Thursday, February 8, 2024

Canadian Minor League Baseball

 Hello Friends!

I just finished the book Canadian Minor League Baseball: A History Since WWII

It details the year by year results and happenings for the Canadian based teams in the different minor leagues. 
The start documents the International League's teams in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. (Toronto and Montreal lasted much longer than Ottawa)

Obviously we know Jackie Robinson got his start in "Organized Baseball" in Montreal. There were many Brooklyn Dodgers stars that went through Montreal, really too many to mention, though it is interesting to see names like Gene Mauch, Roland Gladu, Al Campanis, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, and Roy Hartsfield.
Really there seems to be a number of managers that played for the Royals. Hartsfield, Mauch, Lasorda, and Sparky Anderson. 
The Royals were affiliated with the Dodgers until the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, putting their affiliation in Spokane. 
The Toronto Maple Leafs were the complete opposite. They had affiliations with the Phillies, Athletics, Browns, Indians, and stints as an unaffiliated team. 
Leon Day played for the Leafs. As did Elston Howard, Sparky Anderson (who also started his managing career here) Chuck Tanner, Mack Jones, Bobby Knoop, Dennis Menke, Rico Carty and Phil Roof. 
(Interesting that Carty and Roof played for both the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays) 
By time 1967 rolled around, attendance and stadium issues caused the team to be sold and moved to Louisville.

Other Leagues mentioned were the ManDak, Western International League, Northern League, PONY, The Provincial League (run in Quebec) Eastern League, NYP, the Independent Northern League, American Association (current), Frontier League, Northeast/Can-Am League, Northwest League, Pioneer League, and Pacific Coast League. 

Things I found out through the book:
Canadians were very hospitable to black players
The Canadian Baseball League maybe needed more time to plan and get things together before trying to run.. 
Booms and lulls boiled down to the economy, people having options for entertainment, and weather. 
Edmonton and Calgary will probably never see another minor league team
Nation capitals seem to not be very great at hosting teams.. (Ottawa had a number of minor league teams both in Organized and Independent ball that never really got off the ground) 
One team in London was going to be called the Rippers.. Until backlash hit. Then they became the Werewolves. 

If you enjoy reading about minor league teams and want to learn more about it in a Canadian angle, this book can be insightful. 

Until next time!


  1. Wondering if the book covered the Canadian-American League, which was around in the 1930s and 1940s and included Northern NY teams from where I live. ... Also, the Ottawa Lynx moving made me sad. I liked their nickname and it's a lot better than "Iron Pigs".