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Midwest League History

The Cities of the Midwest League

The League's history is a history of cities. Teams have home towns, and team names generally reflect those homes. Within their city, teams are objects of pride, of joy, of dismay. You might consider this page a brief map of each city's baseball history.


These tables list every city which has hosted a team in the Midwest League or its predecessors, the Illinois State and Mississippi-Ohio Valley Leagues. The table includes information about the years each town hosted an MWL team, and shows each town's participation in other leagues.


[Search]
New
19jan97
Changed
31aug10
Major Change
21sep07

MWL Fan's Guide

As best I can manage, these lists are complete within the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (i.e., the "official" minor leagues) and for teams under the National Agreement which controlled minor league ball prior to the formation of the Association. Recent participation in independent leagues is indicated for Lafayette, Madison, Rockford, and Springfield.

Some of these towns' teams may also have participated in "outlaw" leagues, in the minor Negro leagues, or have had representation in other leagues. I'll add any such information I may encounter.


The All American Girls Professional Baseball League (A League of Their Own) played mostly in MWL cities. The Midwest League towns which hosted AAGPBL teams are indicated on the table.

Three MWL cities (Fort Wayne, Rockford, and Keokuk) were members of the National Association, the original major league; these, too, are marked on the table in appropriate places.


Notes

I've counted the teams with regional names within their local town (i.e., Battle Creek instead of Michigan or Southwest Michigan, and Appleton for both Wisconsin and Fox Cities).

Ballparks I recognize as suburban are marked in the Notes column.

I've counted Quad City as a Davenport team, but have included information about Rock Island and Moline, the other Quad Cities towns which have hosted minor league teams, in their places. I've treated Michigan's Tri-Cities (Midland, Bay City, Saginaw) similarly.

Two teams collapsed in mid-season, and moved to other towns; those are marked with asterisks in appropriate places and with comments in the Notes column. (One collapse consequence is that Dubuque hosted two teams for the last month of the 1962 season.)



History
Overview
Predecessors
1947-59
1960-69
1970-79
1980-89
1990-99
2000-09
Cities
Spring

Illinois

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Belleville 3 1947-49    
Canton *1 1952* Illinois-Missouri, 1908-13 succeeded Vincennes in June 1952
Centralia 6 1947-52 Eastern Illinois, 1907  
Danville 12 1951-54
1970-76
1982
Central Interstate, 1888
Central, 1900
Kitty, 1906
Eastern Illinois, 1908
Three-I, 1910-14, 1922-32, 1946-50
 
Decatur 23 1952-74 Central Interstate, 1888
Illinois-Indiana, 1889
Central, 1900
Three-I, 1901-09, 1911-15, 1922-32, 1935, 1937-42, 1946-50
Northern Association, 1910
 
Geneva 16 1991-present   aka Kane County, 1991-present
Marion 2 1947-48   Frontier, 2007
Mattoon 11 1947-57 Kitty, 1906
Eastern Illinois, 1907-08
aka Mattoon-Charleston, 1906
Moline *0   Three-I, 1914-17, 1919-23, 1937-41
Mississippi Valley, 1924-32
Central Association, 1947-48
see Rock Island
see Davenport (Quad City)
Mount Vernon 8 1947-54 Southern Illinois, 1910  
Paris 10 1950-59 Eastern Illinois, 1907-08  
Peoria 24 1983-present Northwestern, 1883-84, 1891
Central Interstate, 1888-90
Illinois-Iowa, 1892
Western Association, 1894-98
Central, 1900, 1904, 1917, 1934
Western, 1902-03
Three-I, 1905-17, 1919-32, 1935, 1937, 1953-57
Mississippi Valley, 1933
AAGPBL, 1946-51
 
Quincy 14 1960-73 Northwestern, 1883-84
Central Inter-State, 1889-90
Illinois-Iowa, 1891-92
Western Association, 1894-99
Iowa State, 1907
Central Association, 1908-10
Three-I, 1911-17, 1925-32, 1946-56
Mississippi Valley, 1933
 
Rock Island *0   Illinois-Iowa, 1892
Western Association, 1894, 1898-99
Eastern Iowa, 1895
Three-I, 1901-11, 1916-17, 1920-21
Central Association, 1914
Mississippi Valley, 1922-33
Western, 1934-37
see Davenport (Quad City)
aka Rock Island-Moline, 1892, 1894
Rockford 12 1988-99 National Association, 1871
Northwestern, 1879
Central Inter-State, 1888
Illinois-Iowa, 1891-92
Western Association, 1895-97, 1899
Three-I, 1901-04, 1915-17, 1919-23
Wisconsin-Illinois, 1908-14
Central Association, 1947-49
Frontier, 2002-present
AAGPBL, 1943-54
 
Springfield 15 1950
1982-95
Northwestern, 1883
Central Interstate, 1889
Western Association, 1895
Central, 1900
Three-I, 1903-14, 1925-32, 1935, 1938-42, 1946-49
Mississippi Valley, 1933
American Association, 1978-81
Frontier, 1996-2001
AAGPBL, 1948
 
West Frankfort 4 1947-50    

Indiana

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Fort Wayne 14 1993-present National Association, 1871
Northwestern, 1883-84, 1891
Indiana State, 1890
Western, 1892
Western Inter-State, 1895
Inter-State, 1896-1900
Western Association, 1901
Central, 1903-04, 1908-15, 1917, 1928-30, 1932, 1934, 1948
Inter-State Association, 1906
Three-I, 1935
AAGPBL, 1945-54
 
Kokomo 7 1955-61 Indiana State, 1890, 1896, 1900
Northern State of Indiana, 1909
 
Lafayette 3 1955-57 Central Interstate, 1888
Illinois-Iowa, 1889
Western Inter-State Association
Northern State of Indiana, 1909-11
Great Central, 1994
Mid-America, 1995
Heartland, 1996-98
 
Michigan City 4 1956-59    
South Bend 19 1988-present Central, 1903-12, 1916-17, 1932
Southern Michigan Association, 1914-15
AAGPBL, 1943-54
 
Vincennes *3 1950-52* Kitty, 1903-06, 1910-11, 1913
Eastern Illinois, 1908
moved to Canton, 7 June 1952

Iowa

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Burlington 45 1962-present Central Interstate, 1889-90
Illinois-Iowa, 1890
Eastern Iowa, 1895
Western Association, 1895-98
Iowa State, 1904-07
Central Association, 1908-16, 1947-49
Mississippi Valley, 1924-32
Three-I, 1952-61
 
Cedar Rapids 45 1962-present Illinois-Iowa, 1890-91
Eastern Iowa, 1895
Western Association, 1896-97, 1899
Three-I, 1901-09, 1920-21, 1938-42, 1950-61
Central Association, 1913-17, 1949
Mississippi Valley, 1922-32
Western, 1934-37
 
Clinton 53 1954-present Easern Iowa, 1895
Iowa State, 1906
Three-I, 1907-08, 1937-41
Northern Association, 1910
Central Association, 1914-17, 1947-49
 
Davenport 47 1960-present Northweatern, 1879
Western Association, 1888
Central Inter-State, 1888-89
Illinois-Iowa, 1891
Three-I, 1901-06, 1909-16, 1946-52, 1957-58
Mississippi Valley, 1929-33
Western, 1934-37
aka Quad Cities/Quad City, 1961-present
see Rock Island
see Moline
Dubuque *18 1954-68
(1962*)
1974-76
Northwestern, 1879
Central Inter-State, 1888
Illinois-Iowa, 1890
Eastern Iowa, 1895
Western Association, 1895-99
Three-I, 1903-15
Central Association, 1917
Mississippi Valley, 1922-32
also hosted Keokuk's successor, "Midwest", after Keokuk failed in 1962
Keokuk *5 1958-62* National Association, 1875
Western, 1885, 1935
Iowa State, 1904-07
Central Association, 1908-15, 1947-49
Mississippi Valley, 1929-33
Three-I, 1952-57
failed on 7 August 1962 (to Dubuque)
Waterloo 36 1958-93 Eastern Iowa, 1895
Iowa State, 1904-07
Central Association, 1908-09, 1913-17
Three-I, 1910-11, 1938-42, 1946-56
Mississippi Valley, 1922-32
Western, 1936-37
 

Kentucky

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Paducah 2 1949-50 Central, 1897
Kitty, 1903-06, 1910-14, 1922-23, 1935-41, 1951-55
 

Michigan

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Battle Creek 12 1995-2006 Michigan State, 1895, 1902
Southern Michigan, 1906-09
Southern Michigan Association, 1910-15
Michigan-Ontario, 1919-21
AAGPBL, 1951-52
aka Michigan, 1995-2003
aka Southwest Michigan, 2005-06
Bay City *0   Northwestern, 1883-84, 1891
Ohio-Michigan, 1893
Michigan State, 1897, 1926
Interstate Association, 1906
Southern Michigan, 1907-09
Southern Michigan Association, 1910-15
Michigan-Ontario, 1919-26
see Midland (Great Lakes)
Grand Rapids 13 1994-present Northwestern, 1883-84, 1891
Michigan State, 1889-90, 1902, 1926, 1940-41
International Association, 1890
Western, 1894-97, 99
Inter-State, 1898-99
International, 1900
Western Association, 1901
Central, 1903-17, 1920-22, 1926, 1934, 1948-51
Michigan-Ontario, 1923-24
AAGPBL, 1945-54
aka West Michigan, 1994-present

Ballpark in Comstock Park.
Lansing 11 1996-present Michigan State, 1889-90, 1895, 1897, 1902, 1940-41
Southern Michigan, 1907-09
Southern Michigan Association, 1910-14
Central, 1921-22
 
Midland 0 2007-present   aka Great Lakes, 2007-present
see Bay City
see Saginaw
Saginaw *0   Northwestern, 1883-84
Michigan State, 1889, 1897, 1902, 1926, 1940-41
International Association, 1890
Ohio-Michigan, 1893
Inter-State, 1896
International, 1898, 1900
Inter-State Association, 1906
Southern Michigan, 1906, 1908-09
Southern Michigan Association, 1910-15
Michigan-Ontario, 1919-26
Central, 1948-51
see Midland (Great Lakes)
aka Saginaw-Bay City, 1890

Missouri

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Hannibal 4 1952-55 Illinois-Missouri, 1908
Central Association, 1909-1912, 1947-48
Three-I, 1916-17
 

Ohio

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Dayton 7 2000-present Ohio Association, 1884
Inter-State, 1885, 1897-1900
Tri-State, 1889-90
Northwestern, 1891
Western Association, 1901
Central, 1903-17, 1928-30, 1932, 1948-51
Middle Atlantic, 1933-42
Ohio State, 1946-47
 

Wisconsin

City Years Years Active Other Leagues Notes
Appleton 45 1962-present Wisconsin State, 1891, 1940-42, 1946-53
Wisconsin-Illinois, 1909-14
Three-I, 1958-61
aka Fox Cities, 1963-66
aka Wisconsin, 1995-present

1995-present: Ballpark in Grand Chute.
Beloit 25 1982-present Wisconsin Association, 1905  
Kenosha 8 1984-92 Frontier, 2003
AAGPBL, 1943-51
 
Madison 13 1982-94 Wisconsin State, 1907
Wisconsin-Illinois, 1908-14
Three-I, 1940-42
Northern League, 1996-2000
 
Wausau 16 1975-90 Wisconsin Association, 1905-06
Wisconsin State, 1907, 1946-53
Wisconsin-Illinois, 1908, 1912-14
Minnesota-Wisconsin, 1909-11
Northern, 1936-42, 1956-57
 
Wisconsin Rapids 21 1963-83 Wisconsin State, 1940-42, 1946-53  

Sources:

Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, eds, The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, Durham, Baseball America, 1993; 2nd ed, 1997, 3rd ed, 2007.
Peter Filichia, Professional Baseball Franchises, New York, Facts on File, 1993.
Assorted Baseball America Almanacs.
All American Girls Professional Baseball League website.
Assorted news sources have provided more recent information.



The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

Disclaimers:
This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


Copyright © 1996-2010 Joel Dinda
Some Rights Reserved.