|No. of teams||14|
|Columbus Clippers (2019)|
|Most titles||Rochester Red Wings (19)|
|TV partner(s)||MiLB.TV, MLB Network, and local sports networks|
The International League (IL) is a Minor League Baseball league that operates in the eastern United States and is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. 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 throughout its history the International League has had teams in Canada and Cuba as well as those in the United States. Since 2008, however, all of the league's teams have been based in the U.S. Today, the league is composed of 14 teams across 9 states stretching from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and from Rochester, New York, to Lawrenceville, Georgia.
A league champion is determined at the end of every season. The Rochester Red Wings have won 19 International League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Buffalo Bisons (12) and Columbus Clippers and Toronto Maple Leafs (11). Since the introduction of the Governors' Cup in 1933, the most cup titles have been won by the Columbus Clippers (11), followed by the Rochester Red Wings (10) and Syracuse Mets (8). After the season, the IL champion plays in the Triple-A National Championship Game against the Pacific Coast League champion to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. The Columbus Clippers and Durham Bulls have each won two national championships, more than any other IL teams.
The International League was created from the mergers of member teams from three precursor leagues: the Eastern League, which was itself a re-organization of the Interstate Association of 1883; 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 ten-club league. Also in 1887, the International League passed a resolution barring African Americans from playing in the 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. The league was also affected by the effort to establish the Federal League as a new third major league from 1914 to 1915, with franchises being added and dropped and new ballparks built. 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 as part of the Triple-A Alliance.The league also split into two divisions that year. The interleague concept ended in 1992, but the two league divisions remained.
In 1998, with the addition of three new teams from the disbanded American Association and the Durham Bulls who previously played in the Carolina League, the International League reorganized into three divisions.
The International League is divided into three divisions: the North Division, South Division, and West Division. The North Division consists of six teams, while the South and West Divisions each have four teams.Each club has 140 games scheduled per season.. The season typically begins during the first week of April and concludes on Labor Day. The league plays by the same rules listed in the Official Baseball Rules published by Major League Baseball.
At the end of each season, the three divisional leaders and a wild card team square off in best-of-five series playoffs to determine a league champion, with the winner awarded the Governors' Cup, the league's championship trophy. Under this format, the North Division champion plays the wild card team, while the champions of the South and West Divisions play one another in best-of-five series. The winners then play each other in a best-of-five series to determine the champion.
Since 2006, the IL champion has played against the Pacific Coast League's champion in the Triple-A National Championship Game, a single game to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. Previously, the IL champion also competed in the Triple-A World Series (1983, 1998–2000), Junior World Series (1919), and other sporadic postseason competitions throughout the league's history.
Other interleague play occurs during the Triple-A All-Star Game. Traditionally, the game has taken place on the day after the mid-summer Major League Baseball All-Star Game.The game is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the season (though not the mathematical halfway-point which, for most seasons, is usually one month prior). During the All-Star break, no regular-season games are scheduled for two days before the All-Star Game itself.
|North||Buffalo Bisons||1985||Toronto Blue Jays||2013||Buffalo, New York||Sahlen Field||16,600|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs||2008||Philadelphia Phillies||2007||Allentown, Pennsylvania||Coca-Cola Park||10,100|
|Pawtucket Red Sox||1973||Boston Red Sox||1970||Pawtucket, Rhode Island||McCoy Stadium||10,031|
|Rochester Red Wings||1899||Minnesota Twins||2003||Rochester, New York||Frontier Field||10,840|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders||1989||New York Yankees||2007||Moosic, Pennsylvania||PNC Field||10,000|
|Syracuse Mets||1961||New York Mets||2019||Syracuse, New York||NBT Bank Stadium||11,731|
|South||Charlotte Knights||1993||Chicago White Sox||1999||Charlotte, North Carolina||BB&T Ballpark||10,200|
|Durham Bulls||1998||Tampa Bay Rays||1998||Durham, North Carolina||Durham Bulls Athletic Park||10,000|
|Gwinnett Stripers||2009||Atlanta Braves||1965||Lawrenceville, Georgia||Coolray Field||10,427|
|Norfolk Tides||1969||Baltimore Orioles||2007||Norfolk, Virginia||Harbor Park||11,856|
|West||Columbus Clippers||1977||Cleveland Indians||2009||Columbus, Ohio||Huntington Park||10,100|
|Indianapolis Indians||1902||Pittsburgh Pirates||2005||Indianapolis, Indiana||Victory Field||14,230|
|Louisville Bats||1982||Cincinnati Reds||2000||Louisville, Kentucky||Louisville Slugger Field||13,131|
|Toledo Mud Hens||1965||Detroit Tigers||1987||Toledo, Ohio||Fifth Third Field||10,300|
Current teamFormer team
The International League has crowned a league champion each season since 1884. Through 1932, the championship was awarded to the regular season pennant winner. In 1933, the league introduced a postseason playoff system to determine a champion. The winner is awarded the Governors' Cup.
Active International League teams appear in bold.
|19||10||Rochester Bronchos/Red Wings||1899, 1901, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1939, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1964, 1971, 1974, 1988, 1990, 1997|
|12||6||Buffalo Bisons||1891, 1904, 1906, 1915, 1916, 1927, 1933, 1936, 1957, 1961, 1998, 2004|
|11||11||Columbus Clippers||1979, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019|
|11||4||Toronto Maple Leafs||1897, 1902, 1907, 1912, 1917, 1918, 1926, 1934, 1960, 1965, 1966|
|10||2||Baltimore Orioles||1908, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1944, 1950|
|8||7||Montreal Royals||1898, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1958|
|8||8||Syracuse Chiefs (Syracuse Mets)||1935, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1954, 1969, 1970, 1976|
|6||6||Durham Bulls||2002, 2003, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2018|
|5||4||Newark Bears||1932, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1945|
|5||0||Providence Grays/Clamdiggers||1894, 1905, 1896, 1900, 1914|
|5||5||Richmond Braves||1978, 1986, 1989, 1994, 2007|
|5||5||Tidewater Tides (Norfolk Tides)||1972, 1975, 1982, 1983, 1985|
|4||4||Pawtucket Red Sox||1973, 1984, 2012, 2014|
|3||3||Toledo Mud Hens||1967, 2005, 2006|
|2||2||Charlotte Knights||1993, 1999|
|2||0||Detroit Wolverines||1889, 1890|
|2||2||Indianapolis Indians||1963, 2000|
|2||2||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees/RailRiders||2008, 2016|
|2||0||Syracuse Stars||1885, 1888|
|1||1||Havana Sugar Kings||1959|
|1||0||Jersey City Skeeters||1903|
|1||1||Louisville RiverBats (Louisville Bats)||2001|
|1||0||Newark Little Giants||1886|
The IL recognizes outstanding players and team personnel annually near the end of each season.
The Most Valuable Player Award, first awarded in 1932, is given to honor the best player in the league.
The Most Valuable Pitcher Award, first awarded in 1953, serves to recognize the league's best pitcher. Pitchers were eligible to win the MVP award from 1932 to 1952 as no award was designated solely for pitchers.
The Rookie of the Year Award, created in 1950, is given to the best player with no prior IL experience.
The Manager of the Year Award, started in 1967, is given to the league's top manager.
The Executive of the Year Award, first awarded in 1964, honors team executives who have contributed to the success of the league.
The Spirit of the International League Award, first awarded in 2010, honors team executives who have exhibited dedication to creating and maintaining positive fan experiences when visiting IL games.
The International League Hall of Fame was established in 1947 to honor league players, managers, and executives who have made significant contributions to the league. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class of 9 men in 1947. A plaque was unveiled at the IL's New York City offices located in the Ruppert Building at 535 Fifth Avenue. Today, the plaque has no permanent home, but exists as a traveling display which visits a number of the league's ballparks each season. The Hall became dormant after 1963, but was revived in 2007. New members are elected before the start of each season.
The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one grade below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Round Rock, Texas.
The Columbus Clippers are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Columbus, Ohio. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team is owned by the government of Franklin County, Ohio.
The Pawtucket Red Sox are a professional minor league baseball team based in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The team is a member of the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. It plays its home games at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, and is the only professional baseball team in Rhode Island. Its most recent championship win was in 2014.
The American Association (AA) was a Minor League Baseball league that operated primarily in the Midwestern and South Central United States from 1902 to 1962 and 1969 to 1997. It was classified as a Triple-A league, which is one grade below Major League Baseball, for most of its existence.
The Indianapolis Indians are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team plays in the International League. The Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Indians play at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The team's mascot is Rowdie the Bear.
The Durham Bulls are an American professional minor league baseball team that currently plays in the International League. The Bulls play their home games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, situated in the downtown area of Durham, North Carolina. Durham Bulls Athletic Park is often called the "DBAP" or "D-Bap". The Bulls are the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rochester Red Wings are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The team plays in the International League and is the top minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Red Wings play their home games at Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester. Founded in 1899, it is the oldest continuously operating sports franchise in North America below the major league level.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Moosic, Pennsylvania, in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. The team plays in Northern Division of the International League (IL) and is the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. The team plays at PNC Field, their home since 1989.
The Fresno Grizzlies are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They are located in Fresno, California, and play their home games at Chukchansi Park which opened in 2002 and has a capacity of 10,500, after previously playing at Pete Beiden Field from 1998 to 2001. The Grizzlies won the PCL championship in 2015, making it the only league title in franchise history. All games are broadcast on KRDU with Doug Greenwald handling the play-by-play.
Joseph Michael Morgan is a retired American infielder, manager, coach and scout in Major League Baseball.
George Harold Sisler Jr. was an American professional baseball player and executive. The son of Hall of Fame first baseman and two-time .400 hitter George Sisler and the brother of two Major League Baseball players, Dick and Dave, George Jr. was a longtime executive in minor league baseball, especially in the Triple-A International League (IL); at his death, the IL calculated that Sisler had been associated with that league for 52 of its 124 years of existence. He also served in the majors as chief assistant to St. Louis Cardinals vice president and de facto general manager William Walsingham Jr. during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Triple-A or Class AAA is the highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Mexico. Before 2008, Triple-A leagues also fielded teams in Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the Triple-A International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL), with 14 teams in the IL and 16 in the PCL. The MLB-independent Mexican League fields 16 teams. Triple-A teams are typically located in large metropolitan areas that do not have Major League Baseball teams, such as San Antonio, Austin, Columbus, and Indianapolis.
The Triple-A National Championship Game, previously known as the Bricktown Showdown, is a single championship game held annually between the league champions of the International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL), the two Triple-A leagues of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) with teams affiliated to Major League Baseball teams, to determine an overall champion of the classification. As the game is usually played at a neutral site, the host league has its team designated as the home team.
The Triple-A All-Star Game is an annual baseball game sanctioned by Minor League Baseball between professional players from the two affiliated Triple-A leagues—the International League (IL) and the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Each league fields a team composed of players in their respective leagues as voted on by fans, the media, and each club's field manager, coaches, and general manager. From the inaugural 1988 event through 1997, teams of American League-affiliated Triple-A All-Stars faced off against teams of National League-affiliated Triple-A All-Stars.
The 1998 International League season took place from April to September 1998.
The 1995 International League season took place from April to September 1995.
The 1993 International League season took place from April to September 1993.
The 1992 International League season took place from April to September 1992.
The Triple-A Alliance was an interleague partnership between the American Association (AA) and International League (IL) Triple-A leagues of Minor League Baseball from 1988 to 1991. The two leagues played an interlocking schedule consisting of 40 to 44 interleague games per team. At the end of each season, an Alliance champion was determined in the Triple-A Classic, a best-of-seven postseason series.
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