Saturday, November 11, 2006


What offseason?

With so many leagues these days, including the startups, and all the news they create plus the personalities who deserve attention, I find it impossible to do justice to some of the topics in my every-other-week Independent Baseball Insidercolumn. So you should be seeing more entries here on

Some of the nuggets I found interesting over the last few days that I did not get into last week's column include the stories that follow. Each represents something new.

A shortage of players wanting to break into the Independent Baseball ranks? I don't think so. The new St. George (UT) Roadrunners of the Golden League held a tryout camp, and 75 hopefuls from 19 states showed up. Manager Cory Snyder signed 12 of them, and used such terms as "pitching was superb" and "the passion and me great confidence" when the day was done.

Meanwhile, the United League, in addition to planning for its Winter League season, has announced its second summer campaign is being expanded from 90 to 100 games for each of its six teams. Byron Pierce's operation is really expanding its playoffs by going to two best-of-five sets in the first round and a best-of-seven for the championship round. No other league has a best-of-seven. Players can learn more about the pay-to-play Winter League at

And, the name of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson will resonate in the Frontier League next season. That's because Bob's son Chris, who opted for college when his dad's St. Louis Cardinals drafted him out of high school, has signed to play the outfield for the Gateway Grizzlies. That's a great location for the lefthanded hitter since the Grizzlies play out of Sauget, IL, which is barely out of the shadow of St. Louis's Gateway Arch. I wonder if he will don uniform No. 45?

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