Western Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For 17th century Scottish military command, see Western Association (Scotland).
Not to be confused with Western League (original).

The Western Association was the name of five different leagues in American minor league baseball during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The oldest league, originally established as the Northwestern League in 1883, was refounded as the Western Association on October 28, 1887.[1] It began operations in the 1888 season, and lasted through the 1891 season.[1]

A separate Western Association was formed in January 1894 with clubs in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri – with a team in faraway Denver, Colorado added in 1895. This league ceased operations in 1898, but was revived again for the following season.[1] It was renamed the Central League in 1900. In 1901, two leagues were called the Western Association. One had eight teams in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana; it folded after only one year. The other loop, confusingly located in the same geographic area, was the former Interstate League; it reverted to its original identity in 1902.[1]

The most long-lived Western Association played between 1905 and 1954.[1] Originally the Missouri Valley League, it existed for 42 years during that half century, suspending operations during both world wars and for one season (1933) during the Great Depression. It was largely a Class C circuit, meaning it was a lower minor league, above only the Class D level.

1905 League[edit]

Teams in Joplin, Missouri, Leavenworth, Kansas, Sedalia, Missouri, Springfield, Missouri, and Topeka, Kansas joined from the Missouri Valley League. Teams from Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma joined from the Southwestern League. A new team in Wichita, Kansas formed and joined the league.

1905[edit]

Team Name Record
Wichita Jobbers 79-56
Oklahoma City Mets 77-58
Leavenworth Oilers 75-59
Sedalia Gold Bugs 70-64
Guthrie Senators 66-70
Joplin Miners 65-73
Topeka White Sox 54-80
Springfield Highlanders 54-80

1906[edit]

The teams in Guthrie and Sedalia folded. The St. Joseph, Missouri team moved from the Western League. A new team in Webb City, Missouri formed and joined the league. The St. Joseph team, with a record of 16-24, moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, on July 12, where their record was 39-60.

Team Name Record
Topeka White Sox 82-56
Joplin Miners 75-62
Wichita Jobbers 75-65
Springfield Midgets 72-67
Oklahoma City Mets 70-69
Leavenworth Old Soldiers 68-72
Webb City Gold Bugs 57-79
St. Joseph Packers/Hutchinson Salt Packers 55-84

1907[edit]

Team Name Record
Wichita Jobbers 98-35
Oklahoma City Mets 86-54
Hutchinson White Sox 77-59
Topeka White Sox 75-65
Joplin Miners 71-64
Webb City Goldbugs 65-70
Springfield Midgets 46-92
Leavenworth Convicts 29-108

1908[edit]

The Leavenworth team folded, and a new team in Enid, Oklahoma, formed and joined the league,

Team Name Record
Topeka Jayhawkers 89-50
Wichita Jobbers 87-53
Oklahoma City Mets 81-58
Joplin Miners 71-65
Hutchinson Salt Packers 69-70
Webb City Webfeet 66-69
Springfield Midgets 48-85
Enid Railroaders 38-99

1909[edit]

Topeka and Wichita moved to the Western League. Oklahoma City moved to the Texas League. Huthcinson moved to the Kansas State League. Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Muskogee, Oklahoma, joined from the Oklahoma-Kansas League. New teams in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Pittsburg, Kansas formed and joined the league.The Joplin team, with a record of 20-43, moved to El Reno, Oklahoma on July 4, where their record was 16-46. The Webb City team, with a record of 35-39, moved to Sapulpa, Oklahoma on July 18, where their record was 29-20.

Team Name Record
Enid Railroaders 82-44
Muskogee Navigators 74-51
Guthrie Senators 70-55
Bartlesville Boosters 66-59
Webb City Webfeet/Sapulpa Oilers 64-59
Springfield Midgets 56-70
Pittsburg Pirates 52-73
Joplin Miners, El Reno Packers 36-89

1910[edit]

The Pittsburg and Springfield teams folded. New teams in Joplin, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, formed and joined the league. The Muskogee and Tulsa teams both folded on July 22, and the Bartlesville and El Reno teams both folded on July 31.

Team Name Record
Joplin Miners 90-34
Enid Railroaders 64-53
Sapulpa Oilers 65-61
Guthrie Senators 47-73
El Reno Packers 65-43
Bartlesville Boosters 51-51
Muskogee Navigators 36-63
Tulsa Oilers 28-68

1911[edit]

The teams in Enid and Guthrie folded. New teams in Coffeyville, Kansas, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Independence, Kansas, Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Tulsa, Oklahoma formed and joined the league. The Joplin and Springfield teams folded May 10, the Coffeyville and Independence teams June 14, and all other teams and the league itself on June 19.

Team Name Record
Fort Smith Scouts 29-14 (1st half winner)
Muskogee Redskins 23-21 (2nd half winner)
Sapulpa Oilers 23-21
Tulsa Railroaders 20-25
Independence Packers 15-22
Coffeyville White Sox 15-24
Joplin Miners 3-2
Springfield Jobbers 2-3

1914 League[edit]

New teams in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Joplin, Missouri/Webb City, Missouri, McAlester, Oklahoma, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Tulsa, Oklahoma formed and created the new league.

1914[edit]

Joplin-Webb City, with a record of 22-46, moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma on July 10, where they had a record of 2-10, and then to Henryetta, Oklahoma on July 22, where they had a record of 11-36.

Team Name Record
Tulsa Oilers 74-49
Oklahoma City Booters 75-52 (1st half winner)
Fort Smith Twins 73-52
Muskogee Mets 74-54 (2nd half winner)
McAlester Miners 47-79
Joplin-Webb City Miners/Guthrie Senators/Henryetta Boosters 35-92

Oklahoma City beat Muskogee 4 games to 2 for the championship.

1915[edit]

Henryetta folded. Teams from Denison, Texas, and Paris, Texas, joined from the Texas-Oklahoma League. A new team formed in Sherman, Texas, and joined the league.

Team Name Record
Denison Railroaders 76-53
Oklahoma City Senators 76-62
Sherman Hitters 70-65
Muskogee Mets 68-66
Paris Red Snappers 66-66
Tulsa Producers 63-71
Fort Smith Twins 61-75
McAlester Miners 57-79

Oklahoma City beat Muskogee 4 games to 3 for the championship.

1916[edit]

Team Name Record
Denison Railroaders 86-49 (1st half winner)
Tulsa Producers 80-58 (2nd half winner)
McAlester Miners 79-58
Oklahoma City Senators 64-73
Muskogee Mets 63-77
Fort Smith Twins 61-76
Sherman Lions 61-76
Paris Survivors 56-83

Denison beat Tulsa 4 games to 2 for the championship.

1917[edit]

Paris, with a record of 16-12, moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma, on May 10, where they had a record of 41-86.

Team Name Record
McAlester Miners 95-57
Muskogee Reds 89-69
Sherman Browns 80-72
Denison Railroaders 79-75
Fort Smith Twins 77-82
Oklahoma City Boosters 72-80
Tulsa Producers 68-84
Paris Athletics/Ardmore Foundlings 57-98

All teams, and the league itself, folded.

1920 League[edit]

New teams in Chickasha, Oklahoma, Drumright, Oklahoma, Enid, Oklahoma, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Henryetta, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Missouri were formed. The new American Association was formed. The team with the best record in the first half of the season played against the team with the best record in the second half of the season for the championship.

1920[edit]

Team Name Record
Okmulgree Drillers 83-46 (1st half winner)
Fort Smith Twins 80-58
Enid Harvesters 71-53 (2nd half winner)
Henryetta Hens 75-56
Drumright Drummers 66-62
Springfield Merchants 58-76
Chickasha Chicks 52-72
Pawhuska Huskers 33-95

Enid and Okmulgee tied 3 games to 3 in the championship round.

1921[edit]

Team Name Record
Springfield Midgets 85-60
Fort Smith Twins 83-61 (2nd half winner)
Henryetta Hens 77-66
Pawhuska Huskers 76-71
Enid Harvesters 77-74
Chickasha Chicks 74-74 (1st half winner)
Okmulgee Drillers 71-76
Drumright Oilers 44-105

Chickasha beat Fort Smith 4 games to 3 for the championship. Springifled beat Independence (of the Southwestern League) 2 games to 1 Ardmore (of the Texas-Oklahoma League beat Chickasha 2 games to none

1922[edit]

Chickasha moved to the Oklahoma State League. Drumright folded. The team from Joplin, Missouri joined from the Western League, and a new team in McAlester, Oklahoma formed and joined. The Pawhuska team folded on August 16, forfeiting the remainder of their games.

Team Name Record
Enid Harvesters 104-27 (2nd half winner)
Joplin Miners 93-42 (1st half winner)
Henryetta Hens 74-56
Springfield Midgets 68-69
Okmulgee Drillers 56-79
Fort Smith Twins 54-79
McAlester Miners 49-82
Pawhuska Osages 29-93

1923[edit]

The team from Ardmore, Oklahoma joined from the Texas-Oklahoma League. The team in McAlester folded July 19, and the Henryetta team folded July 21.

Team Name Record
Joplin Miners 83-60
Ardmore Snappers 82-60 (2nd half winner)
Okmulgee Drillers 81-63 (1st half winner)
Enid Harvesters 80-65
Springfield Midgets 70-74
Fort Smith Twins 53-92
Henryetta Hens 43-38
McAlester Diggers 27-57

Ardmore beat Okmulgee 4 games to 2 for the championship.

1924[edit]

Ardmore moved to the Oklahoma State League, and Enid moved to the Southwestern League. Teams from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Hutchinson, Kansas, Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas, joined from the Southwestern League. The Bartlesville team, with a record of 19-23, moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma on June 8, where their record was 56-59. The Joplin team, with a record of 25-24, moved to Bartlesville on June 16, where their record was 44-63.

Team Name Record
Okmulgee Drillers 110-48 (1st half & 2nd half winner)
Fort Smith Twins 97-63
Muskogee Athletics 97-65
Hutchinson Wheat Shockers 81-80
Bartlesville Bearcats/Ardmore Bearcats 75-82
Joplin Boosters/Bartlesville Boosters 69-87
Topeka Senators 59-98
Springfield Midgets 47-112

1925[edit]

The teams in Bartlesville and Hutchinson folded. Topeka moved to the Southwestern League. A new team in Independence, Kansas, formed and joined the league.

Team Name Record
Fort Smith Twins 94-56
Ardmore Boomers 86-64 (1st half winner)
Okmulgee Drillers 80-71
Muskogee Athletics 79-72 (2nd half winner)
Springfield Midgets 67-82
Independence Producers 44-105

Ardmore beat Muskogee 4 games to 1 for the title.

1926[edit]

The team in Independence folded. A new team in McAlester, Oklahoma, formed and joined the league. Ardmore moved to Joplin, Missouri on July 14. The teams in McAlester and Muskogee folded on July 20.

Team Name Record
Springfield Midgets 92-66 (1st half winner)
Fort Smith Twins 92-68
Ardmore Boomers/Joplin Ozarks 77-81
Okmulgee Drillers 73-85
Muskogee Athletics 51-45
McAlester Miners 28-68

1927[edit]

The team in Joplin folded. A team from St. Joseph, Missouri, joined from the Western League, and one fro Topeka, Kansas joined from the Southwestern League. A new team in Muskogee, Oklahoma, formed and joined the league. The team in St. Joseph, with a record of 38-32, moved to Joplin on July 7, where their record was 35-28.

Team Name Record
Fort Smith Twins 81-51
Topeka Jayhawks 74-58
St. Joseph Saints/Joplin Miners 73-60
Springfield Midgets 63-69
Okmulgee Drillers 57-75
Muskogee Chiefs 48-83

1928[edit]

The team in Okmulgee folded, and a new team in Independence, Kansas, formed and joined the league.

Team Name Record
Fort Smith Twins 74-63
Topeka Jayhawks 70-61
Joplin Miners 70-65 (1st half winner)
Independence Producers 66-67 (2nd half winner)
Springfield Midgets 61-66
Muskogee Chiefs 58-77

Joplin beat Independence 4 games to 2 for the title.

1929[edit]

Topeka moved to the Western League. A new team in Shawnee, Oklahoma, formed and joined the league. The Muskogee team moved to Maud, Oklahoma, on August 22.

Team Name Record
Fort Smith Twins 88-59 (2nd half winner)
Shawnee Robins 87-61 (1st half winner)
Springfield Midgets 71-77
Independence Producers 71-78
Joplin Miners 60-82
Muskogee Chiefs/Maud Chiefs 61-89

1930[edit]

The Maud team moved back to Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Team Name Record
Independence Producers 76-56 (2nd half winner)
Joplin Miners 76-59 (1st half winner)
Shawnee Robins 65-71
Fort Smith Twins 64-72
Springfield Midgets 64-73
Muskogee Chiefs 60-74

Independence beat Joplin 5 games to 4 for the title.

1931[edit]

The Shawnee team folded. A new team in Bartlesville, Oklahoma formed.

Team Name Record
Springfield Red Wings 87-57 (1st & 2nd half winner)
Joplin Miners 80-62
Independence Producers 77-69
Fort Smith Twins 74-76
Muskogee Chiefs 64-86
Bartlesville Broncos 59-91

1932[edit]

The Joplin team, with a record of 2-1, moved to Topeka, Kansas, on May 6, where their record was 36-37. The Independence team, with a record of 12-10, moved to Joplin, Missouri, on May 23, where their record was 7-10, to Independence, Kansas, again on June 10, where their record was 4-12, and finally to Hutchinson, Kansas, on July 20, where their record was 35-36. The Muskogee team, with a record of 18-16, moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, where their record was 19-32, on June 8, and folded on July 18. The Fort Smith team, with a record of 23-29, moved to Muskogee on July 1, where their record was 25-51. The Topeka team folded July 18.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 79-51 (1st half winner)
Bartlesville Bronchos 77-52 (2nd half winner)
Independence Producers/Joplin Miners/Independence/Hutchinson 58-68
Fort Smith Twins/Muskogee Chiefs St. Louis Browns 48-80
Joplin Miners/Topeka Jayhawks 38-38
Muskogee Chiefs/Hutchinson Whest Shockers 37-48

Springfield beat Bartlesville 5 games to 4 for the title. The Atchinson and Springfield teams moved to the Western League. The Belleville and Muskogee teams, and the Western Association itself, folded.

1934 League[edit]

The new League and all six member teams were created. The season was broken into halves, with the first-half and second-half winners competing in the championship. The founding teams were in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Hutchinson, Kansas; Joplin, Missouri; Muskogee, Oklahoma; Ponca City, Oklahoma; Springfield, Missouri; and rumor had it Tahlequah, Oklahoma (the Indians) played special games with the league teams in the duration of the 1930s, but was not officially part of the 1930s Western Association.

1934[edit]

Team Name Affiliation (if any) Final Record
Springfield Red Wings St. Louis Cardinals 76-58 (1st half tie) (2nd half winner)
Ponca City Angels Chicago Cubs 73-61 (1st half tie)
Joplin Miners Boston Red Sox 66-68
Hutchinson Larks 66-68
Bartlesville Reds Cincinnati Reds 63-69
Muskogee Tigers 56-76

Ponca City defeated Springfield in a one-game playoff for the first-half title. Springfield defeated Ponca City 4 games to 3 for the league title.

1935[edit]

Springfield changed their name to the "Cardinals".

Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 87-48 (1st half title)
Ponca City Angels Chicago Cubs 76-55 (2nd half title)
Hutchinson Larks St. Louis Cardinals 68-61
Muskogee Tigers 60-71
Bartlesville Reds Cincinnati Reds 56-79
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 48-81

Ponca City beat Springfield 5 games to 4 for the championship.

1936[edit]

Ponca City Angels Chicago Cubs 87-57 (2nd half title)
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 83-58 (1st half title)
Hutchinson Larks Pittsburgh Pirates 79-65
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 64-78
Muskogee Tigers Brooklyn Dodgers 61-80
Bartlesville Bucs 53-81

Ponca City won the title over Joplin 5 games to 2.

1937[edit]

Muskogee Reds Cincinnati Reds 79-61
Hutchinson Larks Pittsburgh Pirates 78-64
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 76-66
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 76-67
Ponca City Angels Chicago Cubs 71-69
Bartlesville Blues New York Yankees 45-98

Joplin beat Muskogee 4 games to 3 and Springfield beat Hutchinson 3 games to 1 in the first round of playoffs. Springfield beat Joplin 4 games to 3 for the title.

1938[edit]

New teams in Fort Smith, Arkansas and Salina, Kansas were formed.

Ponca City Angels Chicago Cubs 84-54
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 79-56
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 74-65
Hutchinson Larks Pittsburgh Pirates 70-67
Muskogee Reds Cincinnati Reds 71-68
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 63-74
Bartlesville Chiefs 61-78
Salina Millers 47-87

Ponca City beat Fort Smith 3 games to 1, and Hutchinson beat Springfield 3 games to 2, in the first round of the playoffs. Ponca City beat Hutchinson 4 games to 1 for the championship.

1939[edit]

Ponca City moved to St. Joseph, Missouri. Bartlesville folded. A new team formed in Topeka, Kansas.

Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 83-50
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 81-56
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 78-60
Topeka Owls St. Louis Browns 72-65
St. Joseph Angels Chicago Cubs 66-72
Muskogee Reds Cincinnati Reds 60-76
Salina Millers 55-79
Hutchinson Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 49-86

1940[edit]

Muskogee Reds 90-49
Topeka Owls St. Louis Browns 73-60
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 70-63
St. Joseph Saints Chicago Cubs 69-63
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 68-64
Salina Millers 60-75
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 56-76
Hutchinson Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 50-86

Fort Smith beat Muskogee 3 games to none, and St. Joseph beat Topeka 3 games to 1, in the first round of the playoffs. St. Joseph beat Fort Smith 3 games to none for the championship.

1941[edit]

On June 3, the St. Joseph Ponies (10-22) moved to Carthage, Missouri and became the Carthage Browns and an affiliate of the St. Louis Browns. They had a record of 30-74 in Carthage, and ended in last place.

Joplin Miners New York Yankees 93-41
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 92-43
Topeka Owls 75-58
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 73-60
Muskogee Reds Cincinnati Reds 64-69
Hutchinson Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 53-81
Salina Millers Cleveland Indians 46-88
St. Joseph Pony Express Riders/Carthage Browns Chicago Cubs/St. Louis Browns 40-96

1942[edit]

The two teams with the worst records of the previous year, Carthage and Salina, folded. The league returned to a 1st-half vs. 2nd-half winners championship format.

Topeka Owls 80-53 (2nd half winners)
Muskogee Reds 76-58
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 68-63 (1st half winners)
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 62-70
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 59-75
Hutchinson Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates 50-76

Fort Smith beat Topeka 4 games to 3 for the title.

1943-1945[edit]

The League suspended play because of World War II.

1946[edit]

Springfield moved to St. Joseph. New teams formed in Leavenworth, Kansas and Salina, Kansas. Because of the playoff format, the team with the best overall record, the newly formed Leavenworth Braves, did not qualify for the playoffs.

Leavenworth Braves Boston Braves 76-57
Hutchinson Cubs Chicago Cubs 73-56 (2nd half winner)
St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 75-62
Muskogee Reds Detroit Tigers 75-64
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 67-63 (1st half winner)
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 61-73
Topeka Owls 53-79
Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 51-77

Hutchinson beat Fort Smith 4 games to 2 for the title.

1947[edit]

The playoffs format was changed again this year.

Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 85-53
Topeka Owls 83-55
Muskogee Reds St. Louis Browns 75-64
St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 72-67
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 67-73
Hutchinson Cubs Chicago Cubs 63-76
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 59-78
Leavenworth Braves Boston Braves 50-88

Muskogee beat Salina 3 games to 2, and St. Joseph beat Topeka 3 games to 2, in the first round of the playoffs. St. Joseph beat Muskogee 4 games to 3 for the championship.

1948[edit]

The Hutchinson Cubs moved to Springfield, Illinois on July 21. Their record after the move, of 18-45, was worse than their record in Hutchinson, 25-42. No playoff system is known of for this year, so presumably the best overall record is the league champion.

St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 90-48
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 82-58
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 75-57
Topeka Owls 70-66
Muskogee Reds St. Louis Browns 61-70
Leavenworth Braves Boston Braves 62-75
Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 58-80
Hutchinson Cubs/Springfield Cubs Chicago Cubs 43-87

1949[edit]

Springfield moved back to Hutchinson again, changing their name and losing their affiliation. This season, St. Joseph had the best winning percentage in the history of this incarnation of the league. Perhaps coincidentally, Leavenworth had the worst winning percentage in the history of this version of the league in the same year.

St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 96-42
Fort Smith Giants New York Giants 86-54
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 86-58
Topeka Owls 77-61
Muskogee Reds St. Louis Browns 77-62
Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 69-69
Hutchinson Elks 41-93
Leavenworth Braves Boston Braves 25-112

1950[edit]

Leavenworth, who ended the previous year with the all-time worst winning percentage in this incarnation of the league, folded. Fort Smith moved to Enid, Oklahoma and a new club from Springfield, Missouri joined.

Joplin Miners New York Yankees 90-46
Hutchinson Elks Pittsburgh Pirates 77-60
Springfield Cubs Chicago Cubs 74-61
Enid Giants New York Giants 71-63
St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 67-69
Topeka Owls 58-81
Muskogee Reds 52-79
Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 53-83

1951[edit]

Springfield folded, and a new team started up in Fort Smith.

Topeka Owls Chicago Cubs 74-44
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 77-48
St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 69-51
Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 63-58
Muskogee Giants New York Giants 61-63
Hutchinson Elks Pittsburgh Pirates 57-66
Enid Buffalos 45-79
Fort Smith Indians Cleveland Indians 43-80

1952[edit]

This year, the league returned to the 1st-half winner vs. 2nd-half winner playoff format.

Joplin Miners New York Yankees 87-52 (2nd half winner)
Muskogee Giants New York Giants 73-66 (1st half winner)
Hutchinson Elks Pittsburgh Pirates 70-66
Topeka Owls Chicago Cubs 63-76
Salina Blue Jays Philadelphia Phillies 61-77
Fort Smith Indians Cleveland Indians 60-77

1953[edit]

Salina folded, having made the playoffs only once in its seven years of existence. The Fort Smith Indians changed their name to the Fort Smith-Van Buren Twins, and a new team started in St. Joseph, Missouri with a bang.

St. Joseph Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 83-57
Hutchinson Elks Pittsburgh Pirates 80-60
Topeka Owls Chicago White Sox 78-62
Joplin Miners New York Yankees 71-68
Muskogee Giants New York Giants 57-81
Fort Smith-Van Buren Twins 49-90

St. Joseph beat Joplin and Hutchinson beat Topeka in the first rounds of the playoffs by 3 games to zero each. Hutchinson beat St. Joseph for the championship 4 games to 1.

1954[edit]

After having changed its name and finishing with the worst record in the league the previous season, Fort Smith folded. New teams started up in Blackwell, Oklahoma, Iola, Kansas, and Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Topeka Owls Chicago White Sox 87-51
Muskogee Giants New York Giants 85-54
St. Joseph Saints New York Yankees 82-57
Blackwell Broncos Chicago Cubs 79-61
Hutchinson Elks Pittsburgh Pirates 72-67
Ponca City Jets 62-76
Joplin Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 50-89
Iola Indians 39-101

Blackwell beat Topeka 3 games to zero, and St. Joseph beat Muskogee 3 games to 2 in the first round of the playoffs. Blackwell beat St. Joseph 4 games to 1 for the title. After the season, Blackwell joined the Sooner State League, and the other seven teams, and the league itself, folded.

The Western Association prospered during the minor league baseball boom that followed World War II, with its clubs in Topeka, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri, drawing over 100,000 fans and most of its eight clubs tied to major league farm systems. But the bust that followed in the early 1950s, caused by the Korean War, the advent of television, and a retrenchment in MLB farm systems, also buffeted the WA. It finally disbanded after the 1954 season, its champion Topeka club, a Chicago White Sox affiliate, drawing half the number of fans the team had drawn during the late 1940s.

The Future[edit]

There are rumors circulating about a new version of the Western Association that has a target launch of 2015. But those rumors have yet to be substantiated.

References[edit]

  • Johnson, Lloyd and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997.
  • Sumner, Benjamin Barrett. Minor League Baseball Standings:All North American Leagues, Through 1999. Jefferson, N.C.:McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0781-6
  1. ^ a b c d e "Western League versus Western Association", SABR Minor League Newsletter, June 2002, retrieved 2009-10-12