Bull Cup Championship Series

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Bull Cup Championship Series

Established in 1991
Bull-Cup-trans-500px.png
The Bull Cup is awarded to the winner of the Bull Cup Championship Series
Presented by The Bull Baseball League

First awarded 1991

Last awarded 2017

Current winner Calgary Inferno

Current runner-up Montreal Metros

Most wins New York Minutemen (5)


The Bull Cup Championship Series is the annual championship series of the Bull League fictional computer simulated baseball league, contested since 1991 between the American Eagle League (AEL) championship team and the Lake League championship team. Each league holds their own championship series (the AELCS and the LLCS) preceding the Bull League Championship Series to determine the teams who will contest the final championship.

The winner of the Bull Cup Championship Series is determined through a best-of-five playoff and the winning team is awarded the Bull Cup, the league's championship trophy. Home-field advantage for the Bull Cup finals is determined by the league that wins the annual Bull League All-Star Game. The series normally takes place in September of each year.

History

Early Era (1991-1993)

In 1989, the Toronto Ducks defeated the Seattle Salts in a one-game playoff between the Central League's two division leaders. Central League, which later became the Lake League in 1991, was the only league in existence at the time; the Southern League, which became the American Eagle League in 1991, was created in October of 1989. The game was a no-hitter, and the Ducks were awarded the Weaver Cup.

The following year, after a shortened 8-game season, another playoff was held and this time the Ohio Oxen took home the Weaver Cup. Records for both series have since been lost and the Oxen opponent and series length remain unknown.

In 1991, the Bull League underwent a major reorganization, with a 30-game schedule introduced, under-performing teams removed from the league, and quality teams redistributed between the new American Eagle and Lake leagues. At the same time, the commissioner announced that the championship series format would be changed to its current best-of-five playoff format contested between the two league champion teams. The series was then Christened the Bull Cup Championship Series to coincide with the trophy recommissioning as the Bull Cup. The first Bull Cup Championship Series (BCCS) was a contest between the Chicago Knights, at the time in the American Eagle League, and the Boston Brawlers, the first and only BCCS appearance for that team. Chicago would win the series 3-1. As 1989 and 1990 are considered to be Exhibition seasons, the Weaver Cup results are considered unofficial and not part of the permanent championship records.

The following year, the series was played out just after the All-Star Game in a shortened 20-game season. The Seattle Salts defeated the Ohio Oxen, but records on the series were lost and the scoring and length of that series is not known. The 1993 season would be the last 30-game season, and the BCCS was one by the Chicoutimi Cinquantes, who defeated the California Tidals 3 games to 2.

No series was played in 1994, which was interrupted by a work stoppage. The next series year was 1995, after the league had adopted an 80-game schedule and expanded from 12 to 16 teams.

Since 1991, teams from the Lake League have won the Bull Cup championships 16 times, while teams from the American Eagle League have won just 8 times. Chicago, which is now in the Lake League, won their Bull Cup championship while in the AEL.

Modern Era (1995-present)

With the longer schedule commencing in 1995, and the expansion of the league to 16 teams completed, the Bull League entered what is now recognized as the "modern era". The championships since 1995 are marked by domination by a handful of teams, many of which have managed consecutive wins.

The Jacksonville Ravens (which were then the Richmond Ravens) won the first two BCCS championships, in 1995 and 1996. Then, the New York Minutemen would take the next three (1997-1999). New York won again in 2003 and then 2008. The Ohio Oxen won three championships inside of a six year period (2006, 2009 and 2010), and the Montreal Metros won three in an 8-year stretch (2007, 2011, 2014). Many of the series have been 3-game sweeps, including two of Ohio's, two of New York's, two of Montreal's, and both of the Ravens' earlier series.

2016 Bull Cup Controversy

The 2016 championship was won by the Ohio Oxen, who defeated the defending champion Calgary Inferno 3 games to 2, with a climactic photo-finish fifth game that went into extra innings and saw the Oxen win 8-7.[1]

The deciding Game 5 was briefly marred by controversy, when it was determined that several key members of the umpiring crew scheduled to officiate the contest appeared to have links to an underground sports betting syndicate known for its aggressive attempts to influence outcomes of events to its advantage. Upon further investigation and subjection of these umpires to a virtual reality simulation designed to test bias, it was confirmed that the individuals in question clearly intended to enforce a flagrantly unfavorable strike zone against Oxen starter A.C. Deucey, while allowing a comparatively liberal zone for the rival Inferno pitchers.

Once the officials under suspicion were removed and replaced with appropriately neutral substitutes, a fair game was played out and a legitimate result obtained. Asked about the scandal preceding the crucial deciding game, an unnamed member of the Ohio coaching staff said: "It was clear to us that we faced challenges both on and off the field, however with persistence and perseverance, and a determined repetition of effort, we managed to overcome all obstacles and prevail. We're grateful to the league for ensuring we were granted a fair opportunity to compete and win."

List of Bull Cup Champions

The following is a list of Bull Cup Championship teams since 1991.[2] [3]

Legend: Team name (Appearances, win-loss record)      American Eagle League team      Lake League team

Year Winning team Games Losing team
1991 Chicago Knights (1, 1-0) 3-1 Boston Brawlers (1, 0-1)
1992 Seattle Salts (1, 1-0) n/a Ohio Oxen (1, 0-1)
1993 Chicoutimi Cinquantes (1, 1-0) 3-2 California Tidals (1, 0-1)
1994 No series played No series played
1995 Richmond Ravens (1, 1-0) 3-0 Montreal Metros (1, 0-1)
1996 Richmond Ravens (2, 2-0) 3-0 Kingston Battlements (1, 0-1)
1997 New York Minutemen (1, 1-0) 3-2 Calgary Chinooks (1, 0-1)
1998 New York Minutemen (2, 2-0) 3-0 Nevada Speeders (1, 0-1)
1999 New York Minutemen (3, 3-0) 3-2 Calgary Chinooks (2, 0-2)
2000 Kingston Battlements (2, 1-1) 3-2 California Tidals (2, 0-2)
2001 Nevada Speeders (2, 1-1) 3-2 Chicoutimi Cinquantes (2, 1-1)
2002 Hamilton Industrials (1, 1-0) 3-0 San Diego Seagulls (1, 0-1)
2003 New York Minutemen (4, 4-0) 3-1 Nevada Speeders (3, 1-2)
2004 Chicoutimi Cinquantes (3, 2-1) 3-2 Chicago Pit Bulls (2, 1-1)
2005 Chicoutimi Cinquantes (3, 3-1) 3-2 Richmond Ravens (3, 2-1)
2006 Ohio Oxen (2, 1-1) 3-1 Nevada Speeders (4, 1-3)
2007 Montreal Metros (2, 1-1) 3-1 Richmond Ravens (4, 2-2)
2008 New York Minutemen (5, 5-0) 3-0 Nevada Speeders (5, 1-4)
2009 Ohio Oxen (3, 2-1) 3-0 Nevada Speeders (6, 1-5)
2010 Ohio Oxen (4, 3-1) 3-0 Calgary Inferno (3, 0-3)
2011 Montreal Metros (3, 2-1) 3-0 Richmond Ravens (5, 2-3)
2012 California Tidals (3, 1-2) 3-0 Kingston Cannons (3, 1-2)
2013 California Tidals (4, 2-2) 3-1 Montreal Metros (4, 2-2)
2014 Montreal Metros (5, 3-2) 3-0 Seattle Salts (2, 1-1)
2015 Calgary Inferno (4, 1-3) 3-2 Hamilton Crusaders (2, 1-1)
2016 Ohio Oxen (5, 4-1) 3-2 Calgary Inferno (5, 1-4)
2017 Calgary Inferno (6, 2-4) 3-2 Montreal Metros (6, 3-3)
2018 Montreal Metros (7, 4-3) 3-2 St. Petersburg Admirals (2, 0-2)

Bull Cup Championship banners

List of divisions winning Bull Cup

The following chart shows how many times each division has produced a Bull Cup championship winning team.

Division Wins Wild Card wins
Lake League East 9 2
Lake League West 9 1
American Eagle League West 5
American Eagle League East 4 1

Appearances and Droughts

Most Appearances

In the American Eagle League, the Nevada Speeders have appeared in the most Bull Cup championships, contesting 6 times with a win-loss record of 1-5. The Jacksonville Ravens have played in 5 and won 2. The California Tidals and the Calgary Inferno have each played in four, with the Tidals holding an even 2-2 record. In the Lake League, the New York Minutemen and the Montreal Metros are both tied with 5 appearances, although New York is undefeated in all five of theirs. They are the only team to remain undefeated in Bull Cup championships appearances.

New York also holds the record for the longest consecutive Bull Cup championship winning streak. They won the championship three years in a row in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Several teams have won twice in consecutive years, including the Jacksonville Ravens (as Richmond in 1995-1996), the Chicoutimi Cinquantes (2004-2005), the Ohio Oxen (2009-2010), and the California Tidals (2012-2013).

Appearances by team

Bold years indicate wins. Name and league changes before 1991 are not reflected. Teams in Italics are no longer active or have folded.

Series
Appearances
Team name League Won Lost Pct. Years Most recent Founded
Win Appearance
7 Montreal Metros LL 4 3 .571 1995, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 2018 2018 1989
6 Calgary Inferno
(Calgary Chinooks)
AEL 2 4 .333 1997, 2000, 2007, 2015, 2016, 2017 2017 2017 1995
6 Nevada Speeders AEL 1 5 .167 1998, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009 2001 2009 1989
5 New York Dragons
(New York Minutemen)
LL 5 0 1.000 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008 2008 2008 1989
5 Ohio Oxen LL 4 1 .800 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2016 2016 2016 1989
5 Minneapolis Ravens
(Richmond Ravens,
Jacksonville Ravens)
AEL 2 3 .400 1995, 1996, 2005, 2007, 2011 1996 2011 1989
4 Chicoutimi Cinquantes LL 3 1 .750 1993, 2001, 2004, 2005 2005 2005 1989
4 California Tidals AEL 2 2 .500 1993, 2000, 2012, 2013 2013 2013 1989
3 Miami Storm
(Kingston Battlements, Kingston Cannons)
LL/AEL 1 2 .333 1996, 2000, 2012 2000 2012 1995
2 Chicago Pit Bulls
(Chicago Knights)
AEL/LL 1 1 .500 1991, 2004 1991 2004 1989
2 Rimouski Fighting Moose
(Hamilton Industrials,
Hamilton Crusaders)
LL 1 1 .500 2002, 2015 2002 2015 1995
2 Seattle Salts AEL 1 1 .500 1992, 2014 1992 2014 1989
2 St. Petersburg Admirals
(Anchorage Aces, San Diego Seagulls)
AEL 0 2 .000 2002, 2018 2018 1991
1 Boston Brawlers LL 0 1 .000 1991 1991 1989
0 Arizona Cowboys AEL 0 0 2012
0 Dallas Deputies
(Dallas Lawmen)
AEL 0 0 2012
0 Denver Danger
(Denver Highlanders)
AEL 0 0 1995
0 Detroit Motorheads LL 0 0 2017
0 Louisville Sluggers
(Battle Creek Attack)
LL 0 0 2012
0 Norfolk Sharks AEL 0 0 2012
0 Toronto Nomads
(Toronto Ducks)
LL 0 0 1989

Droughts

Three teams are tied with having the longest drought for winning a Bull Cup Championship, at 27 seasons (in other words, all of the official seasons played by the league in its history). One of those teams, the Toronto Nomads (formerly the Toronto Ducks), has never even had an appearance, since the championship was established in 1991. The other two, the Boston Brawlers and the Anchorage Aces, have just a single appearance each and have never won. Toronto did win the inaugural Bull League championship in 1989, when it was called the Weaver Cup, however the results are considered unofficial.

Appearances and wins in 1991, 1992 and 1993 are counted even though those three seasons were prior to the "modern era" of 80+ game seasons in a 20-team Bull League.

None of the 2012 expansion teams have appeared or won a Bull Cup Championship. Teams in Italics are defunct.

Bull Cup Championship Droughts by Team
Seasons Team Last Bull Cup Championship
Won Appearance
28 Boston Brawlers Never (team formed in 1989) 1991
28 St. Petersburg Admirals
(San Diego Seagulls, Anchorage Aces)
Never (team formed in 1991) 2018
28 Toronto Nomads
(Toronto Ducks)
Never (team formed in 1989)† Never
27 Chicago Pit Bulls
(Chicago Knights)
1991 2004
26 Seattle Salts 1992 2014
24 Denver Danger
(Denver Highlanders)
Never (Team formed in 1995) Never
22 Minneapolis Ravens
(Richmond Ravens, Jacksonville Ravens)
1996 2011
18 Miami Storm
(Kingston Battlements/Cannons)
2000 2012
17 Nevada Speeders 2001 2009
16 Rimouski Fighting Moose
(Hamilton Industrials/Crusaders)
2002 2015
13 Chicoutimi Cinquantes 2005 2005
10 New York Dragons
(New York Minutemen)
2008 2008
7 Arizona Cowboys Never (Team formed in 2012) Never
7 Louisville Sluggers
(Battle Creek Attack)
Never (Team formed in 2012) Never
7 Dallas Deputies
(Dallas Lawmen)
Never (Team formed in 2012) Never
7 Norfolk Sharks Never (Team formed in 2012) Never
5 California Tidals 2013 2013
4 Montreal Metros 2014 2018
2 Detroit Motorheads Never (Team formed in 2017) Never
2 Ohio Oxen 2016 2016
1 Calgary Inferno
(Calgary Chinooks)
2017 2017

† — Toronto won the Weaver Cup in 1989 before the trophy was renamed to the Bull Cup
‡ — Chicoutimi folded in 2017 and was succeeded by the Detroit Motorheads

Recurring match ups

During the brief history of the league, there have been several recurring match ups in the Bull Cup championship final series. Team leading the series is listed first, otherwise listed alphabetically. Bold years were won by the team listed in the left column.

Matches Team Record Team Years
3 New York Dragons
(New York Fastballs,
New York Minutemen)
3-0 Nevada Speeders 1998, 2003, 2008
3 Montreal Metros 2-1 Minneapolis Ravens
(Richmond Ravens, Jacksonville Ravens)
1995, 2007, 2011
2 New York Dragons
(New York Fastballs,
New York Minutemen)
2-0 Calgary Inferno
(Calgary Chinooks)
1997, 1999
2 Ohio Oxen 2-0 Calgary Inferno
(Calgary Chinooks)
2010, 2016
2 Ohio Oxen 2-0 Nevada Speeders 2006, 2009
2 California Tidals 1-1 Miami Storm
(Kingston Battlements/Cannons)
2000, 2012

‡ — These teams are not currently in opposing leagues due to realignment

References

  1. Ohio Oxen Win Bull Cup. Bull Baseball League website. http://bullleague.org/highlights/ohio-oxen-win-bull-cup/. 30 September 2016. Accessed: 8 April 2017.
  2. 1991-1993 Stats. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/archives/. Accessed: 8 April 2017.
  3. Bull Baseball League: History Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/league_100_index.html. Accessed: 8 April 2017.