New York–Penn League
|President||Ben J. Hayes|
|No. of teams||14|
|Brooklyn Cyclones (2019)|
|Most titles||Oneonta Yankees (12)|
|Classification||Class A Short Season|
The New York–Penn League is a Minor League Baseball league which operates in the northeastern United States. It is classified as a Class A Short Season league; its season starts in June, after major league teams have signed their amateur draft picks to professional contracts, and ends in early September.
As of the 2018 season, the league includes 14 teams from eight different states. In addition to New York and Pennsylvania, from which the league draws its name, the NYPL also has clubs in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, and Connecticut.
The league was founded in 1939 with the name Pennsylvania – Ontario – New York League in a hotel in Batavia, New York. This was generally shortened to PONY League. The original teams included the Batavia Clippers, Bradford Bees, Hamilton Red Wings, Jamestown Jaguars, Niagara Falls Rainbows, and Olean Oilers; all were based in or near Western New York. The Oilers, a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate, won both the regular-season and playoff championships. Batavia is the last remaining charter city in the league.
The Hamilton Red Wings folded early in the 1956 season, and with no more teams in Ontario, the league adopted its current name in 1957. The league crossed back into Canada with the formation of the St. Catharines Blue Jays in 1986. They were joined by the Hamilton Redbirds in 1987 and the Welland Pirates in 1989, but all three clubs had moved back to the United States by 2000.
The New York–Penn circuit was originally a Class D league (the minors' lowest classification through 1962). It was a full-season Class A league from 1963 through 1966, and became a short-season Class A league in 1967.
At least half the leagues teams (Auburn, Batavia, Connecticut, Lowell, Staten Island, Vermont and Williamsport) are scheduled to be shuttered when the current MLB/MiLB agreement ends at the end of the 2020 season, as the plan calls for the Short Season Class A designation to be eliminated.
Player limits and requirements
New York–Penn League teams may have no more than three players on their active lists that have four or more years of prior combined Major League/Minor League service, with the exception of position players changing roles to become pitchers and vice versa. Teams can eliminate up to one year of Minor League service for players who have spent time on the disabled list.
By July 1 of each year, all clubs must have at least 10 pitchers.
The maximum number of players under team control is 35, 30 of whom may be active. However, only 25 may be in uniform and eligible to play in any given game.
Current team rosters
League champions have been determined by different means since the New York–Penn League's formation in 1939. For a few seasons in the 1960s and 1970s, no playoffs were held and the league champions were simply the regular season pennant winners. Most seasons, however, have ended with playoffs to determine a league champion.
The Oneonta Tigers have won 12 championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Auburn Mets/Twins/Phillies/Doubledays (8) and the Jamestown Falcons/Expos (7). Among active franchises, Auburn has won 8 championships, the most in the league, followed by the Staten Island Yankees (6) and the Batavia Clippers/Pirates/Muckdogs (4).
PONY/NY–Penn League teams (1939–present)
(Current teams in bold)
- Norwich: 2010–present (9 seasons)
- Aberdeen: 2002–present (17 seasons)
- Augusta: 1994–2005 (12 seasons)
- Auburn: 1958–1980, 1982–present (60 seasons)
- Batavia: 1939–1959, 1960–present (80 seasons)
- Binghamton: 1964–66 (3 seasons)
- Brooklyn: 2001–present (18 seasons)
- Corning: 1951–60, 1968–69 (12 seasons)
- Elmira: 1957–61, 1973–95 (28 seasons)
- Fishkill: 1994–present (25 seasons)
- Geneva: 1958–73, 1977–93 (33 seasons)
- Glens Falls: 1993 (1 season)
- Jamestown: 1939–57, 1962–1973, 1977–2014 (67 seasons)
- Hornell: 1942–57 (16 seasons)
- Little Falls: 1977–88 (12 seasons)
- Lockport: 1942–50 (9 seasons)
- Newark: 1968–79, 1983–87 (17 seasons)
- Niagara Falls: 1939–40, 1970–79, 1982–85, 1989–93 (21 seasons)
- Olean: 1939–59, 1961–66 (27 seasons)
- Oneonta: 1966–2009 (44 seasons)
- Queens: 2000 (1 season)
- Staten Island: 1999–present (20 seasons)
- Troy: 2002–present (17 seasons)
- Utica: 1977–2001 (25 seasons)
- Watertown: 1983–98 (16 seasons)
- Wellsville: 1942–1961, 1963–65 (23 seasons)
- Youngstown: 1999–present (20 seasons)
- Bradford: 1939–42, 1944–57 (18 seasons)
- Erie: 1954–63, 1967, 1981–93, 1995–98 (28 seasons)
- State College: 2006–present (13 seasons)
- Williamsport: 1968–72, 1994–present (30 seasons)
- York: 1923-1933, 1936(moved to Trenton July 2) (12 seasons)
- Burlington: 1994–present (25 seasons)
- Morgantown: 2015–present (4 seasons)
- Hamilton: 1939-42, 1946–56, 1988–92 (20 seasons)
- London: 1940–42 (2 seasons)
- St. Catharines: 1986–1999 (14 seasons)
- Welland: 1989–94 (5 seasons)
Hall of Fame
The New York–Penn League Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to honor league players, managers, and executives for their accomplishments or contributions to the league in playing or administrative roles. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class of seven men in 2012. New members are elected before the start of each season.
- "Personnel and Staff". New York–Penn League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
- Madden, Bill (November 16, 2019). "Rob Manfred's plan to destroy minor league baseball". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
- "General Information". Lowell Spinners. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
- "New York–Penn League Champsion". New York–Penn League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "New York–Penn League Hall of Fame". New York–Penn League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
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