Recently, BallparkDigest.com came out with an article about the likelihood of the Rockford Riverhawks and the Joliet Jackhammers joining the Frontier League:
It also states that the Frontier League has not confirmed any of these statements, so the two teams currently exist in the Northern League. Also of interest is the mention of the debt loads owed to the respective cities of Joliet Illinois and Schaumberg Illinois. The real question is what will happen with the Lake County Fielders, which have had their new stadium construction issues transpire in recent months (see archives on this site under the “Lake County Fielders” tag).
It should be noted that the Northern League office has been quoted in other articles that they will continue to operate for the 2011 season.
Should the BallparkDigest.com article, ultimately, be accurate then there would be 7 leagues for next season: American Association (14 teams), Atlantic League (7 teams + possible travel team), Can-Am League (7 teams + possibly Ramapo NY, a Canadian team, or a travel team), Frontier League (14 teams — 12 from 2010 + the 2 Northern League team), Golden League (likely to be 6 or 8 teams), Pecos League (likely 6 teams), and the United League (likely 6 teams, if Amarillo comes back or a suitable replacement city is found). If this is how it ultimately shakes out then there will be 7 leagues with 62-64 teams.
The 2010 season saw 64 teams across 8 leagues play independent professional baseball. The changes from the 2010 season are (for now):
- American Association: + 4 teams (Winnipeg, Gary, Kansas City, Fargo)
- Atlantic League: -1 team (Newark Bears) + 1 team (Travel? This is still TBA) — Net change = 0
- Can-Am League: +1 team (Newark Bears) + 1 team (Ramapo, Canadian team, or travel) — Net change = + 2
- Continental League: league folded. -4 teams (some are going to Pecos League)
- Frontier League: uncertain as for now (possible addition of Rockford and another Northern League team) — Net change (possible + 2)
- Golden League: -2 teams (lost St. George Roadrunners and Tijuana Cimarrones). In jeopardy (2 teams: Chico Outlaws and Tucson Toros, the latter due to affiliated team coming to Tucson) — Net change = -2 (possible -2 more)
- Northern League: -4 teams (lost Winnipeg, Gary, Kansas City, Fargo). Article cited mentions loss of remaining 4 teams in the league
- United League: no changes yet (in jeopardy is Amarillo + Laredo). No mention of any two cities to replace should they be lost
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