Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baseball from a different perspective

I tend to look at baseball from the international angle mostly, but I like baseball outside the mainstream. One area I haven't really paid a lot of attention to is the Independent Leagues in the states. Now, obviously living in the UK makes following the independent leagues a little harder, but it's not impossible. Thanks to a great web site:

IndependentBaseball.net

The site covers all things independent. There are tabs on the teams, managers, players, scheduling, standings and statistics, as well as:

Easy-to-find links to specific information on independent baseball team and league websites

Up to date independent baseball news across all leagues and the industry in general

Resources to help those who want to join the industry

Resources for independent baseball alumni (players, managers, staff, executives, announcers, umpires, etc.)

Links to the third-party statistics services which many teams and leagues use (these links are not widely known by most fans)

Ability to quickly and easily listen to independent baseball games

Ability to find archived online broadcasts in case you want to listen to a previous game

Ways to collect unique independent baseball merchandise and memorabilia

Useful content throughout the site which will give you tips and advice on specific content

(upcoming) Exclusive interviews with players, former players, and industry insiders
New features will be added based on your feedback and that of fellow website visitors
I wasn't aware that there are actually 8 independent leagues operating right now, featuring anywhere from 6 - 12 teams. And they pretty well have the country covered, as well as a presence in Canada.


AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
ATLANTIC LEAGUE
CAN-AM LEAGUE
CONTINENTAL LEAGUE
FRONTIER LEAGUE
GOLDEN LEAGUE
NORTHERN LEAGUE
UNITED LEAGUE


The Northern League features the Kansas City T-Bones, a team I have never watched play, but many of my family members and friends have.

I did make the mistake of comparing independent ball to A ball, but I have been corrected on this, and have been told by many people that it is AA level, at a minimum. I'll trust the words of those who have seen, and not just those who write.

There is also a daily blog that needs to be checked out. You can easily spend a couple of hours or more going through the site, finding out where the teams are at, former major leaguers playing, and checking the stats.

It's not major league baseball, but it is baseball. Check it out. It's well worth the time.