The Coastal Plain League, the Southeast’s top summer collegiate baseball league, was formed in 1996 and held its first season in the summer of 1997. The league’s rosters are comprised of top college players who have eligibility remaining at their respective colleges. College players can play in the Coastal Plain League in order to showcase their talents for pro scouts, improve their skills and gain experience in a major league atmosphere. Many top ranked schools have placed players in the league. Some of the schools represented in the league include Clemson, South Carolina, Duke, the University of North Carolina, Georgia, Fresno State, Florida, University of Miami and Vanderbilt. The Coastal Plain League, is already being touted as one of the top leagues of its kind in America, and is now known as the “nation’s hottest collegiate summer baseball league”. In addition, the League is certified by the NCAA and Major League Baseball.
The other cities in the fifteen team league are Columbia in South Carolina, Forest City, Fayetteville, Edenton, Gastonia, Asheboro, Thomasville, Manteo (Outer Banks), Wilmington, and Wilson, in North Carolina, and Martinsville, Petersburg and Hampton, in Virginia. The League’s 56 game regular season starts the beginning of June and runs through the first/second week of August. The regular season is followed by a championship tournament in a format to be determined at the 2009 League’s winter meetings.
Florence has a rich history of baseball tradition, dating back to the Florence Blue Jays (Jimmy Key and Fred McGriff played for the Florence Blue Jays), who left Florence for Myrtle Beach in 1986. The Florence Red Wolves wish to carry on this great tradition through a professional and entertaining style of baseball, showcasing the state and the region’s talent.
The Red Wolves have made the playoffs each year since 2001, the only team in the CPL to do so. During the 2003 season, the Red Wolves were the first half division champions and made it to the championship game, where they were defeated by the defending League Champions, Outer Banks Daredevils. The CPL All Star Game and Home Derby were held in Florence in July of 2004. Over 4000 fans were entertained by these events. In 2005, the Red Wolves again made it to the championship game, but again were defeated by the defending champion, Edenton Steamers.
The Florence Red Wolves were chosen by the League as the Coastal Plain League 2004 Organization of the Year. Currently, there are over 30 former Red Wolves playing professional baseball, the most prominent being Kevin Youkalis of the World Champion Boston Red Sox. The Red Wolves have had seven of its former players play in the major leagues, three of which played in the 2007 World Series.
Florence SC, Hartsville SC, Darlington SC