It Is the Same Five Teams Who Lead in Attendance Although Kansas City, KS Makes a Nice Jump
The deck has been shuffled, moving Winnipeg, Manitoba, ahead of 2012 newcomer Sugar Land, TX and Kansas City, KS has jumped two spots to third, but the same five teams that led Independent Baseball in per-opening attendance one year ago remain the same past the halfway mark in the ’13 season.
Winnipeg, pacing four American Association teams in the top ten, is averaging 5,852 fans every time the Goldeyes open the Shaw Park gates. The Atlantic League has five teams in the elite group, and is averaging nearly 4,100 (4,097) spectators for every game, with SugarLand at 5,699 per opening. Kansas City has improved the most, jumping by more than 400 spectators per game to 5,668. American Association crowds average 3,338.
The top ten teams and the leader in each league, with statistics provided by Pointstreak, the official league statisticians, and compiled by the Independent Baseball Insider:
|Kansas City||Amn. Assn.||30||170,031||5,668|
|Long Island||Atlantic League||44||231,306||5,257|
|St Paul||Amn. Assn.||26||120,204||4,623|
Other League Leaders
Big Opportunities for Peterson, Colabello
These are important days for Chris Colabello and Brock Peterson and in a sense for Independent Baseball since it is not often genuine long-ball threats coming out of the non-affiliated leagues get a very good look in the major leagues.
The first basemen-outfielders are experiencing different opportunities, but each may well be key to whether they can stay at baseball’s top level very long. Peterson, in the very first major league call in his 11 professional seasons, which include 2011 and half of last season with the Bridgeport (CT) Bluefish of the Atlantic League, is getting some at-bats with powerful St. Louis while Matt Holliday is on the disabled list and it is believed the team feels it needs an extra bat since the release of Ty Wigginton.
Colabello, whose story of seven Can-Am League seasons has been well documented in this space, seems to be getting his best chance right now—he has been up three other times this season—since Minnesota is not in serious contention and wants to know what it can count on for future years.
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Fargo Nets 1,000th Win, All-Time Theft Record Tied
One all-time record and a significant milestone were within reach on American Association diamonds Thursday afternoon.
Fargo, ND, seemingly a title contender every year because of the teams assembled by longtime Manager Doug Simunic, became the fourth Independent Baseball franchise to record its 1,000th victory. The RedHawks did it in style, scoring three times in the bottom of the ninth inning in front of a capacity crowd of 4,509 to outlast longtime rival St. Paul, MN, 5-3. Fargo has lost only 631 times for a highly-impressive .613 percentage, which is well above the winning percentage of the three previous teams to reach the milestone. Somerset, NJ and Bridgeport, CT, which benefit from longer Atlantic League seasons, have 1,131 and 1,106 victories, respectively, while Winnipeg (American Association) earned its 1,036th all-time victory on Thursday. The figures were provided by the RedHawks.
Winnipeg speedster Fehlandt Lentini tied what is believed to be the all-time Independent Baseball record for stolen bases with his 331st theft Wednesday night, but the 35-year-old, whose career has topped out at Triple-A, could not add to the total despite a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance in the Goldeyes’ 8-1 triumph over Sioux Falls, SD Thursday. Lentini shares the record with Billy Hall, who last played for Somerset in 2005. Hall stole 104 bases for the Patriots in 2000. Lentini also played for Amarillo, TX of the American Association as well as for Indy teams in Maui, HA and Calgary.
Profit? Oh, Yeah!
Ever wonder if Independent Baseball can be profitable?
This clearly is not the rule, but in an elaborate piece in the August 12 issue of Forbes about Atlantic League Founder Frank Boulton, the magazine says the Long Island (NY) Ducks, for whom Boulton is the chief executive officer, “expect to gross an estimated $9.6 million this season and will clear about $3.5 million before taxes.”
By BOB DUTTON The Kansas City Star
(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball. Forty columns are planned during 2013. Fans may subscribe at newly-reduced rates at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy added stories on the blog www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)