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AAA World Series back on


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TOLEDO -- The Triple-A World Series is back. Well, sort of.

 

When Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey and Randy Mobley, his counterpart in the International League, spoke about reviving the dormant event at last season's Triple-A All-Star Game, they both were insistent that some logistics had to be worked out before any definite plans were set. Those logistics apparently have been taken care of and a date has been set.

 

According to a report in Saturday's Oklahoman, a one-game showdown between the two league champions will take place Sept. 19 at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. And while this won't be a series, per se, as its earlier incarnation was, it will still mark the first time the two circuits will square off in the postseason since 2000. The contest will be televised on ESPN2 and broadcast nationally by Sporting News Radio. The paper also reported that both leagues would have their fall meetings in Oklahoma City in the days following the game.

 

MiLB.com confirmed the report but officials from both leagues deferred any comment until Wednesday, when a formal announcement will be made prior to the Triple-A All-Star Game at Fifth Third Field.

 

Toledo manager Admin Parrish, who piloted the Mud Hens to the International League title in 2005, seemed ambivalent about the playoff despite the fact his team would have been a participant had the game been resurrected last year.

 

"To me, I think a lot of guys, by the time two playoff series are over [in each league], if you have a good team, most of them would rather go to the big leagues than play in a one-game playoff," Parrish said. "If there was a little incentive involved it might be different, say if they were playing for $1,000-a-man or something like that, that's my opinion. Some other people might feel differently.

 

"We had a heck of a club last year and we lost some guys to September callups. Once you fight hard to win that last game [for the league title] anything else after that, the club would have been flat."

 

The Triple-A World Series made its debut in 1983 and was a three-team round-robin event that included the champions of the PCL, IL and now-defunct American Association. Tidewater (now Norfolk) won the event, going 3-1 in the four games, outlasting Portland (PCL) and Denver (AA).

 

The event did not take place again until 1988 when the International League and American Association staged the Triple-A Classic. That event lasted only three seasons, though. The latest postseason incarnation was the Triple-A World Series from 1998 to 2000 in Las Vegas with the IL and PCL winners squaring off in a best-of-five.

 

But problems with attendance, decisions on where to conduct the event and mixed feelings about players losing possible service time contributed to its demise. The Pacific Coast won two of the first two meetings, with New Orleans and Vancouver taking home titles. Indianapolis got the International League in the win column in 2000.

link... Pretty cool stuff right there... and good to know Branch Rickey is 1) still alive and 2) still in baseball

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