View Full Version : Why independent baseball is great

Silver Sox Fan
07-25-2007, 07:14 PM
I started reading this book I read about on the nlfan website about the Northern League. It is called Wild and Outside by Fatsis.

Anyway, some coments from the introduction really resonated with me as to why I like the Silver Sox so much over my experiences with affilated ball. Don't get me wrong--I love baseball in every form and I would love to see guys I know on the field (rehab assignments, etc) but I think indy teams have the potential to be so much more a part of their community than an affiliated team and so much more personal than an MLB team.

"The players have been liberated from the relentless scrutiny of front offices concerned only with developing major league talent not with winning baseball games."

"The league involves a loyalty that has vanished from a game in which major leaguers change uniforms and organizations shuffle minor league affiliates annually...Northern League teams--and their players--belong to cities themselves, not to some far off parent."

"Emotion sets the league apart. Players and managers need to win, because winning is the only guaranteed reward. Unlike farm club operators handed a roster a few days before the season, Northern League owners scout, sign, and pay players selling the contracts of the best ones back to big league organizations"

"Its founders wanted to pump fresh air into an institution suffocated by rulers ever more distant from the game on the field. In the minors you frequently hear how...owners have taken the fun out of the game by focusing exclusively on the bottom line. But resurrecting the spirit of baseball is no easy task. Citizens have to be willing to sacrifice money, time, and energy. Clubs need to field a credible product. And players have to trust that joining an untested , somewhat outlaw venture will help their careers."

Wow, that is it for me. Baseball decisions made for baseball reasons without other motives (i.e. pitching a prospect only so many innings, arranging line ups to give guys reps, etc).

I would love it if the GBL leadership would put out an "open letter the fans" signed by all owners and GMs with comments similar to the above and pass them out all over town, reiterate them at Rotary meetings and the like, and generally enforce to everyone that they want to be part of the community. We've read some of this in interviews with Mr. Kaval and Patel. But a one pager that reinforces that and is handed out in booths at local fairs or conventions or maybe in the program would be really neat. The Arena Football team has a contract with the fans on what they can expect at the ballpark. Maybe this is something the GBL can take advantage of too!

07-25-2007, 08:26 PM
Well spoken.
Since indy baseball came to my hometown, I've fallen in love with the game again. It's how I imagine the old textile league teams around here used to be in the early 1900s.
Playing for the love of the game ...
Winning for the sake of winning ...
What a concept ;)

07-25-2007, 09:19 PM
I love this letter...expect something similar coming out of OC soon!!!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Ed Hart
OC Flyers
General Manager

07-25-2007, 10:00 PM
Thanks SS Fan for reminding me of this wonderful book. When this book was written, I had the pleasure of living in St. Paul, MN where the Saints exploded onto the scene. With Mike Veeck and Bill Murray in ownership roles, Midway Stadium was the only game in town (good thing for the Twin Cities because at that time the Twins sucked big time!) Your quotes should serve to refocus our attention to the uniqueness of Indy Ball. It's so easy to focus on the negative. I have appreciated so many of the constructive comments offered by the participants of ths board. I also appreciate what Kevin and all the GBL leadership have attempted to do to make the GBL a quality experience (including Ed in OC; wish all the GM's would join the conversation). The one thing I would most wish for would be to hear from our league co-founders. If they read this board, both Dave and Amit must know we passionately love the GBL and want it to grow and prosper (even those of us temporarily on league sabbatical; like Mary and Yvonne). I have one suggestion and that would be for every person in league and team leadership to read Mike Veeck's book, "Fun is Good"; a good manual for remembering what this game is all about. Two other Indy Ball classics are "Leagues of Their Own" by Stott, and "Rebel Baseball" by Steve Perlstein. Jabbered long enough.....

07-25-2007, 11:03 PM
I agree SS Fan, I spent many years cheering for the Las Vegas Stars ( Now the 51's)..
This league has more desire and hope than the AAA seasons I watched at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.
One thing my kids love is the accessabliltiy of the players after the game, my kids just loved Phil Grau and Marcus Jensen last year. This year it's Madrid and Ryan Brown.
These players seem to sign all the kids autographs prior to rushing to the locker room, as did Jensen and Grau last year...