Eastern Shore League

The Eastern Shore Baseball League was a class D minor league baseball league that operated on the Delmarva Peninsula for parts of three different decades. The league's first season was in 1922 and the last was in 1949, although the years were not consecutive, and featured teams from Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The first incarnation lasted from 1922 to mid-1928 (disbanded in July), the second from 1937–41, and the third from 1946–49. Though the level of play was competitive and many future major leaguers gained experience in the ESBL, funding the league remained a constant problem for the rural franchises.

Future major leaguers who played in the ESBL include notables such as: Frank "Home Run" Baker, Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Vernon, and Don Zimmer.

The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland, pays homage to ESBL players and locals who made the major leagues. Perdue Stadium is the home of the class A Delmarva Shorebirds, an Orioles farm team.

Host cities, teams and years

Cities representedTeamsYear(s)
Cambridge, MarylandCambridge Canners1922–1928,
Cambridge Cardinals1937–1939
Cambridge Dodgers1946–1949
Centreville, MarylandCentreville Colts1937–1939
Centreville Red Sox1940–1941
Centreville Orioles1946
Crisfield, MarylandCrisfield Crabbers1922–1928,
Dover, DelawareDover Senators1923–1924,
Dover Dobbins1925
Dover Orioles1937–1940
Dover Phillies1946–1948
Easton, MarylandEaston Farmers1924–1928
Easton Browns1937
Easton Cubs1938
Easton Yankees1939–1941,
Federalsburg, MarylandFederalsburg Little A's1937–1941
Federalsburg A's1946–1948
Federalsburg Feds1949
Laurel, DelawareLaurel Blue Hens1922–1923
Milford, DelawareMilford Sandpipers1923
Milford Giants1938–1941
Milford Red Sox1946–1948
Northampton, VirginiaNorthampton Red Sox1927–1928
Parksley, VirginiaParksley Spuds1922–1928
Pocomoke City, MarylandPocomoke City Salamanders1922–1923
Pocomoke City Red Sox1937–1939
Pocomoke City Chicks1940
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware  Rehoboth Beach Pirates1947–1948
Rehoboth Beach Sea Hawks1949
Salisbury, MarylandSalisbury Indians1922–1928,
Salisbury (MD) Senators1939
Salisbury Cardinals1940–1941,
Seaford, DelawareSeaford Eagles1946–1949

Selected bibliography

  • The Eastern Shore Baseball League by William Mowbray (1989) remains the most comprehensive source for ESBL history.
  • Mike Lambert has published the Eastern Shore League with Arcadia Publishing in April 2010.


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