Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball


Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball
Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball
Canadian-American Association.png
CanAm League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 2004
No. of teams 8
Country(ies)  United States
 Canada
Most recent champion(s) Québec Capitales
Most titles New Jersey Jackals (4)
Official website www.canamleague.com

The Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, based in Durham, North Carolina, is a professional, independent baseball league located in the Northeastern United States and the Canadian province of Quebec. It operates in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The level of play is comparable to that in Class AA leagues.

The Association is usually referred to as the Can-Am League. This was also the name of the Canadian-American League, which operated between 1936 and 1951.

Contents

Policies and practices

Policies

The Can-Am League schedule is a relatively short-season, with mid level salary caps to help keep league costs to a minimum. Several league policies serve to prevent dominance by owners who can out-spend their opposition:

A league salary cap is a maximum amount that can be spent on the entire player roster. Teams may apportion it among players as they see fit. Certain players are given coaching duties, by which to earn additional pay. A maximum salary cap for a rostered player is about four thousand dollars every 1 to 2 months, varying on the roster size. However most players make about 2 to 3 thousand dollars every month. There are some rostered players that make the max every 2 months. There are no players in the league that makes 4000 in 1 month or less. Rosters are limited to 22 players once the regular season begins. An additional two players can be on the disabled list (which is referred to on some published rosters as the disabled/inactive list, and is sometimes used to ensure that a player under contract that a team does not wish to use is unavailable to opponents).

League roster rules give each player an LS (Length of Service) rating, based on the number of full years the player has played professionally: Rookie, LS-1 through LS-5, and Veteran. Teams can carry at most four veterans and must carry at least five rookies. Some published rosters state the LS rating of each player.

Source: Can-Am League Roster Rules

Scheduling

The Can-Am League has played regular seasons of between 92 and 96 games. In years when one of the teams is a league-operated traveling team, the franchises play an increased number of home games to keep the total length of the regular season constant. All games a franchise plays against the traveling team are played at the franchise's ballpark. However, half of those games are designated "home games" for the traveling team, which takes the field first and bats last as though the game were played at the traveling team's "home."

From 2007–2009, the schedule has not been perfectly balanced, either in the number of times a team will play each of its opponents, nor in the division of home and away games for a given team.

Opponents play a series of from three to five games on consecutive days. There are no doubleheaders in the original schedule, but doubleheaders are played after weather cancels or suspends a game. Occasionally, for the nearby franchises in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the original schedule does not put all the games of a series at the same ballpark. For example, the teams may travel to the visitor's ballpark for the middle game of a series.

Teams

Current teams

Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
Brockton Rox 2002 Brockton, Massachusetts Campanelli Stadium 4,750
New Jersey Jackals 1998 Little Falls, New Jersey Yogi Berra Stadium 3,784
Newark Bears 1999 Newark, New Jersey Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium 6,200
Pittsfield Colonials 2010 Pittsfield, Massachusetts Wahconah Park 4,000
Québec Capitales 1999 Quebec City, Quebec Stade Municipal 4,800
Rockland Boulders 2011 Ramapo, New York Provident Bank Park 4,750
New York Federals 2011 N/A Road Team
Worcester Tornadoes 2005 Worcester, Massachusetts Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field 3,000

[1] Former Can-Am League Franchises

Standings

2010 Final Standings (full-season)

Team W L Win % GB
Quebec Capitales 57 37 .606 0
Brockton Rox 54 39 .581 2.5
♦Pittsfield Colonials 48 45 .516 8.5
New Jersey Jackals 42 50 .457 14
Worcester Tornadoes 41 50 .452 14.5
Sussex Skyhawks 35 56 .385 20.5

♣ Won first half of season
♦ Won second half of season

Source: Can-Am League Standings

History

The Canadian-American Association was created when the Northeast League was renamed in 2005. The Northeast League was formed in 1995 and played four seasons as an independent league. At the end of the 1998 season, the Northeast League was merged with the Northern League and became that league's East Division. Although the East Division did not play the teams that were already in the Northern League during the regular season, the respective divisions played each other in an all-star game every summer and in a league championship series every fall from 1999 until 2002. The Northeast League became its own entity again for the 2003 season and continued play for one additional year before the renaming of the league.

New charter in 2005

The Allentown Ambassadors had folded days before the 2004 season began, forcing the Northeast League to field a traveling team called the Aces. For the 2005 season, the Northeast League accepted the Worcester Tornadoes as a new eighth team. However, three weeks before the start of the 2005 season, the Bangor (Maine) Lumberjacks folded, forcing the team to create another traveling team, this time called The Grays.

The league has operated a traveling team whenever necessary to provide an even number of teams. However, doing so forces the other franchises to host more home games to provide a season of the same length. To obviate such disruptive last-minute schedule changes in the future, the Northeast League adopted a new charter, giving the league new powers to ensure that its franchises are solvent, and renamed itself the Canadian-American Association.

Subsequent changes

For 2006, the Can-Am League added two teams. The new Sussex Skyhawks replaced the Elmira Pioneers, which moved into the amateur New York Collegiate Baseball League; and the Nashua Pride joined the league from the Atlantic League. There were now eight teams without a traveling team.

For 2007, the Atlantic City Surf joined from the Atlantic League, and the league re-established The Grays, after a year of dormancy, as a tenth team. At the end of that season, both the New Haven County Cutters and the North Shore Spirit suspended operations, reducing the league to eight teams. Many New Haven player contracts were sold to Nashua, while many Spirit players were placed on waivers.

For 2008, Ottawa, which had lost its franchise in the International League, joined the Can-Am League as the Rapidz, an eighth franchise, displacing the Grays.

After the 2008 season, Rapids management declared bankruptcy. The league declared its intention to operate the Ottawa franchise in 2009. The league changed the team's name back to Rapids, a spelling used during the team's founding (Rapides in French).[2] Later, however, the Commissioner stated the need for a "fresh start" and opened a contest to select a new name for the team.[3] The winning name was "Voyageurs", as seen above.

Still later, the Atlantic City franchise was terminated, as a sale fell through. On March 30, 2009, the league announced that it would shrink to six teams rather than having two league-operated teams.[4]

The Nashua Pride franchise was sold and was known in 2009 as the American Defenders of New Hampshire because of the military tie-ins of its new ownership group. During the 2009 season the Defenders were locked out of Holman Stadium and forced to play their last home games on the road, bringing doubt to the future of baseball in Nashua. The Quebec Capitales would go on to win their second League Championship.

On December 19, 2009 league directors preliminarily gave approval to transfer the membership of the American Defenders of New Hampshire from Nashua, NH, to Pittsfield, Massachusetts for play in the 2010 season. Final approval was granted by the city for use of Wahconah Park on February 1.[5] The ownership group headed by Buddy Lewis had a lease on Wahconah Park for a team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, and transferred the current lease for play in the Can-Am League. Dan Duquette, former General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, is also part of the ownership group, which is known as Boston Baseball All-Stars LLC.[6] The team was re-named the Pittsfield Colonials.

Playoffs

Before 2006, the Northeast/Can-Am League employed a two-division setup for its half-season format. The two teams that were leading their respective divisions, designated North and South, at the end of the first half of the season automatically qualified for the playoffs. Two additional playoff spots would be made available. Once again, these went to division winners if the first half champions failed to repeat. Otherwise, one or more wild card spots would be given based on the team's overall record in both halves. If absolutely necessary, a one-game playoff would be played in case of a tie.

Beginning in 2006, the league abandoned divisional play. The first half-season leader automatically qualified for the playoffs, as did the second half-season leader if there was a second. To round the field out at four, two or more wild-card spots were given to teams with the best overall season record.

Until 1998, the playoffs were conducted as two best of three series, with the winner of both series winning the League Championship. After that all playoff series have been best of five.

Future plans

At the end of the 2010 season the Newark Bears, who had previously been a member of the Atlantic League announced that they would become a member of the CanAm League. Further, on January 10, 2011, the CanAm League announced that the Rockland Boulders will join the league however, the Sussex Skyhawks will not return. The New York Federals will be a road team for the 2011 season to even the league out at eight teams.

Champions

Champions of the Northeast League, 1995–98

Champions of the Northern League[7]

Champions of the Northeast League, 2003–

Champions of the Can-Am League

References

  1. ^ http://www.canamleague.com/
  2. ^ Campbell, Don (November 14, 2008). "Ottawa's Can-Am 'run' not over yet". The Ottawa Citizen. http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=53e64b99-9061-49e8-8f04-be70c333ff45. Retrieved November 14, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Can-Am team in need of name". The Ottawa Citizen. November 14, 2008. http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=53e64b99-9061-49e8-8f04-be70c333ff45. Retrieved January 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Can-Am to Go with Six Clubs in 2009". Can-Am League. 2009-03-30. http://www.canamleague.com/cgi-bin/dist/news.cgi?id=1238444712. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  5. ^ http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_14313753
  6. ^ http://www.canamleague.com/cgi-bin/dist/news.cgi?id=1261155217
  7. ^ For the four years that the Northeast League was part of the Northern League as the Northern League East, all four league champions came from the Northern League East.

External links


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