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The Western International League was a mid- to higher-level minor league baseball circuit in the northwest United States and western Canada. Informally known as the "Willy" loop,[1][2] it operated in 1922, 1937–1942, and 1946–1954.[3][4] In 1955, the league changed its name to the Northwest League,[5] and still operates today as a Class A-Short Season loop under that name.

Western International League
SportMinor League Baseball
Inaugural season1922, 1937
Ceased1954, became
Northwest League
(1955–present)
PresidentRoger Peck (1937)
F.H. Knickerbocker
(1938–1939)
Stanley A. Webster (1940)
Robert Abel (1941–1954)
No. of teams13
CountryUnited States & Canada
Most titles4, (Spokane, Vancouver)
ClassificationClass B  (1922, 1937–1942; 1946–1951)
Class A  (1952–1954)
Official websitenorthwestleague.com

The WIL consisted of teams in the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.[1] It was a Class B league through 1951 and was upgraded to Class A in 1952. In its final season in 1954, it started with ten teams in Calgary, Edmonton, Lewiston, Salem, Spokane, KennewickRichlandPasco (playing as "Tri-City"), Vancouver, Victoria, Wenatchee, and Yakima.[6] Three teams did not finish the season (Spokane, Victoria, Calgary).[7] The final champion was the Vancouver Capilanos, who swept the Lewiston Broncs in four games. Vancouver was the first half champion while third-year Lewiston won the second half.[8]

Throughout much of the 1930s and 1940s, its teams were largely unaffiliated with major league farm systems and provided talent to the strong Pacific Coast League of the era.

Member teamsEdit

ChampionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Lewiston OK's enlargement of Willy loop". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). October 23, 1952. p. 10.
  2. ^ "Willy loop race tighter". Ellensburg Daily Record. (Washington). Associated Press. July 17, 1953. p. 6.
  3. ^ "Spokane gets berth in new ball league". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. November 8, 1954. p. 18.
  4. ^ "Indians "on first" in baseball plans". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. November 9, 1954. p. 14.
  5. ^ Missildine, Harry (April 20, 1972). "Northwest League goes back to 1890". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 22.
  6. ^ "Baseball standings: Western International". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. May 1, 1954. p. 8.
  7. ^ "Pennant progress: Western International". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. September 8, 1954. p. 17.
  8. ^ "Vancouver takes WIL crown, 12-2". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. September 13, 1954. p. 11.
  • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3.