At its peak last summer there were 74 Independent Baseball teams spread over 10 leagues. There have been a few cities drop out of the picture for 2008 as always is the case, but it appears there will be at least six cities on board for 2008 that were not included one year ago.
Major additions include two sizeable cities moving over from the affiliated ranks--Wichita, KS in the American Association and Ottawa, Canada, to the Can-Am League. This corner also expects that one new Texas entry, Grand Prairie in the American Association, and Southern Maryland (Waldorf) in the Atlantic League could be two of the best stories of the year. Both will have fancy new digs when they open.
Texarkana, TX has joined the second year Continental League, and various news reports have Jackson, MS re-emerging on the Indy landscape as part of the second-season South Coast League. Either or both of those leagues could still have other changes as they attempt to grow.
ON THE HORIZON in our Independent Baseball Insider this Thursday will be an early look at the former Indy players who have non-roster invitations to major league spring training camps. It is a developing--and impressive--list.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
SIX NEW CITIES ON INDEPENDENT LANDSCAPE IN 2008
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.