|Formerly||Western International League (WIL) (1937–1954)|
|No. of teams||8|
|Countries||Canada, United States|
|Vancouver Canadians (2017)|
Spokane Indians (8)|
Yakima Bears (8)
|Level on pyramid||Class A Short Season|
The Northwest League of Professional Baseball (or simply the Northwest League or NWL) is a Class A Short Season minor league in the northwest United States and western Canada. The NWL's short season starts in mid-June, after major league teams have signed their amateur draft picks to professional contracts, and ends in early September. All eight teams are affiliated with a major league team.
The Northwest League (or the Northwestern League) has existed in various forms since 1890, and has been in its current incarnation since 1955. The current NWL is the descendant of the Western International League (WIL), a Class B league from 1937 to 1951 (with a stoppage during World War II) and Class A from 1952 to 1954. The league reformed as the Northwest League and dropped to Class B for the 1955 season.
The WIL had ten teams in its final season, with four in Canada. The six U.S. cities plus Eugene were the seven charter teams of the Northwest League in 1955: Salem Senators, Eugene Emeralds, Yakima Bears, Spokane Indians, Tri-City Braves, Wenatchee Chiefs, and Lewiston Broncs. During its fiftieth season in 2004, five of the seven original cities were in the league. The Northwest League switched to the short season schedule in 1966, with only four teams.
|North||Everett AquaSox||Seattle Mariners||Everett, Washington||Everett Memorial Stadium||3,682||110,161||2,899|
|Spokane Indians||Texas Rangers||Spokane, Washington||Avista Stadium||6,803||196,653||5,315|
|Tri-City Dust Devils||San Diego Padres||Pasco, Washington||Gesa Stadium||3,654||86,461||2,275|
|Vancouver Canadians||Toronto Blue Jays||Vancouver, British Columbia||Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium||6,500||239,527||6,303|
|South||Boise Hawks||Colorado Rockies||Boise, Idaho||Memorial Stadium||4,500||121,455||3,196|
|Eugene Emeralds||Chicago Cubs||Eugene, Oregon||PK Park||4,000||125,297||3,297|
|Hillsboro Hops||Arizona Diamondbacks||Hillsboro, Oregon||Ron Tonkin Field||4,500||128,416||3,379|
|Salem-Keizer Volcanoes||San Francisco Giants||Keizer, Oregon||Volcanoes Stadium||4,250||81,011||2,132|
Current team rosters
League champions have been determined by different means since the Northwest League's formation in 1955. Except for 1956, 1960, and from 1966 to 1973, all seasons have ended with playoffs to determine a league champion.
The Spokane Indians and Yakima Bears have each won 8 championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Boise Hawks (6). Among active franchises, Spokane has won 8 championships, the most in the league, followed by Boise (6) and the Eugene Emeralds and Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (5).
Former Northwest League teams (1955–)
Cities that have hosted NWL teams
Eugene is the most-tenured city in the NWL, having fielded a team in all but five of the NWL's seasons (from 1969–73, they had a PCL franchise).
Hall of Fame alumni
Seven alumni of the Northwest League are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame:
- Bobby Cox - Salem Dodgers, 1961-62; inducted in 2014
- Ken Griffey, Jr. – Bellingham Mariners, 1987; inducted in 2016
- Tony Gwynn – Walla Walla Padres, 1981; inducted in 2007
- Rickey Henderson – Boise A's, 1976; inducted in 2009
- Reggie Jackson – Lewiston Broncs, 1966; inducted in 1993
- Mike Piazza – Salem Dodgers, 1989; inducted in 2016
- Ozzie Smith – Walla Walla Padres, 1977; inducted in 2002
- Sandy Alomar, Jr. – Spokane Indians, 1984
- Garret Anderson – Boise Hawks, 1990
- Kevin Appier – Eugene Emeralds, 1987
- Pedro Astacio – Yakima Bears, 1990
- Garrett Atkins – Portland Rockies, 2000
- Jim Bouton – Portland Mavericks, 1973 & 1977
- Jason Bartlett – Eugene Emeralds, 2001
- Glenn Beckert - Wenatchee Chiefs, 1963
- Dante Bichette – Salem Angels, 1984
- Carlos Beltrán – Spokane Indians, 1996
- Dallas Braden – Vancouver Canadians, 2004
- Kris Bryant - Boise Hawks, 2013
- Bert Campaneris - Lewiston Broncs, 1963
- Tom Candiotti - Victoria Mussels, 1979
- José Canseco – Medford A's, 1983
- Rico Carty - Yakima Valley Braves, 1962
- Ron Cey - Tri-City Atoms, 1968
- Aaron Cook – Portland Rockies, 1998
- Ron Coomer - Medford A's, 1987
- Chris Davis - Spokane Indians, 2006
- Eric Davis – Eugene Emeralds, 1980–81
- Mark DeRosa – Eugene Emeralds, 1996
- Dick Dietz – Eugene Emeralds, 1962
- Josh Donaldson - Boise Hawks, 2007
- Dave Duncan - Lewiston Broncs, 1965
- Andre Ethier – Vancouver Canadians, 2003
- Todd Field – Portland Mavericks batboy, 1976–77
- Chone Figgins – Portland Rockies, 1998
- Chuck Finley – Salem Angels, 1985
- George Foster – Medford Giants, 1968
- Matt Franco – Portland Mavericks batboy, 1977
- Julio Franco – Central Oregon Phillies, 1979
- Tom Gordon – Eugene Emeralds, 1987
- Jason Giambi – Southern Oregon A's, 1992
- Carlos González – Yakima Bears, 2004
- Khalil Greene – Eugene Emeralds, 2002
- Pedro Guerrero – Bellingham Dodgers, 1974
- Bob Hamelin – Eugene Emeralds, 1988
- Dave Henderson - Bellingham Mariners, 1977
- Félix Hernández – Everett AquaSox, 2003
- Ender Inciarte - Yakima Bears, 2010
- Ian Kinsler -- Spokane Indians, 2003
- John Kruk – Walla Walla Padres, 1981
- Paul Konerko – Yakima Bears, 1994
- Adam Jones – Everett AquaSox, 2003
- John Lackey – Boise Hawks, 1999
- Mark Langston - Bellingham Mariners, 1981
- Ted Lilly - Yakima Bears, 1996
- Tim Lincecum – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2006
- Edgar Martínez – Bellingham Mariners, 1983
- Kirk McCaskill – Salem Angels, 1982
- Denis Menke - Yakima Valley Braves, 1960
- Wade Miley - Yakima Bears, 1996
- Rick Monday – Lewiston Broncos, 1965
- Bill Murray – Grays Harbor Loggers, 1978
- Joe Nathan – Bellingham Giants, 1995; Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 1997
- Claude Osteen - Wenatchee Chiefs, 1958
- Troy Percival – Boise Hawks, 1991
- Eduardo Pérez – Boise Hawks, 1991
- Juan Pierre – Portland Rockies, 1998
- Buster Posey – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2008
- Mark Reynolds - Yakima Bears, 2004
- Francisco Rodríguez – Boise Hawks, 1999
- Kurt Russell – Bend Rainbows, Walla Walla Islanders, Portland Mavericks, 1971–73, 1977
- Tim Salmon – Bend Bucks, 1989
- Jeff Samardzija – Boise Hawks, 2006
- Casey Sander – Seattle Rainiers, 1975
- Pablo Sandoval – Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2005
- Kyle Schwarber - Boise Hawks, 2014
- Mike Scioscia – Bellingham Dodgers, 1976
- Braden Shipley - Hillsboro Hops, 2014
- Ted Sizemore - Tri-City Atoms, 1966
- Kurt Suzuki – Vancouver Canadians, 2004
- Dansby Swanson - Hillsboro Hops, 2015
- Mike Sweeney – Eugene Emeralds, 1992–93
- Nick Swisher – Vancouver Canadians, 2002
- Kevin Tapani - Medford A's, 1986
- Miguel Tejada – Southern Oregon A's, 1995
- Tom Treblehorn - Bend Rainbows, 1970
- Trea Turner - Eugene Emeralds, 2014
- Dan Uggla – Yakima Bears, 2001
- Max Venable - Bellingham Dodgers, 1976
- Shane Victorino – Yakima Bears, 2000
- Omar Vizquel - Bellingham Mariners, 1985
- Matt Williams - Everett Giants, 1986
- Mitch Williams - Walla Walla Padres, 1982
- Russell Wilson – Tri-City Dust Devils, 2010
- Mike Zunino – Everett AquaSox, 2012
- Missildine, Harry (April 20, 1972). "Northwest League goes back to 1890". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 22.
- "Spokane gets berth in new ball league". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. November 8, 1954. p. 18.
- "Indians "on first" in baseball plans". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. November 9, 1954. p. 14.
- "Northwest loop begins to shape into a tight seven-team battle". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. June 11, 1955. p. 8.
- Rodman, Bob (June 17, 1981). "29 years of minor league baseball". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1E.
- "Northwest League assured for 1966". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. November 30, 1965. p. 3B.
- Harvey, Paul, III (June 23, 1966). "4-team NWL slates 12th opener Friday". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 2D.
- "Northwest League: final standings". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. September 6, 1966. p. 3B.
- "Northwest League Attendance". Northwest League. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
- "Northwest League Past Champions". Northwest League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
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