The Prairie League of Professional Baseball is an independent minor baseball league providing exciting and entertaining baseball in eight cities spanning Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
The Prairie League's inaugural season in 1995 saw eight teams competing for the rights to call themselves Prairie League Champions. The Canadian Division boasted the Brandon Grey Owls, Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs, Regina Cyclones, and Saskatoon Riot. The American Division was composed of the Aberdeen Pheasants, Dakota Rattlers, Minneapolis Loons, and Minot Mallards.
The league final was a best-of-five between the Aberdeen Pheasants and the Regina Cyclones. The Regina Cyclones jumped out to a surprising 2-0 series lead. After Aberdeen responded with a 6-1 win at home, the Cyclones claimed the first ever Prairie League Championship.
In the 1996 season, three more teams joined the Prairie League with the addition of the Green Bay Sultans, Grand Forks Varmints, and the Brainerd Bobcats. The Minneapolis Loons relocated to the friendly area of Austin, Minnesota and were renamed the Southern Minny Stars and the Saskatoon franchise, under new local ownership, had adopted the name "Smokin' Guns." The North Division consisted of the Brandon Grey Owls, Grand Forks Varmints, Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs, Regina Cyclones, and Saskatoon Smokin' Guns. The South Division boasted the Aberdeen Pheasants, Brainerd Bobcats (suspended operations 06/19/96), Dakota Rattlers, Green Bay Sultans, Minot Mallards, and Southern Minny Stars.
In the North Division the Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs (first and second half winners) met the Grand Forks Varmints in the best-of-three divisional final. The Varmints claimed the North Division Final in a dramatic third and final game in Moose Jaw and advanced to the Prairie League Championship Final. The South Division Final saw the Minot Mallards (first half winners) and the Aberdeen Pheasants (second half winners) battle in the best-of-three divisional final. The Mallards advanced to the PL Championship by sweeping the Pheasants in two straight games.
The best-of-five league final between the Grand Forks Varmints and the Minot Mallards saw the Mallards take their first Prairie League Championship by downing the Varmints in four games.
For the upcoming 1997 season, there are eight teams vying for the Prairie league Championship. The North Division includes the Brandon Grey Owls, Moose Jaw Diamond Dogs, Regina Cyclones, and Saskatoon Stallions. The South Division consists of the Aberdeen Pheasants, Grand Forks Varmints, Minot Mallards, and Southern Minny Stars. The schedule is 72 games long, with the season opening June 13, 1997 and running to August 29, 1997.
The 1997 season will once again provide exciting and entertaining baseball action for people of all ages in the Prairie League communities!
Photograph of the Minot Mallards, 1996 Prairie League Champions!
See 1995 champs The Regina Cyclones
Copyright © 1996 Prairie League of Professional Baseball.