September 24, 2021

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 with its 2012 schedule which includes the new Sugar Land (TX) Skeeters replacing the Road Warriors while the Can-Am has gone back to a six-team lineup, as it had in both 2009 and 2010.  The American Association seems ready to have another 14-team circuit, and likely will put the seal on it when owners convene in Gary, IN Monday.  “I think we will come out with 14 teams,” said Commissioner Miles Wolff.

The Atlantic League is going back to its familiar 140-game schedule since teams will not have the added home games they received under the 126-game format that included the traveling team.  The seven teams in the Northeast all will make two trips to Sugar Land, usually playing a four-game series and another of six games, while the Skeeters will visit each of its rivals three times.  Two-time champion York, PA will visit Houston-area Sugar Land in what promises to be a highly-publicized four-game series to start the season April 26 since StarTex Power Field will be opening its doors for the first time and the league has never before had a team where air travel is required.

 “We are going to be a six (team league),” said Wolff, who also sits atop the Can-Am League.  “I do not expect any late developments.”  He was fresh from the league meeting in Newark, NJ in which the league rescinded the Pittsfield, MA membership, a move that was not unexpected since the circuit had to help pay the Colonials’ bills.  The other six teams affirmed their plans to operate, Wolff said.

Minors Opposed Yanks’ Use of Rockland Ballpark

This corner has had independent confirmation the Can-Am’s Provident Bank Park in Ramapo, NY would have been the choice of the New York Yankees as the site of some of their Triple-A games next season if Minor League Baseball did not have such a staunch stance against sharing a stadium with an Independent league team.  The Rockland Boulders are the reason Provident Bank Park was built.

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18 Indy Teams Averaged at Least 3,000

The continually sputtering economy has many continuing to focus on such key factors for baseball as attendance.  As we already reported, total Independent Baseball attendance was down this season, in large part because there were fewer teams and leagues.

Digging deeper, we found that 18 of the 52 teams averaged at least 3,000 fans compared to 20 at this level when there were 64 teams one year ago.  Only nine teams averaged less than 1,500, according to figures reported to the official statisticians,

The American Association had three of the five teams that averaged more than 5,000 every time they opened the gates, led by Northern League transfers Winnipeg (5,740) and Kansas City, KS (5,222).  Winnipeg has had the best average Independent crowds in 10 of the last 11 seasons.  Long Island, NY continued to have the greatest overall attendance of 382,027, with the Atlantic League team averaging 5,537.  Somerset, NJ (Atlantic) ranked third in average (5,241) while the American Association’s St. Paul (MN) Saints were fifth at 5,004.  Lancaster, PA (Atlantic) came in at No. 6 with a per-game average of 4,682.


Doucet in Running for Frick Award

 How great would it be if French-speaking play-by-play veteran Jacques Doucet could win the Hall of Fame’s Frick Award for broadcasters.  He is one of 10 nominees.  Doucet finally had to give up his radio duties with Quebec (Can-Am League) late this season when The Sports Network made its debut in CanadaThe beloved Doucet is the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays games on the network.

(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe at, enjoy his blogs, and, or comment to  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

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