Northwoods League

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Northwoods League
Northwoods League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1994
No. of teams 18
Countries  United States
Most recent champion(s) Lakeshore Chinooks
Most titles Rochester Honkers (5)[1]
Official website

The Northwoods League is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of the top college players from North America and beyond. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. Players are not paid, so as to maintain their college eligibility.

Teams are run similar to a professional minor league team, providing players an opportunity to play under the same conditions, using wooden bats and minor league specification baseballs. Teams play 72 games scheduled over a 76-day season running from late May to mid-August. The season itself is broken into two halves, with the winners of each half in each of the two divisions meeting first in a playoff to determine a divisional champion. The divisional champions then meet in a playoff for the league championship.

The Northwoods League has more teams, draws more fans and plays more games than any other Summer Collegiate Baseball League.[2] Many of the teams in the league play in ballparks formerly occupied by professional clubs from the Midwest League, Prairie League and the Northern League. The wooden bat circuit allows communities deemed too small for pro ball to continue to enjoy high quality, competitive baseball during the summer months.

The teams are located in the Northwoods region of the Upper Midwestern United States and Southern Canada, mostly in the U.S. states of Minnesota (with 6 teams) and Wisconsin (with 8 teams), also with two teams in Michigan and one team each in Iowa and Ontario.


Northwoods League
Division Team Location Stadium Capacity
Alexandria Blue Anchors Alexandria, Minnesota Knute Nelson Memorial Park
Duluth Huskies Duluth, Minnesota Wade Stadium 4,200
Eau Claire Express Eau Claire, Wisconsin Carson Park 3,800
Mankato MoonDogs Mankato, Minnesota Franklin Rogers Park 1,400
Rochester Honkers Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Field 2,570
St. Cloud Rox St. Cloud, Minnesota Joe Faber Field 2,000
Thunder Bay Border Cats Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Port Arthur Stadium 3,031
Waterloo Bucks Waterloo, Iowa Riverfront Stadium 5,000
Willmar Stingers Willmar, Minnesota Bill Taunton Stadium 1,500
Division Team Location Stadium Capacity
Battle Creek Bombers Battle Creek, Michigan C.O. Brown Stadium 4,701
Green Bay Bullfrogs Green Bay, Wisconsin Joannes Stadium 2,000
Kalamazoo Growlers Kalamazoo, Michigan Homer Stryker Field 4,000
Kenosha Kingfish Kenosha, Wisconsin Simmons Field 3,000
La Crosse Loggers La Crosse, Wisconsin Copeland Park 3,550
Lakeshore Chinooks Mequon, Wisconsin Kapco Park 3,000
Madison Mallards Madison, Wisconsin Warner Park 7,500
Wisconsin Woodchucks Wausau, Wisconsin Athletic Park 3,850
Wisconsin Rapids Rafters Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin Witter Field 1,560


League champions[edit]

  • 2014: Lakeshore Chinooks
  • 2013: Madison Mallards
  • 2012: La Crosse Loggers
  • 2011: Battle Creek Bombers
  • 2010: Eau Claire Express
  • 2009: Rochester Honkers
  • 2008: Thunder Bay Border Cats
  • 2007: St. Cloud River Bats
  • 2006: Rochester Honkers
  • 2005: Thunder Bay Border Cats
  • 2004: Madison Mallards
  • 2003: Wisconsin Woodchucks
  • 2002: Waterloo Bucks
  • 2001: Wisconsin Woodchucks
  • 2000: St. Cloud River Bats
  • 1999: Rochester Honkers
  • 1998: St. Cloud Rivers Bats
  • 1997: Rochester Honkers
  • 1996: Waterloo Bucks
  • 1995: Kenosha Kroakers
  • 1994: Rochester Honkers

Notable Northwoods League alumni[edit]


The Northwoods League, in addition to being a developmental league for players and coaches, is also a developmental league for umpires. The concentrated game schedule, travel, and Minor League-like game conditions give NWL umpires a pre-professional experience. Since the League's inaugural season in 1994, 44 of its former umpires have furthered their careers in affiliated professional baseball.

The League recruits its umpires from the two umpire schools whose curricula have been approved by the Professional Baseball Umpire Corps. (PBUC): The Umpire School and Harry Wendelstedt School for Umpires. The umpires ultimately chosen are usually among the top school graduates who were then selected to the pre-season, PBUC sponsored Umpire Evaluation Course.

The NWL employs nine two-man crews during the regular season, a six-man crew during the mid-season All-Star game, and six umpires for both the divisional playoffs and championship series. Umpires are salaried and are provided hotel accommodations, meals and travel.


  1. ^ Kitzman, Shane (August 17, 2009). "Honkers beat La Crosse for fifth championship". Rochester Post-Bulletin. Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  2. ^ Willmar, MN Joins Northwoods League at, URL accessed October 18, 2009. Archived 10/18/09
  3. ^ "2012 Northwoods League Schedule Announced". 2012 Northwoods League Schedule Announced. Northwoods League. Retrieved 19 December 2011.

External links[edit]