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Northern League (collegiate summer baseball)

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Northern League
FormerlyMidwest Collegiate League
PresidentDon Popravak[1][2]
No. of teams6
Country United States
Most recent
Lake County Corn Dogs
Most titlesNorthwest Indiana Oilmen (3)

The Northern League is a collegiate summer baseball league consisting of teams in Illinois and Indiana. It was named the Midwest Collegiate League (MCL) from 2010 to 2021.


Formed in 2010, as a four-team summer collegiate wood bat league, MCL played their first season in the summer of 2011. The original four members were the Chicago Zephyrs, Rockford Foresters, Southland Vikings and Will County CrackerJacks.[3] Teams play a 45 game schedule with league playoffs. The league all-star game is played sometime around mid-season.

The league expanded to eight teams for their second season in 2012, with the addition of the DeKalb County Liners, DuPage County Hounds, Illinois Lincolns and Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Two of the teams (Illinois and Will County) failed to complete the season schedule.

Six teams made up the 2013 season as the league welcomed the Lexington Snipes, replacing DeKalb County.

MCL stayed steady with six teams with the addition of the Joliet Admirals (2014) and Michigan City Lakers (2015) replacing two teams (Rockford in 2014; Chicago in 2015) who ceased operations.

Before the 2016 season, the Lexington Snipes announced that they would sit out the season. The league continued with six teams with the addition of the Bloomington Bobcats.[4][5]

The Crestwood Panthers, the newest team in the Midwest Collegiate League, replaced the Michigan City Lakers before the 2017 season.

Before the 2018 season, the Joliet Admirals became the Joliet Generals.

During the 2020 season, the MCL Minutemen made their debut[6] and stayed in the league for two seasons.[7]

After the 2021 season, the Midwest Collegiate League rebranded itself to the Northern League. The Northern League was a name used by several baseball leagues between 1902 and 2010 as is described on the pages listed at Northern League.

For the 2023 season, the Joliet Generals relocated to Griffith, Indiana as the Griffith Generals.[8]


Current teams

Team City Home Ballpark Year Joined
Chicago American Giants Chicago, Ill. De La Salle High School/Ed Glancy Field 2021
Crestwood Panthers Hammond, Ind. Dowling Park 2017
Griffith Generals Griffith, Ind. Griffith High School 2014
Lake County Corn Dogs Crown Point, Ind. Legacy Fields 2022
Northwest Indiana Oilmen Whiting, Ind. Oil City Stadium 2012
Southland Vikings Hammond, Ind. Dowling Park 2011

Former teams

  • Chicago Zephyrs (2011-14)
  • DeKalb County Liners (2012)
  • Illinois Lincolns (2012)
  • MCL Minutemen (2020-21)
  • Michigan City Lakers (2015-16)
  • Rockford Foresters (2011-13)
  • Will County CrackerJacks (2011-12)

Discover more about Teams related topics

Hammond, Indiana

Hammond, Indiana

Hammond is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area, and the only city in Indiana to border Chicago. First settled in the mid-19th century, it is one of the oldest cities of northern Lake County. As of the 2020 United States census, it is also the largest in population. The 2020 population was 77,879, replacing Gary as the most populous city in Lake County. From north to south, Hammond runs from Lake Michigan down to the Little Calumet River; from east to west along its southern border, it runs from the Illinois state line to Cline Avenue. The city is traversed by numerous railroads and expressways, including the South Shore Line, Borman Expressway, and Indiana Toll Road. Notable local landmarks include the parkland around Wolf Lake and the Horseshoe Hammond riverboat casino. Part of the Rust Belt, Hammond has been industrial almost from its inception, but is also home to a Purdue University campus and numerous historic districts that showcase the residential and commercial architecture of the early 20th century.

Griffith, Indiana

Griffith, Indiana

Griffith is a town in the North and St. John townships in Lake County, Indiana,United States. It is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area. The population was 16,420 in 2020. Griffith is the 11th largest town in population and 17th largest town in the State of Indiana.

Griffith High School (Indiana)

Griffith High School (Indiana)

Griffith High School is a public high school located in Griffith, Indiana.

Crown Point, Indiana

Crown Point, Indiana

Crown Point is a city in and the county seat of Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 33,899 at the 2020 census. The city was incorporated in 1868. On October 31, 1834, Solon Robinson and his family became the first settlers to an area that later became Crown Point. Due to its location, Crown Point is known as the "Hub of Lake County".

Whiting, Indiana

Whiting, Indiana

Whiting is a city located in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in Lake County, Indiana, which was founded in 1889. The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. It is roughly 16 miles from the Chicago Loop and two miles from Chicago's South Side. Whiting is home to Whiting Refinery, the largest oil refinery in the Midwest. The population was 4,997 at the 2010 census.

Rockford Foresters

Rockford Foresters

The Rockford Foresters were a collegiate summer baseball team based in Rockford, Illinois. The team began play at Marinelli Field in downtown Rockford in 2010. The team was a member of the Midwest Collegiate League and consists of college players playing in collegiate summer ball leagues.


Championship series are a best-of three.

Season Winner Runner-up Result
2011 Will County CrackerJacks Rockford Foresters 2-1
2012 Northwest Indiana Oilmen DeKalb County Liners 2-0
2013 Southland Vikings[9] Northwest Indiana Oilmen 2-0
2014 Southland Vikings[10] DuPage County Hounds 2-0
2015 DuPage County Hounds[11] Lexington Snipes 2-1
2016 Northwest Indiana Oilmen DuPage County Hounds 2-1
2017 Southland Vikings Bloomington Bobcats 2-1
2018 Northwest Indiana Oilmen DuPage County Hounds 2-1
2019 Bloomington Bobcats Northwest Indiana Oilmen 2-0
2020 DuPage County Hounds Northwest Indiana Oilmen 2-1
2021 Joliet Generals Northwest Indiana Oilmen 2-1
2022 Lake County Corn Dogs Northwest Indiana Oilmen 2-0

Source: "Northern League (collegiate summer baseball)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, February 13th),

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  1. ^ Quinn, Michelle L. (January 21, 2022). "Crown Point debuts leadership for new Northern League baseball team; Lake County Corn Dogs still looking for players". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 21, 2022. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  2. ^ "Don Popravak". The Northern League Baseball. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  3. ^ "New Midwest Summer Collegiate Wood Bat League Announced". The Northern League Baseball (Press release). Midwest Collegiate League. February 7, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  4. ^ Reichard, Kevin (January 26, 2016). "New for 2016: Bloomington Bobcats". Ballpark Digest. August Publications.
  5. ^ Reinhardt, Randy (January 27, 2016). "Bloomington Bobcats set to return". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Meet the Minutemen: MCL Announces Team Name, Manager for Additional Club". The Northern League Baseball. June 2, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  7. ^ Krieger, Dan (July 18, 2022). "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report". OurSports Central. Retrieved September 19, 2022. ...the MCL Minutemen, which was a league-operated team for the past two seasons.
  8. ^ "Northern League Announces Generals Relocation to Griffith". The Northern League Baseball (Press release). January 9, 2023. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  9. ^ Oren, Paul (August 4, 2013). "Southland rides Chigas to MCL title". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Melton, Dave (May 30, 2015). "Local products carry standard on field for Northwest Indiana Oilmen". Chicago Tribune.
  11. ^ Walker, Chris R. (August 9, 2015). "Matt Wollnik hones his batting eye playing with DuPage County Hounds". Chicago Tribune.
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