Former Knights found success in Olympics before moving on

When the United States won its lone gold medal in the Olympics, four former Charlotte Knights were members of that baseball team.

Baseball has been an Olympic sport since 1992. The U.S. team didn't qualify for the 2004 Olympics.

However, in 2000 the U.S. team featured ex-Knights in infielder "Gookie" Dawkins, pitcher Jon Rauch and outfielders Anthony Sanders and Ernie Young.

Dawkins, a native of Chapin, began the 2008 season with the Knights before being traded to the Kansas City Royals organization.

Rauch, who spent parts of four seasons (2001-04) with the Knights, was obtained several weeks ago by the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade with the Washington Nationals.

Sanders (2002-03) is currently a hitting coach with the Colorado Rockies' Tri-City Dust Devils of the short-season Northwest League.

Young (2006-07) is in his first season as the hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox's Great Falls Voyagers in the rookie advanced Pioneer League.

• HOT HITTER: Former Winthrop outfielder Daniel Carte put together a three-game hot streak this past week for the Colorado Rockies' Double-A Texas League Tulsa Drillers.

Carte, the Rockies' second-round pick in the 2005 June First-Year Player Draft, hit .400, going 6-for-15 in a game against Springfield and two versus Frisco. Carte scored three runs, hit a pair of homers and knocked in five runs for the Drillers.

The right-handed hitter is batting .273 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs. He's four homers shy of his career-best 14 which he's hit each of the past two seasons.

• EX-BEARCAT RELEASED: Catcher Kevin Butler, a former Rock Hill High School Bearcat, has been given his outright release by the Chillicothe Paints of the independent Frontier League.

Butler, who played college baseball at Appalachian State, batted .238 in 84 plate appearances with no homers and nine RBIs.

• EX-KNIGHTS DEALT: Two ex-Charlotte Knights switched major league teams on Thursday in separate trades. Both Chad Bradford and Scott Eyre played for the Knights for parts of two seasons, 1999-2000.

The Baltimore Orioles sent Bradford, a submarining right-handed reliever, to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later.

Eyre, a left-handed reliever, was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league pitcher Brian Schlitter, a former College of Charleston standout.

• OH, BROTHER I: The Childers brothers, both relief pitchers, are having very good years in the International League.

Matt Childers of Lehigh Valley is 3-3 with a 1.68 ERA and 19 saves in 45 games.

Meanwhile, Jason Childers of the Charlotte Knights is 4-1 with a 1.07 ERA and 12 saves in 42 appearances.

The Childers brothers are natives of Georgia with Jason, the older of the two by three years, being born in Statesboro and Matt being born in Douglas. Both started their professional careers in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

• OH, BROTHER II: Newly-acquired third baseman Andy LaRoche and first baseman Adam LaRoche will be the first set of brothers to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 51 years.

Adam LaRoche has been on the Pirates' disabled list with a strained right ribcage. His younger brother, Andy, was obtained from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the three-way trade which involved Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez.

• EXTRA BASES: St. Louis OF Ryan Ludwick and Florida Marlins OF Cody Ross are unique. Each bats right-handed but each is a left-handed thrower ... Former Charlotte Knights 1B Tony Torcato (2006) has been traded from the Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden League to the Chico Outlaws for a player to be named later ... Colorado Rockies OF Seth Smith (Ole Miss) and Charlotte Knights LHP Clayton Richard (Michigan) were back-up quarterbacks on their respective college football teams. Smith was behind Eli Manning at Ole Miss.