International League: Wikis

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International League
Current season or competition:
2009 International League season
Internationalleague.png
International League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1884
No. of teams 14
Country(ies) United States
Most recent champion(s) Durham Bulls
Most championships Rochester Red Wings (20)
Official website www.ilbaseball.com

The International League (IL) is a minor league baseball league which operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so-named because it had teams in both the United States and Canada (and for several years in the 1950s in Cuba as well). Its name is currently a misnomer: since the Ottawa Lynx relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the end of the 2007 season, the league now has teams only in the United States.

Contents

History

The International League was created from the mergers of member teams from three precursor leagues: the Eastern League, founded in 1884; the New York State League, formed in 1885; and the Ontario League, also organized in 1885. The New York State and Ontario leagues merged in 1886 to form the International League, and in 1887 the Eastern League was absorbed to create a 10-club league.

The league collapsed soon afterwards, when the Northern teams claimed that it was too onerous to travel to the South and formed the International Association. Teams and league names came and went over the years. In 1954, a franchise was awarded to Havana, Cuba, but due to political upheaval in that country it had to be moved — to Jersey City, New Jersey — in the middle of the 1960 season. Another foray into the Caribbean failed when the newly-created team in San Juan, Puerto Rico, added in 1961, had to be moved to Charleston, West Virginia in mid-season.

In 1971, an International League all-star team beat the New York Yankees in an exhibition game in Rochester, New York, before 11,000 people. In 1984, the all-stars lost to the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings before 11,032 fans in Columbus, Ohio, to commemorate the league's 100th anniversary.

The International League and the American Association, another Triple-A league that operated in the Midwest, voted in 1988 to play interleague games. The league also split into two divisions that year. The interleague concept ended in 1992, but the two league divisions remained.

In further interleague play, in 1988, the three Triple-A leagues, the other being the Pacific Coast League, met to play the first Triple-A All-Star Game. One team was made up of All-Stars from American League affiliates and the other of National League affiliates. Beginning in 1998, a team of IL All-Stars faced off against a team of PCL All-Stars.

Also in 1998, with the addition of three new teams from the disbanded American Association and the new Durham Bulls expansion team, the league reorganized into three divisions: the North Division, South Division, and West Division.

At the end of each season, the three divisional leaders and a wild card team square off in best-of-5 playoffs, with the winning team of the finals awarded the Governors' Cup, the league's championship trophy.

Since 2006 the league champion has met to play the PCL champion in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game, a single Triple-A Championship game. Previous class championship series included the Junior World Series and the Triple-A World Series.

Current teams

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
North Buffalo Bisons New York Mets Buffalo, New York Coca-Cola Field 19,500
Lehigh Valley IronPigs Philadelphia Phillies Allentown, Pennsylvania Coca-Cola Park1 10,000
Pawtucket Red Sox Boston Red Sox Pawtucket, Rhode Island McCoy Stadium 10,031
Rochester Red Wings Minnesota Twins Rochester, New York Frontier Field 10,868
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees New York Yankees Moosic, Pennsylvania PNC Field 10,310
Syracuse Chiefs Washington Nationals Syracuse, New York Alliance Bank Stadium 11,117
South Charlotte Knights Chicago White Sox Fort Mill, South Carolina Knights Stadium 10,002
Durham Bulls Tampa Bay Rays Durham, North Carolina Durham Bulls Athletic Park 10,000
Gwinnett Braves Atlanta Braves Lawrenceville, Georgia Coolray Field 10,099
Norfolk Tides Baltimore Orioles Norfolk, Virginia Harbor Park 12,067
West Columbus Clippers Cleveland Indians Columbus, Ohio Huntington Park 10,000
Indianapolis Indians Pittsburgh Pirates Indianapolis, Indiana Victory Field 15,500
Louisville Bats Cincinnati Reds Louisville, Kentucky Louisville Slugger Field 13,131
Toledo Mud Hens Detroit Tigers Toledo, Ohio Fifth Third Field 10,300
1 Hosting the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game
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Current team rosters

Final 2009 season standings

North Division

  
International League - North Division
W L Pct. GB
x – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 81 60 .574
Syracuse Chiefs 76 68 .528
Lehigh Valley IronPigs 71 73 .493 11½
Rochester Red Wings 70 74 .486 12½
Pawtucket Red Sox 61 82 .427 21
Buffalo Bisons 56 87 .392 26

x – division champion

South Division

  
International League - South Division
W L Pct. GB
y-Durham Bulls 83 61 .576 -
x-Gwinnett Braves 81 63 .563 2
Norfolk Tides 71 71 .500 11
Charlotte Knights 67 76 .469 15.5

West Division

  
International League - West Division
W L Pct. GB
y-Louisville Bats 84 58 .592 -
Toledo Mud Hens 73 70 .510 11.5
Indianapolis Indians 70 73 .490 14.5
Columbus Clippers 57 85 .401 27

y-division champions

x-wild card champions

Playoffs

2009

  1st Round Governors' Cup
                 
 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 3  
 Gwinnett Braves 1  
     Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 0
   Durham Bulls 3
 Louisville Bats 2
 Durham Bulls 3  

See also

External links


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