American Association

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The American Association was a Triple-A level league that operated in three distinct eras in both the 19th and 20th century. This page is devoted to the version of the Association that existed from 1969-1997.

This version of the Association was essentially a reboot of the prior version that went belly up in the Great Upheaval of 1963. In fact, three team identities (the Denver Bears, Indianapolis Indians, and Oklahoma City 89ers) that had been in the league in 1962 emerged intact in 1969 and resumed play in the Association. Three other new identities (the Iowa Oaks, Omaha Royals, and Tulsa Oilers) were added to the mix, and two more (the Evansville Triplets and Wichita Aeros) joined up a year later. There remained eight teams up until the league folded in 1997, and the teams were absorbed by either the International or Pacific Coast leagues. Of course, by the time the Association went belly-up, half of the teams had moved to new cities–sometimes multiple times, and there had been some rebrandings along the way. The net result, following the 3 of 4 Rule, is that there were sixteen total team identities that existed in the American Association during this time period.

This is a list of those 16 distinct team identities that played in the Association at some point between 1969 and 1997. Take note the dates listed are only within the time-span of this version of the American Association, and are not the time-span of the team identity itself.

Buffalo Bisons (1985–97)
Denver Bears (1969–83)
Denver Zephyrs (1984–92)
Evansville Triplets (1970–84)
Indianapolis Indians (1969–97)
Iowa Cubs (1982–97)
Iowa Oaks (1969–81)
Louisville Redbirds (1982–97)
Nashville Sounds (1985–97)
New Orleans Pelicans (1977)
New Orleans Zephyrs (1993–97)
Oklahoma City 89ers (1969–97)
Omaha Royals (1969–97)
Springfield Redbirds (1978–81)
Tulsa Oilers (1969–76)
Wichita Aeros (1970–84)

Italics = team identity still exists, in either the International League (Buffalo, Indy) or the Pacific Coast League (Iowa, Nashville). As of this writing, these four are the only identities teams left from the Association. Two teams–the New Orleans Zephyrs and Omaha Royals–were rebranded in recent years.