Foundations of US Major Professional Leagues

  • Northwestern League

    Northwestern League
    The Northwestern League was the first minor league baseball league that was designed to be a permanant feature and allow players to progress through toward the major leagues. The Northwestern League was dismembered at the end of the 1887 season as only two teams remained.
  • International League and Introduction of Triple A

    International League and Introduction of Triple A
    The international League was founded in 1884, and was called the Eastern League from (1884-1912 ).The Pacific Coast League was founded in 1946 and the American Association was formed in 1902 each as sub-leagues in Triple A. It served as an entry point for players to start a baseball career and possibly make it to the major Leagues.The AA dismembered in 1997 due to teams moving to the IL and PCL..
  • National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues

    National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues
    Today known as Minor League Baseball, it bagan with 14 leagues, and bolstered 96 teams. The NAPBL set way for other league to start to align themselves with professional baseball.
  • Texas League

    Texas League
    The Texas League was founded in 1902. Originally as a sepreate non-affiliated league soley for permanent minor leage players, todayIt is one of the sub-leagues in the Double A minor league system along with the Eastern League and Souther league. The Eastern Lerague was founded in 1923, and the Southern League was founded in 1964.
  • Formal End to the NBBL

    Formal End to the NBBL
    The National Basket Ball League formally terminates in 1904 due to a lack of support in fans. Why?
  • The Northwestern League is revived

    The Northwestern League is revived
    The Northwestern league comes back as a professional minor league affiliate for the major league baseball. It was based in the Northwest with teams in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and British Columbia.They would again disban after a short lived 12 years.
  • Western Association

    Western Association
    The replacement of the Norwestern League forms as the Western Association.Served as the primary minor league for professional baseball at the time. However the Northwestern Association was also prominent at the time of its establishment, 1934 is when professional teams strated to use affiliates form the Western Association. The Western Assocication would break up in 1954 after 49 years in opporation.
  • Formation of the Florida State League

    Formation of the Florida State League
    The Florida State League is a subdivision of the Class A Advanced League of minor league baseball along with the California League, and Carolina League.. The California League was founded in 1941, and Caronlina League in 1945
  • Introduction of Farm Teams

    Introduction of Farm Teams
    in 1921, an agreement was signed that allowed major league teams to own minor league tesms. This was then used as a way to set up a farm system for each major league tema like we see today.
  • American Basketball League Forms

    American Basketball League Forms
    Another recognized league forms. The ABL forms when Joseph Carr, President of the NFL, depends on nine of his best independent professional teams to sponsor teams for a league. Interesting Note: Winner of first and second half of season played for the championship at the end of the season. This is very similar to MLB's minor league playoff system (winner of first and second half of season are both guarenteed playoff spots).
  • International-American Hockey League

    International-American Hockey League
    The Candadian-American Hockey league and the International Hockey League merged becoming the International-American Hockey league ("International" dropped in 1940). This merger happened because both leagues were down to the minimum number of teams. In 2002 leagues membership increases to 27 teams. Fred Glover is one of many AHL members to go to the NHL to coach or to play.
  • MLB Affiliates

    MLB Affiliates
    In the beginning of the 1937 season professional baseball teams decided to start using other leagues as legitimate affiliates. No longer were these leagues just secondary leagues, but now they were able to more readily contribute to the majors.
  • National Basketball League

    National Basketball League
    NBL forms in Midwest behind market and corporate teams including; General Electric, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and Goodyear Tire Company. Fort Wayne Gerneral Electrics, Firestone Non-Skids, Akron Wingfoots respectively.
  • Northwest League

    Northwest League
    The Northwest League, formerly known as the Western International League was founded in 1937. New York Penn League was established in 1939. Today they are subleagues to the minor league Class A Short Season league.
  • Formation of the Appalachian League

    Formation of the Appalachian League
    The Appalachian League is one of the six rookie leagues affiliated with the MLB. The other league include the Pioneer League (1939), the Arizona League (1989), the Gulf Coast League (1964), the Dominican Summer League (1985), and the Venezulan Summer League (1997).
  • Basketball Association of America

    The BAA forms and appoints Maurice Podoloff (alreadying President of American Hockey League). Owners target big cities in hope to compete with the NBL's many midwest corporate teams. Three NBL teams transfer over to the BAA by end of 1947-1948 season because of profit motivation in growing economy after WWII.
  • National Industrial Basketball League

    National Industrial Basketball League
    Once again, efforts by companies to promote empoyee sovereignty create the NIBL. The NIBL merges with few remaining NBL teams.
  • NBA Forms

    NBA Forms
    The NBL merges with counterpart, ABA, to form what we know today, the National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • Formation of the Midwest League

    Formation of the Midwest League
    The Midwest League was founded in 1954. The South Atlantic League was founded in 1980. Each is a part of the minor League baseball system at the Class A level. Teams play a full season of 140 games.
  • NIBL Merges

    In the 1960s the league recognized the changing sponsorship of the teams away from the large industrial companies and renamed it the National AAU Basketball League (NABL). By the end of the 1970s the NABL teams elected to adapt touring schedules. It was not until the 1990s that sponsors took new interest and rivived the NABL. Today, the NABL teams are focused on preparing post-college players for FIBA.
  • First NHL influence in AHL

    First NHL influence in AHL
    The Montereal Canadiens under GM Sam Pollock were the first team to buy and officaily affiliate themselves with an AHL franchise(Montereal Voyageurs).
  • East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)

     East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)
    The East Coast Hockey League was founded in 1988 as combination of two idependent leagues dying; Atlantic Coast Hockey League and All-American Hockey League. Bobby Robins is one of many ECHL alumni to play in the NHL. Hundreds of alumni have risen out of of this league
  • Major League Soccer is Founded

    Major League Soccer is Founded
    In 1993 MLS is founded in part to gain a successful bid for the 1994 World Cup tournement. The organization officially formed in 1995 and league play began in 1996. Today, MLS is the major soccer sports league in the United States.
  • First NBDL Draft

    First NBDL Draft
    The National Baseketball Development League's first season was in 2001. November 21, 2001 marked the first draft for the league. Chris Andersen, now a player for the Miami Heat, was selected as the number one overall pick by the Fayetteville Patriots.
  • NBA D-League Forms

    NBA D-League Forms
    The NBA D-League becomes the first official affiliated minor league with the NBA. Management, Players, and Referees all try to prove their worth for NBA professional teams. Since 2002, all hired NBA referees have come out of the D-League.
  • 2004–05 NHL lockout ends

     2004–05 NHL lockout ends
    The lockout officially established that AHL and the ECHL are the official minor leagues of the NHL. This allowed NHL team to drop excess salaries to the the minor league teams.
  • The North American Soccer League

    The North American Soccer League
    The North American Soccer League (NASL) was founded in 2009. In 2010 the league participated in a combined minor league season made up of both NASL and USL teams. The NASL season did not officially begin until 2011.
  • USL Professional Division

    USL Professional Division
    USL formally announced the creation of USL Pro league. In 2010 the league participated in a combined minor league season mad up of both NASL and USL teams. The USL season did not officially begin until 2011.
  • NASL joins the MLS

    NASL joins the MLS
    NASL got all NASL club teams to meet the new Division 2 standards created by U.S. Soccer. The NASL requested to formaly become the Division 2 to U.S. Soccer and the MLS. Today the league has grown to ten teams.
  • USL Pro joins Mls

    USL Pro joins Mls
    USL Pro and MLS announced a multi-year agreement to combine both MLS Reserve League and USL Pro teams. They will be combined first through team affiliations and "interleague" play, but eventually the MLS Reserves will merge into the USL Pro structure. Today USL Pro is the official third division of the MLS.
  • A Growing NBADL

    A Growing NBADL
    As of the start of the 2014-2015 season, the league now has 18 teams that are directly affiliated with NBA franchises.