Triple-A (or Class AAA) refers to the highest level of play in minor league baseball. Each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams is affiliated with one Triple-A team. Teams at this level are divided into two leagues: the International League and the Pacific Coast League.
These teams usually hold the remaining 15 players of the 40 man roster who are not eligible to be on the major league club. Often referred to as a "parking lot" because many quality major league players (especially if they chose to sign with some of MLB's worst teams) are held in reserve at the minor league level for major league emergencies (since they would not have to clear waivers to be called up). Still, some of the top prospects might be assigned here if they are not quite ready for the major leagues, with a view towards being called up later in the season.
Players at this level who are on the 40-man roster of a major league team can be invited to come up to the major league club once the major league roster expands on September 1 (though teams will usually wait until their affiliates' playoff runs are over, should they qualify). For teams in contention for a pennant, it gives them fresh arms and bats. For those not in contention, it gives them an opportunity to evaluate their "next best" players for the next season under game conditions.
Teams are generally located in or near major cities that often (but not always) hold a team in some other professional sport, such as an NFL football or an NBA basketball franchise. The 30 cities that are home to Triple-A teams are:
International LeagueEditThe International League (IL) is a minor league baseball league which operates in the eastern United States and Canada. Like the Pacific Coast League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. The league was created from the mergers of member teams from three precursor leagues, the Eastern League, founded in 1884, the New York State League, formed in 1885, and the Ontario League, also organized in 1885. The New York State and Ontario Leagues merged in 1886 to form the International League, and in 1887 when the Eastern League was absorbed to create a 10-club league.
The league collapsed soon afterwards, when the northern teams claimed that it was too onerous to travel to the south, and formed the International Association. Teams and league names came and went over the years. In 1954, a franchise was awarded to Havana, Cuba, but it had to be moved in the middle of the 1960 season because of political upheaval in that country. It was moved to Jersey City, New Jersey. Another foray into the Caribbean failed when the newly-created team in San Juan, Puerto Rico, added in 1961, had to be moved to Charleston, West Virginia in mid-season.
In 1971, an International League all-star team beat the New York Yankees in an exhibition game in Rochester, New York, before 11,000 people. In 1984, the all-stars lost to the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings before 11,032 fans in Columbus, Ohio to commemorate the league's 100th Anniversary.
In 1988, the International League and the American Association, another Triple-A league which operated in the Midwest, voted to play interleague games. The league also split into two divisions in the same year. The interleague concept ended in 1992, but the two league divisions remained.
In 1998, with the addition of three new teams from the disbanded American Association and the Durham Bulls moving up to Triple-A from Class-A, the league reorganized into three divisions, the North Division, South Division, and West Division.
At the end of each season, the three divisional leaders and a wild card team square-off in best-of-5 playoffs, with the winning team of the finals awarded the Governors' Cup, the league's championship trophy.
Current Member Teams and StadiumsEdit
Current teams[[[International League|edit]]] as of July 8, 20013Edit
- List of International League champions
- Sports league attendances
- Triple-A World Series
- Governors' Cup
- List of defunct International League teams (1912-)
- A list of defunct team from International, Eastern, New York State, International Assn and
Eastern Assn teams from 1884 to the present day. (Some data be may be out of date.)
'International (1886, 1890)(A 1887)(AA 1913-45)'(AAA 1946+)
Eastern (1884)(A 1892-1908) (AA 1909-11)
New York' 'State' (1885)
International Assn (A 1888-89)
'Eastern Assn' (A 1891)
Akron, OH: 1920
Albany, NY: 1885, 1888, 1891-93, 1932-36
Allentown, PA: 1884
Little Rock "Arkansas": 1963
Atlanta, GA: 1962-65
Baltimore, MD: 1903-14, 1916-53
Baltimore/Lancaster, MD/PA: 1884
Baltimore/Harrisburg, MD/PA: 1915
Binghamton, NY: 1885-87, 1892-94, 1918-19
Binghamton/Allentown, NY/PA: 1894
Brooklyn, NY: 1884
Buffalo, NY: 1886-89, 1891-98, 1901-69
Buffalo/Montreal/Grand Rapids, NY/Que/MI: 1890
Buffalo/Winnipeg, NY/Man: 1970
Charleston, WV: 1971-83
Charlotte, NC: 1993+
Columbus, OH: 1955-70, 1977+
Detroit, MI: 1889-90
Elmira, NY: 1885, 1892
Erie, PA: 1893-94
Lawrenceville "Gwinnett County”: 2009
Hamilton, Ont: 1886-89, 1918
Hamilton/Montreal/Grand Rapids, Ont/Que/MI: 1890
Harrisburg, PA: 1884
Harrisburg/York, PA: 1884
Hartford, CT: 1899-1901
Havana, Cuba: 1954-59
Havana/Jersey City, Cuba/NJ: 1960
Indianapolis, IN: 1963
Jacksonville, FL: 1962-68
Jersey City, NJ: 1887, 1902-15, 1918-33, 1937-50, 1961
Lebanon, PA: 1891
Allentown “Lehigh Valley”: 2008-Present
London, Ont: 1888-90
Louisville, KY: 1968-72
Portland "Maine": 1984-88
Memphis, TN: 1974-76
Miami, FL: 1956-60
Montreal, Que: 1898-1902, 1904-17, 1928-60
Newark, NJ: 1884, 1887, 1916-19, 1921-49
Newark/Harrisburg, NJ/PA: 1915
Newark/Providence, NJ/RI: 1925
New Haven, CT: 1891-92
Norfolk, VA: 1993+
Oswego, NY: 1885-87
Oswego/Scranton, NY/PA: 1887
Ottawa, Ont: 1951-54, 1993-2007
Pawtucket, RI: 1973-75, 1978+
Hampton "Peninsula": 1972-73
Philadelphia, PA: 1892
Providence, RI: 1891-1917
Reading, PA: 1919-20
Reading/Albany, PA/NY: 1932
Providence “Rhode Island”: 1976
Richmond, VA: 1884, 1915-17, 1954-64, 1966+
Rochester, NY: 1885-89, 1891-92, 1895-96, 1898-Present
Rochester/Montreal, NY/Que: 1897
Saginaw, MI: 1890
San Juan/Charleston, P.R./WVA: 1961
Scranton, PA: 1895-97
“Scranton-Wilkes Barre”, PA: 1989+
Springfield, MA: 1893-1900, 1950-53
Syracuse, NY: 1885-89, 1891-92, 1894-1900, 1920-27, 1935-55, 1961-Present
Syracuse/Brockton: NY/MA: 1901
Syracuse/Hamilton: NY/Ont: 1918
Syracuse/Utica, NY: 1894
Norfolk “Tidewater”: 1969-92
Toledo, OH: 1889, 1965-Present
Toronto, Ont: 1886-90, 1895, 1897-1922, 1924-67
Toronto/Albany, Ont/NY: 1896
Trenton, NJ: 1884
Troy, NY: 1888, 1891-94
Troy/Scranton, NY/PA: 1894
Utica, NY: 1885-87
Wilkes-Barre, PA: 1893-98
Wilmington, DE: 1884
Winnipeg, Man: 1971
Worcester, MA: 1899-1900, 1902
Worcester/Montreal, MA/Que: 1902
|North Division||South Division||West Division|
|Buffalo Bisons | Ottawa Lynx | Pawtucket Red Sox | Rochester Red Wings | Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees | Syracuse Chiefs||Charlotte Knights | Durham Bulls | Norfolk Tides | Richmond Braves||Columbus Clippers | Indianapolis Indians | Louisville Bats | Toledo Mud Hens|
Pacific Coast LeagueEdit
- 1 Hosting the 2011 Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game
- 2 Hosting the 2011 Triple-A All-Star Game
Triple-A All-Star GameEdit
- Main article: Triple-A All-Star Game
The Triple-A All-Star Game is a single game held between the both Triple-A leagues. Each league fields a team composed of the top stars in their respective leagues as voted on by fans, the media, and club field managers and general managers.
The event has taken place every year since 1988 when the first Triple-A All-Star Game was played in Buffalo, New York. Prior to 1998, a team of American League Triple-A All-Stars faced off against a team of National League Triple-A All-Stars. Traditionally, the game has taken place on the day after the mid-summer Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
- Main article: Bricktown Showdown
Since 2006, the annual Bricktown Showdown has been held to serve as a single championship game between the champions of the International League and Pacific Coast League to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. It is held annually at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- ↑ "Triple-A Baseball Markets." Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved on 25 September 2008.
- ↑ "Bricktown Showdown To Determine Triple-A Baseball Champion." Triple-A Baseball. Press Release. 12 July 2006.