Must-click link: Remembering the short, weird life of the Inter-American League

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In 1979 a fourth Triple-A league started up business, joining the International League, Pacific Coast League and then-still-existing American Association. It was called the Inter-American League. It had no big league affiliations, but it was sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

Former big leaguers like Tom House, Mike Cuellar and Cito Gaston all played for Inter-American League teams which included one American team (the Miami Amigos) and five franchises based in the Caribbean: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Caracas, Venezuela; Maracaibo, Venezuela; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Panama City, Panama. It was the brainchild of Bobby Maduro, who worked as an assistant to MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn. The plan was to play a 130-game schedule stretched over five months.

It didn’t last. Today, Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times has a great article on it, detailing the good, the bad and the ugly of the IAL.

It’s quite a story. One team had a nice new tarp but didn’t know how to put it on the field. Another team forgot to send in box scores to the league office, so they couldn’t keep track of the stats. One team had a blank scoreboard sometimes because they only had one scoreboard operator and sometimes he worked nights. Many pitchers got special permission to only show up on days they pitched because they had day jobs selling shoes and stuff.

Obviously, the league folded. But Markusen’s story breathes new life into a long gone, quite weird little corner of baseball history. Go read it.

 

Tim Anderson exits game with apparent ankle injury

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White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson needed help leaving the field after suffering an ankle injury in the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Anderson was fielding a ball hit up the middle by J.D. Martinez, appearing to twist his ankle in the process.

Leury García moved from center field to shortstop and Ryan Cordell entered the game to play center field. Anderson was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored on the night.

The White Sox should be able to provide more information later tonight or tomorrow. Anderson is in the midst of his best season, entering Tuesday batting .313/.338/.485 with 11 home runs, 37 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 278 plate appearances.