Northern League (collegiate summer baseball)

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Northern League
FormerlyMidwest Collegiate League
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 Chicago Zephyrs, Rockford Foresters, Southland Vikings and Will County CrackerJacks.[1] Teams play a 45 game schedule with league playoffs. The league all-star game is played sometime around mid-season.

The league quickly expanded to eight teams for their second season in 2012, with the addition of DeKalb County Liners, DuPage County Hounds, Illinois Lincolns and Northwest Indiana Oilmen. Two of 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 Joliet Admirals (2014) and Michigan City Lakers (2015) replacing teams (Rockford in 2014; Chicago in 2015) who ceased operations.

Before the 2016, season Lexington Snipes announced that they would sit out the season. The league continued with six teams with the addition of the Bloomington Bobcats.[2][3]

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[4] and stayed in the league for two seasons.[5]

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.[6]


Current teams[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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)


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[7] Northwest Indiana Oilmen 2-0
2014 Southland Vikings[8] DuPage County Hounds 2-0
2015 DuPage County Hounds[9] 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


  1. ^ "New Midwest Summer Collegiate Wood Bat League Announced". The Northern League Baseball (Press release). Midwest Collegiate League. February 7, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  2. ^ Reichard, Kevin (January 26, 2016). "New for 2016: Bloomington Bobcats". Ballpark Digest. August Publications.
  3. ^ Reinhardt, Randy (January 27, 2016). "Bloomington Bobcats set to return". The Pantagraph. Bloomington, Illinois. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Meet the Minutemen: MCL Announces Team Name, Manager for Additional Club". The Northern League Baseball. June 2, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Northern League Announces Generals Relocation to Griffith". The Northern League Baseball (Press release). January 9, 2023. Retrieved January 20, 2023.
  7. ^ Oren, Paul (August 4, 2013). "Southland rides Chigas to MCL title". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Melton, Dave (May 30, 2015). "Local products carry standard on field for Northwest Indiana Oilmen". Chicago Tribune.
  9. ^ Walker, Chris R. (August 9, 2015). "Matt Wollnik hones his batting eye playing with DuPage County Hounds". Chicago Tribune.

External links[edit]