The Northeast League was an independent minor baseball league that operated in the Northeastern United States from 1995 until 1998 and from 2003 until 2004. Between 1999 and 2002, the league was part of the Northern League after the two leagues agreed to merge. The league was superseded by the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, which its members joined for the 2005 season.
For the first season, six teams played and were all based in southern and central New York. Albany (Albany Diamond Dogs), Glens Falls (Adirondack Lumberjacks), Yonkers (Yonkers Hoot Owls), Newburgh (Newburgh Night Hawks), Little Falls (Mohawk Valley Landsharks) and Mountaindale (Sullivan Mountain Lions) were all given teams and Albany won the first league championship in a 68-game season.https://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/league.cgi?id=9c513c59 For 1996, things changed slightly. The Mountain Lions were sold to a new ownership group who renamed them the Catskill Cougars and moved them to the North Atlantic League while the Landsharks moved to West Warwick, Rhode Island, expanding the league into New England as the team became the Rhode Island Tiger Sharks. The Hoot Owls also folded and the league added a second New England team, the Bangor Blue Ox, and added Maine to its footprint in place of Yonkers. To replace the Mountain Lions/Cougars, an expansion team was granted to Elmira, New York, which had lost its New Yorkâ€“Penn League team when the Boston Red Sox chose to move the team to Massachusetts and rename them the Lowell Spinners. Like every other professional baseball team to play in Elmira since 1923, the expansion team was named the Pioneers.https://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/league.cgi?id=982437de Albany won the league title again.http://www.rauzulusstreet.com/baseball/minors/northerneastchamps.htm In 1997 the league expanded to eight teams and switched to a two-division format. Newburgh and Rhode Island folded after the 1996 season. As the result of the disbanding of the North Atlantic League Catskill rejoined the Northeast League and the Lynn, Massachusetts-based Massachusetts Mad Dogs followed them. Meanwhile, the league expanded into Waterbury, Connecticut and Allentown, Pennsylvania with the Waterbury Spirit and Allentown Ambassadors. The league was won by the Elmira Pioneers.https://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/league.cgi?id=146d9fb7 For 1998, the Diamond Dogs added the name of their actual home town, Colonie, to their name and became known as the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs. Bangor's team folded and the team's place was taken by the expansion New Jersey Jackals, who played in a then-unfinished Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, New Jersey on the campus of Montclair State University. The new franchise won the Northeast League championship in their first season. After the season, prior to the merger with the Northern League, the Catskill franchise again folded. The Cougars would return as a member of the Northern League East in 2000 but would not last beyond that season.
Champions of the Northern LeagueFor the four years that the Northeast League was part of the Northern League as the Northern League East, all four league champions came from the Northern League East.
1999 Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs
2000 Adirondack Lumberjacks
2001 New Jersey Jackals
2002 New Jersey Jackals
Champions of the Northeast League, 2003â€“2004
2003 Brockton Rox
2004 New Jersey Jackals
Category:Independent baseball leagues in the United States Category:1995 establishments in the United States Category:1998 disestablishments in the United States Category:2003 establishments in the United States Category:2004 disestablishments in the United States Category:Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball Category:Sports leagues established in 1995 Category:Defunct independent baseball leagues in the United States Category:Baseball leagues in Maine Category:Baseball leagues in New Jersey Category:Baseball leagues in Massachusetts Category:Baseball leagues in Rhode Island Category:Baseball leagues in Pennsylvania