Jackhammer Baseball

Joliet JackHammers

Northern League

The Northern League was an independent baseball league that wasn’t a part of the organized minor leagues nor was it affiliate with major league baseball. The league was funded in 1993 by Miles Wolff. The league do however often claim to have been around since 1902 in their advertising and logo. This is due to the fact that there were an earlier older league with the same name. The league folded in 2010 due to financial problems for both the league itself and several of the teams playing in the league. When it folded there was only 3 teams that hadn’t already left the league and these teams went on to form the North American league together with teams from the golden baseball league. The northern league was started due to a demand from cities who wanted to feature minor league teams. About 2 dozen players that played in the northern league has made the transition to major league baseball.

In 1993 the league started with a mere 6 teams, Duluth-Superior Dukes (Duluth, Minnesota), Rochester Aces (Rochester, Minnesota), St. Paul Saints (St. Paul, Minnesota), Sioux Falls Canaries (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Sioux City Explorers (Sioux City, Iowa) and Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks (Thunder Bay, Ontario). Each team need to consist of a certain number of rookies and each team was only allowed a certain numbers of senior players divided into different groups based on how long they played pro baseball. The league started expanding and accepting new teams in 1996. You can read a complete list of the different teams that played in the northern league and when they played below:

  • Rochester Aces (1994 became Winnipeg Goldeyes)
  • Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks (1999 became Schaumburg Flyers)
  • Madison Black Wolf (2001 became Lincoln Saltdogs)
  • Duluth-Superior Dukes (2003 became Kansas City T-Bones)
  • St. Paul Saints (2005 left to create American Association)
  • Lincoln Saltdogs (2005 left to create American Association)
  • Sioux Falls Canaries (2005 left to create American Association, has since changed name to Sioux Falls Pheasants)
  • Sioux City Explorers (2005 left to create American Association)
  • Calgary Vipers (2007 left to join Golden Baseball League, have since folded)
  • Edmonton Cracker-Cats (2007 left to join Golden Baseball League, has since changed name to Edmonton Capitals)
  • Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (2010 left to join American Association)
  • Gary SouthShore RailCats (2010 left to join American Association)
  • Kansas City T-Bones (2010 left to join American Association)
  • Winnipeg Goldeyes (2010 left to join American Association)Northern League Winners
  • 1993 St. Paul Saints
  • 1994 Winnipeg Goldeyes
  • 1995 St. Paul Saints
  • 1996 St. Paul Saints
  • 1997 Duluth-Superior Dukes
  • 1998 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
  • 1999 Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs
  • 2000 Adirondack Lumberjacks
  • 2001 New Jersey Jackals
  • 2002 New Jersey Jackals
  • 2003 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
  • 2004 St. Paul Saints
  • 2005 Gary SouthShore RailCats
  • 2006 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
  • 2007 Gary SouthShore RailCats
  • 2008 Kansas City T-Bones
  • 2009 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
  • 2010 Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks