New York–Penn League

The New York–Penn League (NYPL) was a Minor League Baseball league that operated in the northeastern United States from 1939 to 2020. Classified as a Class A Short Season league, its season started in June, after major-league teams signed their amateur draft picks to professional contracts, and ended in early September.

New York–Penn League
ClassificationClass A Short Season
Founded1939; 85 years ago (1939)
Ceased2020; 4 years ago (2020)
CountryUnited States
Brooklyn Cyclones (2019)
Most titlesOneonta Yankees (12)

In 2019, its last season of operation, the NYPL had 14 teams from eight different states. In addition to New York and Pennsylvania, from which the league drew its name, the NYPL also had clubs in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, and Connecticut.

The Brooklyn Cyclones were the last NYPL champions, defeating the Lowell Spinners, two games to one, in 2019. The Oneonta Yankees/Tigers won 12 championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Auburn Mets/Twins/Phillies/Doubledays (8) and Jamestown Falcons/Expos (7).



The New York–Penn League was founded in 1939 as the Pennsylvania–Ontario–New York League, generally shortened to PONY League,[a] in a hotel in Batavia, New York. 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 was the last remaining charter city in the league when it ceased operations after the 2020 season.

The Hamilton Red Wings folded early in the 1956 season, and with no more teams in Ontario, the circuit became the New York–Penn League 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.

The start of the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before being cancelled on June 30.[1][2]


Good Enough to Dream is a memoir by renowned baseball writer Roger Kahn, published in 1985. The book chronicles Kahn's experience as the owner of the Utica Blue Sox during the 1983 season. Good Enough to Dream was the recipient of the Casey Award in 1985.

Clubbie is a 2021 memoir by Greg Larson that recounts his experiences as a clubhouse attendant (or "clubbie") for the Aberdeen IronBirds during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The book's depiction of players' financial struggles[3] is widely credited with inspiring changes to long-standing minor league compensation structures.[4][5]



On December 9, 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced its list of 120 teams invited to be a part of the minors after restructuring for the 2021 season. As first reported in 2019,[6] the NYPL ceased operations. The Aberdeen IronBirds, Brooklyn Cyclones, and Hudson Valley Renegades joined the new High-A East, becoming the new High-A affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, and New York Yankees respectively. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears, and Williamsport Crosscutters moved to the new MLB Draft League for players wishing to showcase themselves to MLB teams in advance of the annual draft. The Tri-City ValleyCats moved to the independent Frontier League,[7] while the Batavia Muckdogs and Auburn Doubledays joined the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.[8][9] On February 25, 2021, the Vermont Lake Monsters announced that they would join the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) under new ownership,[10] and the Norwich Sea Unicorns joined the FCBL in late April.[11] The Staten Island Yankees folded,[12] while the Lowell Spinners were left without future plans.[13]

Final franchises

Final team locations:
  McNamara Division
  Pinckney Division
  Stedler Division
Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity 2021 League
McNamara Aberdeen IronBirds Baltimore Orioles Aberdeen, Maryland Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium 6,300 High-A East
Brooklyn Cyclones New York Mets Brooklyn, New York MCU Park 7,000 High-A East
Hudson Valley Renegades Tampa Bay Rays Fishkill, New York
(Poughkeepsie/Newburgh area)
Dutchess Stadium 4,494 High-A East
Staten Island Yankees New York Yankees Staten Island, New York Richmond County Bank Ballpark 7,171 Folded[14]
(Replacement team would play in the Atlantic League in 2022)
Pinckney Auburn Doubledays Washington Nationals Auburn, New York Falcon Park 2,800 Perfect Game League
(Collegiate baseball)
Batavia Muckdogs Miami Marlins Batavia, New York Dwyer Stadium 2,600 Perfect Game League
(Collegiate baseball)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers Cleveland Indians Niles, Ohio
(Youngstown area)
Eastwood Field 6,000 MLB Draft League
(Collegiate baseball)
State College Spikes St. Louis Cardinals University Park, Pennsylvania Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 5,570 MLB Draft League
(Collegiate baseball)
West Virginia Black Bears Pittsburgh Pirates Granville, West Virginia
(Morgantown area)
Monongalia County Ballpark 2,500 MLB Draft League
(Collegiate baseball)
Williamsport Crosscutters Philadelphia Phillies Williamsport, Pennsylvania BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field 2,366 MLB Draft League
(Collegiate baseball)
Stedler Lowell Spinners Boston Red Sox Lowell, Massachusetts Edward A. LeLacheur Park 4,767 Folded[15][16]
Norwich Sea Unicorns Detroit Tigers Norwich, Connecticut Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium 6,270 Futures Collegiate Baseball League
(Collegiate baseball)
Tri-City ValleyCats Houston Astros Troy, New York
(Capital District)
Joseph L. Bruno Stadium 4,500 Frontier League
Vermont Lake Monsters Oakland Athletics Burlington, Vermont Centennial Field 4,400 Futures Collegiate Baseball League
(Collegiate baseball)



League champions were determined by different means during the New York–Penn League's 82-year run from 1939 to 2020. 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, ended with playoffs to determine a league champion.[17]

The Oneonta Tigers won 12 championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Auburn Mets/Twins/Phillies/Doubledays (8) and Jamestown Falcons/Expos (7).[17]



Cities represented





New Jersey

New York

  • Auburn: 1958–1980, 1982–2020 (62 seasons)
  • Batavia: 1939–1953, 1957–1959, 1961–2020 (78 seasons)
  • Binghamton: 1964–1966 (3 seasons)
  • Brooklyn: 2001–2020 (20 seasons)
  • Corning: 1951–1960, 1968–1969 (12 seasons)
  • Elmira: 1957–1961, 1973–1995 (28 seasons)
  • Fishkill: 1994–2020 (26 seasons)
  • Geneva: 1958–1973, 1977–1993 (33 seasons)
  • Glens Falls: 1993 (1 season)
  • Jamestown: 1939–1957, 1962–1973, 1977–2014 (67 seasons)
  • Hornell: 1942–1957 (16 seasons)
  • Little Falls: 1977–1988 (12 seasons)
  • Lockport: 1942–1950 (9 seasons)
  • Newark: 1968–1979, 1983–1987 (17 seasons)
  • Niagara Falls: 1939–1940, 1970–1979, 1982–1985, 1989–1993 (21 seasons)
  • Olean: 1939–1959, 1961–1966 (27 seasons)
  • Oneonta: 1966–2009 (44 seasons)
  • Queens: 2000 (1 season)
  • Staten Island: 1999–2020 (22 seasons)
  • Troy: 2002–2020 (18 seasons)
  • Utica: 1977–2001 (25 seasons)
  • Watertown: 1983–1998 (16 seasons)
  • Wellsville: 1942–1961, 1963–1965 (23 seasons)



  • Bradford: 1939–1942, 1944–1957 (18 seasons)
  • Erie: 1954–1963, 1967, 1981–1993, 1995–1998 (28 seasons)
  • State College: 2006–2020 (15 seasons)
  • Williamsport: 1968–1972, 1994–2020 (32 seasons)
  • York: 1923–1933, 1936 (moved to Trenton July 2) (12 seasons)


West Virginia


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 were elected before the start of each season.[18]


  1. ^ Not to be confused with PONY Baseball and Softball, a youth sports organization established in Pennsylvania in 1951, or its annual Pony League World Series.


  1. ^ "A Message From Pat O'Conner". Minor League Baseball. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  2. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  3. ^ News, Mark Whicker | Daily (2021-07-08). "Whicker: Greg Larson's 'Clubbie' shows baseball's bleak heart, powerful grip". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2024-06-18. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ Leighton, Aram (2021-05-30). "He Watched Minor Leaguers Struggle. His New Book Could Change the Game". Boardroom. Retrieved 2024-06-18.
  5. ^ Diunte, Nick. "Greg Larson's 'Clubbie' Exposes The Rough Finances Of Minor League Life". Forbes. Retrieved 2024-06-18.
  6. ^ Madden, Bill (November 16, 2019). "Rob Manfred's plan to destroy minor league baseball". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  7. ^ Singelais, Mark (2021-01-07). "Tri-City ValleyCats join Frontier League for 2021 season". Times Union. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  8. ^ Viquez, Marc (2021-01-12). "Baseball is Back in Batavia". Stadium Journey. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  9. ^ "Auburn finalizing agreement to join Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League".
  10. ^ Reichard, Kevin (2021-02-25). "Vermont Lake Monsters sold, will join Futures League". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  11. ^ "Sea Unicorns join Futures League". The Bulletin. Norwich, Connecticut. April 27, 2021.
  12. ^ Reichard, Kevin (2020-12-03). "Staten Island Yankees fold, will sue MLB". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  13. ^ Lacques, Gabe (December 10, 2020). "Major League Baseball issues invites for minor-league affiliates; here are teams that didn't make cut". USA Today. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "Staten Island Yankees fold, sue MLB, NY Yankees". New York Post. 3 December 2020.
  15. ^ Silverman, Michael (February 25, 2021). "Pro baseball at home of Lowell Spinners unlikely this season, mayor says". The Boston Globe.
  16. ^ Cerullo, Mac (December 8, 2023). "Renovations coming to LeLacheur Park, but return of Spinners unlikely". Boston Herald.
  17. ^ a b "New York–Penn League Champions". New York–Penn League. Minor League Baseball. Archived from the original on 2016-05-31. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "New York–Penn League Hall of Fame". New York–Penn League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 8, 2017.