The Cow League (CL) is a professional baseball league that operates in Canada and the United States. It is the AAA-level minor league for the Bull Baseball League, and is one step below the major-level Bull League and above the AA-level Heifer League.
Currently, the league consists of 20 teams, all of which are affiliated to a Bull League club. The Cow League has two subleagues, the Atlantic Coast League and the Frontier League, which support determining an overall champion at the end of each season. The teams are located in 5 Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador), and 10 US states (stretching from Oregon to California, and from Texas to Florida to New Hampshire).
A league champion is determined at the end of every season. The Baltimore Bruins and Portland Falcons have won the most CL Championships, with 4 each, followed by the Hartford Judges and Toledo Tornadoes, who have 3 each.
The Cow League was created in 1991 to provide a farm system for the original Bull League teams. It is the oldest minor league, and the second oldest league after the major-level Bull League. In 1995, when the league was expanded and reorganized, the CL expanded as well, matching the Bull League for number of teams. From 1995 to 2011, there were a total of 16 teams. In 2012, the Bull League expanded to the current 20 teams, and the CL followed suit.
The CL was originally divided up into the North East League (NEL), which mainly had teams in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, and the Frontier League, which had teams spread further afield to the south and west. At the end of 2016, the league reorganized and the NEL was renamed to the Atlantic Coast League.
Original Cow League (1991-1993)
The original Cow League formed in 1991 and consisted of 12 teams, each one affiliated with one of the 12 original Bull League teams. Teams in bold have continued to the present.
|East Division||Affiliate||West Division||Affiliate|
|Burlington Atomics||Chicoutimi Cinquantes||Hamilton Hammers||Toronto Ducks|
|Hull Habitants||Montreal Metros||St Catharines Dogs||New York Fastballs|
|Pittsfield Panthers||Boston Brawlers||Toledo Torpedos||Ohio Oxen|
|East Division||Affiliate||West Division||Affiliate|
|Las Vegas Banditos||California Tidals||Boise Ravens||Richmond Ravens|
|Oakland Knights||Chicago Knights||Phoenix Phalcons||San Diego Seagulls|
|Reno Rogues||Nevada Speeders||Spokane Sandpipers||Seattle Salts|
Structure and season
The CL is divided into two subleagues, the Atlantic Coast League (ACL), and the Frontier League (FL). Each league consists of two divisions composed of five teams each. For the ACL, the divisions are named the North and South divisions. For the FL, they are the East and West divisions. The teams play a 144-game schedule, which commences on the first Sunday after the start of the Bull League, in mid-May, and then runs until September.
The CL uses nearly identical rules to the Bull League, including use of the designated hitter rule and the 10-day disabled list, but allows for a 26-man roster.
Championship and interleague play
At the end of each season, the two divisional leaders plus two wildcards, in each of the ACL and FL, face each other for a best-of-three League Championship Semi-Final. The winning teams advance to the best-of-five ACL and FL Championship Series. The winners of the ACL and FL championships then play a final best-of-five round, the CL Championship Series, or "Cow League Cup".
There is an interleague Cow League All-Star Game, which is played at the mid-point of the season.
The table shows the Cow League teams and their affiliations for the 2018.
See article: Cow League Championship Series
The CL has crowned one team to be a league champion each season since 1995. The winner is awarded the Cow League Cup.
Championship wins by team
|4||Baltimore Bruins||1999, 2002, 2009, 2016|
|4||Portland Falcons||1995, 2003, 2006, 2013|
|3||Brampton Longhorns||2010, 2017, 2020|
|3||Hartford Judges||1996, 2001, 2014|
|3||Toledo Tornadoes||2004, 2005, 2015|
|2||Oakland Dukes||2008, 2018|
|2|| St. Anthony SeaWolves
(Formerly Albany Statesmen)
|1||Ft. Worth Spectres||2011|
|1||Mobile River Bandits||2019|
|1||Thunder Bay Rail Heads||2022|
The CL recognizes outstanding players annually at the end of each season.
The Most Valuable Player Award recognizes the top position player in each of the constituent leagues every season.
|1995||Trevor Crichlow||Toledo Tornadoes||Justin Adamic||Vaughan Peppers|
|1996||Mike McPherson||Windsor Sharks||Marc Dooks||Hillsboro Dinos|
|1997||Chris Dickman||Markham Winkers||Joe Balaski||Miami Pegasus|
|1998||Setsuo Kimura||Anaheim Pharaohs||Jared Goldstein||Hillsboro Dinos|
|1999||Andy Hoffmann||Kensington Judges||George Rolston||Baltimore Bruins|
|2000||Takeo Otomo||Oakland Dukes||Jimmy Hankel||Baltimore Bruins|
|2001||Andrew White||Oakland Dukes||Jimmy Hankel (2)||Baltimore Bruins|
|2002||John Espinoza||Windsor Sharks||Jose Salazar||Baltimore Bruins|
|2003||Jeff Pickard||Oakland Dukes||Eugene Schumacher||Baltimore Bruins|
|2004||Joey Williams||Albany Statesmen||Luis Ochoa||Miami Snow|
|2005||Julio Resendiz||Hartford Judges||Mike Jasper||Baltimore Bruins|
|2006||Luis Marroquin||Toledo Tornadoes||Gator Greenwell||Hillsboro Dinos|
|2007||Joe Sandow||Thunder Bay Coalfields||Bobby Brattain||Orlando Mickeys|
|2008||Alejandro Reyna||Oakland Dukes||Melvin Cordova||Laval Zebras|
|2009||Victor Quintero||Oakland Dukes||Jason Woodard||Baltimore Bruins|
|2010||Adam Hippensteel||Hartford Judges||Hideshi Kaneshiro||Hillsboro Dinos|
|2011||James Paterson||Toledo Tornadoes||Jason Woodard||Baltimore Bruins|
|2012||Chisen Aoshima||Albany Statesmen||Dave Ekdar||Hillsboro Dinos|
|2013||Miguel Quinche||Anaheim Pharaohs||Jason Wright||Vaughan Peppers|
|2014||Trevor McLeish||Kelowna Inferno||Robert Araica||Vaughan Peppers|
|2015||Simon Nelson||Albany Statesmen||Jose Ramirez||Vaughan Peppers|
|2016||Kyle Boone||Albany Statemen||Wayne Peterson||Vaughan Peppers|
|2017||Toyozo Kondo||Miami Marauders||Bob Ketcheson||Toledo Tornadoes|
|2018||Micheal Maki||Baltimore Bruins||Tom Carroll||Gatineau Devil Bears|
|2019||Chris Roberts||Milwaukee Pugs||Ollie Oxenfree||Thunder Bay Rail Heads|
|2020||Jim Kozak||Hartford Judges||Chris Chrism||Gatineau Devil Bears|
Pitcher of the Year Award
|1995||Eric Halls||Oakland Dukes||Zach Moritz||Laval Zebras|
|1996||Kevin Jones||Windsor Sharks||Shane Evans||Brampton Longhorns|
|1997||Paul Pippy||Oakland Dukes||Doug Brisebois||Baltimore Bruins|
|1998||Not awarded||Tim Chaulk||Hillsboro Dinos|
|1999||B.J. May||Windsor Sharks||Rod King||Vaughan Peppers|
|2000||Bill Henson||Toledo Tornadoes||Fabian Schwartz||Hillsboro Dinos|
|2001||Maynard Ryder||Kensington Judges||John McAleer||Laval Zebras|
|2002||Mario Segura||Anaheim Pharaohs||Jason Johnson||Vaughan Peppers|
|2003||Tony Ruble||Anaheim Pharaohs||Fabian Schwartz||Vaughan Peppers|
|2004||Chad Caldwell||Oakland Dukes||Antonio Tellez||Vaughan Peppers|
|2005||Ming Ou||Hartford Judges||Jason Matkin||Brampton Longhorns|
|2006||Kyle Cahill||Halifax Gunboats||Jason Pick||Hillsboro Dinos|
|2007||John Schmidt||Oakland Dukes||Yardbrook Rooks||Brampton Longhorns|
|2008||Not awarded||Jordan Morris||Baltimore Bruins|
|2009||Tony Maldonado||Hartford Judges||Gleb Emelyantsev||Laval Zebras|
|2010||Miguel Lebron||Anaheim Pharaohs||Antama Srijata||Vaughan Peppers|
|2011||Salvatore Resendiz||Oakland Dukes||Lou Bricknell||Vaughan Peppers|
|2012||Mario Segura||Halifax Gunboats||Not awarded|
|2013||Rafael Rosario||Hartford Judges||Victor Mojica||Baltimore Bruins|
|2014||Shingo Koga||Gatineau Devil Bears||Antama Srijata||Vaughan Peppers|
|2015||Robby Andrade||Anaheim Pharaohs||Matt Miller||Brampton Longhorns|
|2016||Doug Gordon||Thunder Bay Coalfields||Joaquin Torres||Laval Zebras|
|2017||Ning Meng||Mobile River Bandits||Ronald Baldwin||Thunder Bay Rail Heads|
|2018||Jerry Long||St. Anthony SeaWolves||Dave Legge||Salt Lake City Spartans|
|2019||Juan Salinas||Hartford Judges||Juan Hernandez||Windsor Wild|
|2020||Jon Velasquez||St. Anthony SeaWolves||Brett Slade||Salt Lake City Spartans|
|Age range||Min. 18 years|
|Disabled list||10 days|
- Cow League: History Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/league_101_index.html. Accessed: 25 January 2018.
- Cow League: Team Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/league_101_all_teams_index.html. Accessed: 25 January 2018.