Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Northern League (1933-1971)


The Northern League was a low-level minor league loop that operated from 1933 to 1962.  Originally designated as a Class D league from 1933 to 1940, the Northern League moved up a rung to the Class C ranking for the 1941 season.  Like many minor baseball leagues, the Northern League went dark for three summers (1943-1945) during the height of World War II.

In 1963 the minor league baseball classification system was reorganized and the “Class C” designation was done away with.  the Northern League became a Single A league for the remainder of its existence.  By 1971 the league was reduced to just four clubs in Minnesota and South Dakota.  The Northern League ceased operations after the 1971 season.

Several other leagues have used the Northern League name over the years.  The name was used intermittently by Class C and D leagues operating in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Manitoba, Canada between 1902 and 1917.   In 1993, a group of prominent minor league investors revived the Northern League name for the launch of an independent league, which enjoyed a long run from 1993 to 2010. Several old Northern League franchise identities were revived for the 1990’s independent league, including the Sioux Falls Canaries (1942, 1946-1953) and the Winnipeg Goldeyes (1954-1964, 1969).

==Franchise List==

Franchise Years Active Home Page Tagged Posts
Aberdeen (SD) Pheasants 1946-1971 Pheasants Home Tagged Posts
Bismarck-Mandan (SD) Pards 1962-1964 & 1966 Pards Home Tagged Posts
Brainerd (MN) Blues 1935 Blues Home Tagged Posts
Brainerd (MN) Muskies 1933 Muskies Home Tagged Posts
Brainerd-Little Falls (MN) Muskies 1934 Muskies Home Tagged Posts
Brandon (MB) Grays 1933 Grays Home Tagged Posts
Crookston (MN) Pirates 1933-1941 Pirates Home Tagged Posts
Duluth (MN) Dukes 1934-1942 & 1946-1955 Dukes Home Tagged Posts
Duluth-Superior (MN-WI) Dukes 1959-1970 Dukes Home Tagged Posts
Duluth-Superior (MN-WI) White Sox 1956-1958) White Sox Home Tagged Posts
East Grand Forks (MN) Colts 1933 Colts Home Tagged Posts
Eau Claire (WI) Bears 1934-1942 & 1946-1953 Bears Home Tagged Posts
Eau Claire (WI) Braves 1954-1962 Braves Home Tagged Posts
Eau Claire (WI) Cardinals 1933 Cardinals Home Tagged Posts
Fargo-Moorhead (ND-MN) Twins 1933-1942 & 1946-1960 Twins Home Tagged Posts
Grand Forks (MN) Chiefs 1938-1942 & 1946-1964 Chiefs Home Tagged Posts
Huron (SD) Cubs 1969-1970 Cubs Home Tagged Posts
Huron (SD) Phillies 1965-1968 Phillies Home Tagged Posts
Jamestown (ND) Jimmies 1936-1937 Jimmies Home Tagged Posts
Mankato (MN) Mets 1967-1968 Mets Home Tagged Posts
Minot (ND) Mallards 1958-1960 & 1962 Mallards Home Tagged Posts
Sioux Falls (SD) Canaries 1942 & 1946-1953 Canaries Home Tagged Posts
Sioux Falls (SD) Packers 1966-1971 Packers Home Tagged Posts
St. Cloud (MN) Rox 1946-1971 Rox Home Tagged Posts
Superior (WI) Blues 1933-1942 & 1946-1955 Blues Home Tagged Posts
Watertown (SD) Expos 1970-1971 Expos Home Tagged Posts
Wausau (WI) Lumberjacks 1956-1957 Lumberjacks Home Tagged Posts
Wausau (WI) Timberjacks 1936-1942 Timberjacks Home Tagged Posts
Winnipeg Goldeyes 1954-1964 Goldeyes Home Tagged Posts
Winnipeg Goldeyes 1969 Goldeyes Home Tagged Posts
Winnipeg Maroons 1933-1942 Maroons Home Tagged Posts

Written by AC

January 6th, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Posted in

4 Responses to 'Northern League (1933-1971)'

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  1. There is discussion of a revived Northern League after the most recent version folded after the 2010 independent league season.


    16 May 13 at 3:02 am

  2. Yeah, we’ll see. The family backing the effort to revive the Northern League name has a bleak track record at attempting to launch low-budget pro sports teams. Previous failures in indy ball on the West Coast and in Atlantic City, along with a misfire on a box lacrosse franchise in New Jersey last summer.


    16 May 13 at 3:53 pm

  3. I am searching for information on a pitcher for the 1936 Jamestown Jimmies – Northern League. He pitched only four games. I don’t know if he was right-handed or left-handed. I need help on this one.

    Jerry L. Pace

    29 Jul 13 at 10:22 pm

  4. Well, I usually look on for that kind of info.

    I suspect you’ve already been there, but they do list a pitcher named Al Aaberg who pitched in four games. Quick web search doesn’t turn up much else though.


    30 Jul 13 at 1:08 am

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