MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY
The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, now known as Minor League Baseball, was formed on September 5, 1901 from a meeting of Minor League executives at the Leland Hotel in Chicago. The President of the Eastern League, Patrick T. Powers, was elected as the first President of the NAPBL. Fourteen leagues and 96 clubs were members during the first season in 1902. The first NA office was established in Auburn, NY, under President Powers and successfully run by Secretary-Treasurer John H. Farrell. By the time Powers left office in 1909, there were 35 leagues and 246 clubs.
In 1910, Michael Sexton became President. In his first few years, wars between the Major Leagues and the outlaw Federal League hurt the Minors. The Federal League raided top Minor League teams, as well as National and American League teams, for players and territory. Sexton led a fight at the 1914 Winter Meetings to fight off a bid from radicals for the Minor Leagues to desert the Major Leagues and back the Federal League. For 22 years, Sexton presided over the Minor Leagues, leaving at the height of the Depression in 1932. But during his time, peace was restored and the Minor Leagues began to flourish.
At the Winter Meetings of 1932, Judge William G. Bramham was elected President. He served for 15 years. Bramham, who moved the NAPBL office to Durham, NC, inherited 14 leagues and 102 clubs, but turned over 52 leagues and 388 clubs to George M. Trautman in 1947. ...