The New York–Penn League is a Minor League Baseball league which operates in the northeastern United States. It is classified as a Class A Short Season league; its season starts in June, after major league teams have signed their amateur draft picks to professional contracts, and ends in early September.
As of the 2018 season, the league includes 14 teams from eight different states. In addition to New York and Pennsylvania, from which the league draws its name, the NYPL also has clubs in Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, and Connecticut.
|New York–Penn League|
|President||Ben J. Hayes|
|No. of teams||14|
|Tri-City ValleyCats (2018)|
|Most titles||Oneonta Yankees (12)|
|Classification||Class A Short Season|
|Official website||Official Website|
The league was founded in 1939 with the name Pennsylvania – Ontario – New York League in a hotel in Batavia, New York. This was generally shortened to PONY League. The original teams included the Batavia Clippers, Bradford Bees, Hamilton Red Wings, Jamestown Jaguars, Niagara Falls Rainbows, and Olean Oilers; all were based in or near Western New York. The Oilers, a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate, won both the regular-season and playoff championships. Batavia is the last remaining charter city in the league.
The Hamilton Red Wings folded early in the 1956 season, and with no more teams in Ontario, the league adopted its current name in 1957. The league crossed back into Canada with the formation of the St. Catharines Blue Jays in 1986. They were joined by the Hamilton Redbirds in 1987 and the Welland Pirates in 1989, but all three clubs had moved back to the United States by 2000.
The New York–Penn circuit was originally a Class D league (the minors' lowest classification through 1962). It was a full-season Class A league from 1963 through 1966, and became a short-season Class A league in 1967.
New York–Penn League teams may have no more than three players on their active lists that have four or more years of prior combined Major League/Minor League service, with the exception of position players changing roles to become pitchers and vice versa. Teams can eliminate up to one year of Minor League service for players who have spent time on the disabled list.
By July 1 of each year, all clubs must have at least 10 pitchers.
The maximum number of players under team control is 35, 30 of whom may be active. However, only 25 may be in uniform and eligible to play in any given game.
|McNamara||Aberdeen IronBirds||Baltimore Orioles||Aberdeen, Maryland||Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium||6,300|
|Brooklyn Cyclones||New York Mets||Brooklyn, New York||MCU Park||7,000|
|Hudson Valley Renegades||Tampa Bay Rays||Wappingers Falls, New York||Dutchess Stadium||4,494|
|Staten Island Yankees||New York Yankees||Staten Island, New York||Richmond County Bank Ballpark||7,171|
|Pinckney||Auburn Doubledays||Washington Nationals||Auburn, New York||Falcon Park||2,800|
|Batavia Muckdogs||Miami Marlins||Batavia, New York||Dwyer Stadium||2,600|
|Mahoning Valley Scrappers||Cleveland Indians||Niles, Ohio||Eastwood Field||6,000|
|State College Spikes||St. Louis Cardinals||University Park, Pennsylvania||Medlar Field at Lubrano Park||5,570|
|West Virginia Black Bears||Pittsburgh Pirates||Granville, West Virginia||Monongalia County Ballpark||2,500|
|Williamsport Crosscutters||Philadelphia Phillies||Williamsport, Pennsylvania||BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field||2,366|
|Stedler||Connecticut Tigers||Detroit Tigers||Norwich, Connecticut||Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium||6,270|
|Lowell Spinners||Boston Red Sox||Lowell, Massachusetts||Edward A. LeLacheur Park||4,767|
|Tri-City ValleyCats||Houston Astros||Troy, New York||Joseph L. Bruno Stadium||4,500|
|Vermont Lake Monsters||Oakland Athletics||Burlington, Vermont||Centennial Field||4,400|
League champions have been determined by different means since the New York–Penn League's formation in 1939. For a few seasons in the 1960s and 1970s, no playoffs were held and the league champions were simply the regular season pennant winners. Most seasons, however, have ended with playoffs to determine a league champion.
The Oneonta Tigers have won 12 championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Auburn Mets/Twins/Phillies/Doubledays (8) and the Jamestown Falcons/Expos (7). Among active franchises, Auburn has won 8 championships, the most in the league, followed by the Staten Island Yankees (6) and the Batavia Clippers/Pirates/Muckdogs (4).
(Current teams in bold)
The New York–Penn League Hall of Fame was established in 2012 to honor league players, managers, and executives for their accomplishments or contributions to the league in playing or administrative roles. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class of seven men in 2012. New members are elected before the start of each season.
The Aberdeen IronBirds are a Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The IronBirds play in the New York–Penn League and are based in the city of Aberdeen in Harford County, Maryland.
The team is currently owned by retired Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr.. Ripken Jr. purchased the team, then known as the Utica Blue Sox, and moved them to his hometown of Aberdeen in time for the 2002 season. The IronBirds play their home games at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, which is visible from I-95. On August 16, 2006, the IronBirds played host to the New York–Penn League All-Star Game. Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium was also used for the Cal Ripken World Series in 2003 and 2004, forcing the team to go on extended road trips, 20 or more games, during the youth competition. The Cal Ripken World Series moved across the street to Cal Sr.'s Yard in 2005.
The name "IronBirds" was chosen for two reasons: Cal Ripken's "Ironman" streak of 2,632 consecutive baseball games played and the team's affiliation with the Orioles (the Baltimore team is often referred to as "The Birds"). The former team logo featured a silver airplane marked with Ripken's number 8, which also refers to the nearby Aberdeen Proving Ground U.S. Army installation.
The team mascots are gray birds named Ferrous and Ripcord.
The record of most RBIs in a single month was set by Robbie Widlansky in July 2008.
On August 26, 2013, Conor Bierfeldt hit his 12th home run of the season, setting a new IronBirds single-season record. He broke the previous record held by David Anderson set in the 2010 season.
On September 2, 2013, The IronBirds clinched their first McNamara Division Title.Auburn Doubledays
The Auburn Doubledays are a Minor League Baseball team of the New York–Penn League (NYPL) and the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They are located in Auburn, New York, and play their home games at Leo Pinckney Field at Falcon Park which opened in 1995 and seats 2,800 people. They previously played at the original Falcon Park which was built in 1927 on the same site. The team is owned and operated by Auburn Community Baseball.
Auburn began in the NYPL in 1958 and has since competed under various names and served as the farm team for a number of Major League Baseball teams. The Doubledays and its mascot, Abner, are named for Abner Doubleday, the Civil War general and Auburn native apocryphally credited with inventing the game of baseball. Abner wears number 96 in honor of the birth of the team in 1996.Brooklyn Cyclones
The Brooklyn Cyclones are a minor league baseball team based in Brooklyn, New York, that plays in the Short-Season A classification New York–Penn League, affiliated with the New York Mets. The Cyclones play at MCU Park just off the Coney Island boardwalk in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.
In its franchise history, the team has won seven division titles. As the Brooklyn Cyclones, the team has won five division titles, made the playoffs eight times and in 2001, the Cyclones were declared co-league champions with the Williamsport Crosscutters, being forced to prematurely end their championship series due to the September 11 attacks, despite the Cyclones leading the series one game to none.Connecticut Tigers
The Connecticut Tigers are a minor league baseball team located in Norwich, Connecticut. They are members of the New York–Penn League (NYPL). The Connecticut Tigers are a Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play their home games at Senator Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium. They were previously known as the Oneonta Tigers.
The Tigers ensure affiliated baseball will stay in Norwich despite the relocation of the former Double-A Eastern League's Connecticut Defenders to Richmond, Virginia, where they are now called the Richmond Flying Squirrels.Elmira Pioneers
The Elmira Pioneers are an amateur baseball team based in Elmira, New York. They currently compete in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, a wood bat collegiate summer baseball league. They played in several state leagues in New York intermittently from 1885 to 1931, but from 1932 to 1995, the team was a professional baseball club in the minor leagues, affiliated with many major league teams throughout their history. They play their home games at Dunn Field.Hudson Valley Renegades
The Hudson Valley Renegades are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays. The team is a member of the New York–Penn League, a Class A Short Season league. The Renegades play at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, New York.
The team was founded as the Erie Sailors and was originally affiliated with the Texas Rangers. They moved to the Hudson Valley in 1994 and became part of the Tampa Bay organization in 1996.
The Renegades have won three New York–Penn League championships, in 1999, 2012 and 2017. The organization has produced major leaguers such as Scott Podsednik, Jorge Cantu, Ryan Dempster, Joe Kennedy, Craig Monroe, Matt Diaz, Evan Longoria, Josh Hamilton, John Jaso, Wade Davis and Toby Hall. Doug Waechter threw the only no-hitter in Renegades history on August 10, 2000 against the Pittsfield Mets. Scott Podsednik became the first former Renegade to win a World Series with the Chicago White Sox, defeating a Houston Astros club which included former Renegades Brandon Backe and Dan Wheeler. On August 14, 2007, The Renegades hosted the third annual New York–Penn League All-Star Game at Dutchess Stadium.
Team promotions include a "Fun Team" that promotes between-inning entertainment. Marvin Goldklang is the team's majority owner. Goldklang also has stakes in several other minor league baseball teams, including the Charleston RiverDogs and St. Paul Saints. Ex-manager Matt Quatraro coined the name Gades in 2000. Their mascots are raccoons: Rookie (the Renegade) Raccoon, Rookie's wife Rene Gade, Rascal (Rookie & Rene's son), and occasionally, Rookie's father Roofus.Jamestown Jammers
The Jamestown Jammers were a minor league baseball team based in Jamestown, New York from 1994 until 2014. The team was the Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and played in the New York–Penn League. The team played all of their home games at Russell Diethrick Park.
On August 25, 2014, a week before the end of the 2014 season, it was announced that the team would cease operations in Jamestown and be relocated to Morgantown, West Virginia, beginning in 2015. That year, the club, which is owned by Bob Rich, Jr., began play at Monongalia County Ballpark, as the West Virginia Black Bears.
The Jamestown Jammers intellectual property is separate from the franchise and survived after the minor league franchise relocated. From 2015 to 2018, the Jammers name was used for collegiate summer baseball teams.Lowell Spinners
The Lowell Spinners are a Class A Short Season Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. Founded in 1996 after Clyde Smoll moved the Elmira Pioneers to Lowell, Massachusetts, the Spinners play in the New York–Penn League, which has a Class A Short Season classification with 76 games a year, 38 of which are at home.
The official mascots of the Spinners are Canaligator, Allie-Gator, and Millie-Gator. They were introduced on January 19, 1996, July 8, 1999, and Opening Day 2006, respectively.For the 1996 and 1997 seasons, the Spinners played at Stoklosa Alumni Field. Since 1998, they have played at Edward A. LeLacheur Park in Lowell.Mahoning Valley Scrappers
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are a minor league baseball team based in Niles, Ohio, a city in the valley of the Mahoning River. The Scrappers play in the Pinckney Division of the Short-Season A classification New York–Penn League and are affiliated with the Cleveland Indians. In 2004, the Scrappers won the New York–Penn League championship.
The Scrappers' home field is Eastwood Field, opened in 1999 as Cafaro Field, located behind the Eastwood Mall on U.S. Highway 422. In their first six seasons, the Scrappers averaged over 4,000 fans per game.Minor League Baseball rosters
As with nearly all North American professional team sports, the size of Minor League Baseball teams is limited by rosters. These size limits vary by each classification. All Major League Baseball-affiliated Triple-A and Double-A teams are limited to 25-man active rosters. Unaffiliated Mexican League teams have 35-man rosters, but are limited to 30 active players per game. Class A-Advanced and Class A teams are limited to 25 active players with a total of 35 players under control with additional limitations in regard to prior minor league experience. Teams at lower levels have 35-man active rosters with limitations on minor league service time. A team's reserve roster consists of players on the injured list, those who are restricted or suspended, or who are otherwise temporarily inactive. Major league players on rehabilitation assignments do not count against active roster limits.New York–Penn League Hall of Fame
The New York–Penn League Hall of Fame is an American baseball hall of fame which honors players, managers, and executives of the New York–Penn League of Minor League Baseball for their accomplishments or contributions to the league in playing or administrative roles. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2012. As of 2018, 27 individuals have been inducted into the New York–Penn League Hall of Fame.New York–Penn League rosters
Below are the full rosters and coaching staff of the 14 teams of Minor League Baseball's New York–Penn League.Oneonta Tigers
The Oneonta Tigers was a minor league baseball team located in Oneonta, New York. They were members of the New York–Penn League. The Tigers were the Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and played their home games at Damaschke Field. The team was relocated to Norwich, Connecticut, for the 2010 season.State College Spikes
The State College Spikes are a minor league baseball team based in State College, Pennsylvania. They play in the New York–Penn League and are the Class A Short Season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Spikes play their home games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University.
The team was founded in 1958 in Auburn, New York as an affiliate of the New York Yankees. Through its first two decades, the team's affiliation passed through the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. In 1978, however, the team was left without a parent club. Auburn fielded independent teams in the New York-Penn League—with new nicknames each year—until 1980. Erie-area businessmen Dave Masi and Joe Castelli propped up the franchise for the 1980 season, then moved it to Erie, as the Erie Cardinals, reflecting the new affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals. That affiliation lasted for 25 years, with three further relocations—to Hamilton, Ontario as the Hamilton Redbirds, Glens Falls, New York as the Glens Falls Redbirds and to Augusta, New Jersey as the New Jersey Cardinals.
The team settled in its current location in the State College area in 2006 and became known as the "State College Spikes". After one season with the Cardinals in State College, the Spikes ended their affiliation and became the new Class A-Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, starting in 2007 and ending in 2012. The Spikes, once again, switched affiliations back to the Cardinals for the 2013 season.Staten Island Yankees
The Staten Island Yankees are a minor league baseball team, located in the New York City borough of Staten Island. Nicknamed the "Baby Bombers", the Yankees are a Short-Season A classification affiliate of the New York Yankees and play in the New York–Penn League at Richmond County Bank Ballpark along the waterfront in St. George. The Yankees last won the league championship in the 2011 season.Tri-City ValleyCats
The Tri-City ValleyCats (often shortened to 'Cats) are a Minor League Baseball team based in Troy, New York. They play in the New York–Penn League (NYPL) as the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball club. The Tri-City name refers to the three nearby cities of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy which make up New York State's Capital District. Beginning play in 2002, the ValleyCats are the Capital Region's longest-tenured professional sports organization. They play their games at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium which opened in 2002 on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College. They won the NYPL championship in 2010, 2013, and 2018.Vermont Lake Monsters
The Vermont Lake Monsters are a Minor League Baseball team in the Class A Short Season New York–Penn League affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. The team plays its home games at Centennial Field, one of the oldest minor league stadiums, on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, Vermont.
The team was previously located in Jamestown, New York, (as the Jamestown Expos) from 1977 to 1993.West Virginia Black Bears
The West Virginia Black Bears are a Minor League Baseball team based in Granville, West Virginia. The team began play in the New York–Penn League in 2015 as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is owned by Bob Rich, Jr. and plays at Monongalia County Ballpark, which is across the Monongahela River from Morgantown and West Virginia University.
In August 2014, it was announced that the Jamestown Jammers would cease operations and move to Morgantown. On October 22, the team announced that they would be named the "Black Bears" following a fan vote, as the American black bear is the state animal of West Virginia. Other finalists included Black Diamonds, Canaries, Coal Kings, Coal Sox, Energy, Moonshiners, Muskets, Wild Ones, and Wonder.In January 2015, Wyatt Toregas was named as their inaugural manager. The Black Bears won the New York–Penn League wild card in their inaugural season. The team then defeated the Williamsport Crosscutters and the Staten Island Yankees to win the 2015 New York–Penn League Championship.Williamsport Crosscutters
The Williamsport Crosscutters are a Class A-Short Season Minor League Baseball team based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in the United States. They are a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate in the short-season New York–Penn League, playing their home games at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, the second oldest minor league ballpark in the United States.
New York–Penn League