Charlie & Debbie

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It’s one of those weird, yet tragic things that you can do nothing about.  Unfortunately, none of us has control over nature.  We’d all love to tell that deer not to run out on front of our car, right?  Similarly, when you’re playing a sport that launches projectiles, there’s nothing that can be done about a bird who’s not paying close attention or worse, “playing chicken” (yes, bad pun intended).

Zac Gallen spent three years pitching for The University of North Carolina Tar Heels.  Currently, he’s a professional baseball player with The Arizona Diamondbacks.  I’d be willing to bet in his entire life on the pitcher’s mound, he’s never had an experience like this.  While warming up before a game against The Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, Gallen threw a curveball that struck and killed a bird in midflight.  Quoted by WBTV, Gallen said of the incident, “I don’t really know what happened, honestly.  I just know that the ball changed directions really. I saw what happened. It’s kind of a freak accident. It’s unfortunate.”  The video, captured by Bally Sports Arizona, is below.  You’ll have to blow it up to full screen to see the impact.

What makes this story become eerie is that it may appear to the avian community that The Diamondback pitching staff has something against them.  You see, 21 years ago, Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson was pitching for the team against The San Francisco Giants when this most infamous of baseball/bird tragedies occurred.  I’m going to warn you in advance about this one…it’s horrific.

Do You Know Every North Carolina Minor League Baseball Team?

Baseball is widely regarded as America’s pastime. Without a major league team closer than Atlanta or DC minor league baseball takes the stage in North Carolina. So it’s a good thing that we have plenty of North Carolina minor league baseball teams to be a fan of! It can seem like there are so many teams that it’s hard to make sense of what they all mean. It seems like every town has a baseball team. Are they all the same level?

The short answer is no. Minor league baseball is made up of several different levels. These are used for player development and getting players ready to hopefully one day compete in the “big leagues”. Each major league team has 4 minor league teams affiliated with them for a total of 120 teams in the country. Additionally, there are other independent baseball leagues that players can play in and fans can take in games.

Minor league baseball can be a fun and relatively inexpensive outing for families and friend groups alike. Most tickets are very affordable with fun promotions as well as food and drink specials. North Carolina is home to 10 official minor league teams in the triple A, high A, and single A levels. We also have 5 independent baseball teams. Keep reading to learn a little about each of the teams, where they are located, their major league affiliate, and their level!

  • Triple A Teams

    Triple-A is the level just under the major leagues. These players are often good enough to play in the major leagues but there just isn’t space on them on the roster. They can easily be called up due to injury or other situations. North Carolina has 2 Triple-A teams.

  • Charlotte Knights

    Major League Team: Chicago White Sox

    Location: Charlotte, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgkwo_gLe1s/

  • Durham Bulls

    Major League Team: Tampa Bay Rays

    Location: Durham, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgno0JGonwP/

  • High A Teams

    High-A formerly known as Class A-Advanced the third-highest level of play in Minor League Baseball. North Carolina has four High A Teams. 

  • Asheville Tourists

    Major League Team: Houston Astros

    Location: Asheville, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CgnBG4xsLzQ/

  • Greensboro Grasshoppers

    Major League Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

    Location: Greensboro, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgf27dAOjf0/

  • Hickory Crawdads

    Major League Team: Texas Rangers

    Location: Hickory, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CgsGOxlOTBw/

  • Winston-Salem Dash

    Major League Team: Chicago White Sox

    Location: Winston-Salem, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CghRBH4gi9C/

  • Single A Teams

    Single A or Class A is is the fourth-highest level of play in Minor League Baseball. North Carolina has 4 single A teams.

  • Carolina Mudcats

    Major League Team: Milwaukee Brewers

    Location: Zebulon, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CgsRN3CPr_U/

  • Down East Wood Ducks

    Major League Team: Texas Rangers

    Location: Kinston, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CgmjvSHLJtD/

  • Fayetteville Woodpeckers

    Major League Team: Houston Astros

    Location: Fayetteville, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgki9TxMrhy/

  • Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (Formerly Intimidators)

    Major League Team: Chicago White Sox

    Location: Kannapolis, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CguRO1RrPf7/

  • Independent League Baseball Teams

    North Carolina is also home to 5 teams that play in independent baseball leagues that are not part of Major League Baseball.

  • Burlington Sock Puppets

    League: Appalachian League

    Location: Burlington, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgh2jGMO3Od/

  • Gastonia Honey Hunters

    League: Atlantic League

    Location: Gastonia, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CgsICEmlq6f/

  • High Point Rockers

    League: Atlantic League

    Location: High Point, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf9YwH_sYb5/

  • High Point Thomasville HiToms

    League: Coastal Plain League

    Location: Thomasville, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CgqbV49ugUb/

  • Wilson Tobs

    League: Coastal Plain League

    Location: Wilson, NC

    Website

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CggAbo0jUSU/