Capitol Broadcasting Company acquires Coastal Plain League

The media company also owns the Holly Springs Salamanders and Triple-A Durham Bulls

Asheboro ZooKeepers first baseball Bryce Marsh hits a double against the Holly Spring Salamanders on July 4. Triangle-based media company Capitol Broadcasting Company — owner of several TV and radio stations, along with both the Durham Bulls and the Salamanders — announced last week it was purchasing the Coastal Plain League. (PJ Ward-Brown / North State Journal)

RALEIGH —Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC) announced on Sept. 1 that it is now under contract to purchase and operate the Coastal Plain League (CPL), a collegiate wood bat summer baseball league of 13 franchises stationed throughout Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

More than half of the current teams in the CPL — the Holly Springs Salamanders, Morehead City Marlins, Wilmington Sharks, Wilson Tobs, Asheboro ZooKeepers, Forest City Owls and High Point-Thomasville HiToms — call North Carolina home.

“We’re very excited about adding the Coastal Plain League to CBC’s growing baseball division,” Capitol Broadcasting Company Executive Vice President Michael Goodmon said in a media release. “The CPL has continued to grow in terms of the quality of the game on the field and the experience in the stands. With its small-town baseball atmosphere, experienced and passionate team owners, and storied history, we are honored for the Petitt family to entrust us with this important asset. Simply put, we cannot wait to help the league continue to grow in the future.”

The league has been owned and operated by the Petitt family since 1997 but will now have CBC take the reins. The media company owns three television stations and nine radio stations in the Raleigh–Durham and Wilmington areas of North Carolina, including WRAL-TV. Additionally, the company has owned the CPL’s Holly Springs Salamanders since 2017 and the Durham Bulls — the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays — since 1990.

CBC’s acquisition of the league comes just months after the company unveiled WRAL Sports+, a multiplatform sports channel that includes 99.9 The Fan radio talk shows, regional contests and original entertainment.

Jerry Petitt, CEO of the Coastal Plain League, addressed the sale of his league in a press release.

“Our family believes that CBC, with its long history in baseball and strong reputation throughout the sports industry, is uniquely positioned to lead the CPL into the future,” he said. “CBC’s ownership will benefit our individual teams as we continue to provide excellent baseball and family-friendly entertainment. We could not ask for a better partner to expand upon the legacy of the CPL.”

The CPL — founded in 1997 by Pete Bock as an alternative to Virginia’s Valley Baseball League — has had nearly 1,750 alumni drafted and 157 players reach the major leagues. Justin Verlander, Ryan Zimmerman, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Taylor, Mark Reynolds and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson are among the former CPL players who have played in the wood bat league.

The CPL was named after the minor league baseball affiliated circuit (Class D level) Coastal League that operated from 1937-41 and again after World War II from 1946-52. During most of the Coastal League’s existence, the president of the CPL was Ray Goodmon, the father of CBC Chairman and CEO Jim Goodmon.