May 24, 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Interview with Richard Giannotti of the Independent Leagues

May 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

It used to be that the United States was home to dozens of professional baseball leagues. As Major League Baseball grew and honed its empire, that number reduced dramatically. Proving how much Americans love the national pastime there are still some independent professional leagues that have persisted and continue to pump out a competitive and […]

Forensic Career Bypassed as Indy Grad Jason Cooper Takes on New Opportunity With Pirates

December 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Stanford University professors may not want to hear it, but one of their anthropological science graduates has given up an admitted “passion” for forensics to start on Phase 2 of a professional baseball career, this time as a front office rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jason Cooper could see the handwriting on the wall within […]

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 […]

Surprise, Surprise! It Is Early October And Three Indy Leagues Already Seem Set for 2012

October 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Some uncertainties over league makeup often dominate the news this time of year, but at least three of the five primary Independent leagues seem to have their plans in order.  One result is that travel teams which the Atlantic and Can-Am Leagues had to endure this season are gone. The Atlantic League is already out […]

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 […]

Touring The Bases With…Doug White

September 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Doug White, the Pitching Coach of the Johnson City Cardinals talked with Alfonso Tusa about his pitching philosophy, great satisfaction in the 2010 season, how baseball has enhanced his life and his everyday work with the pitching staff. Alfonso Tusa: The JC Cards hadn’t won the Appalachian League Championship since 1976. Were you aware of […]

Sandy DeLeon Has Made Eight Stops in Atlantic League

August 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

      Call him the true baseball journeyman.  Maybe even a nomad.  Just call him.       Sandy DeLeon is not the best baseball player in the Atlantic League, and he recognizes it.  But this happy man from New York City by way of the Dominican Republic is ready any time the telephone rings.  He brings a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Recent Indy Grad Rene Rivera Only Hitter to Take Stephen Strasburg Over the Fence

June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rene Rivera is one of only a dozen and a half baseball players in the Independent leagues who has had his contract purchased by a major league organization in this still young season. The stocky catcher has a unique distinction, though, not only among the privileged group that has moved one step closer to the […]

Northern League’s New Eight-Team Lineup Taking Shape With Lake County Hoping to Build and Be Home in Five Weeks

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Training camps started opening for the expanded Northern League this week as the eight-team circuit zeroes in on the start of its 18th modern day campaign May 20, but the happiest news might well have been one more step toward getting a shovel in the ground on the new stadium for the fledgling Lake County […]