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This article refers to the modern 'Atlantic League. For the original incarnations of the Atlantic League, which operated between 1896 and 1915, see Atlantic League


The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, especially the greater metropolitan areas of Baltimoremarker, New York Citymarker, Philadelphiamarker, and Washington, D.C.marker It operates in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The Atlantic League requires cities to have the market for a 4,000 to 7,500-seat ballpark and for the facility to be maintained at or to exceed AAA standards.

The Atlantic League exists so that professional baseball players who are not signed by a Major or Minor League organization could have another chance at playing at a higher level. Although the level of Atlantic League play can be categorized as between AA and AAA, players in independent baseball are usually not scouted heavily by Major League teams. Many former Major League ballplayers have called Atlantic League teams home in an effort get back to the Majors. The league also caters to players who are not quite talented enough to play at a higher level.

History

In 1998, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball played its inaugural season. The creation of the league was the result of the New York Mets' objection to Frank Boulton's proposal to move the former Albany-Colonie Yankees to Long Islandmarker. The Mets objected to the move because of its territorial rights to the region. Boulton, a Long Island native, decided to create a new league that would have a higher salary cap for its players and a longer season than most of the other independent baseball organizations. He modeled the Atlantic League after the older Pacific Coast League, with facilities that exceed AAA-level standards. Boulton also emphasized signing players of Major League Baseball experience for all Atlantic League teams, raising the level of play above other independent leagues.

The Long Island Ducks continue to be a strong draw in the region, averaging 400,000 fans a season, and have seen the likes of such Major League alumni as Edgardo Alfonzo, Pedro Borbón, Jr., José Offerman, Donovan Osborne, Bill Pulsipher, Armando Ríos, John Rocker, and Mark Whiten. In 2007, Frank Boulton expressed his contentment with the Atlantic League and the Ducks to Baseball America, saying: "The Long Island Ducks are the best thing I've ever done in baseball."

Expansion

  • Opening Day Partners is close to breaking ground on a new ballparkmarker in the Northern Virginia market, specifically in the Kincora Village development near the Washington Dulles International Airportmarker. In a public hearing of the Loudoun Countymarker supervisors on June 8, 2009 to move the project forward, a majority of the public present were in favor of the development, and the vote passed by a vote of 7-2 among the supervisors. On June 29th, the team cleared the next hurdle by gaining the recommendation of the Board of Supervisors' Transportation/Land Use Committee by a vote of 2-1. The team is expected to debut in the 2011 season.


Current franchises

Atlantic League of Professional Baseball
Division Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
Freedom Lancaster Barnstormers 2005 Lancaster, Pennsylvaniamarker Clipper Magazine Stadiummarker 6,200
Newark Bears 1998 Newark, New Jerseymarker Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadiummarker 6,200
Somerset Patriots 1998 Bridgewater, New Jerseymarker TD Bank Ballparkmarker 6,100
York Revolution 2007 York, Pennsylvaniamarker Sovereign Bank Stadiummarker 5,200
Division Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
Liberty Bridgeport Bluefish 1998 Bridgeport, Connecticutmarker The Ballpark at Harbor Yardmarker 5,300
Camden Riversharks 2001 Camden, New Jerseymarker Campbell's Fieldmarker 6,425
Long Island Ducks 2000 Central Islip, New Yorkmarker Citibank Parkmarker 6,002
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 2008 Waldorf, Marylandmarker Regency Furniture Stadiummarker 6,000


Atlantic League Championship Series

Year Winner Division Games Loser Division Games
1998 Atlantic City Surf South 3 Bridgeport Bluefish North 1
1999 Bridgeport Bluefish North 3 Somerset Patriots North 0
2000 Nashua Pride North 3 Somerset Patriots South 0
2001 Somerset Patriots South 3 Newark Bears North 2
2002 Newark Bears South 3 Bridgeport Bluefish North 0
2003 Somerset Patriots South 3 Nashua Pride North 2
2004 Long Island Ducks North 3 Camden Riversharks South 0
2005 Somerset Patriots South 3 Nashua Pride North 0
2006 Lancaster Barnstormers South 3 Bridgeport Bluefish North 0
2007 Newark Bears North 3 Somerset Patriots South 1
2008 Somerset Patriots Liberty 3 Camden Riversharks Freedom 1
2009 Somerset Patriots Liberty 3 Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Freedom 1


see Atlantic League records

Alumni

(past and present)








 


References

  1. Baseball America's 2007 Independent organization of the year
  2. Atlantic League eyes expansion in Virginia
  3. Baseball stadium plans met with mixed reviews
  4. Board Committee Endorses Kincora Ballpark


See also



External links



Team websites




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