October 24, 2014

Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

August 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

ROCHESTER, NY – More than a decade has passed since Brett Carroll roamed the fields of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Time hasn’t erased the memories. The veteran of ten years in professional baseball, including parts of six seasons in the majors, has played 180 games in the bigs, hit a home run off a future […]

Through the Eyes of Patriots Fan: “Hip, hip, Jorge!”

August 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game that featured fireworks during and after the game.  The Patriots sent veteran, and former major league pitcher Brad Thompson to the mound.  He gave up five hits and three runs in the top half of the first inning […]

From the Eyes of a Patriots Fan

August 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a picture perfect night for baseball on Friday (August 16th).  While I realize that statement this is cliché’, it is apropos that evening at TD Ballpark, home of our Somerset Patriots of Bridgewater, NJ.  The park bustled with activity, from a dance performance given by a troupe of young entertainers, to the obligatory […]

Stash for a Smash

May 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We are now into the Sweet Spot time period starting in May and going through June where impact rookies will get called up from the minor leagues. Guys that will make an impact both for their team and YOUR team. Here are four guys who haven’t seen the majors in 2013 that could be starters […]

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

May 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There are three songs that put a smile on my face.  They are “Happy Birthday,” “It’s a Small World” and “Take me out to the Ballgame.”  When you sing or hear “Happy Birthday”, the smile is expected.  After all it is all about you.  When I hear “It’s a Small World,” it’s normally when traveling […]

Mike Augliera: Boston Red Sox Pitching Prospect Talks Baseball

May 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

The Boston Red Sox have some of the better-known pitching prospects in baseball with Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Matt Barnes all leading most peoples’ lists. It turns out that they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Boston’s farm system, as there are a number of other promising […]

So Much Theft He Should Be Arrested

May 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This year Yahoo! leagues have added a new NA spot to their rosters. Much like adding a player on the DL, fantasy owners can pick up Minor Leaguers and set them aside, making zero impact on their roster size. Up until this season, if you wanted to stash a top prospect he had to take […]

Through the Eyes of a Somerset Patriots Fan: From the Press Box, Part II

April 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It is a Thursday evening (4/25/2013) and once again, I am sitting up in the press box of the Somerset Patriots.  Tonight is the final game of the series between the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Patriots. Our Patriots dropped the first two of the series, so the hometown fans are anticipating a much-needed victory […]

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 […]

Misplaced Minor League Nomenclature

April 14, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Many fans may not realize that the Frederick Keys, the Baltimore Orioles’ affiliate in the Carolina League who happen to be celebrating their 25th anniversary this season, are named for Francis Scott Key who is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery across the road from the ballpark. This is because nothing that the Keys do promotionally […]

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 […]

Kevin Pillar: How the Toronto Blue Jays’ Prospect is Raking His Way Through the Minor Leagues

March 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Toronto Blue Jays traded a significant amount of their minor league talent to the Miami Marlins this past offseason in a huge trade that netted Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson among others. Despite the deal, their cupboard is far from bare. Outfielder Kevin Pillar is one of the organization’s best young players […]

Underdogs, Yes, But Independent-Packed Team Spain Players Are Used to Fighting for Approval

March 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Spain seems to be a long shot among the 12 teams remaining in the third World Baseball Classic, but there were plenty of smiles and expressions of hope when I tracked down several of the 13 current or former Independent Baseball players on the 28-man roster shortly before they left Florida for their first round […]

Good Guy Octavio Martinez Finally Gets Major League Job Seven Years After Initially Being Singled Out

February 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We have charted more than 200 people from Independent leagues who have earned non-playing opportunities in major league organizations in recent years, and one of the most heart-warming of these stories is that of longtime minor league catcher Octavio Martinez. Although still more than a competent catcher last season with the new Sugar Land (TX) […]

One More Record Haul With 54 Independent Baseball Players Headed to Major League Camps

February 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The numbers are staggering.  A record of at least 54 players who have played in one or more Independent leagues will be in major league spring training camps starting next week.  Seventeen of them started their professional journey in a non-affiliated league, and eight spent at least part of last season in one of the […]

How Impressive Is This for Independent Baseball? Two Stars Earn Top Pitcher Awards in Winter Leagues

January 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems amazing—and likely a first—that Independent Baseball veterans earned Pitcher of the Year honors in two of the four major winter leagues, which are bearing down on starting the Caribbean World Series.  Dwayne Pollok, who spent two years in the American Association (Fort Worth, TX) and last summer with Lancaster, PA (Atlantic League) earned […]

Journalism Career on Indefinite Hold As Bo Schultz Takes His Power Arm to Bid for D-Backs Job

January 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I became intrigued with Bo Schultz some time back, not entirely for his baseball talent because it was said he was not a major league prospect, but largely in that he came out of the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and was likely to become a baseball journalist.  It seemed writing might take […]

Indy Owner Pat Salvi Has Vested Interest in Unbeaten Irish And Colabello’s Major League Dream Comes True

December 20, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

While Notre Dame will not have any shortage of supporters when the Irish go after their first national football title since 1988 in the BCS Championship game January 7, it seems unlikely anyone will be more amped than Pat Salvi. In case the name escapes, Salvi is the successful Chicago attorney who along with his wife […]

Latest Rash of Player Sales (10 in Two Weeks) Reinforces Some of Independent Game’s Best Attributes

December 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Even though there is an urge this early to focus on spring training because of so many promotions to 40-man major league rosters and earlier-than-usual non-roster invitations, truth be told the big story right now is the rash of signings of Independent players to affiliated contracts. This corner can pinpoint 10 such signings to major […]

Michael Ynoa: High Expectations, 40-Man Rosters, and the Agonizing Burden of Waiting for Greatness

November 28, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

The legend of right-handed pitcher Michael Ynoa began the moment he signed a then-record $4.25 million contract with the Oakland A’s in 2008 as a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic. Because of recurring injuries, he has pitched only a total of 39.2 innings in the five seasons since landing that landmark deal, assuming the identity […]

While Uncertainty Prevails for Many Free Agents, Kris Johnson Has a Date in Major League Camp

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Kris Johnson was playing video games in the basement of his home outside Kansas City when he picked up the phone to hear a voice say he would like to talk to him about his latest news as well as his days pitching in an Independent league little more than one year ago. While he […]

Appreciative Lew Ford Is Major Leaguer Today, But Will Get Championship Ring From Long Island

October 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The delightful story of Lew Ford’s journey from the Atlantic League in April and May to the parent Baltimore Orioles in late July to the American League Postseason in October still has, dare we say, “a nice ring” to it for Independent Baseball as the major league season marches to a conclusion. Pardon the reach […]

Look No Further Than 67 Victories Posted by Pitchers To See How Independent Baseball Contributed to 2012 Major League Season

October 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Major league baseball does not get any better than it is in October when it is keeping us glued to our seats on a daily basis, but in order to reach this plateau it seems necessary to spend some time looking back on the last six months to see the role products of the Independent […]

Urckfitz and Lancaster claim California League crown

September 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Patrick Urckfitz knows how to save his best for last. As a junior college player, he came out of the bullpen for Monroe Community College and helped the Tribunes finish third in the 2008 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series. Four years later, the left-hander hurled a pair of scoreless frames in the […]

Brownsten earns a pair of post-season honors

September 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Rome Braves opened the 2012 season with six wins in their first twenty-four attempts, making the playoffs seemed far-fetched. Becoming the worst team in  minor league looked more realistic. But that is the depth to which Rome fell. The Braves bottomed out at  18-52, and found themselves all alone in the basement of minor league baseball. […]

Mike Ness Keeps Winning as Can-Am No-Hit Hurler Moves Into Heat of Last Remaining Atlantic League Race

September 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Even though Mike Ness still is pitching in Independent Baseball, the 24-year-old has established quite a prestigious fan club while wearing three different uniforms this summer.  It is important to understand this fan club is made up exclusively of his managers.       It is not difficult to see why the field bosses would like the […]

Lew Ford Far From Rookie in September Races, But This One ‘Is Different’ for Recent Indy Outfielder

September 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

This isn’t Lew Ford’s first pennant race.  Far from it.  He was part of the Minnesota Twins teams that played in the American League Division Series in ’03, ’04 and ’06, and was a regular outfielder in the middle of those years when they were ousted by the New York Yankees in four games. But […]

Colabello’s Record RBI Season Only a Start With European Championships, Mexico Next for Former Can-Am Star

September 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Chris Colabello’s run from being last season’s Independent Player of the Year (Baseball America) to setting a new team record for runs batted in during his first affiliated season to earning runner-up honors as the Eastern League’s Most Valuable Player is little short of miraculous.  It also has given the 28-year-old first baseman a full […]

Big Two of Atlantic League and American Association Give Independents Pair of 2,000,000 Draws

August 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

When the curtain drops on most every Independent league’s regular season schedule this Labor Day Weekend the one factor that will be increasingly clear is that two circuits have become dominant. Look no further for proof than at the gate where the American Association and the Atlantic League give the non-major league-affiliated brand of the […]

Getting on the Back Page of Newsday, Sports Center Clips And Live National TV All Part of Buildup to Clemens Appearance Saturday

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

So much has been written already since word came out Monday that Roger Clemens would take the mound for the first time in five years Saturday night in an Atlantic League game to fill another file in the National Baseball Hall of Fame where the 50-year-old phenom may one day have his own plaque depending […]

With Baseball Players Always Looking for a Difference Maker, Brian Burgamy May Have Found It in Australia

August 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Except for the relatively few who come into Independent Baseball with a superb professional resume, players always try to look for an edge, some type of door-opener that will help them get recognized as better than run-of-the-mill talent so they can elevate their career. The major leagues almost always are the goal. Brian Burgamy is […]

Former Geneva Red Wings Chaplin and Fennell sign free agent deals

August 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Little more than a year ago they wore the uniform of the Geneva Red Wings. Later this month they may face each other in the Arizona Rookie League. Jake Chaplin (Haverford) will catch a plane headed to Arizona early this week. When he arrives he will find a locker, new uniform and a contract with […]

Sherrill’s Van Boom ends summer with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League

August 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Seventy-nine games was not enough. After starting 44 games for the Brown Bears and 35 for the Sherrill Silversmiths, Wes Van Boom went looking for more. He got what he wanted. Soon after his New York Collegiate Baseball League season ended, Van Boom headed east, crossed the Sagamore Bridge and ended the summer with the […]

Jr. Chiefs seize the NYCBL title

August 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

GENEVA, N.Y. — Pressure created a crack which eventually widened enough to make the difference. The relentless Syracuse Jr. Chief offense played to its character and in so doing caused uncharacteristic play from its opponent. Series MVP Tim Locastro (Ithaca) slapped a one-out bases loaded single to bring home the winning run as the Jr. […]

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