Carolina Mudcats are a minor league baseball team based in
the eastern suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The team, which plays in the Southern League
, are the Double-A
of the Cincinnati Reds
Mudcats' origins date back to 1959, when the Chicago White Sox'
Southern Association/Southern League affiliate began play in
South Carolina. During the 1960s the team moved several
times, finally settling in Columbus, Georgia, in 1969.
The club's arrival in Columbus
marked the beginning of a period of relative stability.
next two decades the team played its home games in Columbus'
Park as an affiliate of the Houston Astros.
Following the 1988
season, new owner Steve Bryant held a contest among season-ticket
holders to rename the team. As a result, in 1989 the team became
known as the Columbus Mudcats
. In 1991, Bryant moved
the club to North
Carolina and renamed
it the Carolina Mudcats.
That move coincidentally allowed
the team to retain its logo unchanged - a large C encircling a
Mudcats play in Five County Stadium in Zebulon, North Carolina.
Built in 1991 and renovated in 1999, the
park seats 6,500 fans. The park is located in Wake
County, but it is near Nash, Johnston, Franklin and Wilson counties, hence the ballpark's name.
Mudcats have claimed two Southern League championships since moving
to North Carolina, the first in 1995 and the second in 2003.
Straight to the Majors
During their years as an affiliate of the Florida Marlins, the
Marlins had elected to bring many of their top prospects up to the
major leagues directly from Carolina. (This is partially due
to the geographic proximity of the Mudcats compared to the Marlins' former Class AAA club in
New Mexico, and partially due to the Pacific Coast League's reputation as a
hitter-friendly league.) Some of the players who the Marlins have
brought up directly from Carolina include Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, Jason
Vargas, Scott Olsen, Logan Kensing (who was brought up directly
from Class A Jupiter the
previous year), Chris Resop, Josh Johnson, Yorman Bazardo, Jeremy Hermida, Chris Volstad, and Robert Andino.
Many Mudcats have reached the majors. These are some of the players
that have gone on to be successful: