Baseball America Recaps Recent Independent Baseball Off Season

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JJ Cooper from Baseball America wrote a recent “Independent Audit” column focusing on the off season business happenings in the independent minor league baseball industry:


He gets quotes from Miles Wolff (commissioner of the American Association) and Bill Lee (commissioner of the Frontier League), and focuses on the history of the Northern League teams, the American Association, and the Frontier League.  He also discusses the new North American League and the factors of how it came into existence.

Here is a recap of the 2010 independent baseball leagues and the changes for 2011:

  • American Association:  lost Pensacola Pelicans (leaving to join affiliated league), gained Amarillo Sox, gained 4 of the 2010 Northern League teams:  Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Gary Southshore Railcats, Kansas City T-Bones, and Winnipeg Goldeyes
  • Atlantic League:  lost Newark Bears to Can-Am League, added “Road Warriors” travel team
  • Can-Am League:  gained Newark Bears, lost Sussex Skyhawks, gained Rockland Boulders, added New York Federals (travel team for 2011)
  • Continental League:  folded in August 2010
  • Frontier League:  Oakland County Cruisers go “dark” for 2011 for new stadium, Kalamazoo Kings go “dark” for 2011, Joliet Slammers join league (formerly Joliet Jackhammers from Northern League), gain Rockford Riverhawks (from Northern League)
  • Golden League:  combines into North American League, Orange County Flyers go “dark” pending new stadium, Tijuana Cimmarones fold, Victoria (B.C.) Seals fold, St. George Roadrunners fold
  • Northern League:  teams leave to join American Association, Frontier League, or North American League.  League folds
  • North American League:  adds 3 United League teams (Edinburg Roadrunners, Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, and San Angelo Colts), add McAllen Thunder (semi-travel team), add Lake County Fielders (from 2010 Northern League), add remaining Golden League teams:  Calgary Vipers, Chico Outlaws, Edmonton Capitals, Na Koa Ikaika Maui, Yuma Scorpions
  • Pecos League:  New league — adds Las Cruces Vaqueros (from Continental League), Alpine Cowboys (formerly Big Bend Cowboys in 2010 CBL), Carlsbad Bats (travel), Ruidoso Osos, Roswell Invaders, and White Sands Pupfish
  • United League:  3 teams go into North American League.  Amarillo Dillas fold, Coastal Bend Thunder folds (becomes McAllen Thunder semi-travel team), Laredo Broncos fold.  League does not play in 2011
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There are several good books about the independent professional baseball leagues. You are welcome to see a list of suggestions through this link: Books

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