The International League (IL) is a minor league baseball league which operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so-named because it had teams in both the United States and Canada (and for several years in the 1950s, in Cuba as well.) Its name is currently a misnomer: since the Ottawa Lynx relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvania at the end of the 2007 season, the league now has teams only in the United States.
The league collapsed soon afterwards, when the Northern teams claimed that it was too onerous to travel to the South and formed the International Association. Teams and league names came and went over the years. In , a franchise was awarded to Havana, Cuba, but due to political upheaval in that country it had to be moved — to Jersey City, New Jersey — in the middle of the season. Another foray into the Caribbean failed when the newly-created team in San Juan, Puerto Rico, added in , had to be moved to Charleston, West Virginia in mid-season.
In , an International League all-star team beat the New York Yankees in an exhibition game in Rochester, New York, before 11,000 people. In , the all-stars lost to the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings before 11,032 fans in Columbus, Ohio, to commemorate the league's 100th anniversary.
The International League and the American Association, another Triple-A league that operated in the Midwest, voted in to play interleague games. The league also split into two divisions that year. The interleague concept ended in , but the two league divisions remained.
In further interleague play, in 1988, the three Triple-A leagues, the other being the Pacific Coast League, met to play the first Triple-A All-Star Game. One team was made up of All-Stars from American League affiliates and the other of National League affiliates. Beginning in , a team of IL All-Stars faced off against a team of PCL All-Stars.
Also in 1998, with the addition of three new teams from the disbanded American Association and the new Durham Bulls expansion team, the league reorganized into three divisions: the North Division, South Division, and West Division.
At the end of each season, the three divisional leaders and a wild card team square off in best-of-5 playoffs, with the winning team of the finals awarded the Governors' Cup, the league's championship trophy.
Since the league champion has met to play the PCL champion in the Bricktown Showdown, a single Triple-A Championship game. Previous class championship series included the Junior World Series and the Triple-A World Series.
|North||Buffalo Bisons||New York Mets||Buffalo, New York||Dunn Tire Park||19,500|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs||Philadelphia Phillies||Allentown, Pennsylvania||Coca-Cola Park||10,000|
|Pawtucket Red Sox||Boston Red Sox||Pawtucket, Rhode Island||McCoy Stadium||10,031|
|Rochester Red Wings||Minnesota Twins||Rochester, New York||Frontier Field||10,868|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees||New York Yankees||Moosic, Pennsylvania||PNC Field||10,310|
|Syracuse Chiefs||Washington Nationals||Syracuse, New York||Alliance Bank Stadium||11,117|
|South||Charlotte Knights||Chicago White Sox||Fort Mill, South Carolina||Knights Stadium||10,002|
|Durham Bulls||Tampa Bay Rays||Durham, North Carolina||Durham Bulls Athletic Park||10,000|
|Gwinnett Braves||Atlanta Braves||Lawrenceville, Georgia||Gwinnett County Ballpark||10,099|
|Norfolk Tides||Baltimore Orioles||Norfolk, Virginia||Harbor Park||12,067|
|West||Columbus Clippers||Cleveland Indians||Columbus, Ohio||Huntington Park||15,000|
|Indianapolis Indians||Pittsburgh Pirates||Indianapolis, Indiana||Victory Field||15,500|
|Louisville Bats||Cincinnati Reds||Louisville, Kentucky||Louisville Slugger Field||13,131|
|Toledo Mud Hens||Detroit Tigers||Toledo, Ohio||Fifth Third Field||10,300|
|w-Pawtucket Red Sox||85||58||.594||2½|
|Rochester Red Wings||74||70||.514||14|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs||55||89||.382||33|
w-wild card winner
|Toledo Mud Hens||75||69||.521||13|
Washington Nationals (Former Montreal Expos)
New York Yankees
New York Mets