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Old 08-07-2019, 09:03 AM   #1
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Middle Atlantic League (1925-1951)

The Middle Atlantic League was a Class C baseball league active for 24 seasons between 1925 and 1951. Like many of the minor league baseball circuits, the Mid-Atlantic League went dark during the peak of World War II in the summers of 1943, 1944 and 1945. Unlike many other leagues, when the Mid-Atlantic League re-organized in 1946, it featured an almost entirely new lineup of cities from the group that last played in the summer of ’42. Only the Erie Sailors returned. Over the years the league was active in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Elmer M. Daily was president of the league through all 24 years of its existence.

Since I live in Akron, Ohio - and Akron hosted the Akron Yankees in this league from 1935 to 1941, I decided an OOTP replay of the MAL would be fun to do.

I hope to manipulate the team changes over time to simulate the historical record, although shutting down a championship team because the historical timeline says so will have to be adjusted to a team that fits the situation. 30 teams saw at least one year in the MAL, and 19 of those teams appeared more than once – thus the replay should prove an interesting challenge.

If there is enough interest, I will embellish some stories that will make it feel more real as I move through the seasons. I hope this project is enjoyable.

Today I present the inaugural season of the MAL…
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:28 PM   #2
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Middle Atlantic League 1926

The Jeanette (PA) Jays and Uniontown (PA) Cokers joined the league for the '26 season. The Cumberland Colts repeated their strong performance of 1925, posting a 68-42 record, but fell again in the Middle Atlantic Cup Series to the Wheeling Stogies.

Looking toward 1927;

The original MAL lost the Uniontown team at the end of its first season to financial difficulties. As it turns out in our replay, the Uniontown Cokers also experienced monetary challenges; placing 8th in 7 of the 9 financial catagories. Only 302,996 people came through the gates - half of what the Cumberland Colts managed. The Charleroi (PA) Governors will replace Uniontown for the 1927 season.

18 players from Uniontown opted for Free Agency and will be available to other MAL teams.

The 1926 MAL results...
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:34 AM   #3
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Middle Atlantic League 1927

The 2-year practice of Cumberland winning the MAL Pennant, and then losing the MAL Cup Series ended as Wheeling won its second MAL Cup in 2 years - being the first team to win both awards.

The new Charleroi team struggled to 8th place, posting a 41-69 record, but will return for the 1928 season.

The big surprise for the year was the sophomore team, Jeannette Jays, who chased Wheeling all season long - ending their run only 1 game out of first place. Although losing in the Cup Series 4-2, the Jays are making the presence known.

The 1927 MAL results...
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:43 AM   #4
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Middle Atlantic League 1928

The Scottdale Scotties captured the 1928 MAL Pennant and the MAL Cup in a very successful season.

During the 1928-29 Winter Meetings, Scottdale owner Michael Brenner proposed disallowing Pitchers to win the MVP Award, using two examples of 1925 and 1928 where his own RF Felipe Rosales led the league in most offensive categories and was locked out of the award in favor of a Pitcher who had already won the Best Pitcher Award.

1925; .380*/.442*/.605*, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 4.2 WAR* - MVP Winner; Devin Pope (JOH) who also won Best Pitcher Award.
1928; .384*/.477*/.529, 8 HR, 76 RBI, 5.9 WAR* - MVP Winner; Matt Moore (SCO) who also won Best Pitcher Award.


Brenner stated wider distribution of awards was good, for the players careers, fan interest, and the MAL's status.

After some discussion, the proposal was passed 7-1 with Johnstown being the only opposing vote.

The 1928 MAL Results...
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:52 PM   #5
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Middle Atlantic League 1929

The Wheeling Stogies captured their 3rd MAL Championship - and they did it in style. Although the entire team contributed, 1B Joe Robertson was the first MAL player to bat over .400 for the season - posting a .424 batting average, a .463 OBP, and a .657 SLG. Joe's 5 year MAL career has posted a .349, .358, .369,. .364, and now a .424 batting average.

The 1929 MAL Results...
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:25 PM   #6
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Middle Atlantic League 1930

After 2 Pennants (1925 & 1926) and 2 lost Championship Series, the Cumberland Colts win their 1st MAL Cup, doing it as the runner-up team. Finishing the season 8 games out of 1st place, the Colts shelled the Pennant winning Stogies 4 games to 1. Although there are never-ending arguments about who the "real" champion is each off-season, the Pennant/Cup playoff configuration always brings out the fans.

On another note, the 1930-31 Winter Meetings were extended an extra day to conclude a contentious discussion. Three charter members of the league; Johnstown, Clarksburg, and Fairmont proposed expanding the 1931 season from 8 to 12 teams.

Commissioner Elmer Daily did not like the proposal, arguing an increase of 4 new teams would strain the leagues stability, but as the arguments went on, Jeanette and Charleroi saw the possibility that 4 new teams would likely rank them higher in the standings, increasing their attendance.

Try as he might, Commissioner Daily couldn't get a 4th vote to allow him to kill the proposal, and the team owners voted 5-3 in favor of expansion. Charleston (WV), Beckley (WV), Huntington (WV), and Hagerstown (MD) will join the league in 1931, and the schedule remained at 120 games.

The 1930 MAL Results...
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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Analyzing the MAL 1931 Season...

Note from HR Baker;

The 1931 MAL season was a difficult one to manipulate. From 1930 to '31, four new teams were added - then from 1931 to '32, six teams needed to be disbanded. This is the real-life timeline I had to follow from the MAL historical record.

Since the replay results in different team results, I couldn't simply drop the same six teams that happened in real life - especially if the team being dropped was actually one of the better teams in the Replay league... so I had to compare the real life MAL 1931 standings with the replay standings and find a way to determine the likelihood of each team staying in the league for 1932.

Ultimately, reviewing the team finances in detail was the best way to do this. Below is a comparison of who stayed in the MAL in real-life, and who the most financially stable clubs were in the Replay - and would remain in my league.

Real life MAL 1931.........Replay MAL 1931

1. Charleston(stayed).....Wheeling(stayed, charter)
2. Cumberland(stayed)...Beckley(stayed)
3. Beckley(stayed)..........Scottdale(stayed, charter)
4. Scottdale.....................Charleston
5. Johnstown(stayed)......Cumberland(stayed, charter)
6. Huntington(stayed)......Jeanette
7. Clarksburg(stayed)......Hagerstown
8. Fairmont......................Huntington
9. Hagerstown.................Clarksburg(stayed, charter)
10. Wheeling...................Johnstown(stayed, charter)
11. Charleroi....................Charleroi
12. Jeanette.....................Fairmont(charter)

Five of the six charter teams from 1925 remained in the league while the Bexley Knights replaced the Fairmont Maroons.

Once the teams that were leaving were determined, the next issue was where the players go; either to "never-never land" or the Free Agent list to be available to other teams. For this decision, I turned to history.

In real-life, Charleston and Huntington remained in the MAL until 1942 and 1933 respectively. That suggested to me that these teams would likely link up with another league and their players would go with them - thus I would send them to "never-never land" in the MAL Replay. The other four teams ended their historical record in 1931, so I released those players to the Free Agent list.

So, after I report on the 1931 season results, I will proceed with my MAL replay in 1932 with the following 6 teams...

Wheeling Stogies (8th Season, 5 playoffs, 4 championships)
Beckley Knights (2nd Season, 1 playoff)
Scottdale Scotties (8th Season, 2 playoffs, 1 championship)
Cumberland Colts (8th Season, 3 playoffs, 1 championship)
Clarksburg Generals (8th Season)
Johnstown Johnnies (8th Season, 2 playoffs, 1 championship)


It looks like Commissioner Daily was right - an expansion to 12 teams was a mistake.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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Middle Atlantic League 1931

In the MAL's "Great Experiment" the team owners of 1930 almost destroyed the league. Adding 4 teams to a previous platform of 8 teams, the 1931 Middle Atlantic League financially crumbled under its own weight, driving half the clubs to seek shelter. Two teams moved on, and 4 shuttered their doors. The remaining 6 teams will attempt to stabilize things for 1932.

The Wheeling Stogies (charter team) needed 121 games to outlast the newcomer Beckley Knights for the Pennant, then swept the Knights 4-0 to capture their 4th MAL Cup.

The 1931 MAL Results...
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:50 PM   #9
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Middle Atlantic League 1932

1932 seemed to re-stabilize the league at the cost of a couple points worth mentioning.

Last year's champions, the Stogies, crashed and burned in '32 going from a 70-51 season to 45-75, landing in last place. Wheeling's Runs Produced dropped from 5.7 to 4.5 - and their Runs Allowed rose from 4.9 to 6.0. Part of the cause is likely a couple bad trades and loss of players to Free Agency. In either case, both the Wheeling GM and Manager were sent out to pasture at the end of August.

Other changes include the Beckley Knights leaving the league, and being replaced by the Springfield (OH) Indians and the addition of the Zanesville Grays and Dayton Ducks to bring the MAL back to its previous 8 team total.

The 1932 MAL Results...
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:20 PM   #10
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Some thoughts on the future of the Middle Atlantic League...

I've so far replayed 1925-1932, 8 years, out of an historical run of 1925-1951 (minus war years) of a 23 year campaign. When I started, i wasn't quiet sure what I would do when I got to 1951, but recently I'm forming an idea that I think will be fun.

The MAL continues to bounce back and forth between 6 and 8 teams over the next 19 years, finally ending its run in '51 with an 8 team field. I'm thinking it might be interesting to add the 4 most "popular" teams from 1925 to 1951 and organize a 12 team - 2 division MAL starting in 1952.

I would probably take over one of the teams (hopefully the Akron Yankees?) and then report on my attempt to make them the MAL juggernauts.

Two other things;

(1) During the 3 years the league closed for WW2, I thought it would be a good idea to post bios of the 20 MAL players who gave their lives during that conflict, and

(2) Between 1951 and 1952, I would write up a few biographies for the best players in the MAL Replay - maybe the Hall of Fame inductees.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:30 PM   #11
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Middle Atlantic League 1933

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Old 08-13-2019, 03:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HRBaker View Post
I've so far replayed 1925-1932, 8 years, out of an historical run of 1925-1951 (minus war years) of a 23 year campaign. When I started, i wasn't quiet sure what I would do when I got to 1951, but recently I'm forming an idea that I think will be fun.

The MAL continues to bounce back and forth between 6 and 8 teams over the next 19 years, finally ending its run in '51 with an 8 team field. I'm thinking it might be interesting to add the 4 most "popular" teams from 1925 to 1951 and organize a 12 team - 2 division MAL starting in 1952.

I would probably take over one of the teams (hopefully the Akron Yankees?) and then report on my attempt to make them the MAL juggernauts.

Two other things;

(1) During the 3 years the league closed for WW2, I thought it would be a good idea to post bios of the 20 MAL players who gave their lives during that conflict, and

(2) Between 1951 and 1952, I would write up a few biographies for the best players in the MAL Replay - maybe the Hall of Fame inductees.

Thoughts?
I think it would be cool for you to continue it after it officially ended with one of the teams in the league. There would be a ton of history in the league and you'd be able to create more as you go. The bios in both cases would be really cool as well.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:07 PM   #13
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Middle Atlantic League 1934

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Old 08-14-2019, 10:31 AM   #14
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Middle Atlantic League 1935

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:59 PM   #15
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The toughest Class C League . . .ever!
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:06 PM   #16
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Middle Atlantic League 1936

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Old 08-15-2019, 09:05 PM   #17
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Middle Atlantic League 1937

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Old 08-16-2019, 02:31 PM   #18
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Middle Atlantic League 1938

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Old 08-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #19
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