Buies Creek Astros
The Buies Creek Astros of Buies Creek, North Carolina were a placeholder team that played two seasons in the Carolina League. They were owned by and affiliated with the Houston Astros.
In the mid-teens, Houston was keen on exiting the California League, and taking control of their Class A-Advanced affiliate. They secured an agreement to put a new franchise in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but had to jump though a few hoops before the new Fayetteville stadium was completed. Following the 2016 season, the California League was contracted by two teams, sending the Bakersfield Blaze and High Desert Mavericks packing. In a concurrent move, the Carolina League was expanded by two teams. One of these new teams was the Down East Wood Ducks, owned by the Texas Rangers. The other new team was destined to land in Fayetteville, but needed a temporary home until the stadium would be ready in 2019.
The Astros scouted several possible locations in the Carolinas, and ultimately settled on the small town of Buies Creek, NC—home of Campbell University. Jim Perry Stadium, the home field of the Campbell Fighting Camels, was lightly renovated to accommodate two seasons of Carolina League baseball. Knowing that this was a temporary team, Houston developed a spartan brand for their new club. They took on the town’s place name and paired it with a COTOB nickname. Uniforms were knock-offs of the parent club, and team caps featured BC superimposed over the Astros’ star, replacing Houston’s H. Jerseys were styled in home white, road gray, alternate orange, and even a nod to Houston’s throwback gradient stripe shirts.
Thus far, only a handful of Buies Creek alums have cracked the majors, and none have yet to cultivate meaningful major league careers.
The end of the Buies Creek Astros came following the 2018 season, when the Fayetteville plan reached full consummation. The Fayetteville Woodpeckers play in the Carolina League to this day, and the Buies Creek Astros will be remembered as little more than an ephemeral stopgap in the annals of the minors.