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downstairs
08-02-2010, 04:31 PM
I'm putting this in Talking Baseball because it applies to all teams but I noticed it on the White Sox minor league history page here:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/affiliate.cgi?id=CHW

In the mid-40's, the Sox frequently had twelve to fourteen(!) minor league teams at a time.

How could they have possibly filled all of these teams? That seems crazy, especially because they quickly whittled that down to 6-7 in a few years.

I don't know much of minor league history... just curious what was up with that era, and why they so quickly gutted 1/2 their farm system.

LITTLE NELL
08-02-2010, 06:32 PM
I'm putting this in Talking Baseball because it applies to all teams but I noticed it on the White Sox minor league history page here:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/affiliate.cgi?id=CHW

In the mid-40's, the Sox frequently had twelve to fourteen(!) minor league teams at a time.

How could they have possibly filled all of these teams? That seems crazy, especially because they quickly whittled that down to 6-7 in a few years.

I don't know much of minor league history... just curious what was up with that era, and why they so quickly gutted 1/2 their farm system.

I did not know that they had that many minor league teams back then.
I can remember these levels; AAA, AA, A, B, C and D.
In the midwest there was a very good low minor league called the 3-I league made up of teams in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.

MisterB
08-02-2010, 06:39 PM
Before the system was reorganized in 1963, minor league teams had much more autonomy.

Being the "farm team" of a Major League club meant that you had some players that were signed by your "parent" club and were getting seasoning before being moved up higher in the system (at the parent's expense, just like it is today), but the rest of the roster you filled out and paid yourself either with minor league veterans or trying out new, young players. And if you happened to sign a kid that showed promise, the parent club could buy the rights to the player, making you more revenue.

In the 50's, the minor leagues started having serious financial troubles, with many teams and some whole leagues closing up shop. The 1963 reorganization set up the current farm system, which is almost wholly funded and staffed through the MLB teams.

SephClone89
08-02-2010, 07:03 PM
Before the system was reorganized in 1963, minor league teams had much more autonomy.

Being the "farm team" of a Major League club meant that you had some players that were signed by your "parent" club and were getting seasoning before being moved up higher in the system (at the parent's expense, just like it is today), but the rest of the roster you filled out and paid yourself either with minor league veterans or trying out new, young players. And if you happened to sign a kid that showed promise, the parent club could buy the rights to the player, making you more revenue.

In the 50's, the minor leagues started having serious financial troubles, with many teams and some whole leagues closing up shop. The 1963 reorganization set up the current farm system, which is almost wholly funded and staffed through the MLB teams.

Did the 1963 reorganization lead to more popularity for the minors, or was there a decrease in local interest?

DSpivack
08-02-2010, 07:26 PM
Did the 1963 reorganization lead to more popularity for the minors, or was there a decrease in local interest?

I thought I remember reading somewhere that TV killed many of those minor league teams. Fans that once watched their minor league teams in person instead watched their local MLB teams on tv. A centralized minor league system thus became an economic necessity.

Nellie_Fox
08-03-2010, 12:40 AM
IIRC, they went as deep as Class D. And many teams had arrangements with several teams in the deeper minors. As has been stated, it was mostly television that killed the large number of minor leagues. Every town of any size had a team, but once people could watch MLB on TV, they stopped going in any number.

downstairs
08-03-2010, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the info everyone. That makes sense. Before TV I suppose the only way for most of America to watch baseball at all was to go to a minor league game. And TV certainly became popular right after this 1940's period I was questioning.