Northwest League

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Northwest League
Formerly Western International League (WIL) (1937–1954)
Sport Baseball
Founded 1955
Ceased 2021
Replaced by High-A West
President North Johnson
No. of teams 8
Countries Canada, United States
Last champion(s) Hillsboro Hops (2019)
Most titles Spokane Indians (8)
Yakima Bears (8)
Classification Class A Short Season
Official website

The Northwest League of Professional Baseball (or simply the Northwest League or NWL) was a Minor League Baseball league that operated in the Northwestern United States and Western Canada. It was classified as a Class A Short Season league.


The Northwest League (or the Northwestern League) has existed in various forms since 1890, and has been in its current incarnation since 1955.[1] The current NWL is the descendant of the Western International League (WIL), a Class B league from 1937 to 1951 (with a stoppage during World War II) and Class A from 1952 to 1954. The league reformed as the Northwest League and dropped to Class B for the 1955 season.[2][3] The WIL had ten teams in its final season, with four in Canada.

In 1955, the Northwest League was formed, with seven charter teams: Salem Senators, Eugene Emeralds, Yakima Bears, Spokane Indians, Tri-City Braves, Wenatchee Chiefs, and Lewiston Broncs.[4][5] The Northwest League switched to the short season schedule in 1966. Between 1966 and 1982 the league fluctuated between four, six, and eight clubs. In 1983 the league returned to an eight team circuit, which it maintained through the 2019 season.

The start of the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in North America before ultimately being cancelled on June 30.[6][7] On February 12, 2021 it was announced that as part of the restructuring of Minor League Baseball the Northwest League would cease operations. Six of the former Northwest League teams that were offered affiliation licenses would be member of the newly formed High-A West. The Boise Hawks and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes were not offered places in that league. [8]

Final franchises

Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Seating
Boise Hawks Colorado Rockies Boise, Idaho Memorial Stadium 4,500 121,455 3,196
Eugene Emeralds San Francisco Giants Eugene, Oregon PK Park 4,000 131,467 3,460
Everett AquaSox Seattle Mariners Everett, Washington Funko Field 3,682 116,630 3,069
Hillsboro Hops Arizona Diamondbacks Hillsboro, Oregon Ron Tonkin Field 4,500 133,605 3,516
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes San Francisco Giants Keizer, Oregon Volcanoes Stadium 4,250 81,011 2,132
Spokane Indians Texas Rangers Spokane, Washington Avista Stadium 6,803 200,273 5,270
Tri-City Dust Devils San Diego Padres Pasco, Washington Gesa Stadium 3,654 87,021 2,290
Vancouver Canadians Toronto Blue Jays Vancouver, British Columbia Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium 6,500 235,980 6,210


League champions have been determined by different means since the Northwest League's formation in 1955. Except for 1956, 1960, and from 1966 to 1973, all seasons have ended with playoffs to determine a league champion.[10]

The Spokane Indians and Yakima Bears have each won 8 championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Boise Hawks and Eugene Emeralds (6).[10]

Northwest League teams (1955–2020)

Cities that have hosted NWL teams

Eugene is the most-tenured city in the NWL, having fielded a team in all but five of the NWL's seasons (from 1969–73, they had a PCL franchise).

Hall of Fame alumni

Eight alumni of the Northwest League are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame:

Notable alumni

Sandy Alomar, Jr.Spokane Indians, 1984
Garret AndersonBoise Hawks, 1990
Kevin AppierEugene Emeralds, 1987
Pedro AstacioYakima Bears, 1990
Garrett AtkinsPortland Rockies, 2000
Jim BoutonPortland Mavericks, 1973 & 1977
Jason BartlettEugene Emeralds, 2001
Glenn Beckert - Wenatchee Chiefs, 1963
Dante BichetteSalem Angels, 1984
Carlos BeltránSpokane Indians, 1996
Dallas BradenVancouver Canadians, 2004
Kris Bryant - Boise Hawks, 2013
Bert Campaneris - Lewiston Broncs, 1963
Tom Candiotti - Victoria Mussels, 1979
José CansecoMedford A's, 1983
Rico Carty - Yakima Valley Braves, 1962
Ron Cey - Tri-City Atoms, 1968
Aaron CookPortland Rockies, 1998
Ron Coomer - Medford A's, 1987
Chris Davis - Spokane Indians, 2006
Eric DavisEugene Emeralds, 1980–81
Mark DeRosaEugene Emeralds, 1996
Dick DietzEugene Emeralds, 1962
Josh Donaldson - Boise Hawks, 2007
Dave Duncan - Lewiston Broncs, 1965
Andre EthierVancouver Canadians, 2003
Todd FieldPortland Mavericks batboy, 1976–77
Chone FigginsPortland Rockies, 1998
Chuck FinleySalem Angels, 1985
George FosterMedford Giants, 1968
Matt FrancoPortland Mavericks batboy, 1977
Julio FrancoCentral Oregon Phillies, 1979
Tom GordonEugene Emeralds, 1987
Jason GiambiSouthern Oregon A's, 1992
Carlos GonzálezYakima Bears, 2004
Khalil GreeneEugene Emeralds, 2002
Pedro GuerreroBellingham Dodgers, 1974
Bob HamelinEugene Emeralds, 1988
Dave Henderson - Bellingham Mariners, 1977
Félix HernándezEverett AquaSox, 2003
Ken Hubbs- Wenatchee Chiefs, 1961
Ender Inciarte - Yakima Bears, 2010
Ian Kinsler -- Spokane Indians, 2003
John KrukWalla Walla Padres, 1981
Paul KonerkoYakima Bears, 1994
Adam JonesEverett AquaSox, 2003
John LackeyBoise Hawks, 1999
Mark Langston - Bellingham Mariners, 1981
Ted Lilly - Yakima Bears, 1996
Tim LincecumSalem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2006
Kirk McCaskillSalem Angels, 1982
Denis Menke - Yakima Valley Braves, 1960
Wade Miley - Yakima Bears, 2008
Rick MondayLewiston Broncos, 1965
Bill MurrayGrays Harbor Loggers, 1978
Joe NathanBellingham Giants, 1995; Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 1997
Claude Osteen - Wenatchee Chiefs, 1958
Troy PercivalBoise Hawks, 1991
Eduardo PérezBoise Hawks, 1991
Juan PierrePortland Rockies, 1998
Kevin Pillar - Vancouver Canadians, 2011
Buster PoseySalem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2008
Mark Reynolds - Yakima Bears, 2004
Francisco RodríguezBoise Hawks, 1999
Kurt RussellBend Rainbows, Walla Walla Islanders, Portland Mavericks, 1971–73, 1977
Tim Salmon – Bend Bucks, 1989
Jeff SamardzijaBoise Hawks, 2006
Casey SanderSeattle Rainiers, 1975
Pablo SandovalSalem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2005
Kyle Schwarber - Boise Hawks, 2014
Mike SciosciaBellingham Dodgers, 1976
Braden Shipley - Hillsboro Hops, 2014
Ted Sizemore - Tri-City Atoms, 1966
Marcus Stroman - Vancouver Canadians, 2012
Kurt SuzukiVancouver Canadians, 2004
Noah Syndergaard - Vancouver Canadians, 2011
Dansby Swanson - Hillsboro Hops, 2015
Mike SweeneyEugene Emeralds, 1992–93
Nick SwisherVancouver Canadians, 2002
Kevin Tapani - Medford A's, 1986
Miguel TejadaSouthern Oregon A's, 1995
Tom Treblehorn - Bend Rainbows, 1970
Trea Turner - Eugene Emeralds, 2014
Dan UgglaYakima Bears, 2001
Max Venable - Bellingham Dodgers, 1976
Shane VictorinoYakima Bears, 2000
Omar Vizquel - Bellingham Mariners, 1985
Matt Williams - Everett Giants, 1986
Mitch Williams - Walla Walla Padres, 1982
Russell WilsonTri-City Dust Devils, 2010
Mike ZuninoEverett AquaSox, 2012

See also


  1. Missildine, Harry (April 20, 1972). "Northwest League goes back to 1890". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 22. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Spokane gets berth in new ball league". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. November 8, 1954. p. 18. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Indians "on first" in baseball plans". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. November 9, 1954. p. 14. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Northwest loop begins to shape into a tight seven-team battle". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. June 11, 1955. p. 8. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Rodman, Bob (June 17, 1981). "29 years of minor league baseball". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1E. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "A Message From Pat O'Conner". Minor League Baseball. March 13, 2020. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "MLB announces Minor League Baseball teams". 2021-02-12. Retrieved 2021-02-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Northwest League Attendance". Northwest League. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2020.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Northwest League Past Champions". Northwest League. Minor League Baseball. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links