|Number of games||100
|Number of teams||20|
|Top draft pick||Ben Price
|Selected by||Battle Creek Attack|
|Season MVP||AEL: Danny Sanchez (NOR)|
LL: Jose Ramirez (MTL)
|Season SKA||AEL: Jose Soto (ANC)|
LL: Judson Martel (MTL)
|AEL Champions||Calgary Inferno|
|LL Champions||Montreal Metros|
|Runner-up||Rimouski Fighting Moose|
|Bull Cup Champions|
|Champions||Calgary Inferno (2nd)|
The 2017 season of the Bull Baseball League is the 23rd season played since the league began its modern era in 1995. It is the first season played using a new, longer 100 game schedule, which is weighted to allow teams to play other teams within their own division more often.
Opening Day was on Monday, May 14, 2017, and all 20 teams were in action. The season ended on September 6, one day later due to a postponed game. The postseason was scheduled to start on September 7, but instead began on September 8. The Calgary Inferno won the Bull Cup Championship Series over the Montreal Metros, 3-2.
- 1 Schedule
- 2 Standings
- 3 Postseason
- 4 League Leaders
- 5 Award Winners
- 6 Major Events
- 7 Milestones
- 8 Minor Leagues
- 9 College and High School Leagues
- 10 References
For the first time in Bull League history, the league adopted a 100-game playing schedule. Previous seasons were 80 (1995-2011) or 82 (2012-2016) games.
Each team will play every team within their division 14 times each (7 home games, and 7 away games). They will play the opposing division teams 8 times (4 home games, 4 away games). Finally, an interleague series of 2 home and 2 away games has been introduced, where teams will play one other team from the opposing league. In total, teams will play 50 home and 50 away games through course of the regular season.
Games are scheduled in either a 3 or 4 game series, with inter-league play scheduled as a home-and-home series of 4 games, two at each city.
The All-Star Game is scheduled approximately mid-way through the season, after the inter-league games are completed.
Final standings at September 7, 2017
American Eagle League
x — Clinched Division Pennant z — Clinched wild card e — Eliminated from postseason
All series are best-of-5.
|Elimination Round||League Championship Series
|Bull Cup Championship Series|
|American Eagle League|
|4||Rimouski Fighting Moose||3|
|4||Rimouski Fighting Moose||2|
The following players were leading in their respective categories at the end of the season, September 7, 2017.
American Eagle League
The following major player awards were announced after the completion of the postseason:
|Most Valuable Player Award||Danny Sanchez||Norfolk Sharks|
|Sandy Koufax Award||Jose Soto||Anchorage Aces|
|Woodchuck Trophy||Adam Fitzpatrick||Seattle Salts|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Jose Soto||Anchorage Aces|
|Most Valuable Player Award||Jose Ramirez||Montreal Metros|
|Sandy Koufax Award||Judson Martel||Montreal Metros|
|Woodchuck Trophy||Everett Weisensel||Battle Creek Attack|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Corny Maise||Ohio Oxen|
Players of the Month
|Award||Month||American Eagle League||Lake League|
|Batter of the Month||May||Cody Martin||Calgary Inferno||Hoshi Mizuguchi||Montreal Metros|
|June||Danny "Golden Boy" Sanchez||Norfolk Sharks||Zenjiro Suga||Rimouski Fighting Moose|
|July||Israel Medina||Calgary Inferno||Joe Street||Rimouski Fighting Moose|
|August||Javier Chavarria||Denver Danger||Victor Jimenez||New York Dragons|
|Pitcher of the Month||May||Bob Finney||Dallas Deputies||Judson Martel||Montreal Metros|
|June||Jose Soto||Anchorage Aces||Fred Loveless||New York Dragons|
|July||Jose Soto||Anchorage Aces||Nick Seer||Rimouski Fighting Moose|
|August||Adam Fitzpatrick||Seattle Salts||Lou Bricknell||Montreal Metros|
|Rookie of the Month||May||Jose Soto||Anchorage Aces||Dennis Guppy||Detroit Motorheads|
|June||Gabel Reyes||Jacksonville Ravens||Jason Nelson||Battle Creek Attack|
|July||Jose Soto||Anchorage Aces||Nick Seer||Rimouski Fighting Moose|
|August||Chris Huber||Nevada Speeders||Gaetan Accornero||Boston Brawlers|
|Elimination Round||Alan Isimo 3B||Rimouski Fighting Moose|
|Lou Bricknell P||Montreal Metros|
|Angelo Rodriguez P||Jacksonville Ravens|
|Danny Huertero RF||Calgary Inferno|
|AELCS||Israel Medina 3B||Calgary Inferno|
|LLCS||Jose Ramirez LF||Montreal Metros|
|Bull Cup||Logans Run 1B||Calgary Inferno|
During the 2016-2017 off-season, several teams moved or re-branded:
- In November 2016, the Toronto Ducks became the Toronto Nomads. Ducks had been the team nickname since the team first formed in 1989, but now with the creation of the Dunedin Ducks in the Bull Oceanic League, the team felt a new brand and image would help to differentiate it from the new team.
- Also in November 2016, the San Diego Seagulls moved from their long time home in San Diego, California, to Anchorage, Alaska, and took the name Anchorage Aces.
- In February 2017, the Dallas Lawmen were re-named to the Dallas Deputies. The new name keeps the law enforcement connection that the club has had since it first formed as a 2012 expansion team.
- In March 2017, the Jacksonville Ravens had agreed to move and re-brand to the Olean Oilers, but the deal later fell through and the team remained in Jacksonville. In the same month, the Denver Highlanders were re-named to the Denver Danger.
- In April 2017, the Chicoutimi Cinquantes were folded. All of its players and front office staff were then moved to the newly formed Detroit Motorheads which was formed in the Lake League's West division. The Cinquantes' former place in the East division was then occupied by the Hamilton Crusaders, which was moved to that division as part of its relocation and renaming to the Rimouski Fighting Moose, of Rimouski, Quebec.
Hall of Fame Inductions
Two retired players were inducted into the Bull League Hall of Fame at the beginning of the year. On January 3, the league announced that Mike Lapi would become the first catcher to be inducted into the hall. He was joined by renowned pitcher, Ricky Geraldo. Both players were first-time ballot inductees.
Lapi was a four-time MVP winner, and received the second-highest vote percentage of any hall of fame player, at 98.3% of the votes (behind only Iron Arm at 99.7%). He also won the Gold Crown Award at the catcher position a record-setting ten times.
2017 First Year Draft
The first team to make a selection in the draft order was the Battle Creek Attack, who selected Ben Price of the Dallas Sports Academy Bats first overall. Price had hit a league-leading .444 during the inaugural college season, winning a triple crown by also achieving the titles for both home runs (18) and RBI (58).
Overall, the draft ran for 30 rounds, and included not only first year amateurs from college and high school, but pro players from the independent Bull Oceanic League.
The 2017 season introduced two tournaments. The Summer College Tournament consisted of the very best players selected from the college and high school leagues for their national college tournament teams. This tournament was played from late July to mid-August. The tournament concluded with a final game on August 13, in which the Canadian collegiate team won, defeating the team from the Dominican Republic.
The second tournament, the World Cup of Baseball, is scheduled to run following the conclusion of the regular Bull League season and playoffs, in mid-October. Roster selection occurred on October 13.
St. Andrew's Day Series
See article: 2017 St. Andrew's Day Classic
The 2017 St. Andrew's Day Classic was played on November 30, 2017. It is a special series of exhibition games played annually on the feast day of St. Andrew, who is the Patron saint of Scotland. The series honors Scottish contributions to sports, and to baseball in particular.
- On June 4, Judson Martel (MTL) completed a no-hitter against the Battle Creek Attack, striking out 15 batters while walking just 1 over a complete 9 innings.
Single game records
- On July 25, Tomas Maldonado (JAX) set an AEL extra-inning game record for striking out 17 batters in 10.1 IP against the Arizona Cowboys.
- Rich Ojeda (DEN): Recorded his 1,500th career strikeout on May 29, in a 3-1 loss decision against the Arizona Cowboys.
- Chris Kimborough (OHI): Recorded his 100th career save on July 3, closing out a 2-1 win over the New York Dragons.
- Rookie Jose Soto (ANC) and Frasor Clause (OHI) both set new single-season AEL and LL (respectively), as well as Bull League records for wins, ending the year with 15 each. Soto's 15th win came against Arizona in his final start on September 3. Clause earned his the same day against Toronto.
- Due to the longer, 100-game season, 10 pitchers broke the single-season record for innings pitched, which was 156.0 set by F.Y. Jackass in 1995. The record now belongs to Ricky Rodriguez (JAX) who ended the season with 187.1 IP.
Hit for cycle
- Takeo Otomo (ANC): Recorded his 300th home run on May 22, in a game against the Denver Danger, becoming only the 4th player to do so.
- Francisco Erazo (KIN): Recorded his 1,500th hit on July 31, in a game against the Toronto Nomads, becoming the 6th player to do so.
- Setsuo Kimura (NEW): Recorded his 1,500th hit on August 20, also in a game against the Toronto Nomads, becoming the 7th player to do so.
- Ryan Vallis (SEA): Hit three home runs in a game on June 27, against the Anchorage Aces. He was the first Seattle player to do so since Yuri Yagaslov in 2004 against Denver.
- Katai Kitigawa (ANC): Set a new single-season record for hits with 150, breaking Chuck Provost's previous record of 147 set in 1995 on September 5, against Arizona.
- Jose Ramirez (MTL), Bruce Aberto (BOS) and Zong-ming Gang (BOS) all broke the single-season record for doubles, of 34, set by Chuck Provost in 1998. Ramirez broke it on August 25, against New York, and finished the season with 38. Aberto broke it on August 30, against Kingston, and also finished the season with 38. Gang broke it on September 4, against Montreal, and ended the season with 35.
Cow League (AAA)
|League Championship Series
|Cow League Championship Series|
|1||Baltimore Bruins (JAX)||2|
|4||Miami Marauders (DET)||1|
|Atlantic Coast League|
|2||Brampton Longhorns (TOR)||2|
|3||Hillsborough Dinos (CAL)||1|
|1||Portland Timberwolves (MTL)||1|
|4||Anaheim Pharaohs (NEW)||2|
|2||Toledo Tornadoes (OHI)||0|
|3||Oakland Dukes (NEV)||2|
|Atlantic Coast League||Frontier League|
|Toyozo Kondo (MIA)||Ning Meng (MOB)||Bob Ketcheson (TOL)||Ronald Baldwin (TB)|
Heifer League (AA)
See article: Heifer League
The Heifer League season began on May 21 and ended on August 8, after completing a 72-game schedule. The All-Star Game was held on June 26, near the mid-way point, with the Pasture League defeating the Barn League 3-2.
The Heifer League playoffs began on August 10th, and ended on August 20th.
Best of 5
Best of 5
|W||Anchorage Sky Chiefs||1|
|W||Spokane North Stars||0|
|Barn League||Pasture League|
|Joshua Browne (SPO)||Carlos Vargas (SAV)||Ben Dorey (SPO)||Tony Fraijo (SAG)||Jason McGeehan (ANC)||Brendon Starratt (NAS)||Mike Rogers (ANC)||Jason McGeehan (ANC)|
Calf League (A)
See article: Calf League
The Calf League season began on May 21, and ended on August 5. The Calf League playoffs began on August 7, and finished on August 14.
Best of 3
Best of 3
|Desert Conference||Mid-West Conference|
|Brian Perron (ALB)||Jackson Bartlett (ALB)||Jackson Bartlett (ALB)||Jackson Bartlett (ALB)||Jon Guillot (PEO)||Philip Lont (PEO)||Luis Arenas (LEX)||Philip Lont (PEO)|
Florida Rookie League (FRL)
See article: Florida Rookie League
Making its debut in 2017 was the Florida Rookie League, a winter baseball league. The FRL started playing on January 16, and ran until March 22, 2017. The FRL has 20 teams, one for each of the parent Bull League affiliated teams, and each is based in a different Florida city. The 62-game season gives an opportunity for teams to begin to develop younger players acquired over the off-season, or who require additional playing time before moving up the progression of an organization's minor league system.
Another advantage to the FRL is that clubs can bring promising players straight onto their Spring Training rosters in March/April to give them a try out for the top level, or for placement in another level of their minor leagues.
The Chicoutimi Cinquantes' rookie team, the Miami-based Chicoutimi Cinquantes B, were crowned the first champions of the Florida Rookie League in April, 2017. They won the playoff finals 2-0 over the Fort Myers-based Dallas Lawmen B, which are an affiliate of the Dallas Deputies.
Two player awards are handed out in the FRL, a Most Valuable Player and a Pitcher of the Year. For the inaugural season, both awards went to New York Minutemen rookies:
- MVP: Justin Cusimano (1B) - .322 / 23 HR / 51 RBI / 4.1 WAR
- POTY: Herb Steward (RHP) - 6-1 / 1.52 ERA / 108 K / 3.2 WAR
College and High School Leagues
The 2017 season is the debut season for the two collegiate leagues, Can-Am College League and the Pacific Rim College League (PRCL), as well as the Nor-Am High School League. These leagues are "feeder" leagues from which players will be admitted into the First Year Player Draft for the Bull League.
The Can-Am College season began on February 20, and ended on April 27. The Freeport University Rum Runners won the first Can-Am World Series championship best-of-three series 2-1 over the Assiniboine University Rivermen, on May 10.
The Canadian Intercollegiate (CIS) leagues play a short season from September until October. Their season began on September 3, and ended October 9. The postseason began the following day. York Lions defeated the Dalhousie Tigers in a best-of-three final with a 2-0 sweep, becoming the first CIS champions.
The Nor-Am High School (NAHS) season started on March 1, and ended on April 12, completing a 40-game season. In the playoffs that followed, the Guadalupe HS Slashers won the first NAHS World Series, defeating the Dallas Sports Academy Bats in a best-of-three final round, 2-1.
- Schedule Released for 2017. Bull Baseball League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/schedule-released-for-2017/. 26 December 2016. Accessed: 28 December 2016.
- Young Star Helps Propel American Eagle League to Win in Midseason Classic. Bull Baseball League website. http://bullleague.org/highlights/young-star-helps-propel-american-eagle-league-to-win-in-midseason-classic/. 17 July 2017. Accessed: 20 July 2017.
- Draft Day: 2017 First Year Draft Well-Stocked. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/draft-day-2017-first-year-draft-well-stocked/. June 17 2017. Accessed: June 26, 2017
- 2017 Schedule Highlights. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/2017-schedule-highlights/. 3 January 2017. Accessed: 5 April 2017.
- Toronto Ducks Sold, Get New Name. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/toronto-ducks-sold-get-new-name/. 22 November 2016. Accessed: 15 February 2017.
- So Long San Diego, Hello Anchorage! Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/so-long-san-diego-hello-anchorage/. 30 November 2016. Accessed: 15 February 2017.
- Dallas Re-Brands to Deputies. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/dallas-re-brands-to-deputies/. 13 February 2017. Accessed: 15 February 2017.
- Jacksonville Finalizes Move to Western New York, Become Olean Oilers. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/highlights/jacksonville-finalizes-move-to-upstate-new-york/. 27 March 2017. Accessed: 5 April 2017.
- Denver Renamed to Danger. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/highlights/denver-renamed-to-danger/. 28 March 2017. Accessed: 5 April 2017.
- Dinosaur, Geraldo Inducted to Hall of Fame. Bull Baseball League website. http://bullleague.org/highlights/dinosaur-geraldo-inducted-to-hall-of-fame/. 3 January 2017. Accessed: 6 January 2017.
- Rookie Guppy Hits for Cycle. Bull League news. . 29 May, 2017. Accessed: 25 November, 2017.
- Florida Rookie League Opens Jan. 16 Bull Baseball League website. http://bullleague.org/minor-leagues/florida-rookie-league-opens-jan-16/. 6 January 2017. Accessed: 6 January 2017.
- 1B Justin Cusimano #14. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/players/player_2158.html. Accessed: 5 April 2017.
- P Herb Steward #42. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/players/player_4776.html. Accessed: 5 April 2017