Bull Cup Championship Series
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.
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.
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
Appearances and Droughts
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.
|Team name||League||Won||Lost||Pct.||Years||Most recent||Founded|
|6||Montreal Metros||LL||3||3||.500||1995, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017||2014||2017||1989|
|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|
|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|
|LL||1||2||.333||1996, 2000, 2012||2000||2012||1995|
|2||Chicago Pit Bulls
|2||Rimouski Fighting Moose
|2||Seattle Salts||AEL||1||1||.500||1992, 2014||1992||2014||1989|
|1||St. Petersburg Admirals
(Anchorage Aces, San Diego Seagulls)
(Battle Creek Attack)
Three teams are tied with having the longest drought for winnings 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.
|Seasons||Team||Last Bull Cup Championship|
|27||Boston Brawlers||Never (team formed in 1989)||1991|
|27|| Anchorage Aces
(San Diego Seagulls)
|Never (team formed in 1991)||2002|
|27|| Toronto Nomads
|Never (team formed in 1989)†||Never|
|26|| Chicago Pit Bulls
|23|| Denver Danger
|Never (Team formed in 1995)||Never|
|21|| Minneapolis Ravens
(Richmond Ravens, Jacksonville Ravens)
|15|| Rimouski Fighting Moose
|9|| New York Dragons
(New York Minutemen)
|6||Arizona Cowboys||Never (Team formed in 2012)||Never|
|6||Battle Creek Attack||Never (Team formed in 2012)||Never|
|6|| Dallas Deputies
|Never (Team formed in 2012)||Never|
|6||Norfolk Sharks||Never (Team formed in 2012)||Never|
|1||Detroit Motorheads‡||Never (Team formed in 2017)||Never|
|0|| Calgary Inferno
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.
|3|| New York Dragons
(New York Fastballs,
New York Minutemen)
|3-0||Nevada Speeders||1998, 2003, 2008|
|3||Montreal Metros||2-1|| Jacksonville Ravens
|1995, 2007, 2011|
|2|| New York Dragons
(New York Fastballs,
New York Minutemen)
|2-0|| Calgary Inferno
|2||Ohio Oxen||2-0|| Calgary Inferno
|2||Ohio Oxen||2-0||Nevada Speeders||2006, 2009|
|2||California Tidals||1-1|| Kingston Cannons
- 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.
- 1991-1993 Stats. Bull League website. http://bullleague.org/archives/. Accessed: 8 April 2017.
- Bull Baseball League: History Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/league_100_index.html. Accessed: 8 April 2017.