Becoming Outlaws

1935 Concord Weavers 
During the Great Depression, baseball thrived in small textile mills throughout the North Carolina. Each mill had their own team. In 1935, a number of mill owners saw an opportunity to promote the town's favorite pastime as well as the possibility of making money in hard times. The owners formed the Independent Carolina Baseball League, hereafter known as ICBL, in 1935. Teams that were already in existence became part of the league. Some of the more popular teams include the Charlotte Hornets, Kannapolis Towelers, the Concord Weavers (seen above), the Valdese Textiles, the Lenoir Finishers, Gastonia-High Point Spinners, the Hickory Rebels, the Landis Cardinals, the, the Shelby Cee Cee’s ; the Cooleemee’s Cools, the Durham Bulls, the Mooresville Moors, the Lexington Colonials and the Salisbury Greyhounds.
The owners offerred baseball players a chance to play ball as well as jobs in the mills during the off season. For many players, even those with professional baseball contracts, this was more lucrative than playing in the majors, and many of them jumped at the chance. This infuriated the President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Judge William G. Bramham who identified each of the teams in the newly formed ICBL as an outlaw league. He threatened to ban any play previously signed to another professional team from every playing in NAPBL.  Hence the Carolina League was also known as the Outlaw League.