Southern League (baseball)
Southern League logo
|No. of teams||10|
|Jackson Generals (2019)|
|Most titles||Birmingham Barons (7)|
The Southern League is a Minor League Baseball league that operates in the Southern United States. Classified a Double-A league, it is headquartered in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. The league acquired its name in 1964, after the South Atlantic League, which had started in 1936, renamed itself to Southern League.
The original Southern League existed from 1885 to 1899. A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in 1901, consisting of twelve teams. The Southern Association shut down after the 1961 season.
In 1964, the original South Atlantic League (nicknamed the Sally League and not related to the current league of the same name, formerly the Western Carolinas League) changed its name to the Southern League. The original South Atlantic League was a mid- to higher-classification circuit that played from 1904 to 1917, 1919 to 1930 (when it was known as the South Atlantic Association), 1936 to 1942, and 1946 to 1963. The old South Atlantic League grew from Class C status to Class B (through 1942) and then Class A (until 1962). In its final season, it was elevated to Double-A.
The Southern League is divided into two divisions, North and South. Before 2005, the divisions were East and West; however, the move of the Greenville Braves to the Jackson, Mississippi area after the 2004 season led to a realignment.
The current league president is Lori Webb; the position was held by Steve DeSalvo as interim President for a few months due to the March 2012 death of former major league first baseman Don Mincher, who had held the position from 2000 to 2011 (the first year as an interim President).
In 2012, the Carolina Mudcats relocated to Pensacola, Florida to become the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. In 2015, the Huntsville Stars relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi to become the Biloxi Shuckers. The Mobile BayBears will relocate within Alabama in 2020 to the Huntsville suburb of Madison, becoming the Rocket City Trash Pandas.
Current team rosters
League members Dixie Association Other Current League Other Defunct League
- In 1971, the Southern League and Texas League were both down to seven teams so they formed the Dixie Association for one season. They played interlocking schedules but held their own separate playoffs.
Complete list of teams (1964–present)
South Atlantic League teams (prior to 1964)
- Albany Babies
- Asheville Tourists
- Augusta Dollies
- Augusta Georgians
- Augusta Rams
- Augusta Tigers
- Augusta Tygers
- Augusta Tourists
- Augusta Wolves
- Augusta Yankees
- Charleston ChaSox/White Sox
- Charleston Palmettos/Pals
- Charleston Rebels
- Charleston Sea Gulls/Gulls
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chattanooga Lookouts
- Columbia Comers/Commies/Combers
- Columbia Gamecocks
- Columbia Gems
- Columbia Reds
- Columbia Senators
- Columbia Skyscrapers
- Columbus Foxes
- Columbus Pirates
- Columbus Red Birds/Cardinals
- Gastonia Combers
- Gastonia Pirates
- Greenville Spinners
- Jacksonville Braves
- Jacksonville Jays
- Jacksonville Jets
- Jacksonville Tarpons
- Jacksonville Tars
- Knoxville Appalachians
- Knoxville Smokies
- Lynchburg White Sox
- Macon Brigands
- Macon Dodgers
- Macon Highlanders
- Macon Peaches
- Montgomery Grays
- Montgomery Rebels
- Nashville Vols
- New Orleans Bucks/Kings (also in SL)
- New Orleans Jacks/Generals (also in SL)
- Portsmouth-Norfolk Tides
- Savannah Athletics
- Savannah Indians
- Savannah Pirates
- Savannah Redlegs/Reds
- Savannah White Sox
- South Atlantic League Orphans
- Spartanburg Pioneers
- Spartanburg Spartans
League champions have been determined by different means since the Southern League's formation in 1964. Through 1970, champions were simply the regular season pennant winners. A postseason playoff series to crown a champion was established in 1979.
The Birmingham A's/Barons have won 7 Southern League championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Jacksonville Suns (6) and the Montgomery Rebels (5). Among active franchises, the most championship wins belong to Birmingham (7), followed Jacksonville (6) and the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx/Jackson Generals (4).
Six presidents have led the Southern League since its formation:
- 1964–1971: Sam C. Smith
- 1971–1980: Billy Hitchcock
- 1981–1994: Jim Bragan
- 1994–2000: Arnold D. Fielkow
- 2000–2011: Don Mincher
- 2012–present: Lori Webb
- Southern League Hall of Fame
- Southern League Manager of the Year Award
- Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher Award
- Southern League Most Valuable Player Award
- Baseball awards#Double-A
- Sports league attendances
- "About the Southern League". Southern League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Southern League Names First Woman President". www.chattanoogan.com. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- "Don Mincher Bio". southern.league.milb.com. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Blue Wahoos Get Approval from MLB". www.milb.com. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- "Regions Field Birmingham Barons". Minor League Baseball. January 27, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Knight, Graham (July 27, 2010). "AT&T Field". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Knight, Graham. "The Ballpark at Jackson". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Gattis, Paul (April 15, 2019). "Countdown is on: 1 year from today until first Trash Pandas game in Madison". AL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- Reichard, Kevin (May 1, 2015). "Smokies Park / Tennessee Smokies". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Harris, Chris (February 12, 2015). "A Walking Tour of MGM Park". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Knight, Graham (August 16, 2003). "Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville – Jacksonville Suns". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Mississippi Braves Stadium Information". Minor League Baseball. November 13, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "Riverwalk Stadium Information". Minor League Baseball. February 25, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- Pillon, Dennis (April 20, 2012). "Pensacola's Class AA Baseball Fever Still Going Strong". Press-Register. Mobile. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "Southern League Past Champions". Southern League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "Southern League President Lori Webb". Southern League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
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