Baseball USA

The North American Baseball System includes Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, Independent Baseball and the Men’s Amateur Baseball League (a National Tournament for the top Amateur Baseball teams in USA, which has included in its Senior League tournament MSBL the Ulster Buccaneers (also known as Ireland Buccaneers and UK & Ireland Buccaneers)

Major League Baseball

The Daddy of all Professional Sports Leagues, the National Professional Baseball Players Association (more commonly known as the National League) can trace its’ roots to the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first openly all-Professional sports team in the world. The Cincinnati Red Stockings incuded among the “First Boys of Summer” (that first ever Professional Team) an Irishman, Andy Leonard, born in Co. Cavan, who left Ireland as a baby during the famine. In all there have been 48 Irish-born Major League Baseball Players from 1869 to the present day. The American League was formed in 1901 and since 1903 has played for the “World Series” with the National League. The two leagues merged as Major League Baseball in 2001 although kept their National League and American League names and separate identities, with the two Champions still playing for the World Series.

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox - Major League Baseball Poster 5th, 6th, 7th June 1998
Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox – Major League Baseball Poster 5th, 6th, 7th June 1998

Picture Credit: Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox – Major League Baseball Poster 5th, 6th, 7th June 1998 – Author’s Personal Collection

Major League Baseball

American League; National League; Federal League; Negro Leagues

Major League Baseball | Irish Players:

Major League Baseball | 48 Irish Born MLB Players

P.J. Conlon | Irish Born Major League & Minor League Baseball Player 2015-2018

Major League Baseball (seasons):

1914 2019

Rival Major Leagues

Negro Major Leagues 1929-1936

Negro Major Leagues 1920-1928

Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball has 4 Levels (AAA – “Division 2”, AA – “Division 3”, A – “Division 4” and Rookie – “Division 5”. It is akin to the English Football League (EFL Championship, EFL League One and EFL League Two) and and the National League in English Soccer, in that they are levels below Major League Baseball and the English Premier League. Minor League Baseball is where players hone their skills in the hope of reaching the Majors, recuperate after injury or finish out their careers after the Major Leagues. There have been numerous Irish-born Minor League Baseball players throughout its’ history.

baseball match
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Minor League Baseball

Pacific Coast League; International League; Texas League.

Minor League Baseball Roll of Honour (Overviews)

International League Baseball Governor’s Cup Results 1933-Present

Pacific Coast League Baseball Champions 1903-Present

Texas League Baseball Champions 1888-Present

AAA Baseball (Seasons): 1991

AAA Baseball International League (Seasons):

2019 (P.J. Conlon)

Baseball Winter Leagues

Winter Baseball Leagues create a space for players to play out of the Major and Minor League Baseball seasons. Some are in the Caribbean, while other leagues, such as the Arizona Fall League are in the USA.

baseball player playing in baseball stadium
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AFL Arizona Fall League

Arizona Fall League (Standings and Playoffs)

Independent League Baseball

Independent League Baseball is a level below Minor League Baseball, consisting of Leagues which were set up to fill in the geographical gaps in the Minor League Baseball System, such as the Big 4 Indies: American Association (which opeartes in the Prairies and Plains), Atlantic League (Long Island and Chesapeake Bay), Frontier League (Illinois and Ohio Valley), Can-Am League (Quebec. Ottawa and New Jersey); Smaller Indies: Pacific Association (Hawai’i and Bay Area California); Pecos League (New Mexico and the Pecos Valley); North American League (Northern League: Hawai’i, Bay Area California and United League: Texas); United States Professional Baseball League (A travel league set in Upstate New York); Empire Professional Baseball League (New York City and Puerto Rico); Thoroughbred League (Kentucky). Recently the North American League dissolved with teams becoming part of the Pacific Association, while the Pecos League also took in refugees from the Minor League’s AA California League (Bakersfield Train Robbers and High Desert Yardbirds).

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Independent League Baseball

Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs

Champions: Roswell Invaders (2011), Alpine Cowboys (2012)

Baseball Amateur World Series

Irish teams have been competing in the Men’s Senior Baseball League Amateur World Series in Arizona since the 2010s. Ulster Buccaneers were the first, a team gathered together from Senior players in both Ireland and Britain, they have been competing in the MSBL Amateur World Series featuring teams from all over USA and Canada.

baseball player on field photo
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Men’s Senior Baseball League

MSBL Amateur World Series

Men’s Senior Baseball League  Amateur World Series (35+ / 40+ Age Group):

2019 2017