The St. Paul Saints are a professional baseball team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the United States. The Saints are a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Since the 1993 season to the present, the Saints have played their home games at Midway Stadium. Founded in 1993, today's Saints were a Northern League team through 2005. In 2006 the team was a founding member of the modern American Association.
The current inception of the St. Paul Saints were formed in 1993 in the Northern League, one of several independent leagues not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Saints are known for promotions that are over-the-top even by the standards of minor league baseball. The principal owner, Mike Veeck, is the son of legendary Major League owner Bill Veeck, who was best-known for outrageous promotions as owner of the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox. Comedian and actor Bill Murray is also a part owner.
Despite the considerable naysaying at their inception, the Saints have been one of the most successful teams in the Northern League and all of independent baseball. In 2002-2004, the Saints saw severely reduced attendance, owing partially to renewed interest in the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball, who won the 2002, 2003, and 2004 American League Central Division championships. In spite of an initially cool, if not outright hostile reception, the Saints and their Major League neighbor (less than 10 miles away) have worked together for several years in hopes of increasing support for the sport of baseball.
The Saints have figured prominently in the creation of modern independent baseball. They were featured in a couple books ("Rebel Baseball" by Steve Perlstein, 1993; "Slouching Toward Fargo" by Neal Karlen, 1998) and a cable network series ("Baseball, Minnesota," FX Network, 1996-97). Mike Veeck wrote a book that covered the mantra "Fun is Good" (2005) and describes the business approach he has used for many years.
A major factor in the continued success of the Saints in the face of the Twins' presence is the fact that Midway Stadium, the Saints' home field, is an open-air facility; many Twins fans have bemoaned the unfairness of being forced to go indoors to watch a baseball game on a warm Minnesota summer evening. Another is the love of tailgating by fans in the Twin Cities metropolitan area - the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, situated in the middle of downtown Minneapolis, has little space available for tailgating.
In 1900, the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, a part of the National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The NL actually gave permission to the AL to put a team in Chicago, and on March 21, 1900, Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the South Side, where they became the Chicago White Sox.
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