1961 International League season
The 1961 International League season was the 76th in the league's history, and ended with the Buffalo Bisons winning their first Governors' Cup since 1957. The Bisons would go on to win their first Junior World Series.
Changes abounded in the IL this year. The Syracuse Chiefs reentered the league as the Minnesota Twins' Triple-A affiliate to replace the departed Montreal Royals. The Rochester Red Wings switched affiliations from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Baltimore Orioles, while the Miami Marlins moved to San Juan, PR and became the Cardinals' new Triple-A affiliate. The move was unsuccessful, and on May 19th, the league moved the team to Charleston, WV while retaining the Marlins name.
Toronto and Rochester finished the season tied for fourth, so a one-game playoff was held on September 11 in Rochester, NY for the last playoff spot. The Red Wings won 12-11 in 10 innings. Red Wing Jim Finigan was the hero, tying the game with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth and winning the game with a single in the 10th. This result is reflected in the standings below.
Playoff teams in bold.
|Columbus Jets||92||62||.597||—||Larry Shepard||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|San Juan/Charleston Marlins||88||66||.571||4||Joe Schultz||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Buffalo Bisons||85||67||.559||6||Kerby Farrell||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Rochester Red Wings||77||78||.497||15½||Clyde King||Baltimore Orioles|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||76||79||.490||16½||Johnny Lipon/Tim Thompson||None|
|Richmond Virginians||71||83||.461||21||Cal Ermer||New York Yankees|
|Jersey City Jerseys||70||82||.461||21||Nap Reyes||Cincinnati Reds|
|Syracuse Chiefs||56||98||.364||36||Gene Verble/Frank Verdi||Minnesota Twins|
|First Round||Governors' Cup Finals|
|4||Rochester Red Wings||4|
|4||Rochester Red Wings||1|
Governors' Cup Finals
Jim Mandelaro and Scott Pitoniak, Silver Seasons. Syracuse University Press, 1995.
Brian Bennett, On A Silver Diamond: The Story Of Rochester Community Baseball from 1956-1996. Triphammer Publishing, 1997.
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, editors. Baseball America, 1993.