Calf League

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Calf League

Founded 2004

Calf league A.png
Level A

Countries Flag of Canada.svg.png Canada (7), Usa.png United States (12), Mexico-flag.png Mexico (1)

Teams 20

Current champions Albuquerque Crystals (NEV) (1st)

The Calf League (CaL) is a professional baseball league that operates in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It is the A-level minor league for the Bull Baseball League, and is categorized as one level below the AA-level Heifer League, and one level above the Short Season A-level Milk League.

Currently, the league consists of 20 teams, all of which are affiliated to a Bull League club. The teams are located in four Canadian provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Ontario), nine US states (Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas and Wisconsin) and one in Baja-California state, Mexico.

A league champion is determined at the end of each season, and commencing with 2018, the playoffs will be made up of the division leaders after each half season, called split season play.

History

The CaL was created in 2004 in order to allow teams to place drafted players at a lower level than AAA-level Cow League (as they were not usually ready for that level of play), and have more options overall in player development. The Calf League is the second-oldest minor league in the Bull Baseball League.

When it was created in 2004, it consisted of 16 teams. In 2012, the league expanded to 20 teams to match the major-level Bull League expansion.

Structure and season

The CaL is divided into two subleagues, which are called conferences at this level. They are the Desert Conference (DC), consisting of teams mainly in three Canadian prairie provinces and three Southwestern US states, as well as Mexico, and the Mid-West Conference (MWC), consisting of teams around the Great Lakes region, plus Kentucky. Each conference consists of an East and a West division, composed of five teams in each division. The teams play an 82-game schedule which begins in the third week of May, and runs until early August.

Beginning in 2018, the league will use a split season schedule, which splits the schedule into two halves. The division leaders at the end of each half season are seeded into the playoffs. There are no games scheduled between the conferences, and no All-Star Game.

The CaL uses the designated hitter rule, the 10-day disabled list, and a 26-man roster.

Championship

At the end of each season, there is a playoff to determine the overall Calf League championship. The postseason involves three best-of-three rounds, with the division leaders at the end of each half season seeded into the eight playoff teams. The final round is called the Calf Cup Series.

Current teams

Division Team Founded Affiliation City
Desert Conference
East Albuquerque Crystals 2004 Nevada Speeders Albuquerque, NM Usa.png
El Paso Smugglers 2004 Dallas Deputies El Paso, TX Usa.png
Lubbock Luddites 2004 Norfolk Sharks Lubbock, TX Usa.png
Saskatoon Nuggets 2004 Denver Danger Saskatoon, SK Flag of Canada.svg.png
Winnipeg Gophers 2004 Seattle Salts Winnipeg, MB Flag of Canada.svg.png
West Flagstaff Racers 2004 California Tidals Flagstaff, AZ Usa.png
Lethbridge Raiders 2004 Calgary Inferno Lethbridge, AB Flag of Canada.svg.png
Tijuana Firebirds 2004 St. Petersburg Admirals Tijuana, MEX Mexico-flag.png
Tucson Rattlers 2004 Minneapolis Ravens Tucson, AZ Usa.png
Yuma Hedgehogs 2004 Arizona Cowboys Yuma, AZ Usa.png
Mid-West Conference
East Hagersville Cactus 2012 Rimouski Fighting Moose Hagersville, ON Flag of Canada.svg.png
Lexington Moonshiners 2004 Boston Brawlers Lexington, KY Usa.png
London Bluebirds 2012 Toronto Nomads London, ON Flag of Canada.svg.png
Markham Tar Heels 2012 Kingston Cannons Markham, ON Flag of Canada.svg.png
Sarnia Shock 2004 Montreal Metros Sarnia, ON Flag of Canada.svg.png
West Duluth Jesters 2004 New York Dragons Duluth, MN Usa.png
Fort Wayne Lightning 2004 Ohio Oxen Fort Wayne, IN Usa.png
Grand Rapids Frontiersmen 2004 Louisville Sluggers Grand Rapids, MI Usa.png
Green Bay Rockets 2004 Detroit Motorheads Green Bay, WI Usa.png
Peoria Mosquitos 2004 Chicago Pit Bulls Peoria, IL Usa.png

League Rules

Calf League Rule Summary
Level A
Designated Hitter Yes
Roster limit 26
Age range Minimum age 18
Disabled list 10 days
Pro time limit None

This level has a roster limit of 26 players, but no age ceiling. It is the first level at which professional baseball players are considered to have started their pro careers. The minimum age is 18, to encourage teams to place their international scouting discoveries in rookie-level or short season A until they have gained enough experience and are ready for A level.

The season is 81 games played in a split-season format.

Champions

The CaL has crowned one team to be a league champion each season since 2004.

Championship wins by team

Wins Team Championship years
2 Fort Wayne Lightning 2013, 2015
2 Lubbock Luddites 2004, 2014
2 Peoria Mosquitos 2005, 2017
1 Albuquerque Crystals 2018
1 El Paso Smugglers 2010
1 Grand Rapids Frontiersmen 2011
1 Lethbridge Raiders 2008
1 Lexington Moonshiners 2016
1 Nogales Caballeros 2006
1 Tucson Rattlers 2007

References