1966 Topps Baseball Wantlist

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Minor League Merry-Go-Round

In another example of my obsession with spread sheets and organization (though ironically I still have a few years of Topps cards to file away) I decided to beef up my Cardinals' Minor League spread sheet to list all Redbird Minor League cards. Yep, at it again. Just finished 2002 and so far 4700 cards in total. Prior to the mid 80's there aren't many minor league issues and I don't know about you but I believe that it is tougher to pick up minor league cards than others, they aren't usually in dime boxes, or lots, and you usually have to by the team sets which aren't inexpensive. Plus I couldn't keep the affiliates straight so I thought I would get a hand from Wiki. What sets the Redbirds apart from several other organizations I believe the Cardinals own outright their affiliates which should bring stability.

According to Wiki there were six classes (AAA, AA, A, B, C, D) of Minor League teams/leagues from 1946 to 1962.  In 1963 there was a reorganization, which gave us the Eastern and Southern League. Which “resulted in the Eastern and South Atlantic Leagues being elevated from A to AA, five of seven Class D circuits plus the ones in B and C upgraded to A and the Appalachian League reclassified from D to Rookie. The Alabama–Florida League folded following the 1962 campaign. [1]”

Of course it goes without saying that Cardinal’s Branch Rickey developed the modern farm system when he was the GM of the Cardinals. Take that Cardinals’ haters. Below are the Cardinals' farm teams. For the early teams I didn't include their class.

The Minor League Merry-Go-Round.

Houston Buffaloes 1919-1935, 1946-1958 (1934 road jersey)

Syracuse Stars 1927

Rochester (NY) Red Wings 1928-1960 (one tough issue Canadian Big League Stars issue with 3  Red Wings) Also, I did see a Red Wings Game in the early 2000s when they were an Orioles affiliate.

Keokuk (IA) Indians 1930-1932 (1931 team picture)

Columbus Red Birds 1932-1954 (1933 Goudey Andy High RC)

Monroe (LA) Twins 1932

Denver Bears 1932

Mobile (AL) Red Warriors 1932

Springfield (IL) Cardinals 1932-1933

Elmira (NY) Red Wings 1933-1934

Cedar Rapids (IA) Raiders 1936-1937

Sacramento Solons-1936-1944 (there is a very rare 1940 Hughes Frozen Confections' issue)

Columbus (OH) Cardinals 1946-1955

Omaha Cardinals (NE) 1947-1959

Winnipeg Goldeyes 1954-1962 (1950s logo)

Allentown (PA) Cardinals 1954-1956

Sioux City (IA) Soos 1956

Columbus Foxes 1957

Billings (MT) Mustangs 1957-1962

York (PA) White Roses 1958-1959 (love the War of the Roses theme!)

Tulsa Oilers 1959-1962

Memphis Chickasaws 1960

San Juan/Charleston Marlins 1961

Portland (OR) Beavers 1961

Lancaster (PA) Red Roses 1961 (love the  War of the Roses theme!)

Portsmouth-Norfolk (VA) Tides 1962

Brunswick (GA?) Cardinals 1962

According to Wiki in 1963 MLB reduced the number of classes from 6 to 4 (AAA, AA, A and Rookie). Then is 1966 A was divided in to Regular A and Short Season A.  Ninety-ninety saw Class A was again divided into Advanced A. Finally, 1996 saw the creation of foreign minor league teams in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela (ended in 2016).



1963 Atlanta Crackers

1964-1965 Jacksonville (FL) Suns

1966- 1976 Tulsa Oilers (there was a Pepsi-Cola issue of 24 cards that were in pairs and put around Pepsi 6-packs) I have a couple that are cut but below is a whole version or six.

1977 New Orleans Pelicans

1978-1981 Springfield (IL) Redbirds

1982-1997 Louisville Redbirds (for most of my youth and early adulthood Louisville was our AAA team and a year before I moved they move to Memphis) Where can I get one of these trash cans?

1998-Present Memphis Redbirds


1963-1965 Tulsa Oilers

1966-2000 Arkansas Travelers

2001-2002 New Haven (CT) Ravens

2003-2004 Tennessee Smokies

I came across this Yadi bobble head on Google, looks nothing like him and you can see the hated Cubs, and current parent organization of the Smokies, logo on the side. arrrrrr,,,,,,,

2005- Present Springfield (IL) Cardinals

A (1963-Present)

1963 Billings Mustangs (1963 home jersey)

1963-1964 Winnipeg Goldeyes

1963 Brunswick Cardinals

1964-1965 Raleigh Cardinals

1964-1966 Rock Hill Cardinals

1965-1972 Cedar Rapids Cardinals

1966-1989 St. Petersburg Cardinals

1967-1974 Modesto (CA) Reds (this really blew me away, first Modesto? and they were called the Reds? Confused-1968 Road Jersey repro, and program)

1977- 1982 Gastonia (AL) Cardinals

1982-1989 Springfield (IL) Cardinals

1983 Macon (GA) Redbirds

1984-1995 Savannah (GA) Cardinals

1994 Madison (WI) Hatters

1995-2004, 2013-present Peoria Chiefs

Young Yadi

2005-2007 Swing of the Quad Cities (IA/IL)

2008-2012 Quad Cities River Bandits

Advanced A 1990-Present

1990-1996 St. Petersburg Cardinals

1997-1998 Prince William Cannons

1999-2002 Potomac Cannons (what a list of alumni!)

2003-Present Palm Beach (FL) Cardinals

Short Season A (1967-Present)

1967-1970 Lewiston (ID) Broncos

1981- 1987 Erie (PA) Cardinals

1988-1992 Hamilton (ONT) Redbirds

1993 Glens Falls (NY) Redbirds

1994-2005 New Jersey Cardinals

2006, 2013-Present State College (PA) Spikes (what the heck? OK, I am)

2007-2012 Batavia (NY) Muckdogs

Rookie (1990-Present)

1990-1994 AZL Cardinals

1990-Present Johnson City (TN) Cardinals

More young Yadi and I love the Tennessee stars on the shoulder hits my soft spot for my TN heritage.

2007-2014 Gold Coast League Cardinals


  1. I envy your determination to catalog all these cards. Minor league cards can be fun to collect and challenging at the same time. I try to buy the sets a year after release for around $5. Should be able to snag some at Winter Warm Up if you are interested.

    1. hi Ray, indeed I would be interested. I appreciate it.

    2. The Springfield Cardinals and Memphis Redbirds usually have booths set up where they sell team set from the past year or two. I will keep you updated when the time comes.