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Minor Openings, II Here are
2003-04-04 00:20
by Mike Carminati

Minor Openings, II

Here are the changes to minor-league teams by league:


- Albuquerque Isotopes replace Calgary Cannons: Albuquerque first has a team in organized ball in 1915 in the Class-D Rio Grande Valley Association. The Albuquerque Dukes played in the PCL from 1972 to 2000, were long-time Dodger affiliates, and were replaced in 2001 by Portland. Calgary had been in PCL from 1985 and first appeared in organized ball in 1907 in the Class-D Western Canada League.

Texas League (AA):

- Frisco RoughRiders (what is this the CFL?) replace Shreveport Swamp Dragons: This is Frisco's first club in organized ball. Shreveport moves to the independent Central League (formerly the Texas-Louisiana League). Shreveport first entered organized ball in 1895 in the Texas-Southern League and had been a member of the Texas League since 1968.

California League (Class A Advanced)

- Inland Empire 66ers renamed from San Bernardino Stampede. Club still represents San Bernardino. San Bernardino first played in the Southern California League (Class D) in 1913 and has been in the California League since 1987.

Florida State League (Class A Advanced)

- Palm Beach Cardinals replace Charlotte Rangers. Palm Beach has never been in organized ball though West Palm Beach had been in the Florida State League as early as 1928 and was a member from 1965 to 1997.

Midwest League (Class A)

- Battle Creek Yankees renamed from Michigan Battle Cats (Thank God). Battle Creek dates back to the 1895 Michigan State League and has been in the Midwest League since 1995.

Sally (Class A)

- Lake County (East Lake, OH) Captains replace Columbus (Ga) RedStixx. (I don't know what an Ohio team is doing in the Sally League, but if it rids us of the RedStixxxxxx name so be it.): East Lake is new to organized ball. Columbus dates its heritage back to the 1885 Southern League and had been in the Sally since 1991.

- Rome (Ga) Braves replace Macon (Ga) Braves: Rome dates back to the 1910 Southeastern League (Class D) but has not had a team since 1951 (in the Class D Georgia-Alabama League). Macon's history goes back to the original Souther League from 1885. They had been in the Sally League since 1991.

- Southern Georgia (Albany, Ga) Waves replace Wilmington (NC) Waves: Albany's baseball dates back to 1906's Georgia State League and they had been in the Sally 1992-95. Wilmington can date its baseball history to 1901 in the Virginia-North Carolina League. They had lasted only two years in the South Atlantic League.

Pioneer League (Rookie)

- Helena (MT) Brewers replace Medicine Hat (Alberta) Blue Jays: Helena dates its history to 1900's Montana State League. They had been in the Pioneer League 1978-2000, after which the team was shifted to Provo, Utah. Medicine Hat started in the Western Canada League (Class D) in 1908 and had been a Pioneer League stalwart since 1977.

Independent Leagues

All-American Association

- Apparently this organization was still born. It was set to play in 2002 and is no more.

Arizona Mexico League

- New league with clubs in Brisbee-Douglas (Tx), Cananea (Sonora, Mex), Juarez (Chihuahua, Mex), Nogales (Az).

Central League

- Coastal Bend (Robstown, Tx) Aviators and Shreveport Sports are new teams. Robstown's only professional team was in the 1949-50 Rio Grande Valley League. Shreveport's history is above.

Frontier League

- New clubs: Florence (Ky) Freedom, Kenosha (Wi), Mid-Missouri (Columbus, Mo) Mavericks; Folded Clubs: Canton Coyotes, Dubois County (Huntingburg, IN) Dragons, Johnstown (PA) Johnnies: Florence and Columbus are new to baseball. Kenosha was in the Midwest League, 1985-92. Canton can date its history to the 1887 Ohio State League and had moved from the Eastern League in 1997. Huntinburg's first team was in the short-lived Heartland League in 1996; they then moved to the Frontier League in 1997. Johnstown had been in the 1884 Iron & Oil Association and had been in the Frontier League since 1995.

Northeast League

- Split from the Northern League.

- New clubs: Bangor Lumberjacks, North Shore (Lynn, Ma) Spirit; Folded: Adiriondack (Glens Falls, NY) Lumberjacks,Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs.

Northern League

- Lost its Eastern Division.

- New: KC (KS) T-Bones; Folded: Duluth-Superior Dukes (charter team from 1993).

Southeastern League

- New league with clubs in Baton Rouge, Houma (La), Montgomery, Pensacola, and Selma (Al).

Western League

- This league that has been in existence since 1995 folded. It had teams in Chico (CA), Long Beach, Solano (Vacaville, CA), Sonoma County (Rohnert Park, CA), and Yuba-Sutter (Marysville, CA), and Yuma (Az).

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