Western League (defunct Minor League)


Western League (defunct Minor League)

The Western League is a name given to several circuits in American minor league baseball. Its earliest progenitor, which existed from 1885 to 1899, was the predecessor of the American League. During the 20th century, there were four incarnations of the Western League, including a Class D loop that played from 1939-41 and an independent loop (outside of "organized baseball") that began play in 1995. This article, however, concentrates on the two Class A leagues that played from 1900-37 and from 1947-58.

The minor leagues went unclassified through 1901. From 1902 until 1911, Class A was the highest level in the minor leagues. In 1912, a new top tier, Class AA, was created; in 1936, a second tier, Class A1, came into being. In 1946, the Class AA leagues were renamed AAA, and the A1 loops were renamed AA. Thus the Western League - whose clubs were actually located in the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain States, the Upper Midwest and the Upper Southwest - was a top-level minor league until 1911, then two levels below Major League Baseball through 1935, and three steps removed in 1936-37 and when it was revived in 1947 during the post-war minor league baseball boom.

Its longest-serving franchise was located in Des Moines, Iowa, which joined the WL in 1900 and played continuously through 1937, when the league shut down during the Great Depression. Des Moines then rejoined the reborn Western circuit when Colorado Senator Edwin C. Johnson founded it in 1947; this team, a Chicago Cubs affiliate called the Des Moines Bruins, then played for the final 12 years of the league's existence.

Read more about Western League (defunct Minor League):  1900 League

Other related articles:

Western League (defunct Minor League) - 1900 League - The Post-World War II League
... In addition to Des Moines, the 1947 Western League consisted of teams in Sioux City, Pueblo, Omaha, Denver, and Lincoln ... All six clubs were affiliated with major league farm systems ...

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