Such an organization would be in position to bargain with sporting goods dealers for better prices on bats, balls and uniforms and perhaps to enter into some joint promotional programs. They might even be able to try to develop better visa arrangements to get foreign players.
The biggest value, to this veteran’s mind, would be to etablish criteria for being considered an authentic Independent league. Minimum number of games, all players getting paid and acceptable standards in such areas as player housing and travel.
Without such an organization, anyone who wants to start a league or run a team without sufficient funding to make it last through a season may do so and call itself an “Independent League.” When there is a failure, everyone gets a bad name. It is not just a failure in one community; it gives the entire industry a bloody nose. It is difficult enough to make a go of it without some underfunded operation hurting everyone.
This subject came to mind again this week when news reports out of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area told of employees and vendors of the Fort Worth Cats of the United League not being paid.
“My last paycheck, I took it to the bank Tuesday afternoon (August 20) and it would not clear,” first base coach Mike Ford told WFAA.com. The television station said it talked to some players with similar stories.
The story also mentioned some vendors who said they were not paid for their products.
This type of news should not impact successful, well-run leagues and teams. But it does.
MILLIONAIRE KOREAN BASEBALL OWNER TO TAKE THE MOUND
For anyone in the vicinity of Pomona, NY, an hour or so north of New York City, who wants an enjoyable baseball outing on Labor Day Weekend, I suggest a trip to see the Can-Am League game between the host Rockland Boulders and the Newark (NJ) Bears.
Provident Bank Park is a beauty, as we have told readers previously, and the bonus will be that a 37-year-old knuckleball pitcher from South Korea is going to pitch for the Boulders. Hur Min, who made it big via an online game called Dungeon & Fighter, formed the first Independent team in South Korea. He’s also been working on a knuckler, training under the likes of Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, and he will put his work on display in the next to last day of the Can-Am season.
Will a star pitcher be born? Likely not, but it will be a fun opportunity in a beautiful setting to see the story play out.
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