New York-Penn League (1980)
Born: 1980 – Re-branded from Auburn Red Stars
Folded: Postseason 1980
Stadium: Falcon Park
Owners: Auburn Community Baseball
New York-Penn League Championships: None
The Auburn Americans were a co-op minor league baseball team that played for just one season in the New York-Penn League in the summer of 1980. Co-op teams don’t have a player development contract with one Major League club. Instead they cobble together a roster from several Major League organizations. The arrangement is largely a relic of the past now, but was relatively common in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, particularly in small communities with sub-standard ballparks. Co-op teams were rarely competitive as the roster was cobbled together from other teams’ left overs.
In the case of the Auburn Americans, they received players from both the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only one Americans player, journeyman catcher Jack Fimple, would ever go on to play in the Major Leagues.
The Americans folded at the end of the 1980 season, leaving the New York community of Auburn without pro baseball in 1981 for the first time since 1957. After a one-year absence, minor league baseball returned to Falcon Park with the formation of the Auburn Astros in 1982.