Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players each, who take turns batting and fielding.
Minor League Baseball Fight by Jenna Epdhtine
All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses.
Baseball - Minor League Baseball by Massachusetts School of Law at Andover
Most are members of the umbrella organization known as Minor League Baseball, which operates under the Commissioner of Baseball within the scope of organized baseball.
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and the associated Minor League Baseball – a constellation of leagues and clubs known as organized baseball.
Several leagues, known as independent baseball leagues, do not have any official links to Major League Baseball.
An independent baseball league is a professional baseball organization located in the United States and Canada that is not operated in conjunction with either a Major League Baseball team or an affiliated Minor League Baseball team.
Except for the Mexican League, teams in the organized minor leagues are generally independently owned and operated but are directly affiliated with one major league team through a standardized Player Development Contract.
These leagues also go by the nicknames the "farm system," "farm club," or "farm team" because of a joke passed around by major league players in the 1930s when St. Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey formalized the system, and teams in small towns were "growing players down on the farm like corn."
In sports, a farm team, farm system, feeder team, or nursery club, is generally a team or club whose role is to provide experience and training for young players, with an agreement that any successful players can move on to a higher level at a given point.
St. Louis is an independent city in the U.S. state of Missouri, built along the western bank of the Mississippi River, on the border with Illinois.
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball teams may enter into a PDC for a two- or four-year term.
At the expiration of a PDC term, teams may renew their affiliation, or sign new PDCs with different clubs, though many relationships are renewed and endure for extended time periods.
For example, the Omaha Storm Chasers have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals since the Royals joined the American League in 1969, but the Columbus Clippers changed affiliations, after being associated with the New York Yankees from 1979, to the Washington Nationals in 2007 and have been affiliated with the Cleveland Indians since 2009.
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League East division.
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League, is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada.
The Omaha Storm Chasers are a minor league baseball team, based in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb southwest of Omaha.
A few minor league teams are directly owned by their major league parent club, such as the Springfield Cardinals, owned by the St. Louis Cardinals, and all of the Atlanta Braves' affiliates except the Florida Fire Frogs.
The Florida Fire Frogs are a minor league baseball team that plays as a member of the Florida State League in Kissimmee, Florida, part of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area.
Minor League teams that are owned directly by the major league club do not have PDCs with each other and are not part of the reaffiliation shuffles that occur every other year.
Today, 19 affiliated minor baseball leagues operate with 244 member clubs in large, medium, and small cities, as well as the suburbs of major cities, across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.
The Dominican Republic is a sovereign state occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region.
Canada is a country in the northern half of North America.
Several more independent leagues operate in the United States and Canada.