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Midwest League to Move up to High A, Drop to 12 Teams

December 9, 2020 - Midwest League (MWL) News Release


South Bend, IN - The Midwest League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. ("MWL") was formed in 1947 and has undergone many changes over the last 73 years. Major League Baseball ("MLB") has made its decision on the composition of the MWL for the 2021 season and beyond. Thirteen (13) of the sixteen (16) MWL Clubs will be invited to enter into a Professional Development License ("PDL") with a Major League Club. Those Clubs will be working in the near future to finalize the terms of the PDL being offered today. Assuming agreement can be reached on those terms, the future path is explained below.

The MWL will change classifications to "High A", a step higher on the player development ladder. Fans will see players who have shown the ability to move one step closer to the Major Leagues. One MWL Club being invited to enter into a PDL is slated to move to another "High A" League, and as a result the MWL is slated to compete in 2021 as a twelve (12) team league.

The Clubs in the MWL not offered PDLs will have an opportunity to affiliate with MLB on a different basis which can include participation in another professional or amateur league being developed under MLB's "One Baseball" program.

President Dick Nussbaum provided the following statement from the League Office:

"The strength of the MWL communities and fans was recognized by MLB in tendering the invitations today. The MWL outdraws on a consistent basis every other minor league except the two (2) Triple AAA Leagues.

Undoubtedly, the MWL is a valuable component of any minor league system and can be an important part of the "One Baseball" plan of MLB. We wish our Clubs who may be leaving the MWL best wishes if they eventually host the great game of baseball in different leagues moving forward.

I want to thank the communities and fans of the MWL who have been loyal supporters of the MWL. I ask our fans to be on the lookout for the 2021 schedule as it is being developed based on the potential new organizational structure of the MWL and of course, with the pandemic and fan safety as a priority"

As additional details are learned, the League Office will do its best to keep our fans informed. We also encourage fans to contact their local Club offices for information as well.


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