Intercounty Baseball League
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Intercounty Baseball League logo
|No. of teams||8|
|Most recent champion(s)||Barrie Baycats|
|Most titles||Brantford Red Sox (15)|
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The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) was founded in 1919 with just four cities represented — Galt, Guelph, Stratford and Kitchener, and is believed[clarification needed] to be the oldest amateur men's league in Canada and also one of the best,[according to whom?] regarding quality of play. During the early years, the league expanded to include the cities of Waterloo, Brantford, Preston and St. Thomas.
It was previously known as the Intercounty Major Baseball League and the Senior Intercounty Baseball League. The teams play for the Jack and Lynne Dominico Trophy, which is awarded to the league champions. Jack and (and the late Lynne) Dominico own the Toronto Maple Leafs.
By the mid 1930s, the IBL had established a reputation as one of Ontario's best amateur leagues.
When Stratford won the Ontario Baseball Association title in 1934, it was the league's fifth OBA title in a row. The IBL survived the Second World War in good shape, even though many players joined the armed forces. After the war, the League became professional in everything but name.
The IBL was considered by the professional ranks as an "outlaw" league at that time.[clarification needed] The bidding war for players was fierce, and many former major league players came to Ontario looking for playing opportunities. So many came that the league was considered on a par with many minor pro leagues. Great crowds came out to see the games, which were played under floodlights for the first time in the 1950s, and the senior league appointed its first commissioner, John Gillies, a London lawyer and former IBL pitcher.
The late 1950s and early 1960s were a tough time for the IBL. Teams came in and dropped out, and in 1962 and 1963 only five teams were entered, the lowest ever. Things improved in the 1960s, starting in 1964,when Stratford rejoined the League and went on to become one of the league's premiere franchises. In 1969 the IBL welcomed Toronto to the league for the first time on the heels of the folding of the International League's Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite competition from major league baseball coming to Canada, the IBL continued. There were never fewer than eight teams in the League over the next two decades, and with Waterloo's return in 1978, the League comprised the same teams as in 1950. The growth hit a high point of 11 teams in 1979 when the Windsor Chiefs joined. Long time commissioner Reuben Halpern, who was in office from 1970 until 1986, and secretary Lorne Hamel were honoured by having the league's two divisions named after them in 1982. Hamel was the secretary from 1962 to 1997.
The IBL was down to six teams in 1998, however St. Thomas rejoined for the 2000 season followed by two expansion teams, the Barrie Baycats in 2001 and the Oshawa Dodgers in 2002, which brought the number of teams back up to nine. St. Thomas moved to Stratford in 2004 and the team was then moved to Mississauga for the 2008 season and operated as the Twins for two years before moving to Burlington in 2011. They were renamed as the Burlington Bandits in 2013.
The League also ventured into Eastern Ontario in 2010 with the admission of the Ottawa Fatcats, replacing the Oshawa Dodgers, who suspended operations following the 2009 season. Ottawa dropped out following the 2012 season as the city chose to pursue a minor pro team for 2015.
On July 8, 2006, in Barrie, the league's "New Era IBL All-Star Classic" game between the Barrie Baycats and the IBL all-stars was played with Barrie defeating the all-stars 7–2.
On July 11, 2015, in Barrie, the league's "All-Star Game" between the Barrie Baycats and the IBL all-stars was played with the IBL All-Stars defeating the Barrie Baycats 13–4.
Current member teams
|Intercounty Baseball League|
|Barrie Baycats||Barrie, Ontario, Canada||Coates Stadium at Barrie Community Sports Complex||1,500||2001|
|Brantford Red Sox||Brantford, Ontario, Canada||Arnold Anderson Stadium||2,000||1911|
|Burlington Bandits||Burlington, Ontario, Canada||Nelson Park||1,000||2011|
|Guelph Royals||Guelph, Ontario, Canada||David E. Hastings Stadium at Exhibition Park||1,400||1919|
|Hamilton Cardinals||Hamilton, Ontario, Canada||Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium||3,000||1953|
|Kitchener Panthers||Kitchener, Ontario, Canada||Jack Couch Baseball Park||1,400||1919|
|London Majors||London, Ontario, Canada||Labatt Park||5,200||1925|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Dominico Field at Christie Pits Park||3,000||1969|
|Former Intercounty Baseball League Teams|
|Burlington Twins||Burlington, Ontario, Canada||Nelson Park||2011||2012; renamed Burlington Bandits|
|Galt Terriers – later as Cambridge Terriers||Galt, Ontario||Dickson Park baseball field||1919||1984|
|Guelph C-Joys||Guelph, Ontario||Exhibition Park||1964||renamed Guelph Royals|
|Hamilton Cardinals||Hamilton, Ontario||Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium||1958||2005; renamed Hamilton Thunderbirds|
|Hamilton Thunderbirds||Hamilton, Ontario||Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium||2005||2012; renamed Hamilton Cardinals|
|Kitchener Legionnaires||Kitchener, Ontario||Victoria Park||1957||renamed Kitchener Dutchmen|
|Kitchener Dutchmen||Kitchener, Ontario||Jack Couch Stadium. Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex||1957||renamed Kitchener Panthers|
|Kraven Knits||Stratford, Ontario||National Stadium||1974||1976; renamed Stratford Hillers|
|Listowel Legionnaires||Listowel, Ontario||John Bell - Listowel Memorial Park||1940s?|
|London Chester Pegg Diamonds||London, Ontario||Labatt Park||1960||1962; renamed London Majors|
|London Pontiacs||London, Ontario||Labatt Park||1963||1970; renamed London Avcos|
|London Avcos||London, Ontario||Labatt Park||1970||1974; renamed London El-Morocco Majors|
|London El-Morocco Majors||London, Ontario||Labatt Park||1974||1975; renamed London Majors|
|Mississauga Twins||Mississauga, Ontario||Meadowvale Baseball Complex||2009||2011; moved to Burlington and became the Burlington Twins|
|Niagara Falls Mariners||Niagara Falls, Ontario||Oakes Park||1985||1989|
|Oakville Oaks||Oakville, Ontario||1956||1958|
|Oshawa Dodgers||Oshawa, Ontario||Kinsmen Stadium||2002||2009|
|Ottawa Fat Cats||Ottawa, Ontario||Ottawa Baseball Stadium||2010||2012|
|St. Thomas Elgins||St. Thomas, Ontario||Emslie Field, Pinafore Park||1948 as the Legion until 1953||1961; re-emerged in 1976 and folded again in 1996|
|St. Thomas Storm||St. Thomas, Ontario||Emslie Field, Pinafore Park||2000||Moved to Stratford in 2004|
|Stratford Hillers||Stratford, Ontario||National Stadium||1976|
|Stratford Storm||Stratford, Ontario||National Stadium||2004||2006; renamed Stratford Nationals|
|Stratford Nationals||Stratford, Ontario||National Stadium||2006||2008; moved to Mississauga and became the Mississauga Twins|
|Waterloo Tigers||Waterloo, Ontario||Bechtel Park Ball Stadium||2000||2003|
|Windsor Chiefs||Windsor, Ontario||Mic Mac Park||1979; 1969 in the EssexCounty Senior League||1981; left for Detroit Federal League in 1982|
- Commissioner: John Kastner
- Registrar: Jason Little
- Treasurer/Statistician: Herb Morell
- Umpire in Chief: Rich Panas
- Marketing Manager: Ryan Harrison
- Umpire Scheduler: Chris Teliatnik
- Media Relations Manager: Cory Smith
The winning team is awarded the Jack and Lynne Dominico Trophy.
Other awards presented include:
- Rawlings IBL Player of the Year Award/John Bell Memorial Trophy
- IBL Rookie of the Year/Brian Kerr Memorial Trophy
Notable past players
- John Axford – (Brantford Red Sox) - Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians
- Rich Butler – (Toronto Maple Leafs) - Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays
- Rob Butler – (Toronto Maple Leafs) - Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies
- Frank Colman – (London Majors)
- Ferguson Jenkins – (London Majors) MLB Hall of Famer
- Mike Kilkenny – (London Majors)
- Roy McKay – (London Majors)
- Denny McLain – (London Majors)- Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Brave
- Pete Orr – (Toronto Maple Leafs)
- Dave Rozema - (London Majors)
- Paul Spoljaric - (Toronto Maple Leafs, Barrie Baycats) - Toronto Blue Jays
- Jesse Orosco - (Galt Terriers) - Mets, Dodgers, Indians, Brewers, Orioles, Cardinals, Padres, Yankees, Twins
- Rob Thomson - (Stratford Hillers) New York Yankees
- Mike Gardiner - (Stratford Hillers) Tigers/RedSox/Expos/Mariners 1990-1995
- Rob Ducey - (Cambridge) Phillies/BlueJays/Mariners/Rangers/Angels/.. 1987-2001
- Larry Landreth - (Stratford Hillers) - Montreal Expos
- Chris Speier - (Stratford) SF Giants, St. Louis, Minnesota,Chicago Cubs & Montreal
- Joe Krakauskas - (Brantford Red Sox) 1937-46 - Washington Senators & Cleveland Indians
- Wilmer Fields - (Brantford Red Sox) 1939-50 - Homestead Grays
- Lester Lockett - (Kitchener) Baltimore Elite Giants
- Don Beaupre - (Waterloo Tigers) - Minnesota North Stars
- Scott Thorman – (Brantford Red Sox) - Atlanta Braves
- Jimmy Wilkes – (Brantford Red Sox) - Negro League: Newark Eagles, Huston Eagles, Indianapolis Clowns
- Joe Krakauskas – (Brantford Red Sox) - Cleveland Indians
- Scott Diamond – (Guelph Royals) - Minnesota Twins
- Intercounty Major Baseball League's 1998 Record Book by Editor Herb Morell and Dominico Promotions Inc.