Northwestern League (1905–17)

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Northwestern League
Sport Baseball
Country USA, Canada
Inaugural season 1905
No. of teams 21
Folded 1917
Class B

The Northwestern League was a professional, minor baseball league that lasted from 1905 to 1917. It was represented by teams based in Washington, Montana, Oregon and British Columbia. The league became the Pacific Coast International League in 1918.

Teams[edit]

21 teams played in the league throughout its existence. Those teams include the: Aberdeen Black Cats (1905, 1917), Bellingham Yankees (1905), Everett Smokestackers (1905), Spokane Indians (1905-1917), Vancouver Horse Doctors (1905, 1907), Victoria Legislators (1905), Butte Miners (1906-1908, 1916-1917), Grays Harbor Lumbermen (1906), Tacoma Tigers (1906-1917), Seattle Siwashes (1907-1908), Grays Harbor Grays (1908-1909), Vancouver Beavers (1908-1911, 1914, 1916-1917), Portland Colts (1909, 1912-1914), Seattle Turks (1909), Seattle Giants (1910-1917), Portland Pippins (1911), Victoria Bees (1911-1915), Vancouver Champions (1912, 1915), Vancouver Bees (1913), Ballard Pippins (1914), a Great Falls, Montana team (1916) and Great Falls Electrics (1917).

League champions[edit]

For most of the league's history, there were no official playoffs following the regular season - in fact, 1915 was the only season in which a playoff was played. Therefore, the team that finished in first place was often the de facto league champion.

The Everett Smokestackers were the league's first champions, finishing in first place in the four team league in 1905. In 1906, the Tacoma Tigers finished in first place and in 1907 the Aberdeen Black Cats took the crown. The Vancouver Beavers finished in first place in 1908 and again in 1911 and 1914, the Seattle Turks in 1909 and the Spokane Indians in 1910. In 1912, the Seattle Giants were first, while in 1913 the Vancouver Bees finished on top.

In 1915, the league played its only official playoff, which matched the first-place Seattle Giants against the second-place Tacoma Tigers. The Giants won the playoff three games to two, though it was presumably supposed to be at least a seven-game series - however, the playoff was abandoned during game six when a dispute broke out.

The Spokane Indians finished in first place in 1916 and the Great Falls Electrics finished in first place in 1917.

Notable alumni[edit]

Hall of Famers Dave Bancroft, Stan Coveleski, Harry Heilmann, George Kelly and Joe McGinnity[1] played in the league.

References[edit]