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The International League (IL) is a minor league baseball league which operates in the eastern United Statesmarker. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so-named because it had teams in both the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker (and for several years in the 1950s in Cubamarker as well.) Its name is currently a misnomer: since the Ottawa Lynx relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvaniamarker, at the end of the 2007 season, the league now has teams only in the United Statesmarker.

History

The International League was created from the mergers of member teams from three precursor leagues: the Eastern League, founded in ; the New York State League, formed in ; and the Ontario League, also organized in 1885. The New York State and Ontario leagues merged in to form the International League, and in 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 , a franchise was awarded to Havana, Cubamarker, but due to political upheaval in that country it had to be moved — to Jersey City, New Jerseymarker — in the middle of the season. Another foray into the Caribbeanmarker failed when the newly-created team in San Juan, Puerto Ricomarker, added in , had to be moved to Charleston, West Virginiamarker in mid-season.

In , an International League all-star team beat the New York Yankees in an exhibition game in Rochester, New Yorkmarker, before 11,000 people. In , the all-stars lost to the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings before 11,032 fans in Columbus, Ohiomarker, to commemorate the league's 100th anniversary.

The International League and the American Association, another Triple-A league that operated in the Midwest, voted in to play interleague games. The league also split into two divisions that year. The interleague concept ended in , but the two league divisions remained.

In further interleague play, in 1988, the three Triple-A leagues, the other being the Pacific Coast League, met to play the first Triple-A All-Star Game. One team was made up of All-Stars from American League affiliates and the other of National League affiliates. Beginning in , a team of IL All-Stars faced off against a team of PCL All-Stars.

Also in 1998, with the addition of three new teams from the disbanded American Association and the new Durham Bulls expansion team, 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.

Since the league champion has met to play the PCL champion in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game, a single Triple-A Championship game. Previous class championship series included the Junior World Series and the Triple-A World Series.

Current teams

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
North Buffalo Bisons New York Mets Buffalo, New Yorkmarker Coca-Cola Fieldmarker 19,500
Lehigh Valley IronPigs Philadelphia Phillies Allentown, Pennsylvaniamarker Coca-Cola Parkmarker1 10,000
Pawtucket Red Sox Boston Red Sox Pawtucket, Rhode Islandmarker McCoy Stadiummarker 10,031
Rochester Red Wings Minnesota Twins Rochester, New Yorkmarker Frontier Fieldmarker 10,868
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees New York Yankees Moosic, Pennsylvaniamarker PNC Fieldmarker 10,310
Syracuse Chiefs Washington Nationals Syracuse, New Yorkmarker Alliance Bank Stadiummarker 11,117
South Charlotte Knights Chicago White Sox Fort Mill, South Carolinamarker Knights Stadiummarker 10,002
Durham Bulls Tampa Bay Rays Durham, North Carolinamarker Durham Bulls Athletic Parkmarker 10,000
Gwinnett Braves Atlanta Braves Lawrenceville, Georgiamarker Gwinnett Stadium 10,099
Norfolk Tides Baltimore Orioles Norfolk, Virginiamarker Harbor Parkmarker 12,067
West Columbus Clippers Cleveland Indians Columbus, Ohiomarker Huntington Parkmarker 10,000
Indianapolis Indians Pittsburgh Pirates Indianapolis, Indianamarker Victory Fieldmarker 15,500
Louisville Bats Cincinnati Reds Louisville, Kentuckymarker Louisville Slugger Fieldmarker 13,131
Toledo Mud Hens Detroit Tigers Toledo, Ohiomarker Fifth Third Fieldmarker 10,300


1 Hosting the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game


Current team rosters

Final 2009 season standings

North Division

South Division

West Division

y-division champions

x-wild card champions

Playoffs

2009

See also



External links




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