What you need to know about Alabama’s minor league baseball teams’ new league

Baseball Season
“Take me out to the ballgame..” Photo via the Birmingham Barons

With all this sunshine and warm weather, we’ve got spring baseball on our minds! A few changes are coming to the Birmingham Barons, Rocket City Trash Pandas and Montgomery Biscuits as Alabama’s minor league teams join revamped divisions.

New league, same teams

Baseball Season
Batter up! Photo via Rocket City Trash Pandas’ Facebook

Baseball season is upon us, and Alabama’s three minor league teams are ready to rock and roll in a new division. Per MLB’s recent announcement, Alabama’s minor league baseball teams will join the Double-A South league. The Barons and Trash Pandas will be a part of the North Division, while the Biscuits will join the South Division.

Here’s who else will be joining them:

North Divison

  • Birmingham Barons
  • Chattanooga Lookouts
  • Rocket City Trash Pandas
  • Tennessee Smokies

South Division

  • Biloxi Shuckers
  • Mississippi Braves
  • Montgomery Biscuits
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos

No matter who you cheer for, Alabama has a strong lead on the best-named teams in the Double-A South.

Learn all about the teams’ upcoming games and spring schedules in this recent Bama Buzz article.

Affiliations

2021 Baseball Season
Alabama is ready for baseball! Photo via Birmingham Barons’ Facebook

Fans of both minor and major league baseball, not to fear. While some minor league teams changed affiliations, Alabama’s minor league teams will remain affiliated with the same Major League teams. If you’re rusty on your Alabama baseball knowledge, see who our local teams are affiliated with below.

  • Birmingham Barons—Chicago White Sox
  • Rocket City Trash Pandas—Los Angeles Angels
  • Montgomery Biscuits—Tampa Bay Rays

Each affiliation lasts for 10 years, so these are set until 2030.

Going forward

Baseball Season
We can’t wait to enjoy a Trash Pandas game at the new Toyota Field in Huntsville. Photo via Dick Byington for Bama Buzz

Now that the leagues are finalized, Alabama’s minor league baseball teams can move forward with the upcoming season.

But just because Alabama’s minor league teams won’t see any major changes on the field, there are a few happening behind the scenes. According to MLB, one key reason for the switch is to input a new set of league standards. Players’ salaries for the 2021 season will increase up to 72%, and in-season travel will be limited. Additionally, facilities will be upgraded to better provide for players and staff.

At the end of the day, not a lot is changing for fans of Alabama’s minor league teams, but it’s an exciting reorganization by MLB that will benefit the teams (and thus the fans). So grab your ballcaps and hotdogs and practice your seventh-inning stretch because baseball is coming back to Alabama.

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Claire Hancock
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