Eastern Shore League

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The Eastern Shore Baseball League was a class D minor league baseball league that operated on the Delmarva Peninsula for parts of three different decades. The league's first season was in 1922 and the last was in 1949, although the years were not consecutive, and featured teams from Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The first incarnation lasted from 1922 to mid-1928 (disbanded in July), the second from 1937–41, and the third from 1946–49. Though the level of play was competitive and many future major leaguers gained experience in the ESBL, funding the league remained a constant problem for the rural franchises.

Future major leaguers who played in the ESBL include notables such as: Frank "Home Run" Baker, Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Vernon, and Don Zimmer.

The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland, pays homage to ESBL players and locals who made the major leagues. Perdue Stadium is the home of the class A Delmarva Shorebirds, an Orioles farm team.

Host cities, teams and years[edit]

Cities represented Teams Year(s)
Cambridge, Maryland Cambridge Canners 1922–1928,
Cambridge Cardinals 1937–1939
Cambridge Dodgers 1946–1949
Centreville, Maryland Centreville Colts 1937–1939
Centreville Red Sox 1940–1941
Centreville Orioles 1946
Crisfield, Maryland Crisfield Crabbers 1922–1928,
Dover, Delaware Dover Senators 1923–1924,
Dover Dobbins 1925
Dover Orioles 1937–1940
Dover Phillies 1946–1948
Easton, Maryland Easton Farmers 1924–1928
Easton Browns 1937
Easton Cubs 1938
Easton Yankees 1939–1941,
Federalsburg, Maryland Federalsburg Little A's 1937–1941
Federalsburg A's 1946–1948
Federalsburg Feds 1949
Laurel, Delaware Laurel Blue Hens 1922–1923
Milford, Delaware Milford Sandpipers 1923
Milford Giants 1938–1941
Milford Red Sox 1946–1948
Northampton, Virginia Northampton Red Sox 1927–1928
Parksley, Virginia Parksley Spuds 1922–1928
Pocomoke City, Maryland Pocomoke City Salamanders 1922–1923
Pocomoke City Red Sox 1937–1939
Pocomoke City Chicks 1940
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware   Rehoboth Beach Pirates 1947–1948
Rehoboth Beach Sea Hawks 1949
Salisbury, Maryland Salisbury Indians 1922–1928,
Salisbury (MD) Senators 1939
Salisbury Cardinals 1940–1941,
Seaford, Delaware Seaford Eagles 1946–1949

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Eastern Shore Baseball League by William Mowbray (1989) remains the most comprehensive source for ESBL history.
  • Mike Lambert has published the Eastern Shore League with Arcadia Publishing in April 2010.