August 20, 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 […]

106 Major League Victories This Season; You Bet, and That Is Just for Independent Leaguers

September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Twenty-one years ago when Kash Beauchamp was signed off the St. Paul (MN) Saints’ roster in the Northern League and assigned to Class AA the naysayers were continuing to pooh-pooh the future of this new thing called Independent Baseball.  Those who believed it could succeed likely were in the minority. We have pointed out the […]

While New Leagues Are Slow to Develop, Independent Roster in Majors Grows Rapidly

August 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Independent Baseball is continuing to turn out major league players in impressive numbers—two more just this week—but operators are not finding it nearly as easy to start new leagues or even to nail down new franchises. A new league has not started and lasted since the Can-Am League launched in 2005, and even that was […]

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. […]

Fox’s 3 Consecutive Walk-Offs May Be a First, But Albers’ Brilliant Debut Shares Top Billing

August 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It does not happen this way often when two ultra-heroic events divide attention about deadline time.  When it does, one deals. Jake Fox made the first bid for attention when the Somerset, NJ (Atlantic League) designated hitter collected walk-off hits in three consecutive games.  We do not know if it has ever been done before, […]

In an Odd Way, This Former Manager Now More Valuable to Independent Leagues as a Scout

August 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The first time I met Chris Carminucci he was managing the Can-Am League’s travel team, the Grays, in 2005.  Travel teams are not expected to do well, but his energy and upbeat nature were infectious. The Grays actually won half of their games the first half of the season, and it seemed obvious Carminucci would […]

It Is the Same Five Teams Who Lead in Attendance Although Kansas City, KS Makes a Nice Jump

July 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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 […]

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 […]

Through the Eyes of a Somerset Patriots Fan

April 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

A View from the Press Box Most Somerset Patriots fans are aware of the significance of June 7, 1999.  It was the team’s first home opener at their present ballpark.  This was after spending their 1998 inaugural season, on the road.  When the gates were lifted, it ushered in the fruition of Steve Kalafer’s vision […]

At 23 and 5-Foot-6, ‘Veteran’ Independent Umpire Takes His Talent to Affiliated Baseball

April 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Kevin Winn couldn’t be blamed if he popped a few pride buttons these days with three of the umpires he has supervised working major league spring training games and half of the 10-man umpire contingent in the Class A California League coming out of the American Association, but I found him this week largely singing […]

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 […]

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 […]

Indy Domination? It Was in This Eastern League Game With Mates Getting Win, Save and All Six RBI

June 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Independent Baseball players who have had their contracts purchased by major league organizations seem to understand what a neat little fraternity they have.  They are in the minority on affiliated minor league rosters with the norm probably only a couple of hopefuls on a 25-man team. Longtime Can-Am League first baseman Chris Colabello knew all […]

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 […]

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 […]

Jerome Williams (Three-Hit Shutout), Jered Weaver (No-Hitter) Strut Their Stuff With More Than 100 Others at MLB Doorstep

May 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

My intention this week was to talk up the fact more than 100 Independent Baseball players now populate the rosters of the top two levels of major league-affiliated minor league teams, and while I will get back to that point it is impossible to overlook the masterful shutout turned in by Jerome Williams, who still […]

As Atlantic Season Opens, Kirk and Other Owners Eye Spanning USA With Two Eight-Team Divisions

April 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

When Sugar Land inaugurated its lavish new ballpark near Houston on Thursday, the Skeeters helped usher in the 20th season of this improbable success known as Independent Baseball. Two decades of professional play apart from the major leagues is quite an accomplishment for those who have given their sweat and their dollars, but I feel I can safely […]

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 […]

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, […]

Rave Reviews for Newest Can-Am Stadium For the Rockland Boulders

June 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The consensus seemed unanimous. The Can-Am League’s new Rockland (NY) Boulders have a winner in $38 million Provident Bank Park, which opened—and appeared virtually completed—to a sold out crowd Thursday night. A 6,000-seat facility only an hour or so north of New York City it has all the amenities any new stadium should have plus […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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