American Association

From BR Bullpen

Note: This page links to the former minor league that existed from 1902 to 1962 and 1969 to 1997. For the major league, which existed from 1882 to 1891, click here. For the independent league, which started play in 2006, click here.

The Original Minor League[edit]


In 1902 the American Association, abbreviated AA (not to be confused with Class AA minor league baseball), re-formed as an outlaw circuit stationed in the midwest with teams in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, St. Paul, Columbus, Louisville and Toledo. Those 8 cities comprised the bulk of the league until 1952, when MLB teams began moving into league cities; by '61, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee and KC all hosted big-league teams and the AA had moved south, adding Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. Without its long-time base, though, the league collapsed. LA pulled out of Omaha (the 6th team in a reduced-size circuit) and Omaha failed in its bid to become an independent team. George Trautman, a former AA president and head of the organization in charge of the minors (the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues), met with the AA, IL and PCL leaders for two days. On Thursday, November 29, the AA was dissolved into the other two top-tier minors. From 1902 to 1962, the AA had remained one of the top 3 minor leagues each year, in competition with the International League and Pacific Coast League. The AA and IL had met regularly in the Little World Series, later renamed the Junior World Series.

League Champions and MVPs[edit]

Starting in 1936, the four top teams in the Association (including the pennant winner) competed in Shaughnessy Playoffs to determine the representative to the Junior World Series.

Year League Champion Playoff Winner MVP
1902 Indianapolis Indians N/A
1903 St. Paul Saints N/A
1904 St. Paul Saints N/A
1905 Columbus Senators N/A
1906 Columbus Senators N/A
1907 Columbus Senators N/A
1908 Indianapolis Indians N/A
1909 Louisville Colonels N/A
1910 Minneapolis Millers N/A
1911 Minneapolis Millers N/A
1912 Minneapolis Millers N/A
1913 Milwaukee Brewers N/A
1914 Milwaukee Brewers N/A
1915 Minneapolis Millers N/A
1916 Louisville Colonels N/A
1917 Indianapolis Indians N/A
1918 Kansas City Blues N/A
1919 St. Paul Saints N/A
1920 St. Paul Saints N/A
1921 Louisville Colonels N/A
1922 St. Paul Saints N/A
1923 Kansas City Blues N/A
1924 St. Paul Saints N/A
1925 Louisville Colonels N/A
1926 Louisville Colonels N/A
1927 Toledo Mud Hens N/A
1928 Indianapolis Indians N/A
1929 Kansas City Blues N/A
1930 Louisville Colonels N/A
1931 St. Paul Saints N/A
1932 Minneapolis Millers N/A Pat Crawford, Columbus 1B
1933 Columbus Red Birds N/A
1934 Columbus Red Birds N/A
1935 Minneapolis Millers N/A
1936 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers Rudy York, Milwaukee 1B
1937 Columbus Red Birds Columbus Red Birds
1938 St. Paul Saints Kansas City Blues
1939 Kansas City Blues Louisville Colonels
1940 Kansas City Blues Louisville Colonels
1941 Columbus Red Birds Columbus Red Birds
1942 Kansas City Blues Columbus Red Birds
1943 Milwaukee Brewers Columbus Red Birds
1944 Milwaukee Brewers Louisville Colonels
1945 Milwaukee Brewers Louisville Colonels
1946 Louisville Colonels Louisville Colonels Jerry Witte, Toledo 1B
1947 Kansas City Blues Milwaukee Brewers Steve Gerkin, Minneapolis P
1948 Indianapolis Indians St. Paul Saints Les Fleming, Indianapolis 1B
1949 St. Paul Saints Indianapolis Indians Nanny Fernandez, Indianapolis 3B
1950 Minneapolis Millers Columbus Red Birds Ray Dandridge, Minneapolis 3B
1951 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers Al Unser, Milwaukee C
1952 Milwaukee Brewers Kansas City Blues Don Bollweg, Kansas City 1B
1953 Toledo Glass Sox Kansas City Blues Gene Conley, Toledo P
1954 Louisville Colonels Louisville Colonels Herb Score, Indianapolis P
1955 Minneapolis Millers Minneapolis Millers Rance Pless, Minneapolis 3B
1956 Indianapolis Indians Indianapolis Indians Marv Throneberry, Denver 1B
1957 Wichita Braves Denver Bears Carl Willey, Wichita P
1958 Minneapolis Millers Minneapolis Millers Wayne Terwilliger, Charleston 2B
1959 Minneapolis Millers Minneapolis Millers Bob Will, Fort Worth OF
1960 Denver Bears Louisville Colonels Steve Boros, Denver 3B
1961 Indianapolis Indians Louisville Colonels Cliff Cook, Indianapolis 3B
1962 Indianapolis Indians Louisville Colonels Jack Smith, Omaha P

The Re-formed Minor League[edit]

Travel expenses were too high for two AAA leagues, each taking half the country, so in '69 the American Association was reorganized for a third go-around. In addition, major league expansion helped increase the number of AAA teams needed. Indianapolis and Denver returned to the fold along with Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Des Moines and Omaha. Allie Reynolds became president of the "new" league, which introduced the DH to professional baseball. The league honored Reynolds by giving out the annual Allie Reynolds Award to the top pitcher in the circuit. The AA remained one of the strongest minor leagues until 1997, when cheaper travel and expansion again led to change. For the third time the AA closed its doors, with teams again being divided between the IL and PCL. The AA name was retained as a division in the PCL.

American Association Teams

League Champions and MVPs[edit]

Year Champion MVP
1969 Omaha Royals Bernie Carbo, Indianapolis RF
1970 Omaha Royals George Spriggs, Omaha OF
1971 Denver Bears Richie Scheinblum, Denver OF
1972 Evansville Triplets Pat Bourque, Wichita 1B
1973 Tulsa Oilers Cliff Johnson, Denver DH
1974 Tulsa Oilers Pete LaCock, Wichita 1B
1975 Evansville Triplets Hector Cruz, Tulsa 3B
1976 Denver Bears Roger Freed, Denver 1B
1977 Denver Bears Frank Ortenzio, Denver 1B
1978 Omaha Royals Champ Summers, Indianapolis OF
1979 Evansville Triplets Karl Pagel, Wichita OF
1980 Springfield Redbirds Randy Bass, Denver 1B
1981 Denver Bears Manny Castillo, Omaha 3B
1982 Indianapolis Indians Ken Phelps, Wichita 1B
1983 Denver Bears Mike Stenhouse, Wichita 1B
1984 Louisville Redbirds Alan Knicely, Wichita 1B
1985 Louisville Redbirds Steve Buechele, Oklahoma City 3B
1986 Indianapolis Indians Barry Larkin, Denver SS
1987 Indianapolis Indians Lance Johnson, Louisville OF
1988 Indianapolis Indians Luis de los Santos, Omaha 1B
1989 Indianapolis Indians Greg Vaughn, Denver OF
1990 Omaha Royals Juan Gonzalez, Oklahoma City OF
1991 Denver Zephyrs Jim Olander, Denver OF
1992 Oklahoma City 89ers Jim Tatum, Denver 3B
1993 Iowa Cubs Eddie Zambrano, Iowa OF
1994 Indianapolis Indians Dwayne Hosey, Omaha OF
1995 Louisville Redbirds Eric Owens, Indianapolis 2B
1996 Oklahoma City 89ers Lee Stevens, Oklahoma City DH
1997 Buffalo Bisons Magglio Ordonez, Nashville OF

Cities Represented (1902-1962, 1969-1997)[edit]

Hall of Fame Alumni[edit]

League Records[edit]

Stat Player Team Tot Yr
GA Red Shannon
Charlie Pechous
Freddie Maguire
Leo Durocher
Louisville Colonels
Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo Mud Hens
St. Paul Saints
BA George Stone Milwaukee Brewers .405 1904
AB Jay Kirke Louisville Colonels 730 1921
Runs Joe Mowry Minneapolis Millers 175 1932
Hits Jay Kirke Louisville Colonels 282 1921
RBI Bunny Brief Kansas City Blues 191 1921
2B Bill Knickerbocker Toledo Mud Hens 69 1932
3B Bert Daniels
Lance Richbourg
Louisville Colonels
Milwaukee Brewers
HR Joe Hauser Minneapolis Millers 69 1933
EBH Joe Hauser Minneapolis Millers 108 1933
TB Joe Hauser Minneapolis Millers 439 1933
Streak Doc Marshall
Howie Bedell
Milwaukee Brewers
Louisville Colonels
SB Vince Coleman Louisville Colonels 101 1984
Sac Dave Altizer Minneapolis Millers 61 1910
BB Nick Polly Louisville Colonels 147 1944
SO Jimmie McDaniel Denver Bears 174 1961
Stat Player Team Tot Yr
GA George Spencer Charleston Senators 85 1959
CG Dave Danforth Columbus Senators 35 1921
W Tom Hughes
Tom Sheehan
Minneapolis Millers
St. Paul Saints
L Jim Durham Kansas City Blues 26 1904
PCT Ben Tincup
Roy Parmelee
Louisville Colonels
Columbus Red Birds
1.000 9-0
.923 14-1
ERA George Merritt
Gene Dale
St. Paul Saints
Indianapolis Indians
IP Stoney McGlynn Milwaukee Brewers 446 1909
Win Streak Charley Hall St. Paul Saints 16 1915
SHO Stoney McGlynn Milwaukee Brewers 14 1909
SHO Streak Mike Jackson Omaha Royals 42 1972
SV Jay Baller Indianapolis Indians 34 1990


Further Reading[edit]

  • Robert A. French: Fifty Golden Years in the American Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, 1902-1951, Syndicate Printing, Minneapolis, MN, 1951.
  • Dennis Pajot: "Michael Kelley's 1906-08 Woes with Organized Baseball", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 44, Number 1 (Spring 2015), pp. 93-117.
  • Marshall Wright: The American Association, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 1997.

External Links[edit]