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PRESS BOX

Getting to Know: American Association

10/20/2010 8:55 AM -

The American Association was first formed in 1902 as an independent minor league for the Midwestern area of the United States. The original members of the league were the St. Paul Apostles, the Minneapolis Millers, the Kansas City Cowboys, the Toledo Mud Hens, the Indianapolis Indians, the Louisville Colonels, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Columbus (OH) Senators. In 1903, the AA joined the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, and for the next half century the league was one of the most renowned minor leagues in the nation.

Beginning with the Boston Braves move to Milwaukee in 1953, the American Association began to lose teams as Major League Baseball began placing organizations in AA towns. This movement, along with a change in the economics of minor league baseball, saw the league eventually close its doors in 1963. The surviving teams then joined the Pacific Coast League and International League, both Triple-A leagues.

The American Association quickly returned in 1969 as MLB expansion created a need for more Class AAA farm clubs. The original six members of the revamped American Association were the Indianapolis Indians, the Omaha Royals, the Tulsa Oilers, the Denver Bears, the Iowa Oaks and the Oklahoma City 89ers. Wichita and Evansville joined the following season to push the amount of teams to eight.

The league remained until 1997 when minor league baseball again went through realignment, in which the AA was again dropped. As happened previously, the teams were absorbed by the other Triple-A leagues.

In the fall of 2005, talks began with independent teams from the Northern and Central Leagues. On October 11, 2005 those discussions became reality and the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball was formed. Initially the league was a 10-team entity, and remained at that number when Wichita and Grand Prairie replaced St. Joseph and Coastal Bend in 2008.

Now, entering the 2011 season, the addition of four prominent organizations in Kansas City, Winnipeg, Fargo-Moorhead and Gary SouthShore have pushed the league to 14 teams and again solidified the AA as a premier entity in minor league baseball.

The T-Bones are excited to begin a new chapter with the AA and welcome the world’s greatest fans to join them in the journey! To keep up-to-date with all the league news throughout the season, visit the American Association website at http://www.americanassociationbaseball.com/index.php