Triple-A National Championship Game

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Triple-A National Championship Game
Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game logo.png
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Varies (see prose)
Inaugurated September 19, 2006
(AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States)
Most recent September 19, 2017
(PNC Field, Moosic, Pennsylvania, United States)
Previous event September 20, 2016
(AutoZone Park, Memphis, Tennessee, United States)
Next event September 18, 2018
(Huntington Park, Columbus, Ohio, United States)
Participants The league champions of the International League and Pacific Coast League
Organized by Triple-A Baseball
Website
Official website

The Triple-A National Championship Game, previously known as the Bricktown Showdown, is a single championship game held annually between the league champions of the International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL) affiliated Triple-A leagues of Minor League Baseball (MiLB) to determine an overall champion of the classification. The championship consists of a single nine-inning game to determine a champion. As the game is usually played at a neutral site, the host league has its team designated as the home team.

From 2006 to 2010, the game was held annually at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Since 2011, the game has been hosted in a different Triple-A city each year.

The IL's Columbus Clippers and Durham Bulls and the PCL's Omaha Storm Chasers have each made three appearances in the Triple-A Championship Game, more than any other teams. Columbus, Durham, Omaha, and the PCL's Sacramento River Cats have each won two championships, more than any others. Five other teams have won one championship each. Seven titles have been won by PCL teams, while the IL has won only five titles.

History[edit]

AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, site of the first five Triple-A National Championship Games (2006–2010)

Off and on from 1904 to 1975, the league champions of the three highest-classification Minor League Baseball leagues met in the postseason to determine a classification champion. The Little World Series (1904–1931) and Junior World Series (1932–1975) usually consisted of a best-of-seven (or eight) series modeled on the World Series of Major League Baseball. Most often it was held between the champions of the International League and the American Association (AA), leaving the Pacific Coast League out of the championship.[1] A one-time Triple-A World Series was held in 1983 as a round-robin tournament featuring the champions of all three Triple-A leagues.[1] The IL and AA champions met in the Triple-A Classic, a best-of-seven series, from 1988 to 1991.[1] From 1998 to 2000, the Las Vegas Triple-A World Series pitted the IL and PCL champs (as the American Association had folded in 1997) in a best-of-five championship series.[1]

In 2006, Triple-A Baseball announced the creation of a single championship game between the league champions of the International League and the Pacific Coast League to determine an overall champion of the classification. The game, called the Bricktown Showdown, was to be played at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In addition to serving as the pinnacle of the Triple-A and MiLB season, the leagues sought for the championship game to develop and prosper like the Triple-A All-Star Game did since its creation in 1988.[2]

The first Bricktown Showdown was played on September 19, 2006. The PCL's Tucson Sidewinders defeated the IL's Toledo Mud Hens, 5–2, in front of an announced paid attendance of 12,572 and a national television audience watching on ESPN2.[3] The initial Showdown was approved only as a one-time meeting by Major League Baseball,[4] but subsequent meetings were planned following the event's success.[4]

The game was rebranded as the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game in 2009, and later as simply the Triple-A National Championship Game. This was done to increase the event's national appeal and to emphasize its significance as a championship game.[5]

The championship continued to be held in Oklahoma City through 2010. Since 2011, the game has been held in a different Triple-A city each year.[6] The first city to host under this new format was Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of the Albuquerque Isotopes of the PCL. Games have since been held in other Triple-A cities. No host city's team has ever participated in the championship game.

From 2006 to 2016, the league that won the Triple-A All-Star Game earned the distinction of having its team designated as the home team.[2] This changed in 2017, when home team status began being awarded to the team from the hosting league.[7]

The event has been televised nationally every year. It aired on ESPN2 from 2006 to 2009.[8] The game has been broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (formerly known the Outdoor Life Network and Versus) since 2010.[8]

Structure[edit]

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders celebrate winning the 2016 Triple-A Championship.

The Triple-A National Championship Game consists of a single nine-inning game to determine a champion. The only championship game to ever go beyond the prescribed nine innings was the 2009 contest which went to eleven innings.[9] The host league's team serves as the home team.[7] Designated hitters bat in place of the pitchers.

Players wear their respective team's uniforms. Players on the home team wear their club's white home uniforms, while players on the away team wear their club's gray road uniforms. Usually, a patch depicting the game's logo is sewn onto their jerseys and caps.

The game is umpired by a four-man crew with one umpire behind home plate and the others covering each base. Two of the umpires work in the IL, while two work in the PCL. Assignments rotate each year such that PCL umpires are assigned to home plate and second base in even years, and IL umpires man those positions in odd years.[10]

Results[edit]

home team Indicates home team
Year Winning team (MLB affiliation) League Score Losing team (MLB affiliation) League Ballpark (league) Attendance Ref.
2006 Tucson Sidewinders (ARI) PCL 5–2 Toledo Mud Henshome team (DET) IL AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (PCL) 12,572 [3]
2007 Sacramento River Cats (OAK) PCL 7–1 Richmond Braveshome team (ATL) IL AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (PCL) 11,124 [11]
2008 Sacramento River Catshome team (OAK) PCL 4–1 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY) IL AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (PCL) 8,213 [12]
2009 Durham Bullshome team (TB) IL 5–4 Memphis Redbirds (STL) PCL AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (PCL) 6,777 [9]
2010 Columbus Clippershome team (CLE) IL 12–6 Tacoma Rainiers (SEA) PCL AT&T Bricktown Ballpark (PCL) 7,525 [13]
2011 Columbus Clippershome team (CLE) IL 8–3 Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) PCL Isotopes Park (PCL) 9,569 [14]
2012 Reno Aceshome team (ARI) PCL 10–3 Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) IL Durham Bulls Athletic Park (IL) 8,601 [15]
2013 Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) PCL 2–1 Durham Bullshome team (TB) IL Coca-Cola Park (IL) 9,602 [16]
2014 Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) PCL 4–2 Pawtucket Red Soxhome team (BOS) IL BB&T Ballpark (IL) 8,886 [17]
2015 Fresno Grizzlies (HOU) PCL 7–0 Columbus Clippershome team (CLE) IL Southwest University Park (PCL) 9,332 [18]
2016 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRidershome team (NYY) IL 3–1 El Paso Chihuahuas (SD) PCL AutoZone Park (PCL) 9,471 [19]
2017 Durham Bullshome team (TB) IL 5–3 Memphis Redbirds (STL) PCL PNC Field (IL) 9,383 [20]

Future games[edit]

Year City Ballpark Host team (league) Ref.
2018 Columbus, Ohio Huntington Park Columbus Clippers (IL) [21]

Most Valuable Player Award[edit]

Center fielder A. J. Pollock of the Reno Aces was selected as the game's MVP in 2012.

One player is recognized for their outstanding play in the game and is awarded the Triple-A Championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.[8]

Year Player Team League Position Ref.
2006 Hairston, ScottScott Hairston Tucson Sidewinders PCL Left fielder [3]
2007 Merloni, LouLou Merloni Sacramento River Cats PCL Third baseman [11]
2008 Gissell, ChrisChris Gissell Sacramento River Cats PCL Relief pitcher [12]
2009 Hellickson, JeremyJeremy Hellickson Durham Bulls IL Starting pitcher [9]
2010 Head, JeradJerad Head Columbus Clippers IL Left fielder [13]
2011 Martinez, JoeJoe Martinez Columbus Clippers IL Starting pitcher [14]
2012 Pollock, A. J.A. J. Pollock Reno Aces PCL Center fielder [15]
2013 Dwyer, ChrisChris Dwyer Omaha Storm Chasers PCL Starting pitcher [16]
2014 Hayes, BrettBrett Hayes Omaha Storm Chasers PCL Catcher [17]
2015 Devenski, ChrisChris Devenski Fresno Grizzlies PCL Starting pitcher [18]
2016 Parmelee, ChrisChris Parmelee Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders IL First baseman [19]
2017 Wong, KeanKean Wong Durham Bulls IL Second baseman [22]

Appearances by team[edit]

Defunct teams appear in italics.

Appearances Team League Wins Losses Win % Most recent
win
Most recent
appearance
3 Columbus Clippers IL 2 1 .667 2011 2015
3 Durham Bulls IL 2 1 .667 2017 2017
3 Omaha Storm Chasers PCL 2 1 .667 2014 2014
2 Sacramento River Cats PCL 2 0 1.000 2008 2008
2 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders/Yankees IL 1 1 .500 2016 2016
2 Memphis Redbirds PCL 0 2 .000 2017
2 Pawtucket Red Sox IL 0 2 .000 2014
1 Fresno Grizzlies PCL 1 0 1.000 2015 2015
1 Reno Aces PCL 1 0 1.000 2012 2012
1 Tucson Sidewinders PCL 1 0 1.000 2006 2006
1 El Paso Chihuahuas PCL 0 1 .000 2016
1 Richmond Braves IL 0 1 .000 2007
1 Tacoma Rainiers PCL 0 1 .000 2010
1 Toledo Mud Hens IL 0 1 .000 2006

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Triple-A Baseball Interleague Post-Season Play Results". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Bricktown Showdown To Determine Triple-A Baseball Champion" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. July 12, 2006. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "Tucson Sidewinders 5, Toledo Mud Hens 2" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Triple-A Baseball Championship Game To Remain in Oklahoma City for 2007 and 2008" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. January 11, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 9, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Triple-A Championship Game Renamed". Triple-A Baseball. August 7, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ Hill, Benjamin (February 8, 2011). "Isotopes to Host Triple-A Championship". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "2017 Governors' Cup Playoffs Preview" (PDF). International League. August 11, 2017. p. 4. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c "Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game Results". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "Durham Bulls (84-61) 5, Memphis Redbirds (77-68) 4" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Triple-A National Championship Game Personnel" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Sacramento River Cats (85-60) 7, Richmond Braves (77-65) 1" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Sacramento River Cats (84-61) 4, Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees (88-57) 1" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Tacoma Rainiers (74-70) 6, Columbus Clippers (80-65) 12" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Columbus Clippers (89-56) 8, Omaha Storm Chasers (79-64) 3" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Pawtucket Red Sox (79-66) 3, Reno Aces (82-63) 10" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Omaha Storm Chasers (71-74) 2, Durham Bulls (87-58) 1" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Omaha Storm Chasers (77-67) 4, Pawtucket Red Sox (79-66) 2" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Fresno Grizzlies (85-59) 7, Columbus Clippers (83-62) 0" (PDF). Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "El Paso vs. Scranton/WB - September 20, 2016". MiLB.com. September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Memphis vs. Durham Bulls - September 19, 2017". MiLB.com. September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Clippers to Make 10th Season at Huntington Park Extra Special in 2018". OurSports Central. April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  22. ^ Wiseman, Steve (September 19, 2017). "Durham Bulls Win Triple-A National Championship". The Herald-Sun. Retrieved September 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]