The Inter-American League was one of the shortest-lived minor leagues of the 1970s. Founded in 1979 after being organized by Bobby Maduro, the league shrank from six teams to four then folded on June 30 of that year. Problems included expensive plane fares for the international flights needed, customs and visa issues, and rainouts eliminating 70 games from the schedule. Also, only Caracas had a television deal and only three teams had full-season radio contracts, limiting incomes. The league was not able to sustain itself financially.
The league was conceived relatively hastily, and was based more on political considerations - the announcement of its founding was made at the Headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, DC - with too little marketing efforts. It was composed of fully independent teams but was part of Organized Ball, being considered a AAA circuit, having received support from Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. However, it did not have the support of the long-standing winter leagues in Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, who saw the league as a serious threat.
The teams were the:
- Caracas Metropolitanos in Venezuela
- Maracaibo Petroleros de Zulia in Venezuela
- Miami Amigos in the USA
- Panama Banqueros in Panama
- Puerto Rico Boricuas in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Santo Domingo Azucareros in the Dominican Republic
The league leaders were:
- Jim Tyrone, .364 batting average
- Wayne Tyrone, 8 homers
- Brock Pemberton, 51 RBI
- Mike Wallace, 11 wins
- Ron Martinez, 0.89 ERA
- Al Williams, 52 strikeouts
- John Cronin: "When a Dream Plays Reality in Baseball...: Roberto Maduro and the Inter-American League", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 88-93.