March 23, 2017

Coaches, Players Who Came Through Independent Leagues Will Have Roles in American League’s Postseason

September 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The constant search this column undertakes to find meaningful stories on current or former Independent Baseball personnel has once again resulted in some nice nuggets heading into major league baseball’s postseason with the further tip that every fan of the unaffiliated game should lean heavily to the American League starting next week. It is a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Reminiscent of Dramatics of Five Years Ago, Independent Baseball Has Two Major League All-Stars

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Independent Baseball will never have the marketing impact of the powerhouse major league franchises when it comes to pushing for All-Star votes, but it still will have some bragging rights when the game’s marquee names gather for their annual mid-season classic at Citi Field in New York next week. For one thing, the American League […]

How Is This as Handsome Reward for 19 Indy Grads? They Are on Pace to Top $37 Million in Majors

April 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Does it pay for an aspiring major leaguer who goes undrafted or needs to re-energize his career to play in an Independent league? And how!  Think about earning salaries totaling more than $37 million for the regular 2013 season.  Pay is prorated for most everyone, of course, so if a player is only in 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 […]

Triple-A Veteran Ed Nottle’s Willingness to Move In ’93 Was an Early Sign Independent League Baseball Would Work

May 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The 20th season of modern day Independent Baseball gets going full steam tonight (Thursday) when the Frontier League, American Association and Can-Am League join the Atlantic League, which has a three-week head start. Miles Wolff and Ed Nottle, two of the prominent names in the business which currently has 50 teams and annually entertains from […]

Independent Baseball Season Fires Up Next Week With Three More Leagues Starting Play

May 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Joe Calfapietra is one of the real veterans among the 32 Independent Baseball managers preparing teams to open the season in one week (May 17) when the Can-Am League, American Association and Frontier League hear the “Play Ball” cry. The 42-year-old New Jersey Jackals skipper has had time to develop a plan for building a […]

It Is Nail-Biting Time for Several Independent Players Although ’11 Standout Jerome Williams Is ‘On Track’

March 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It appears 2011 Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers (Atlantic League) starter Jerome Williams could win that fifth starting job with the Los Angeles Angels after all even though his hamstring strain forced him to miss some 24 days of spring training. The 30-year-old, who also at one time hurled for Long Beach, CA in the Golden League, […]

Touring the Bases with Bart Zeller

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Bart Zeller is a former major leaguer, who recently coached the Joliet Slammers to their first ever Frontier League championship. Bart is a great baseball man who obviously loves managing and actually still plays himself, all of which you will read about. I believe you will enjoy the great insight Bart gives about independent baseball, […]

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 […]

Pan American Gold for Team USA May Depend On Continued Work of Atlantic Leaguer Andy Van Hekken

October 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite all of its world-wide baseball success, including the Olympic Games, the United States has not won a gold medal in the Pan American Games in 44 years (1967).  Team USA set off its latest bid to capture the title as we were putting this column together Thursday, and if it is to be successful […]

With Another 84 Contracts Sold and Some Postseason Players, Indy Game Continues to Produce for Majors

October 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

While the next few months before most Independent teams throw a pitch that counts is certain to bring a ton of headlines about franchises struggling and some welcome news on emerging markets, league executives can continue to boast about what a strong source the non-affiliated operations are in providing talent for major league organizations. At […]

Wilhelmsen, Almonte Step Up, Give Indy Game 14 on Opening Day Rosters

March 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

     Erick Almonte’s unexpected jump onto the Milwaukee Brewers’ bench grabbed much of the Independent Baseball attention during spring training, but now that the reality of Opening Day is here the 32-year-old, who has not been in the major leagues since 2003, has to share the spotlight with a quartet of pitchers who also have […]

Shuffle Leading to Three Dominant Indy Leagues

October 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While a last minute change of heart apparently has kept the American Association from becoming a super-sized league approaching 20 teams, it is becoming increasingly apparent when all of the dominos have stopped falling sometime in the next couple of months Independent Baseball will have three dominate circuits. The non-affiliated brand of professional baseball started […]

Major Shakeup Taking Place in Independent Baseball

October 7, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

This may be the most important period for Independent Baseball since it started in 1993.  Make it the most important ever since not all that much was really expected when the first two professional leagues of non-major league-affiliation formed 18 years ago. That’s a bold statement, to be sure, but this is what seems to […]

Independent Baseball Crowds Back Above Eight Million

September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Strengthened by the addition of two more teams in the Northern League and with gains reported in three other leagues, Independent Baseball attendance climbed back above eight million fans for the 2010 regular season.  It is the third time in four years the non-affiliated clubs have drawn above that level, this time finishing at 8,130,646.  […]

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 […]

Newest LA Dodgers’ 16 Years Pay Off

September 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It was raining in Quebec and the first Can-Am League playoff series was being delayed by 24 hours, but New Jersey Jackals Manager Joe Calfapietra did not seem at all distressed.  In fact, his mood was clearly that of a happy man. Joe’s year already was a success, and only in part because the veteran […]

Northern League Making Attendance Statement

August 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Northern League made a major move in 2010 when it got back to a more attractive eight-team operation, and now it is making a challenge that might not have been easy to forecast. In its 18th season, the Northern is chasing the Atlantic League for the highest average attendance for every time the turnstiles […]

It Was a Busy Week From Northern League All-Star Dominance

July 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With reports that at least 10 major league scouts were on hand to watch, the Northern League jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first three innings and never looked back in taking a 9-3 victory over the Golden League in the only All-Star Game between two Independent leagues in front of a reported […]

After Years of Fighting Injuries, Randy Williams Is Having an Unblemished Spring

March 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

If Randy Williams turns out to be so fortunate as to spend all of 2010 with the Chicago White Sox, it will be his first such major league campaign, and he will turn 35 before fall. Williams certainly is off to a great start in following up on the second half of last season when […]

Weber and Young Arms of Crow, Scheppers and Parise Making Their Mark in Spring Training

March 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It would be much like splitting hairs if we tried to give a definitive answer as to who among the former Independent players hopeful of becoming a first time major leaguer is having the best spring training up to this point.  Jon Weber,  Aaron Crow and Tanner Scheppers certainly have offered up their work.  Pete […]

Two-Thirds of Players Who Start in Independent Play And Reach the Majors Are Pitchers

March 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Among all players who would like to be the next success story by playing their first professional game in an Independent league and later making it to the major leagues, pitchers Aaron Crow, Pete Parise and Tanner Scheppers have to be the three leading candidates. It is pretty basic reasoning since they are in big-league […]