American Association of Independent Professional Baseball
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
American Association logo
|No. of teams||16|
|Most recent champion(s)||Wichita Wingnuts|
|Most titles||Fort Worth Cats (2)|
|Official website||Official website|
The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, based in Durham, North Carolina, is a professional baseball league founded in 2005 and independent of Major League Baseball (MLB). It operates in the states of Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas, along with the Canadian province of Manitoba, mostly in cities not served by MLB teams or their minor league affiliates.
Miles Wolff is the league's commissioner.
The American Association was founded in October 2005 when the St. Paul Saints, Lincoln Saltdogs, Sioux City Explorers, and Sioux Falls Canaries announced they were leaving the Northern League. Around the same time, the Central Baseball League announced it was disbanding after four seasons. The Fort Worth Cats, Shreveport Sports, Pensacola Pelicans, Coastal Bend Aviators, and El Paso Diablos joined the four Northern League teams and the expansion St. Joe Blacksnakes to complete a ten-team league. The new league began play in 2006, with a 96-game schedule. The Fort Worth Cats defeated the St. Paul Saints 3 games to 2, to win the first league championship. The same two teams met for the 2007 title, with exactly the same result.
2008 saw the league lose the Blacksnakes and Aviators, with the Grand Prairie AirHogs and Wichita Wingnuts joining in their place. In 2011 and 2012 the league went through a significant shift. Fort Worth left the league to join United League Baseball, while Shreveport and Pensacola both relocated. The Pelicans moved to Amarillo, Texas and became the Amarillo Sox (now the Amarillo Thunderheads) while Shreveport, who had changed their name to the Shreveport-Bossier Captains, moved to Laredo, Texas and became the Laredo Lemurs. In addition, four more Northern League franchises joined the American Association as that league's stability came into question; the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, Gary SouthShore Railcats, Kansas City T-Bones, and Winnipeg Goldeyes became part of the AA. Since then, the league has held pat with one exception. At the end of the 2013 season, due to the Tucson Padres relocating to their city, the El Paso Diablos suspended operations. The team was eventually revived and relocated, and currently operates as the Joplin Blasters.
For the 2012 season, schedule was increased to one hundred games and featured five teams from the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. This format of having the Can-Am League, despite fielding a different fifth team, playing with the American Association has continued since. The two leagues are both headquartered in Durham, North Carolina and both have Miles Wolff as their commissioner. This is similar to inter-league play in Major League Baseball, but American Association and Can-Am League are "separate" legal entities and have separate playoffs/championships.
League members Other Current League
- Shreveport-Bossier Captains - Franchise moved to Laredo, TX to become Laredo Lemurs
- Coastal Bend Aviators - founding member of league, originally from Central Baseball League, folded after 2007.
- Pensacola Pelicans - founding member of league, originally from Central Baseball League, folded in preparation for new Double-A Southern League team to begin play in 2012.
- St. Joe Blacksnakes - founding member of league, expansion franchise, folded after 2007.
- Fort Worth Cats - founding member of the league, had its membership revoked by the league on October 26, 2011 after failing to provide the league with a letter of credit. Joined North American League. Now part of United League Baseball.
- El Paso Diablos - folded after the 2013 season, to make way for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas. The team is moving to Joplin, Missouri, and will begin play as the Joplin Blasters in 2015.
- 2006 - Fort Worth Cats
- 2007 - Fort Worth Cats
- 2008 - Sioux Falls Canaries
- 2009 - Lincoln Saltdogs
- 2010 - Shreveport-Bossier Captains
- 2011 - Grand Prairie AirHogs
- 2012 - Winnipeg Goldeyes
- 2013 - Gary SouthShore Railcats
- 2014 - Wichita Wingnuts
The American Association hosted an annual All-Star Game from 2006 to 2010. The league's first All-Star game was played in El Paso, Texas, on July 18, 2006, which pit a team of American Association All-Stars against an All-Star team from the Can-Am League. Its current format pits the all-stars from each division against each other. There was no All-Star game in 2011, 2012, or 2013. The Winnipeg Goldeyes hosted the 2014 All-Star game.
- Game results
- 2006 - AAB 5, Can-Am 3
- 2007 - South 6, North 4
- 2008 - South 11, North 4
- 2009 - North 6, South 2
- 2010 - South 12, North 3
- 2011 - No All-star game played
- 2012 - No All-star game played
- 2013 - No All-star game played
- 2014 - South 7, North 0
- Most Valuable Players
- 2006 - Jake Whitesides, (St. Joe Blacksnakes)
- 2007 - Jorge Alvarez, (El Paso Diablos)
- 2008 - Brian Fryer, (Fort Worth Cats)
- 2009 - Trevor Lawhorn, (Sioux Falls Canaries)
- 2010 - Chris Garcia, (Shreveport-Bossier Captains)
- 2011 - Lee Cruz, (Amarillo Sox)
- 2012 - Nic Jackson, (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks)
- 2013 - C.J. Ziegler, (Wichita Wingnuts)
- 2014 - Devin Goodwin, (Laredo Lemurs)
- "League History". American Association of Independent Professional Baseball official website. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- American Association of Independent Professional Baseball official website
- aabfan.com - American Association Baseball Fan's Guide