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Appalachian League

Appalachian League
Appalachian League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1937
No. of teams 10
Country USA
Most recent champion(s) Johnson City Cardinals
Official website Official Website

The Appalachian League of Professional Baseball is a Rookie-class minor league baseball team that began play in 1937 with one year of inactivity in 1956. From 1937 to 1962, it was a Class D League. Teams are located in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee. The league's season starts in June, after major league teams have signed players that they selected in the annual amateur draft, and ends in September.

Along with the Pioneer League, it forms the second-lowest rung on the minor league ladder. Although classified as a Rookie league, the level of play is slightly higher than that of the two "complex" Rookie leagues, the Gulf Coast League and Arizona League. Unlike these two leagues, Appalachian League games charge admission and sell concessions.

Earlier incarnations of the league operated, more centrally around Tennessee, from 1911 to 1914 and 1921 to 1925 at the Class D level.


The original Appalachian League only existed for four seasons from 1911-1914 and all teams were independent with no MLB affiliation. The teams that were a part of this were: Asheville Moonshiners, Bristol Boosters, Cleveland Counts, Johnson City Soldiers, Knoxville Appalachians, and Morristown Jobbers.[1]

The second Appalachian League existed for five seasons from 1921-1925, and again only had independent teams. These teams were the Bristol State-Liners, the Cleveland Manufacturers, the Greeneville Burley Cats, the second iteration of the Johnson City Soldiers, the Kingsport Indians, and the Knoxville Pioneers. 1921 was the first appearance of 2 locations which have present-day teams in the Appalachian League – Kingsport, Tennessee, with the present-day Kingsport Mets; and Greeneville, North Carolina, with the present-day Greeneville Astros.[2]

The third Appalachian league was shifted to D-level minor league, the lowest level in the pre - 1963 MLB. It started in 1937 and had four teams - the Elizabethton Betsy Red Sox, the third iteration of the Johnson City Soldiers, the Newport Canners, and the Pennington Gap Lee Bears.[3]


The Appalachian League is one of two rookie class leagues that have their attendance measured, and are also considered to be an Advanced Rookie League. The other League is the Pioneer League.

According to the Official Site of the Rookie Appalachian League,[4] these are the 2013 Attendance Statistics:

Team Total Openings Average
Bluefield Blue Jays 28,232 33 856
Bristol White Sox 20,309 29 700
Burlington Royals 32,200 26 1,238
Danville Braves 25,152 28 898
Elizabethton Twins 24,725 31 798
Greeneville Astros 45,261 33 1,372
Johnson City Cardinals 25,612 31 826
Kingsport Mets 23,476 31 757
Princeton Rays 24,610 33 746
Pulaski Mariners 25,842 33 783

Current teams

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
East Bluefield Blue Jays Toronto Blue Jays Bluefield, West Virginia and
Bluefield, Virginia
Bowen Field 3,000
Burlington Royals Kansas City Royals Burlington, North Carolina Burlington Athletic Stadium 3,500
Danville Braves Atlanta Braves Danville, Virginia American Legion Field 2,588
Princeton Rays Tampa Bay Rays Princeton, West Virginia H. P. Hunnicutt Field 3,000
Pulaski Yankees New York Yankees[5] Pulaski, Virginia Calfee Park 2,500
West Bristol Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates Bristol, Virginia Boyce Cox Field at DeVault Memorial Stadium 2,000
Elizabethton Twins Minnesota Twins Elizabethton, Tennessee Joe O'Brien Field 2,000
Greeneville Astros Houston Astros Greeneville, Tennessee Pioneer Park 4,000
Johnson City Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals Johnson City, Tennessee Howard Johnson Field 3,800
Kingsport Mets New York Mets Kingsport, Tennessee Hunter Wright Stadium 2,000

Current team rosters

Complete team list (1911-14)

Complete team list (1921-25)

Complete team list (1937-55, 1956-present)

See also


External links