1961 International League season

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The 1961 International League season was the 76th in the league's history, and ended with the Buffalo Bisons winning their first Governors' Cup since 1957. The Bisons would go on to win their first Junior World Series.

Changes abounded in the IL this year. The Syracuse Chiefs reentered the league as the Minnesota Twins' Triple-A affiliate to replace the departed Montreal Royals. The Rochester Red Wings switched affiliations from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Baltimore Orioles, while the Miami Marlins moved to San Juan, PR and became the Cardinals' new Triple-A affiliate. The move was unsuccessful, and on May 19th, the league moved the team to Charleston, WV while retaining the Marlins name.

Toronto and Rochester finished the season tied for fourth, so a one-game playoff was held on September 11 in Rochester, NY for the last playoff spot. The Red Wings won 12-11 in 10 innings. Red Wing Jim Finigan was the hero, tying the game with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth and winning the game with a single in the 10th. This result is reflected in the standings below.

Final standings[edit]

Playoff teams in bold.

W L Pct. GB Manager Affiliation
Columbus Jets 92 62 .597 Larry Shepard Pittsburgh Pirates
San Juan/Charleston Marlins 88 66 .571 4 Joe Schultz St. Louis Cardinals
Buffalo Bisons 85 67 .559 6 Kerby Farrell Philadelphia Phillies
Rochester Red Wings 77 78 .497 15½ Clyde King Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Maple Leafs 76 79 .490 16½ Johnny Lipon/Tim Thompson None
Richmond Virginians 71 83 .461 21 Cal Ermer New York Yankees
Jersey City Jerseys 70 82 .461 21 Nap Reyes Cincinnati Reds
Syracuse Chiefs 56 98 .364 36 Gene Verble/Frank Verdi Minnesota Twins


  First Round Governors' Cup Finals
1  Columbus Jets 1  
4  Rochester Red Wings 4  
    4  Rochester Red Wings 1
  3  Buffalo Bisons 4
2  Charleston Marlins 0
3  Buffalo Bisons 4  

First Round[edit]

Columbus vs. Rochester
Date Away Home
September 12 Rochester 1 Columbus 4
September 13 Rochester 2 Columbus 1
September 15 Columbus 3 Rochester 5
September 16 Columbus 3 Rochester 10
September 17 Columbus 0 Rochester 1
Rochester wins series 4-1
Charleston vs. Buffalo
Date Away Home
September 12 Buffalo 3 Charleston 2
September 13 Buffalo 7 Charleston 4
September 15 Charleston 2 Buffalo 7
September 16 Charleston 2 Buffalo 4
Buffalo wins series 4-0

Governors' Cup Finals[edit]

Buffalo vs. Rochester
Date Away Home
September 18 Rochester 5 Buffalo 4
11 innings
September 19 Rochester 2 Buffalo 9
September 20 Buffalo 4 Rochester 2
September 21 Buffalo 17 Rochester 6
September 22 Buffalo 4 Rochester 1
Buffalo wins series 4-1 and
advances to Junior World Series


Jim Mandelaro and Scott Pitoniak, Silver Seasons. Syracuse University Press, 1995.

Brian Bennett, On A Silver Diamond: The Story Of Rochester Community Baseball from 1956-1996. Triphammer Publishing, 1997.

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, editors. Baseball America, 1993.

External Links[edit]

1961 Rochester Red Wings review – On A Silver Diamond