Brandon League
League with the Los Angeles Dodgers
Born: (1983-03-16) March 16, 1983 (age 38)
Sacramento, California
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 21, 2004, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 2014, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record27–35
Earned run average3.65
Career highlights and awards
League pitching for the Seattle Mariners in 2010
League pitching for the Seattle Mariners in 2010

Brandon Paul League (born March 16, 1983) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. League has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is a former closer and one-time All-Star.

Professional career

Toronto Blue Jays

He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2001 MLB Draft out of Saint Louis School, and was signed on July 3, 2001.[1] He made his major league debut on September 21, 2004 against the New York Yankees as he pitched a solid inning and a third.[2]

Following League's breakout season in 2006, he engaged in strength conditioning during the offseason, and at the behest of the Blue Jays, did not pitch until spring training. As a result, he overdeveloped some shoulder muscles, resulting in a significant drop in his fastball velocity.[3] League was placed on the 60-day disabled list and missed the majority of the 2007 season. Both his velocity and effectiveness recovered the following season.

Seattle Mariners

On December 22, 2009, League was traded to the Seattle Mariners along with minor-league outfielder Johermyn Chávez for pitcher Brandon Morrow.[4] He signed a one-year, $1.08 million contract for 2010.[5] Because of an injury to David Aardsma, League started the 2011 season as the Mariners' closer.[6] He was selected to his first All-Star game as a relief pitcher for the 2011 All-Star game. On June 8, 2012. In a 2011 interview, veteran outfielder Coco Crisp named League as one of the four toughest pitchers he had ever faced.[7] League was one of six Mariners to throw a combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Safeco Field. After a series of blown saves, League was replaced by Tom Wilhelmsen as closer. In 212 seasons with the Mariners, League had converted a total of 52 saves in 69 chances with a 3.26 ERA

Los Angeles Dodgers

League pitching for the Dodgers in 2014
League pitching for the Dodgers in 2014

On July 30, 2012, League was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor leaguers Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom.[8] He became the Dodgers closer in September after Kenley Jansen was sidelined with an irregular heartbeat. In 28 games with the Dodgers, he was 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 6 saves. On October 30, the Dodgers re-signed League to a three-year, $22.5 million deal with a vesting option worth $7.5 million for 2016.[9] On June 11, League was demoted from the closer role after blowing his fourth save in 17 chances, and he was replaced by Jansen. He was used primarily in low pressure situations the rest of the season. Overall, in 2013, he was 6-4 with a 5.30 ERA in 58 appearances, with 14 early season saves. The Dodgers, in 2014, used him primarily in middle relief and League was 2–3 with a 2.57 ERA in 63 games.

League underwent an MRI during spring training in 2015 which revealed serious shoulder damage, causing him to miss the first couple months of the season.[10] After spending a month rehabbing in the minors, League was designated for assignment on July 2, 2015.[11][12] He was released on July 10.

Kansas City Royals

League did not play professional baseball at any level in 2016.[13] On January 7, 2017, League signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals that included an invitation to spring training.[14]He was released on March 19, 2017.[15]

New Britain Bees

After he was released by the Royals, League signed with the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He became a free agent after the 2017 season.

Pitching style

League's main pitch is a very hard sinker averaging 96 mph. (In 2011, he had the hardest sinker of any relief pitcher, at 97.3 mph.)[16] He also has an upper-80s slider that he uses primarily early in the count to right-handed hitters. He also has a splitter that he uses as a strikeout pitch. The splitter has a whiff rate of 55%.[17]

Personal life

League resides in Honolulu, and is hapa Yonsei. His maternal great-grandparents were born and raised in Fukuoka prefecture on Kyushu Island in Japan.[18]

League's wife, Sasha League, attended Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego, California. She holds a psychology major from the University of Hawaii. They have been married since 2005. Brandon and Sasha League are parents to three girls.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Brandon League Statistics and History -". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. ^ "September 21, 2004 Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Play by Play and Box Score -". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Notes: League headed to Syracuse". 2007-03-25. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  4. ^ Bastian, Jordan. Jays get Morrow, send League to M's, Published December 23, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
  5. ^ Baker, Geoff. Felix Hernandez arrives in Seattle: deal done pending physical, press conference scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, Seattle Times. Published January 20, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
  6. ^ "Aardsma Set to Pitch Again on Sunday". 2011-04-23. Archived from the original on 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  7. ^ L, S (January 20, 2011). "Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp Reveals The Toughest Pitchers He's Ever Faced". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  8. ^ Shelburne, Ramona (July 31, 2012). "Los Angeles Dodgers acquire Brandon League from Seattle Mariners". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  9. ^ Gurnick, Ken (October 30, 2012). "Dodgers ink League to three-year deal".
  10. ^ Saxson, Mark (March 28, 2015). "Brandon League out two months". Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  11. ^ Lempert, Jason (July 2, 2015). "Dodgers RP Brandon League designated for assignment". CBS Sports. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  12. ^ Stephen, Eric (July 2, 2015). "Dodgers designate Brandon League for assignment". SB Nation. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  13. ^ "Brandon League Register Statistics & History". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  14. ^ Wilmoth, Charlie (January 7, 2017). "Royals Sign Chris Withrow, Al Alburquerque, Brandon League To Minor League Deals". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  15. ^ Eddy, Matt (March 29, 2017). "Minor League Transactions: March 18–24". Baseball America. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "PitchFX Leaderboards". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Brandon League". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  18. ^ Sogi, Francis Y. (2004). Riding the Kona Wave: Memoirs of A Japanese American. New York, New York: The Cheshire Press. p. xiii, 1, 163. ISBN 0-9762575-0-5.
Preceded byJohan Santana No-hit game June 8, 2012(with Millwood, Furbush, Pryor, Luetge, & Wilhelmsen) Succeeded byMatt Cain