December 13, 2019

Salvi Family Claims the Independent Game’s First Double With Championships in Both Gary and Schaumburg

September 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The last time I wrote extensively about Chicago attorney Pat Salvi was at the end of last season’s college football season when this proud father—plus wife and business partner Lindy—were rightfully popping their parent buttons because they had two sons on the Notre Dame football team.

They have two more reasons to be more than a little boastful now because they have pulled off what is believed to be a first for Independent Baseball.  The Salvi-owned Gary (IN) SouthShore RailCats made the American Association playoffs as the wild card, the team outside of the three division champions with the best record.  Wichita, KS was the favorite among the four postseason teams because of the way the Wingnuts had broken the league record for victories.

Playing in the same Central Division, the RailCats had to dispose of the always tough North winners, Fargo, ND, then they steamrolled Wichita, winning the last two games on the Wingnuts’ turf.

But that was only the beginning.  Another Chicago-area team owned by the Salvi family, the Schaumburg Boomers, became the first team in the 21-year history of the Frontier League to win all six postseason games, sweeping Florence, KY and Lake Erie (Avon, OH).  So the Salvi trophy case has two championship mementoes to keep shined.

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Atlantic, American Association Top 2,000,000 Fans Again

It almost had to happen since Independent Baseball’s top two drawing leagues, the Atlantic and American Association, had established new regular season attendance records last year when stadiums were opened in the Lone Star State cities of Sugar Land and Laredo and the North American League quit operating.  So attendance dropped by slightly more than 300,000 fans from 7,073,079 to this season’s 6,630,389.

Still, the Atlantic League (2,254,554) and American Association (2,150,031) once again topped two million fans, the Association for the third year in a row.          

Winnipeg (American Association) moved back to the No. 1 position among the 46 teams in average attendance by improving nearly 200 fans per game to 5,880 while Sugar Land retained the overall lead in total attendance with 382,059 fans attending their 69 home openings (5,537 average).  Kansas City, KS (American Association) climbed two notches to third in average crowd (5,420) with Atlantic League teams Long Island, NY and Somerset, NJ next in line at 5,303 and 5,223.

Final regular season league attendance as reported by Pointstreak, the official league statisticians, and compiled by the Independent Baseball Insider:

 League

2013

Inc./Dec.

Avg.

Atlantic League

2,254,554

-113,024

4,152

American Association

2,150,031

  -94,207

3,435

Frontier League

1,541,169

    -2,794

2,379

Can-Am League

   454,366

  -40,332

1,976

United League

   230,269

———–

1,225

Total Attendance

6,630,389

Clemente Nominee Breslow, Among Those With Postseason Potential

The bullpen arms of three former pitchers who started pro careers in the American Association could well go a long way toward deciding the eventual lineup for major league baseball’s postseason with Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar and Aaron Crow (both Fort Worth, TX) and Tanner Scheppers of Texas (St. Paul, MN) all playing key roles.  The same is true for Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir, who re-built his career last season in the Atlantic League (Sugar Land, TX).

It is somewhat easier for Boston southpaw reliever Craig Breslow since the Red Sox are virtually certain of being in the American League playoffs, but this onetime Yale University hurler and pre-med student is being saluted both on and off the diamond.  The 33-year-old’s career was saved back in 2004 when he walked across Yale Field and signed with the visiting New Jersey Jackals.  His last 10 appearances—some of them two-inning stints—lowered his season ERA to 1.91 for 58 appearances and built his major league career profile to 416 outings.

Breslow will be honored Friday as BoSox Club Man of the Year and is the team’s nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award in which Major League Baseball annually honors one of its players for keeping the Hall of Famers spirit of giving alive.  The pitcher is recognized around Boston for his continued willingness to help charities, and his own Strike 3 Foundation raises awareness and raises funds for childhood cancer research with revenue now said to top $1 million annually.

         (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 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.)

 

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