South Atlantic League

For the league called the South Atlantic League until 1964, see Southern League (baseball).
South Atlantic League

South Atlantic League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1980
No. of teams 14
Country USA
Most recent
Rome Braves (2nd)
Classification Class A
Official website Official Website

The South Atlantic League is a minor league baseball league with teams along the Atlantic coastline of the United States from New Jersey to Georgia. It is a Class A league that plays a full season, and its teams are composed of players in their second or third year of professional play.

A number of different leagues known as the South Atlantic League have existed since 1904. The current league of that name adopted the moniker in 1980, having previously been the Western Carolinas League, founded in 1963.


Portion of plaque displaying likeness of John Henry Moss at Municipal Stadium, Hagerstown, Maryland

There have been different South Atlantic Leagues in the history of minor league baseball, spanning from 1904 to the present with a few breaks. The league ran from 1904 to 1917 as a class C league, then started up again in 1919, also class C. This time it ran from 1919 to 1930, moving up to class B beginning in 1921. William G. Bramham became league president in mid-1924, and served until 1930. The league was restarted again as a class B from 1936 to 1942, shut down for the war and returned in 1946 as a class A league. The AA Southern Association (which never integrated) died 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, Georgia competed in 46, Macon, Georgia was around for 46, and Columbia, South Carolina was in 45. Charleston, South Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Columbus, Georgia; each competed for at least 29 years also, making for a relatively stable lineup.

The South Atlantic League name went unused for 16 years, but in 1980 the Western Carolinas League brought back the name when it sought to change its identity. For nearly 60 years, 1948 through 2007, the dominant figure in the WCL/SAL was league founder and president John Henry Moss, who started the WCL as a young man in 1948, refounded it in 1960 and then led it into the new century. Moss retired at the close of the 2007[1] South Atlantic League season. He died at age 90 on July 1, 2009, at Kings Mountain, North Carolina—a town where he had also been mayor for 23 years.[2]

In 2005, the SAL had the highest attendance in 101 years with over 3,541,992 fans (while minor league baseball set a second straight record with 41,333,279 attendees). Currently, the league has 14 teams, divided into two divisions of seven clubs.

In 2015, the Savannah Sand Gnats relocated to Columbia, South Carolina, becoming the Columbia Fireflies.

Current teams

The league is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern Division.

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
Northern Delmarva Shorebirds Baltimore Orioles Salisbury, Maryland Arthur W. Perdue Stadium 5,200
Greensboro Grasshoppers Miami Marlins Greensboro, North Carolina Yadkin Bank Park 7,499
Hagerstown Suns Washington Nationals Hagerstown, Maryland Municipal Stadium 4,600
Hickory Crawdads Texas Rangers Hickory, North Carolina L. P. Frans Stadium 5,092
Kannapolis Intimidators Chicago White Sox Kannapolis, North Carolina Intimidators Stadium 4,700
Lakewood BlueClaws Philadelphia Phillies Lakewood, New Jersey FirstEnergy Park 6,588
West Virginia Power Pittsburgh Pirates Charleston, West Virginia Appalachian Power Park 6,200
Southern Asheville Tourists Colorado Rockies Asheville, North Carolina McCormick Field 4,000
Augusta GreenJackets San Francisco Giants Augusta, Georgia Lake Olmstead Stadium 4,400
Charleston RiverDogs New York Yankees Charleston, South Carolina Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park 6,000
Columbia Fireflies New York Mets Columbia, South Carolina Spirit Communications Park 8,500
Greenville Drive Boston Red Sox Greenville, South Carolina Fluor Field at the West End 6,000
Lexington Legends Kansas City Royals Lexington, Kentucky Whitaker Bank Ballpark 6,994
Rome Braves Atlanta Braves Rome, Georgia State Mutual Stadium 5,105

South Atlantic League teams (1980–present)

Notes: Bold font indicates that team is an active South Atlantic League team • An "^" indicates that team's article redirects to an article of an active team in the South Atlantic League or in a different league

League champions

Season SAL champion SAL runner-up Other postseason participants
1980 Greensboro Hornets Charleston Royals Gastonia Cardinals; Spartanburg Phillies
1981 Greensboro Hornets Greenwood Pirates
1982 Greensboro Hornets Florence Blue Jays Charleston Royals
1983 Gastonia Expos Columbia Mets
1984 Asheville Tourists Charleston Royals Greensboro Hornets; Savannah Cardinals
1985 Florence Blue Jays Greensboro Hornets Columbia Mets; Sumter Braves
1986 Columbia Mets Asheville Tourists
1987 Myrtle Beach Blue Jays Asheville Tourists
1988 Spartanburg Phillies Charleston Rainbows Greensboro Hornets; Myrtle Beach Blue Jays
1989 Augusta Pirates Gastonia Rangers Charleston Rainbows
1990 Charleston Wheelers Savannah Cardinals
1991 Columbia Mets Charleston Wheelers Macon Braves
1992 Myrtle Beach Hurricanes Charleston Wheelers Columbus RedStixx; Spartanburg Phillies
1993 Savannah Cardinals Greensboro Hornets Fayetteville Generals
1994 Savannah Cardinals Hagerstown Suns Columbus RedStixx; Hickory Crawdads
1995 Augusta GreenJackets Piedmont Phillies Asheville Tourists; Columbus RedStixx
1996 Savannah Sand Gnats Delmarva Shorebirds Asheville Tourists; Columbus RedStixx
1997 Delmarva Shorebirds Greensboro Bats Augusta GreenJackets; Cape Fear Crocs; Charleston Alley Cats;
Capital City Bombers; Hickory Crawdads; Macon Braves
1998 Capital City Bombers Greensboro Bats Augusta GreenJackets; Cape Fear Crocs; Delmarva Shorebirds;
Hagerstown Suns; Macon Braves; Piedmont Boll Weevils
1999 Augusta GreenJackets Cape Fear Crocs Capital City Bombers; Columbus RedStixx; Greensboro Bats;
Hagerstown Suns; Hickory Crawdads; Macon Braves
2000 Delmarva Shorebirds Columbus RedStixx Augusta GreenJackets; Piedmont Boll Weevils
2001 Asheville Tourists;
Lexington Legends
Note: SAL Championship Series cancelled;
Asheville and Lexington declared Co-Champions
Augusta GreenJackets; Hagerstown Suns
2002 Hickory Crawdads Columbus RedStixx Capital City Bombers; Delmarva Shorebirds
2003 Rome Braves Lake County Captains Hickory Crawdads; Lexington Legends
2004 Hickory Crawdads Capital City Bombers Charleston Alley Cats
2005 Kannapolis Intimidators Hagerstown Suns Charleston RiverDogs; Delmarva Shorebirds
2006 Lakewood BlueClaws Augusta GreenJackets Lexington Legends; Rome Braves
2007 Columbus Catfish West Virginia Power Augusta GreenJackets; Hickory Crawdads
2008 Augusta GreenJackets West Virginia Power Asheville Tourists; Lake County Captains
2009 Lakewood BlueClaws Greenville Drive Asheville Tourists; Kannapolis Intimidators
2010 Lakewood BlueClaws Greenville Drive Hickory Crawdads; Savannah Sand Gnats
2011 Greensboro Grasshoppers Savannah Sand Gnats Augusta GreenJackets; Hickory Crawdads
2012 Asheville Tourists Greensboro Grasshoppers Hagerstown Suns; Rome Braves
2013 Savannah Sand Gnats Hagerstown Suns Augusta GreenJackets; West Virginia Power
2014 Asheville Tourists Hagerstown Suns Greensboro Grasshoppers; Savannah Sand Gnats
2015 Hickory Crawdads Asheville Tourists West Virginia Power; Savannah Sand Gnats
2016 Rome Braves Lakewood BlueClaws Charleston RiverDogs; Hagerstown Suns

South Atlantic League Hall of Fame

The South Atlantic League Hall of Fame was opened in 1994:


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