Most people generally consider independent baseball leagues, as we know them today, to have started in 1993 with the Northern League and Frontier League. In actuality, professional independent league baseball has an interesting history. Many independently-owned teams were playing in the affiliated minor leagues throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Other independent leagues existed in the earlier days of baseball before the formal structure of Minor League Baseball, as we know it. One unique piece of history, however, is the Empire State League. The league had 4 teams playing in one location (Long Island, NY) in 1987.
While it was not exactly as we know independent baseball today, it served as a catalyst for the 1993 inception which then spawned 20+ leagues and over 250 teams. Here is background on the Empire State League:
There are several good books about the independent professional baseball leagues. You are welcome to see a list of suggestions through this link: Books Get notified of upcoming independent baseball tryouts from either of these services: first service or the second service. Prospective players can find some helpful resources here We will be providing a growing list of possibly helpful tips and suggestions on various baseball information. This will range from "how to" information about baseball skills all the way to helpful information for casual baseball fans. Please click the link for more information: Tips And How To Information