Appalachian League

The Appalachian League is a collegiate summer baseball league that operates in the Appalachian regions of Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Designed for rising freshmen and sophomores using wood bats, its season runs from June to August. The league is part of Major League Baseball and USA Baseball's Prospect Development Pipeline.

Appalachian League
AppalachianLeagueLogo.PNG
SportBaseball
Founded1911
PresidentDan Moushon[1]
No. of teams10
CountryUnited States
Most recent
champion(s)
Johnson City Cardinals (2019)
Most titlesBluefield Blue Jays (14)
Official websitemlb.com/appalachian-league

From 1911 to 2020, the Appalachian League was affiliated with Minor League Baseball and its teams were affiliated with Major League Baseball teams. It operated as a Class D league over several stretches (1911–1914, 1921–1925, 1937–1955, and 1957–1962) before being classified as a Rookie league from 1963 to 2020.

HistoryEdit

The original Appalachian League existed only for four seasons from 1911 to 1914 and was classified as a Class D circuit.[2] All teams were independent with no Major League Baseball (MLB) affiliation. It consisted of the Asheville Moonshiners, Bristol Boosters, Cleveland Counts, Johnson City Soldiers, Knoxville Appalachians, and Morristown Jobbers in its inaugural season.[3] After a six-year absence, the league reorganized for five seasons from 1921 to 1925, and, as before, it consisted entirely of independent teams at the Class D level.[2] Following an 11-year period of inactivity, the third iteration of the Class D Appalachian League ran from 1937 to 1955.[2] The league went dormant in 1956, but was revived in 1957.[4]

Along with a reorganization of Minor League Baseball in 1963, the Appy League became classified as a Rookie level team.[4] It continued to operate at this classification through 2020, though the start of the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before ultimately being cancelled on June 30.[5][6]

The 2019 season was the Appalachian League's last year as an MLB-affiliated league of Minor League Baseball. In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Appalachian League was converted to a collegiate summer baseball league designed for rising freshmen and sophomores.[7] The reconfigured league become a part of Major League Baseball's Prospect Development Pipeline, a collaboration between MLB and USA Baseball. It is scheduled to play a 54-game regular season continue to host an annual All-Star Game. Each of the league's 10 cities will continue to host teams in the new configuration of the Appalachian League.[8]

Current teamsEdit

Division Team City Stadium Capacity
East Bluefield Appalachian League team Bluefield, West Virginia and
Bluefield, Virginia
Bowen Field at Peters Park 3,000
Burlington Appalachian League team Burlington, North Carolina Burlington Athletic Stadium 3,500
Danville Appalachian League team Danville, Virginia American Legion Field 2,588
Princeton Appalachian League team Princeton, West Virginia H. P. Hunnicutt Field 3,000
Pulaski Appalachian League team Pulaski, Virginia Calfee Park 2,500
West Bristol Appalachian League team Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee Boyce Cox Field at DeVault Memorial Stadium 2,000
Elizabethton Appalachian League team Elizabethton, Tennessee Joe O'Brien Field 2,000
Greeneville Appalachian League team Tusculum, Tennessee Pioneer Park 4,000
Johnson City Appalachian League team Johnson City, Tennessee TVA Credit Union Ballpark 3,800
Kingsport Appalachian League team Kingsport, Tennessee Hunter Wright Stadium 2,000

Teams timelineEdit

1911–1914Edit

1921–1925Edit

1937–1955, 1957–2020Edit

From 2021Edit

ChampionsEdit

League champions have been determined by different means since the Appalachian League's formation in 1911. Before 1984, the champions were usually the league pennant winners. With only a few early exceptions, champions since 1984 have been the winner of postseason playoffs.[9]

Hall of FameEdit

The Appalachian League Hall of Fame was started in 2019.[10]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2019 Appalachian League Media Guide
  2. ^ a b c "Appalachian League (1911 to 1955)". Stats Crew. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  3. ^ "Minor League Baseball: the Appalachian League (Advanced-Rookie Classification)". Billssportsmaps.com. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Appalachian League (1957 to 2019)". Stats Crew. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "A Message From Pat O'Conner". Minor League Baseball. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  6. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  7. ^ Cooper, J.J. (September 25, 2020). "Appalachian League To Operate As Summer Wood-Bat League". Baseball America. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  8. ^ "MLB, USA Baseball Announce New Format for Appalachian League". Major League Baseball. September 29, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  9. ^ "Standings". 2017 Appalachian League Media Guide and Record Book. Minor League Baseball. pp. 39–61. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "Hall of Fame". Appalachian League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved June 20, 2019.

External linksEdit