Minor League Baseball

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Minor league baseball is a ladder of professional baseball leagues in North America that compete at levels below that of Major League Baseball. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses, and many are members of Minor League Baseball, an organization for leagues that have agreements to operate as affiliates of Major League Baseball. The purpose of the system is to develop players available to play in the Major Leagues on demand.

Today there are twenty leagues with a total of 246 clubs large, medium, and small towns, as well as the suburbs of major cities, across the United States of America and Canada.


As baseball evolved in the mid-to-late 19th century from an amateur pastime into an organized professional sport, fully and openly professional baseball teams arose in 1869. In 1876 a group of these clubs formed the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. Because of this professional clubs outside the National League responded by forming regional associations of their own.

In the late 1890s, the Western League led by Ben Johnson decided to challenge the National League's position as the sole Major League. In 1900, he changed the name of the league to the American League and began to make deals to sign contracts with players who were dissatisfied with the pay and terms of their deals with the National League. This began to concern Patrick T. Powers, president of the Eastern League, and many other league owners. In response to the National-American battle, they agreed to form the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, called the NABPL, or "NA" for short, which today is called Minor League Baseball.[1][2]


There are five classifications to minor league baseball: Class AAA, Class AA, Class A, Short-Season A, and Rookie. Each Major League team is required to have one Class AAA and one Class AA affiliate. On top of this each Major League team typically has two Class A teams, two teams from among the Short-Season A, and three Rookie level teams.

List of leagues and teams

AAA [3]
AA [4]
A [5]

Leagues with a * are subclassified as Class A-Advanced leagues.

Short-Season A [6]
Rookie [7]

Leagues with a * are subclassified as Rookie-Advanced leagues.

Off-season leagues [8][9]
Independent leagues [10]

These leagues are not affiliated with Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball and operate as fully independent professional leagues

See also

Baseball Major League Baseball

External links


  1. http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/history/
  2. http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/history/timeline.jsp
  3. http://www.triple-abaseball.com/Welcome.jsp
  4. http://www.doublea-baseball.com/images/Tour.swf
  5. http://www.rauzulusstreet.com/baseball/minors/minors.htm
  6. http://www.rauzulusstreet.com/baseball/minors/shortseason.htm
  7. http://www.rauzulusstreet.com/baseball/minors/rookie.htm
  8. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/?league=afl
  9. http://www.hawaiiwinterbaseball.com/
  10. http://www.rauzulusstreet.com/baseball/minors/independents.htm