The "Outlaw Circuit" Mexican League Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Thursday, 31 August 2006

Long known as the first stop for prospective major leaguers and the last stop for over-the-hill ball players, the Mexican League is now officially classified as Triple-A, and widely regarded as Mexico’s domestic major league.

It has a tarnished past, due to its history of accepting players who were banned or prohibited from playing in the U.S.  Prohibited from playing in Major League Baseball, African-Americans were welcomed and excelled in the Mexican League. For instance, Martin Dihigo won the Mexican League batting title in 1938 with a .387 mark. Two years later, Cool Papa Bell won the triple crown, batting .437 with 12 home runs and 79 RBI.

There have actually been six Mexican leagues of note. The first was an outlaw circuit directed by Jorge Pasquel from the late 1930s until 1953. Having major league ambitions, Pasquel stocked his teams with Negro League greats, then raided the U.S. major leagues for additional talent when a post-World War II player surplus created pay cuts.  Pasquel's raids netted 23 ML regulars, most of whom jumped to the Quebec Provincial League in 1948-49, and were reinstated by the majors in June 1949. Struggling financially, Pasquel's league dissolved in 1953.

The northern clubs merged into the Arizona-Texas and Arizona-Mexico leagues of 1953-57. The Mexican League proper reorganized in 1955, and has operated continuously since.





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