May 25, 2017

Which Independent Players Will Make It to Opening Day? 51 Have Been in Major League Camps

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

One year it was Chris Coste, another Jon Weber and last season Scott Rice and Chris Colabello. The names change, but the stories are similar.  Players who have devoted years of determination and grit to beat the odds of climbing all the way from Independent Baseball leagues, through the affiliated minors and perhaps…just perhaps…squeezing their […]

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 Familiar Name; Clemens, Son Koby, That Is, Catches Sugar Land Staff, Sets Home Run Record

August 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

So much has been said about the Sugar Land (TX) Skeeters in their first two seasons—gorgeous stadium and outstanding attendance, dominant pitching, national spotlight when Roger Clemens made two appearances, player sales left and right to major league organizations and this year Gary Gaetti’s club has been the best the Atlantic League has to offer. […]

With Scherzer Leading the Way, Independent Hurlers Already Have Topped 2012 Major League Win Total With Lofty 69

July 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

One statistic regarding the pre-All-Star Game portion of the major league season may blow a few minds, including those in high powered front offices. To set the stage, I went back to last October when in this space I wrote that 17 pitchers with Independent Baseball experience combined for 67 regular-season wins, even without the […]

Kazmir Gets Headlines as Indians’ Fifth Starter, And Dylan Axelrod Earns Same Job With White Sox

March 28, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

While disappointments always show up this time of year as major league teams trim their rosters to the 25-man Opening Day limit, Independent Baseball got a double dose of good news this week in learning that two of its recent pitchers have nailed down No. 5 starting roles in rotations. Scott Kazmir has drawn so […]

What Irony If Chris Colabello and Curt Smith End Up Competing for Same Job With Twins

March 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It was only a week ago in this space that I found myself praising the WBC performances of Chris Colabello and Curt Smith.  I hope that cruel irony does not step in for this pair. Minnesota gave Colabello, the longtime Can-Am League standout (Worcester, MA and Nashua, NH) only two at-bats after Team Italy was […]

Orioles Emphasize Scouting Independent Leagues And It Is So Evident in Their Minor League Camp

March 15, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The best place for an Independent Baseball fan to hang out this month—at least aside from a major league spring training site where many a hopeful is playing—might be at the Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex on the south side of Sarasota, FL. At one time, this same site hosted the Kansas City Royals’ innovative Baseball […]

Scheppers, Coello Added to Indy Roster in Majors While Stu Pomeranz’s Season Is Interrupted

June 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It was just a week ago when we projected that Tanner Scheppers, who started his professional career with the St. Paul Saints in the American Association, could well be one of the next Independent players to reach the major leagues.  It happened Thursday when the Texas Rangers added the right-hander to their roster.  Scheppers was […]

Willie Upshaw Already Has a Significant Major League Resume, But Bridgeport Skipper Longs for Chance to Lead a Team

May 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Willie Upshaw’s post-playing-days reputation as both a major and minor league hitting guru seems unchallenged and he enjoys the opportunity to be near his home in Fairfield, CT, but he is much like those he manages in the Atlantic League in that he wants a different job. “I get pigeonholed as a hitting coach”, the […]

While Early, Attendance Is Strong With Numerous Crowds of 7,000

May 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Joke all you want about how everything seems bigger in Texas, but there is a certain truth in the early weeks of the Independent Baseball season with El Paso luring the biggest single game crowd (7,823) and Sugar Land reaching the 7,000 plateau in each of its first six home games. Lone Star State teams […]

An Interview with ESPN’s Baseball Insider Jerry Crasnick

May 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

ESPN has grown from a cable sports news channel to a media conglomerate over the past few decades. They have been able to accomplish this by providing comprehensive analysis in the world of sport through all forms of media- print, online, television, radio, and anything else I may be forgetting. As one of the major […]

Umpires Out of Independent Leagues Are Advancing; Adam Hamari Could Get Shot in Majors Soon

November 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is only natural to focus on players in this column, but two umpires out of Independent leagues are drawing attention in the major league-affiliated ranks and at least one of them likely will be seen on the national stage very soon. Adam Hamari, who only six years ago (a very short span for an […]

24-Year-Old on Top of Indy Baseball World

July 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

It Is Another Busy Week in the Indy World With One 24-Year-Old Sitting on Top of It Every 24-year-old involved in Independent Baseball dreams of landing an honest-to-goodness major league opportunity. It has happened once more, although this time it was not a 95-mile per hour fastball or rare power that provided the launch. I […]

Independents May Have Most Major Leaguers Ever in ’11

July 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Well-Traveled Hurler DeLaRosa Helps Independents Edge Closer to All-Time High for Most Major Leaguers The door has swung completely open for Independent Baseball to claim perhaps its most important achievement before the season ends.  This could go down as the summer when the greatest number of players made it to the major leagues.  After all, […]

‘Dugout of Dreams’ Part of New Can-Am Stadium Experience

May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     The Can-Am League will be the last of the Independent leagues to open, starting next Thursday (May 26), and it will be another three weeks before the new Rockland Boulders get to inaugurate their 4,300-seat ballpark in Ramapo, NY.  But it seems an understatement to say the enthusiasm is building in Rockland County, which […]

Another Indy Milestone Achieved With 150th Major Leaguer

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     Independent Baseball reached another impressive milestone shortly after the major league season opened.             Appearances by rookies Tom Wilhelmsen and Aaron Crow plus a re-appearance by Eric Almonte, who is at the game’s highest level for the first time in eight years, jumped the non-affiliated branch of baseball past the 150 mark in getting […]

Coste Adds Phils TV Job While Elbow Heals

March 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     One of Independent Baseball’s favorite sons, so designated because of the dogged determination in which he did not debut in the major leagues until his was 33, has a new job in broadcasting, but at the same time is continuing his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery with hopes, at 38, of landing a […]

Can-Am May Be First League to Add Teams for ’11

September 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While October always means autumn leaves, cooler temperatures, pumpkins and major league baseball postseason excitement to many people, it also is the month when Independent Baseball leagues seriously shake the trees to see if all their franchises are ready for the next season.  Rumors begin to become fact. This certainly will be true starting as […]

Reichert Vs. Yan Gives Atlantic a Major League Pairing

September 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This is one of those abundant times when record-shattering performances, solid season-long attendance, and the playoffs collide for attention, but the postseason has to take center stage because it is what everyone has been striving for throughout the 140-game regular season.  Actually, the opportunity also is there to combine one of the Atlantic League-record-breaking players […]

What Fabulous Match-Ups in Major League Games

September 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The influx of Independent Baseball players into the majors this month has been exciting, and it is much more than a pure numbers game.  Think about these feats, which should have every non-affiliated player, executive and fan jumping for joy: When Bobby Cramer made his debut in a start for Oakland his mound opponent was […]

Jeff Nettles Adds to Family Home Run Lore

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Although he already has about eight and a half major league seasons, Esteban Yan would like more.  “I hope to get another opportunity”, the 35-year-old said.  “I know I’ve got a lot left.” I did not discuss future major league hopes with Willis Otanez, but the Long Island first baseman-DH would not mind seeing his […]

Bob Goughan Already Has Eight Championship Rings, But Another Would ‘Mean a Lot’ to Bridgeport GM

September 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Bob Goughan is anything but a rookie in baseball even though this is his first season as general manager at Bridgeport, and even though he has eight previous championship rings it would have extra meaning if he could add one with the Bluefish. “It (championship) would mean a lot”, says Goughan, who is in an […]

Lancaster Loses League Home Run Leader Jason Perry

August 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lancaster took it on the chin four times in five meetings with the Atlantic League’s hottest team, Bridgeport, this week, but that is only the start of the potential problems facing the Barnstormers, who cling to a two-game lead in the Freedom Division race. They have to figure out a way to replace league home […]

Story Lines Terrific for First No-Hitter in 6 Years

August 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While major league baseball has been basking in perfect games and no-hitters this season, it had been nearly six years since the Atlantic League enjoyed such a feat before Southern Maryland’s Joe Newby and Jim Ed Warden combined to hold Newark hitless in a 3-1 victory at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium Wednesday night.  The […]

Andy Etchebarren Succeeds With His Type of Player

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Defense carried the day for Andy Etchebarren during his 15-year major league career, which included six seasons when he either was the No. 1 catcher or shared the backstop load when Baltimore Orioles teams made the postseason.  So it should be no surprise his York (PA) Revolution, already assured of a playoff berth in his […]

At Least One Wild Card Likely for Atlantic League Playoffs

August 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is getting close to “wild card” time.  Some newspapers have been listing the major league wild card data in their standings for weeks now, but this subject also carries importance in the Atlantic League since it seems very real that Southern Maryland and York could capture both first and second half divisional titles. The […]

Return of Brian Adams May Help Patriots

July 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Somerset’s last place standing in the Freedom Division with a 6-12 record may look bleak, but it is far too early to count the two-time defending champions out since they only trail division-leading Lancaster by four games (five in the loss column).  The Patriots, who have already tried 22 pitchers this season, have bolstered their […]

Batting Leader Steve Moss Is Loving Life in Bridgeport

July 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

It has been nearly 30 years since Reggie Smith last terrorized major league pitchers with an often lethal bat which made him one of the all-time great switch-hitters.  He helped get Boston to a World Series and the Los Angeles Dodgers to three more while hitting 314 regular-season home runs and topping 1,000 in both […]

‘Well, Yeah,’ Why Wouldn’t Pensacola Boss Enjoy Record-Setting 15-Game Win Streak?

July 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

All too often when the Florida Panhandle is in the news it seems to revolve around an oil spill or a hurricane bearing down on the area.  A more pleasant “hurricane” has swept through the area this month in the form of a stunningly-hot Pensacola Pelicans baseball team. The final game of a lackluster first […]

Atlantic League Managers Provide Wonderful Material For Major League Trivia Buffs

July 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is probably an understatement of sizeable proportions to say that the eight men who manage Atlantic League teams have quality career baseball profiles.  After all, they have a combined 109 seasons—an average of 13.6—as major league players. The popular nation-wide group SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) took note recently when it made the […]

Pitchers Not Always the Priority for Major League Clubs; Stavisky Retires While Phelps Is Out

June 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It often seems like pitchers are the top priority when major league teams go shopping in the Atlantic League or any of the seven other Independent leagues for talent.  As a prime example, only four of the 16 former Indy players currently active or on disabled lists with any of the 30 teams are position […]

Trade Paid Immediate Dividends for One Side; Player Sales to Major League Teams Keep Mounting

June 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Best friends Butch Hobson and Andy Etchebarren may have second thoughts the next time they consider making a trade right ahead of a series between Hobson’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and Etchebarren’s York Revolution. They swapped outfielders hours before starting a three-game set in Southern Maryland last weekend, and Jamar Hill allowed the Crabs to […]

Two-Time Batting Champ Victor Rodriguez, Wily Mo Pena Could Add Substantially for Bridgeport

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

York’s worst-to-first dash can only encourage others to keep striving to improve, and that certainly seems to be the case for Bridgeport. The Bluefish, eager to return to the upper ranks of the Atlantic League since 1999 championship Manager Willie Upshaw was available from Day One (he took over in mid-season last year), were stung […]

With 38 Players Used Already, Bears ‘Continuing to Build’; Perkins May Help

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It is highly advisable for anyone going to a Newark Bears game to pick up a program.  This goes for regulars at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium as well as the casual fan or someone watching the Bears on the road. Thirty-six games into the campaign or just past midway in the first half of […]

Oakland Takes Three More Atlantic Leaguers, Building Recent Total to Five and Passing Phils

May 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems a little like a runaway freight train the way Oakland has swooped into the Atlantic League for player talent, and all of a sudden the Athletics have moved past Philadelphia as the major league organization with the most players out of the 13-year-old league active in their farm system. Oakland has purchased the […]

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