South Atlantic League

From BR Bullpen


There have been different South Atlantic Leagues in the history of minor league baseball, spanning from 1904 to 2019 with a few breaks. The Sally operated from 1904-1917 as a class C league, then started up again in 1919, also class C. This time it operated from 1919-1930, moving up to class B beginning in 1921. William Bramham became league president in mid 1924, and served until 1930. The Sally league was re-started again as a class B from 1936-1942, shut down for the war and returned in 1946 as a class A league. The AA Southern Association (which never integrated) ceased operations after the 1961 season and so the SAL was promoted to AA in 1963 to take its place; a year later the name was changed to the Southern League. Out of the 51 seasons of operation, Augusta, GA competed in 46, Macon, GA was around for 46, and Columbia, SC was in 45. Charleston, SC, Jacksonville, FL, Savannah, GA, and Columbus, GA each competed for at least 29 years also, making for a relatively stable line-up.

The South Atlantic League name went unused for 16 years - in 1980 the Western Carolinas League brought back the name when it sought to change its identity. When it played its final season in 2019, the league had fourteen teams, divided into two divisions of seven clubs. When the minor leagues were reorganized following the cancelled 2020 season, some of these teams were transferred to the High-A East and other to the Low-A East sections of the Professional Development League. The name was revived in 2022 when the High-A East rebranded itself as the South Atlantic League.

In 1994 the league opened the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame.

The SAL has long been called the "Sally League."

Current Teams, Managers, and Affiliations[edit]

South Division North Division
Team Manager Parent Team Team Manager Parent Team
Asheville Tourists Nate Shaver Houston Astros Aberdeen IronBirds Roberto Mercado Baltimore Orioles
Bowling Green Hot Rods Jeff Smith Tampa Bay Rays Brooklyn Cyclones Luis Rivera New York Mets
Greenville Drive Iggy Suarez Boston Red Sox Greensboro Grasshoppers Callix Crabbe Pittsburgh Pirates
Hickory Crawdads Carlos Cardoza Texas Rangers Hudson Valley Renegades Dan Fiorito New York Yankees
Rome Braves Kanekoa Texeira Atlanta Braves Jersey Shore BlueClaws Keith Werman Philadelphia Phillies
Winston-Salem Dash Lorenzo Bundy Chicago White Sox Wilmington Blue Rocks Mario Lisson Washington Nationals

League Champions and MVPs[edit]

(formerly called Player of the Year award)

Year Champion MVP
1980 Greensboro Hornets
1981 Greensboro Hornets Dan Murphy, Asheville Tourists OF & Jeff Reynolds, Greensboro Hornets 3B
1982 Greensboro Hornets
1983 Gastonia Expos
1984 Asheville Tourists Kevin Seitzer, Charleston Royals 3B
1985 Florence Blue Jays Sil Campusano, Florence Blue Jays OF
1986 Columbia Mets Cameron Drew, Asheville Tourists RF
1987 Myrtle Beach Blue Jays Ed Whited, Asheville Tourists 3B
1988 Spartanburg Phillies Brant Alyea Jr., Gastonia Rangers OF-DH
1989 Augusta Pirates Mike Mulvaney, Greensboro Hornets 1B
1990 Charleston Wheelers Tim Howard, Columbia Mets 3B
1991 Columbia Mets Kiki Hernandez, Greensboro Hornets C
1992 Myrtle Beach Hurricanes Gary Mota, Asheville Tourists OF
1993 Savannah Cardinals D.J. Boston, Hagerstown Suns 1B
1994 Savannah Cardinals Ruben Rivera, Greensboro Bats OF
1995 Augusta GreenJackets Andruw Jones, Macon Braves OF
1996 Savannah Sand Gnats Russ Branyan, Columbus RedStixx 3B
1997 Delmarva Shorebirds Luis Lopez, Hagerstown Suns 1B
1998 Capital City Bombers Marcus Giles, Macon Braves 2B
1999 Augusta GreenJackets Scott Seabol, Greensboro Bats 3B
2000 Delmarva Shorebirds Chin-Hui Tsao, Asheville Tourists P
2001 Lexington Legends Rene Reyes, Asheville Tourists 1B
2002 Hickory Crawdads Walter Young, Hickory Crawdads 1B
2003 Rome Braves Jorge Cortes, Hickory Crawdads OF
2004 Hickory Crawdads Brandon Moss, Augusta Green Jackets OF
2005 Kannapolis Intimidators Matt Miller, Asheville Tourists OF
2006 Lakewood BlueClaws Eugenio Velez, Augusta GreenJackets 2B/SS
2007 Columbus Catfish John Raynor, Greensboro Grasshoppers, OF
2008 Augusta GreenJackets Darin Holcomb, Asheville Tourists, 3B
2009 Lakewood BlueClaws Jordan Pacheco, Asheville Tourists, C
2010 Lakewood BlueClaws J.D. Martinez, Lexington Legends, OF
2011 Greensboro Grasshoppers Jurickson Profar, Hickory Crawdads, SS
2012 Asheville Tourists Matt Skole, Hagerstown Suns, 3B
2013 Savannah Sand Gnats Rosell Herrera, Asheville Tourists, SS
2014 Asheville Tourists Wilmer Difo, Hagerstown Suns 2B
2015 Hickory Crawdads Luis Guillorme, Savannah Sand Gnats SS
2016 Rome Braves Brian Mundell, Asheville Tourists 1B
2017 Greenville Drive Darick Hall, Lakewood BlueClaws 1B
2018 Lexington Legends Casey Golden, Asheville Tourists OF
2019 Lexington Legends Terrin Vavra, Asheville Tourists SS

Cities Represented[edit]





North Carolina[edit]

South Carolina[edit]







North Carolina[edit]

New Jersey[edit]


South Carolina[edit]

West Virginia[edit]

Hall of Fame Alumni[edit]

41 South Atlantic League/Western Carolinas League alumni have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame:

Further Reading[edit]

External Links[edit]

South Atlantic League

Professional Development League

AAA AA High-A Low-A Complex Leagues Partner Leagues
International League
Pacific Coast League
Mexican League
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Southern League
Texas League
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South Atlantic League
California League
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Florida State League
Arizona Complex League
Florida Complex League
Dominican Summer League
American Association
Atlantic League
Frontier League
Appalachian League
Pioneer League

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