California Winter League

California Winter League is a former baseball winter league. It was the first integrated league in the 20th century as players from Major League Baseball and Negro League Baseball played each other in training games. The league was in existence from the turn of the 20th century to 1947.

Events leading to formation

The California League, which began in 1879, had a four-year interruption and in 1895, four teams started playing during the winter months. The teams, located in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose played for one month but by 1897 the Northern California Winter League was formed.[1]:p.11 It consisted of teams located in four cities: Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and Sacramento. and began as the Southern California Winter League before its name was shortened. By 1915, the California League had folded, unable to withstand competition from the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The California Winter League, originally known as the Southern California Winter League, began as a semi-pro level league in 1900 and was graded at "probably Class A level by 1910."[1]:p.12 Eleven all-white teams opened the 1906–07 season. Teams included: Anaheim, Fullerton, Hamburgers, Hoegee Flags, Los Angeles Morans, Los Angeles Pacifics, Pasadena, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Tufts-Lyons.[1]:p.24 To begin the 1908–09 season, the league comprised 11 teams, including the Santa Ana Yellow Sox who featured starting pitcher Walter Johnson.

Integration (1910)

In 1909, black players would arrive to the state and play in the California Winter League. Negro League teams, including Rube Foster's Leland Giants, would go west for the winter and play top white teams. While the teams were not integrated, this made the California Winter League the first integrated league in the U.S. in the 20th century. The Giants were the first Negro league team to join the league during the 1910–11 season.[1]:p.3

Black teams hesitated to travel to California to play in games during periods of the league's existence, such as 1917–1919 when black players were not allowed to play in PCL ball parks.[1]:p.13 White players risked being barred from participating in games at times due to prohibition by Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was staunchly against integration.

The Philadelphia Royal Giants were the Negro league team which won the most number of championships, nine.[2]

Notable players

Among the Hall of Famers to appear in the California Winter League were Johnson, Satchel Paige, Stan Musial, Turkey Stearnes, Arky Vaughan, Smokey Joe Williams, Bob Feller, Bullet Joe Rogan, Kiki Cuyler, Rube Foster, Dizzy Dean, Buck Leonard, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Dave Bancroft, Willie Foster, Earl Averill Sr., Bob Lemon, Cool Papa Bell, Ralph Kiner, Heinie Manush, Hilton Smith, Red Ruffing and Max Carey. Other stars included Dobie Moore, Babe Herman, Chet Brewer, Mule Suttles, Bob Meusel, Wild Bill Wright, Dazzy Vance, Wally Berger, Biz Mackey, Sammy T. Hughes, Newt Allen, Sammy Bankhead, John Beckwith, Tank Carr and Gavvy Cravath. The most prominent individual in the league's history was Joe Pirrone. Schedules were usually about 10–20 games, with white teams often taking turns against the black team. Some years the league consisted only of one black team and one white team. At its peak, the league talent level has been estimated to be between AA and AAA.


The league finished its run in 1946; the integration of Major League Baseball, increased exhibition contests between black and white players and limiting rules by long-time league opponent Landis helped end its history.[3]

All-time leaders

Notes and references

  • Source: "The California Winter League" by William McNeil
  1. ^ a b c d e McNeil, William F. (2002). The California Winter League: American's First Integrated Professional Baseball League. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1301-8. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Winter League Teams". Center for Negro League Baseball Research. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  3. ^ [1]

External links

Andy Cooper

Andrew Lewis Cooper (April 24, 1898 – June 3, 1941), nicknamed "Lefty", was an American left-handed pitcher in baseball's Negro Leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. An alumnus of Paul Quinn College in Waco, Cooper played nine seasons for the Detroit Stars and ten seasons for the Kansas City Monarchs. The Texan was 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) tall and weighed 220 pounds (100 kg; 16 st).

In defiance of a threatened five-year Negro league ban for contract jumping, Cooper joined a 1927 barnstorming team that toured Hawaii and Japan. He spent most of his later career with the Monarchs. Cooper is the Negro league record holder for career saves. In a 1937 playoff game, he pitched 17 innings. Cooper served as manager or player-manager for the Monarchs from 1937 to 1940, leading the team to the pennant three times during those four seasons.

Arizona Winter League

The Arizona Winter League was an independent winter instructional baseball league. All Winter League games were played at Desert Sun Stadium in Yuma, Arizona. The league was founded in 2007. It disbanded in 2013 due to parent league, the Golden Baseball League/North American League, folding, but was restarted in 2016.

Bill Allington

William Baird "Bill" Allington (October 26, 1903 – August 17, 1966) was an American Minor league baseball player and manager. Listed at 5' 9", 160 lb., Allington batted and threw right-handed. He was born in St. Clair County, Michigan.

Allington spent 31 years in baseball as a player (15), coach (4) and manager (12). He started his professional career as an outfielder, playing from 1926 through 1940 with ten teams of four different leagues. Between 1926 and 1934, he played in the Blue Ridge League (1926–27), Western League (1926–28, 1930–32), Southern Association (1929, 1933–34) and Pacific Coast League (1929–30). He also played nine years in the California Winter League circuit (1932–40).

Allington hit .300 or more in eight of his nine minor league years career. His most productive season came in 1931, when he led the Western League hitters with a .374 batting average, even though he was left off of the All-Star Team after leading the league in several offensive statistics, including stolen bases (36), triples (23), total bases (335) and runs scored (167), while adding nine home runs and 92 runs batted in. In addition, he ended fifth in doubles (49), and his .984 fielding percentage was the second-best of any starting outfielder in the Western League that season.

Allington posted a career-average of .327 in 1145 games, including a .508 slugging percentage, and hit .273 with a .494 slugging in the California Winter League.

Following his playing career, Allington coached in the minors from 1941 to 1944, before landing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, to become the most successful manager in the league's history. With Allington at the helm, the Rockford Peaches reached the playoff six times, winning the AAGPBL Championship Title in 1945 and in consecutive years from 1948 to 1950. Allington later managed the Fort Wayne Daisies in 1953 and 1954, leading them to the playoffs in both seasons.

From 1945 to 1954, Allington posted a 583-398 record for a .594 winning percentage, never had a losing season and is the all-time leader in victories in the AAGPBL. He also was an active scout talent for the league.

The AAGPBL folded in 1954, but the following year Allington formed two women’s touring teams called Allington’s All-Stars, a barnstorming remnant of the league. The Allington All-Stars played 100 games between 1955 and 1958, each booked in a different town, against male teams, while traveling over 10,000 miles in the manager's station wagon and a Ford Country Sedan. The Allington All-Stars included players as Joan Berger, Gloria Cordes, Jeanie Descombes, Gertrude Dunn, Betty Foss, Mary Froning, Jean Geissinger, Katie Horstman, Maxine Kline, Dolores Lee, Magdalen Redman, Ruth Richard, Dorothy Schroeder, Jean Smith, Dolly Vanderlip and Joanne Weaver, among others.

Bullet Rogan

Charles Wilber "Bullet" Rogan, also known as "Bullet Joe" (July 28, 1893 – March 4, 1967), was an American pitcher and outfielder for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro baseball leagues from 1920 to 1938. Renowned as a two-way player who could both hit and pitch successfully, one statistical compilation shows Rogan winning more games than any other pitcher in Negro leagues history and ranking fourth highest in career batting average. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Rogan's early baseball career took place in the U.S. Army, where he played for a famous team in the all-black 25th Infantry. After joining the Kansas City Monarchs, he was the top pitcher and one of the best hitters on a team that won three pennants from 1923 to 1925 and the Negro League World Series in 1924. He became a playing manager in 1926 and led his team to another league title in 1929.

"Charleston was everything—but Rogan was more", said William "Big C" Johnson, one of Rogan's Army teammates. "Rogan could do everything, everywhere." "He was the onliest pitcher I ever saw, I ever heard of in my life, was pitching and hitting in the cleanup place", said Satchel Paige. According to Rogan's longtime catcher Frank Duncan, "If you had to choose between Rogan and Paige, you'd pick Rogan, because he could hit. The pitching, you'd as soon have Satchel as Rogan, understand? But Rogan's hitting was so terrific. Get my point?" Casey Stengel called Rogan "one of the best—if not the best—pitcher that ever lived."

California Winter League (2010)

The California Winter League is an instructional showcase league for free agent baseball players who are looking to earn a professional contract before spring training begins. The league was created by Andrew Starke in 2010. The league takes place in Palm Springs, CA at the Palm Springs Stadium complex which is a former spring training facility of the Angels. In 2019, the CWL will celebrate its 10th season as players report to Palm Springs on February 4th, 2019. Over the previous 9 seasons, over 650 former CWL players have earned a contract following the CWL and gone on to play professionally. Fans are welcome for game days and can enjoy promotions such as $2 Beers on Saturdays as well as discounted admission prices for locals, out of state residents, and Canadian residents on specific days throughout the week.

Canada A's

The Canada A's are an independent professional baseball team representing Canada (and Cathedral City, California) that will be based in Palm Springs, California as a part of the new California Winter League. They play their games in a short-season schedule from January to February at Palm Springs Stadium along with the Palm Springs Chill, Coachella Valley Snowbirds and Palm Desert Coyotes.

They started as Team Canada in the rival Arizona Winter League, a short-season instructional winter league affiliated with the Golden Baseball League and played in the International Division. But they were reported to have left the AWL and joined the CWL as the Canada A's.

Chet Brewer

Chester Arthur "Chet" Brewer (January 14, 1907 – March 26, 1990) was an American right-handed pitcher in baseball's Negro Leagues. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs, and from 1957 to 1974 he scouted for the Pittsburgh Pirates.Brewer toiled on the mounds of black baseball for twenty-four years with an assortment of teams throughout the world, including China, Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and in forty-four of the forty-eight continental United States.

While with the Kansas City Monarchs, Brewer was a part of legendary starting rotations including Satchel Paige and Bullet Rogan. Brewer had a lively fastball and a devastating overhand "drop ball," which was especially tough on left-handed hitters. He also threw a scuffed baseball, known as an "emery ball" (learned from Emory Osborne and Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe.) when such practice was legal.Brewer's career covered a wide experiential range, including playing against major leaguers in exhibition games. In 1934 he pitched against an all-star team that included Jimmie Foxx and Heinie Manush, and later was manager of the Kansas City Royals, who played in the California Winter League against Bob Feller and other major leaguers. In 1945, he managed the Kansas City Royals of the California Winter League, coaching among other players a young Jackie Robinson, already destined for the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization.In 1952 Brewer was as player-manager for the Porterville Comets of the Southwest International League,

becoming one of the first black managers in Minor League Baseball history, as he joined Sam Bankhead, who a year earlier played and managed for the Farnham Pirates of the Provincial League. At 45, Brewer posted a 6-5 record in 24 pitching appearances (seven starts), posting a 3.38 ERA for the fourth-best in the league.Brewer died at age 83 in Whittier, California.

Darrell Evans

Darrell Wayne Evans (born May 26, 1947) is a former third baseman and first baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1969 to 1989 with the Atlanta Braves (1969–76, 1989), San Francisco Giants (1976–83) and Detroit Tigers (1984–88). He is also the former manager and director of player personnel for the Victoria Seals of the Golden Baseball League.

Overshadowed in his prime by fellow National League third baseman Mike Schmidt, he has been described by author Bill James as "the most underrated player in baseball history, absolutely number one on the list", primarily because his defensive skill, home run power, and ability to draw walks in a long career were offset by a low career batting average of .248. He remains one of the few players to have hit over 400 career home runs without being seriously considered for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Dobie Moore

Walter "Dobie" Moore (February 8, 1896 - August 20, 1947) was an American shortstop and right-handed batter in the Negro Leagues who played his entire career with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League. His career ended after only seven seasons when he shattered his already injured leg while escaping a woman who had shot him.

Frank Duncan (baseball, born 1901)

Frank Duncan (born February 14, 1901 in Kansas City, Missouri – December 4, 1973 in Kansas City, Missouri) was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues from 1920 to 1948. He was primarily a catcher for the Kansas City Monarchs, handling their pitching staff from 1921 through 1934 as the team won five pennants between 1923 and 1931. While playing part-time, he managed the Monarchs to two pennants in 1942 and 1946. He caught two no-hitters with the Monarchs, in 1923 and 1929.

History of Riverside, California

Riverside, California, was founded in 1870, and named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. It became the county seat when Riverside County, California, was established in 1893.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014.

The name Royals pays homage to the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City since 1899 as well as the identical names of two former negro league baseball teams that played in the first half of the 20th century (one a semi-pro team based in Kansas City in the 1910s and 1920s that toured the Midwest and a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles in the 1940s that was managed by Chet Brewer and included Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson on its roster). The Los Angeles team had personnel connections to the Monarchs but could not use the Monarchs name. The name also fits into something of a theme for other professional sports franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the former Kansas City Kings of the NBA, and the former Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League.

In 1968, the team held a name-the-team contest that received more than 17,000 entries. Sanford Porte, a bridge engineer from the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner for his “Royals” entry. His reason had nothing to do with royalty. “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant,” Porte wrote. The team's board voted 6-1 on the name, with the only opposition coming from team owner Ewing Kauffman, who eventually changed his vote and said the name had grown on him.Entering the American League in 1969 along with the Seattle Pilots, the club was founded by Kansas City businessman Ewing Kauffman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics (Kansas City's previous major league team that played from 1955 to 1967) moved to Oakland, California in 1968. Since April 10, 1973, the Royals have played at Kauffman Stadium, formerly known as Royals Stadium.

The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs seven times from 1976 to 1985, winning one World Series championship and another AL pennant, led by stars such as Amos Otis, Hal McRae, John Mayberry, George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive throughout the early 1990s, but then had only one winning season from 1995 to 2012. For 28 consecutive seasons (1986–2013), the Royals did not qualify to play in the MLB postseason, one of the longest postseason droughts during baseball's current wild-card era. The team broke this streak in 2014 by securing the franchise's first wild card berth and advancing to the World Series. The Royals followed this up by winning the team's first Central Division title in 2015 and defeating the New York Mets for their first World Series title in 30 years.

List of defunct minor baseball leagues in the United States

This is a list of defunct minor baseball leagues in the United States.

Oakland (California League) Baseball Team

Several different minor league baseball teams played in the city of Oakland, California in the California League (and its alternate names) starting in 1879 until 1915. From that point, the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League took over as the main team in Oakland.

Palm Desert Coyotes

The Palm Desert Coyotes are an independent professional baseball team that is based in Palm Springs, California as a part of the California Winter League. They play their games in a short-season schedule from January to February at Palm Springs Stadium and at the nearby Palm Springs High School baseball field, along with the Palm Springs Chill, Canada A's and Coachella Valley Snowbirds and several other teams. The Coyotes didn't play in 2012 due to a team suspension of operations. They were replaced by the winter league version of the Palm Springs Power. The Coyotes returned in 2013.

Palm Springs Chill

The Palm Springs Chill are an independent baseball team based in Palm Springs, California. They are co-owned by the Palm Springs Power and play their home games at Palm Springs Stadium. Andrew Starke is the team president and Darrell Evans is the manager.

Palm Springs Stadium

Palm Springs Stadium is a stadium in Palm Springs, California. It is primarily used for baseball. It used to be named Angels Stadium and was the home field of the Palm Springs Suns of the Western Baseball League in 1995 and 1996. Palm Springs Stadium is the home of the Palm Springs Power, of the collegiate summer Southern California Collegiate Baseball Association. In 2018 the stadium is now the official home of the Palm Springs Collegiate League. The stadium has a seating capacity of 5,185.

Satchel Paige

Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (July 7, 1906 – June 8, 1982) was an American Negro league baseball and Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who is notable for his longevity in the game, and for attracting record crowds wherever he pitched.

Paige was a right-handed pitcher, and at age 42 in 1948, was the oldest major league rookie while playing for the Cleveland Indians. He played with the St. Louis Browns until age 47, and represented them in the All-Star Game in 1952 and 1953.

He was the first player who had played in the Negro leagues to pitch in the World Series, in 1948, and was the first electee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1971.Paige first played for the semi-professional Mobile Tigers from 1924 to 1926. He began his professional baseball career in 1926 with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Negro Southern League and became one of the most famous and successful players from the Negro leagues. While his outstanding control as a pitcher first got him noticed, it was his infectious, cocky, enthusiastic personality and his love for the game that made him a star. On town tours across the United States, Paige would sometimes have his infielders sit down behind him and then routinely strike out the side. He played his last professional game on June 21, 1966, for the Peninsula Grays of the Carolina League.

Tiffany Brooks

Tiffany Brooks (born February 18, 1977) is a free agent, right-handed pitcher and first baseman in independent league baseball.Brooks was the first female baseball pitcher in the 21st century to sign a contract with a professional American men's baseball team when she signed with the Big Bend Cowboys of the Continental Baseball League. After successfully completing Spring Training (April 30- May 4, 2010) in Alpine, Texas, Brooks was the first woman to make an American men's professional baseball Opening Day roster since Ila Borders in 2000. Brooks had a brief stint with the team before seeking her own release to pursue other playing opportunities.

Tiffany Brooks is also the first and only female baseball player to ever play in all three Independent professional instructional leagues: California Winter League, Arizona Summer League, and Arizona Winter League. She is the first and only female player to compete in the California Winter League (2011), the Arizona Summer League (2011), the World Free Agent Spring Training event in Florida (2012), and one of two women to ever compete in the Arizona Winter League (2010).

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