Fun, Food, Fandom: Minor League Baseball in North Carolina

With 1o Minor League Baseball ballparks across our state, you have plenty of places to experience America’s pastime. Intimate venues, catchy promotions, lovable mascots, unique food and beverages, and affordable prices mean the minors serve up major fun.

Of the Minor League Baseball “classifications,” North Carolina currently hosts Low-A, High-A and Triple-A teams.

1 Asheville Tourists

1 Asheville Tourists

High-A affiliate of the Houston AstrosSee on mapSee on map

The Tourists play in historic McCormick Field, which was built directly into the side of a mountain and features stunning views from the stands and a 42-foot wall in right-center field (the highest in professional baseball). Asheville is a four-time “Beer City USA” winner, and the Tourists accommodate locals and visitors with more than 30 different brews.

2 Carolina Mudcats

2 Carolina Mudcats

Low-A affiliate of the Milwaukee BrewersSee on mapSee on map

Hailing from Zebulon’s Five County Stadium, about 30 miles east of downtown Raleigh, this team has one of the most popular names, logos and mascots (Muddy the Mudcat) in the entire league. Its Cattails Restaurant features a club-style setting and is a great place to catch all or part of a Mudcats game.

3 Charlotte Knights

3 Charlotte Knights

Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White SoxSee on mapSee on map

Situated in bustling Uptown Charlotte, Truist Field is the Knights' home, opening in 2014 and since then becoming one of the most-visited venues in all of Minor League Baseball. Popular theme nights include Thirsty Thursdays, featuring $3 draft beer, and Friday Night Fireworks, which light up the Uptown skyline.

4 Down East Wood Ducks

4 Down East Wood Ducks

Low-A affiliate of the Texas RangersSee on mapSee on map

After playing their inaugural season in 2017, the Wood Ducks brought Minor League Baseball back to Kinston after a five-year hiatus. Look for innovation and creativity on the field and off. During Friday home games, the team hosts Food Truck Friday, where a local food truck will be on site dishing out tasty food. Kinston’s Mother Earth Brewing is the official beer of Food Truck Friday, offering $3 off a game ticket if you bring an empty Mother Earth can with you to the ticket booth.

5 Durham Bulls

5 Durham Bulls

Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay RaysSee on mapSee on map

In many ways, the Durham Bulls define all that’s good about Minor League Baseball. The team has played in Durham Bulls Athletic Park since 1995. Every night, the team plays a welcome video that features clips from the 1988 hit movie Bull Durham (it was filmed at the team’s previous ballpark). The ballpark features an iconic 20-foot bull – beloved by fans and athletes alike – above the left-field wall, where it invites players to "Hit Bull Win Steak." Bull Durham Beer Co., located inside the stadium, is also the first brewery in the country owned by a Minor League Baseball team.

6 Fayetteville Woodpeckers

6 Fayetteville Woodpeckers

Low-A affiliate of the Houston AstrosSee on mapSee on map

After spending their first two seasons as the Buies Creek Astros, the Woodpeckers were introduced in 2018 after a “Name the Team” contest, and they play in the new Segra Stadium, which opened in 2019. With Fayetteville also being home to Fort Bragg, the world’s largest military installation, the Woodpeckers’ name and colors pay homage to those who serve.

7 Greensboro Grasshoppers

7 Greensboro Grasshoppers

High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh PiratesSee on mapSee on map

While several Minor League teams have dogs who take plate umpires' spare balls and more, the Greensboro Grasshoppers have historically taken barking at the park to another level. They currently have a black Labradors who is a big part of the stadium experience: Little Jackie Robinson retrieves bats, takes balls to the ump and participates in in-game skits. The Grasshoppers play in downtown Greensboro’s First National Bank Field.

8 Hickory Crawdads

8 Hickory Crawdads

High-A affiliate of the Texas RangersSee on mapSee on map

The Hickory Crawdads are one of the most popular brands in baseball, thanks to a great logo and two fun mascots: Conrad the Crawdad and Candy the Crawdad, who were happily married on the field in 2018. Weekly promotions include $1 hot dogs on Tuesdays (bonus: Bring your dog to the game for just $1), Thirsty Thursdays, Fireworks Fridays, and Super Saturdays filled with post-game concerts, celebrity appearances and great giveaways.

9 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

9 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Low-A affiliate of the Chicago White SoxSee on mapSee on map

Renamed the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (previously the Kannapolis Intimidators) after the 2019 season, the new team name pays homage to Kannapolis’ mill history, adventurous spirit and the family that gave rise to the city. Along with a fresh name, logo, jerseys and mascot (his name is Boomer), the Cannon Ballers play in the brand-new Atrium Health Ballpark.

10 Winston-Salem Dash

10 Winston-Salem Dash

High-A affiliate of the Chicago White SoxSee on mapSee on map

Sporting a new logo in 2020, the Dash call downtown Winston-Salem’s Truist Stadium home, with amenities such as the Flow Club that features an all-inclusive ticket including great seats, food, beverages (beer, wine and more) and parking. The ballpark also offers up a unique concession item with the Cheesy Pig Dog: a hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese and barbecue. The mascot Bolt makes his rounds, entertaining fans.

For even more fun on the diamond, check out some other teams playing in independent leagues across our state:

Updated February 28, 2021
About the Author
Cele and Lynn Seldon

Cele and Lynn Seldon

Cele and Lynn Seldon are currently #midfiftiesgypsies, but they miss the sunsets and walks on the beach in Oak Island, where they basked in the North Carolina sunshine for 15 years.

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