September 26, 2021

Atlantic League Economics Seem Bright As 2010 Independent Baseball Season Launches

April 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

As best we can read it, the economic picture could not look a whole lot better than it does in the Atlantic League as the 13-year-old circuit prepared to raise the curtain on the 2010 Independent Baseball season this very evening (Thursday).

Definitive figures are not easily assembled, but Camden (NJ) Riversharks General Manager Adam Lorber told The Philadelphia Daily News this week as his team readied for its 10th year in the league “I think the biggest thing now is our stability.  A lot has happened in the last 10 years, on both a national and local level.  There are always hurdles to clear.  (But) now we have a business plan that makes sense for us, and last year we were profitable.”

In talking profitability, it is important to understand Camden was only sixth best among the eight teams in attendance last season with crowd counts among the key money-making barometers.  Only Newark, NJ and Bridgeport, CT trailed the Riversharks in attendance, and Frank Boulton, the league founder who is CEO at Bridgeport, told a media day audience on Wednesday “we have dramatically closed the economic gap” while repeating what he had told this reporter a few days earlier that sponsorship revenue was up “20-25 per cent”.

If Camden made money, think about some of the league kingpins.  Camden’s attendance was below 250,000 last season while the Boulton-owned Long Island (NY) Ducks were at 414,973 and league-champion Somerset, NJ drew 355,429.

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Mike Marshall ‘Found Myself’ in Independents

Add the name of Mike Marshall to those who is a solid advocate of the Independent game.

“I found myself through Independent league baseball, and I always will be grateful for that,” the successful Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder told his former General Manager, Fred Claire, for a story that Claire wrote for While rehashing a conversation they had one day when Claire was GM and Marshall was only 27 but considering whether he should continue to play, Marshall said with all of his experience of the last decade in Independent leagues “I think I could hold any position in baseball from being a clubhouse guy to running an organization.”

Recently appointed president and general manager of the Chico (CA) Outlaws in the Golden League after positions on and off the field at Yuma, AZ as well as the Northern and Northeast Leagues, Marshall also gave major praise to his wife.  He told Claire “Mary has always been there with me in my career, and she has been a great asset and co-worker in my career in the Independent leagues.”

Only recently turned 50, Marshall hit .270 with 148 home runs between 1981-91 and was part of the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series championship.

Castillo Back With Orioles

Alberto Castillo, a frequent Independent league hurler, is once again in the major leagues as one of three lefties in the Baltimore Orioles bullpen.  Despite his 2.25 earned run average in 20 appearances last season, the O’s did not keep the 34-year-old after spring training so he collected two saves in five appearances (0-0, 5.79) in Triple-A.

Castillo played in the Atlantic League as recently as 2007 (Camden, NJ and the Road Warriors) after 2006 with the traveling team, 2002-03 with Newark, NJ and 1999-2000 with Schaumburg, IL of the Northern League. Fourteen players with Indy experience are now active in the majors with three others on disabled lists.

(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe to the column or his latest undertaking, the Atlantic League Notebook, at  He also has two blogs, and The author has 16 years of major league baseball PR experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)



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