Monday, September 5, 2011

This Day in 1901: Minor League Baseball Founded in Chicago

On this day (September 5) in 1901, a group of minor league baseball team executives met a the Leland Hotel in Chicago to found the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL). Today, that association is known simply as Minor League Baseball, and is made up of affiliates of Major League Baseball. The Peoria Chiefs (a Chicago Cubs"Class A" affiliate) and the Kane County Cougars (a "Class A" affiliate of the Kansas City Royals) are Illinois' two Minor League Baseball teams.

Of course, the Prairie State also has a number of minor league teams that are not affiliated with major league ball clubs. They play in what are known as Independent Leagues. They include the Joliet Slammers (my family's team of choice), the Windy City Thunderbolts (in Crestwood, IL), the Lake County Fielders (owned by actor Kevin Costner and located in Zion, IL), the Normal Cornbelters, the Southern Illinois Miners, the Rockford Riverhawks and the Gateway Grizzlies (who play in Sauget, Illinois). Up until last year, Schaumburg was home to the Flyers baseball team, but they are now defunct. It was just announced that the owners of the Gary (IN) Railcats have purchased a 100% stake in what a new yet-to-be-named team that will play in Schaumburg beginning next year.

As I wrote, the Joliet Slammers is my family's minor league team of choice.  It's a great family atmosphere and much more affordable than attending a Major League Baseball game.  The Slammers play in the beautiful Silver Cross Field, located in downtown Joliet, right across from historic Union Station.  Here's a quick photo I shot while entering a Slammers game in July:

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