South Atlantic League logo
|No. of teams||14|
|Greenville Drive (2017)|
|Most titles||Asheville Tourists (4)
Augusta GreenJackets (4)
Greensboro Grasshoppers (4)
Savannah Sand Gnats (4)
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.
There have been several 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 as a result of World War II, 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 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.
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.
The league is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern Division.
|Northern||Delmarva Shorebirds||Baltimore Orioles||Salisbury, Maryland||Arthur W. Perdue Stadium||5,200|
|Greensboro Grasshoppers||Miami Marlins||Greensboro, North Carolina||First National Bank Field||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||North Augusta, South Carolina||SRP Park||4,000|
|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|
Notes: Bold font indicates that team is an active South Atlantic League team o An "^" indicates that team's article redirects to an article of an active team in the South Atlantic League or in a different league
The South Atlantic League Hall of Fame was started in 1994.