddy Bailey Chicago Cubs
Potomac Nationals Tripp Keister Washington Nationals Salem Red Sox Joe Oliver Boston Red Sox
Wilmington Blue Rocks Jamie Quirk Kansas City Royals Winston-Salem Dash Omar Vizquel 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
1946 Raleigh Capitals
1947 Raleigh Capitals
1948 Martinsville A's Lewis Hester
1949 Burlington Bees Leo Shoals
1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals Bill Evans
1951 Winston-Salem Cardinals Ray Jablonski
1952 Reidsville Luckies Len Matarazzo
1953 Danville Leafs Ramon Monzant
1954 Fayetteville Highlanders Guy Morton
1955 Danville Leafs Danny Morejon
1956 Fayetteville Highlanders Curt Flood
1957 Durham Bulls Fred Van Dusen
1958 Burlington Indians Fred Valentine
1959 Wilson Tobs Carl Yastrzemski
1960 Greensboro Yankees Ed Olivares
1961 Wilson Tobs Chuck Weatherspoon
1962 Kinston Eagles Rusty Staub
1963 Wilson Tobs Jim Price
1964 Winston-Salem Red Sox Ed Stroud
1965 Portsmouth Tides Bobby Murcer
1966 Rocky Mount Leafs Robbie Snow
1967 Durham Bulls Don Money
1968 High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms Tony Solaita
1969 Raleigh-Durham Phillies Luther Quinn
1970 Winston-Salem Red Sox Cliff Johnson
1971 Peninsula Phillies Richard Giallella
1972 Salem Pirates Dave Parker
1973 Winston-Salem Red Sox Terry Whitfield
1974 Salem Pirates Miguel Dilone
1975 Rocky Mount Phillies Luke Wrenn
1976 Winston-Salem Red Sox Marshall Brant
1977 Peninsula Pilots Ossie Olivares
1978 Lynchburg Mets Ozzie Virgil
1979 Peninsula Pilots Bob Dernier Thomas Hart
1980 Peninsula Pilots Julio Franco Roy Smith
1981 Hagerstown Suns Brad Komminsk Mike Brown
1982 Alexandria Dukes Juan Samuel Charles Hudson
1983 Lynchburg Mets Lenny Dykstra Dwight Gooden
1984 Lynchburg Mets Barry Lyons Randy Myers
1985 Winston-Salem Spirits Shawn Abner Kyle Hartshorn
1986 Winston-Salem Spirits Gregg Jefferies Dave Pavlas
1987 Salem Buccaneers Casey Webster Blaine Beatty
1988 Kinston Indians Mickey Pina Kent Mercker; Kevin Bearse
1989 Prince William Cannons Phil Plantier Charles Nagy
1990 Frederick Keys Gary Scott Frank Seminara
1991 Kinston Indians Pedro Castellano Sam Militello
1992 Peninsula Pilots Bubba Smith John Cummings
1993 Winston-Salem Spirits Bubba Smith Julian Tavarez
1994 Wilmington Blue Rocks Larry Sutton Bart Evans
1995 Kinston Indians Richie Sexson Bartolo Colon
1996 Wilmington Blue Rocks Jose Guillen Noe Najera
1997 Lynchburg Hillcats Aramis Ramirez Cliff Politte
1998 Wilmington Blue Rocks Joe Crede Rick Ankiel
1999 Myrtle Beach and Wilmington (tie) Marcus Giles Josh Kalinowski
2000 Myrtle Beach Pelicans Troy Farnsworth Christian Parra
2001 Salem Avalanche Victor Martinez Trey Hodges; Jimmy Journell
2002 Lynchburg Hillcats Brad Hawpe Sean Burnett
2003 Winston-Salem Warthogs Chris Shelton Zack Greinke
2004 Kinston Indians Brad Eldred Zach Duke
2005 Frederick Keys Leo Daigle Jim Johnson
2006 Kinston Indians Jordan Brown Chuck Lofgren
2007 Frederick Keys Mitch Einertson Rowdy Hardy
2008 Potomac Nationals Beau Mills Jake Arrieta
2009 Lynchburg Hillcats Brandon Waring Zach Britton
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 Ridfaela
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]


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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