The Thoroughbred Baseball League

New season, new start ups. It’s about that time of the year where new independent leagues seem to be popping up all over the country.

The Thoroughbred Baseball League, based out of Lexington, Kentucky, seems to be the one gaining the most buzz around the independent baseball world.

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Thoroughbred League Mission
“We are committed as a group and as individuals to help players advance their game by affording opportunities to advance through the ranks of professional baseball. The players will always come first, without them the game doesn’t exist.”

From their website, it appears as though the league will consist of six teams, each with 25 players per team.  All of the teams will play at the Eagle Sports Plex which has two professional baseball fields. (Indy Ball Island has not been able to find any additional information on this complex.)

The league has a 55 game schedule along with an All-Star game and homerun derby.  They also state that all players will be paid on a weekly basis.

The website has a link to sign up for training camp registration (the cost – if accepted into training camp – is $590) as well as information regarding the training camp on their main page.

The inaugural training tryout camp will begin May 30th 2017-June 2nd 2017.
The training camp will consist of players who have either been recommended, been invited from a pre-camp tryout or have been verified by staff. These players will initially check in to camp at 7:00 am on May 30th. Each player will receive color specific and numbered jersey for camp. Each player will then be ran through a pro style workout to record their 60 time and receive a grade from the training camp staff as well as team managers.

At 2pm on May 30th a tryout roster will be posted at the tryout complex where each candidate will be placed on a team which he will remain throughout the tryout camp process. These teams will compete against one another in modified game situations through the balance of the training tryout camp.

On Friday evening June 2nd, a posting will be made of all six Thoroughbred League rosters. These rosters will be the chosen teams for the summer 2017 season.

Each roster will consist of 25 players each. Each team will consist of the following: 19 of the rostered players may have professional experience, however 6 players on each roster may have zero professional experience. Each team having 6 true rookies will be different from all other professional leagues. Having 6 true rookies per squad will allow guys who have not been drafted or who are new graduates the ability to begin their professional career.

Immediately following roster postings each player will be signed to their professional contract to the Thoroughbred League and fill out payroll paperwork with the leagues payroll company. This is real professional baseball ALL PLAYERS WILL BE PAID WEEKLY! Each player must have with them at signing, proper identification in order to sign contract as well as payroll documents.

On Saturday June 3rd, there will be a dinner for all 6 teams to meet and greet with the local communities. Players at this time will be invited to sign autographs etc. Saturday June 3rd and Sunday June 4th Teams will be allowed practice times and uniforms as well as equipment will be distributed by your team managers and coaches. Each player will receive BP uniform, as well as a home and away uniform.

Cost of training camp is $590 USD per player. Players are responsible for all personal expenses during camp. Please click on Registration tab to register. You will be contacted as soon as you are accepted. (NOTE) NOT ALL PLAYERS WILL BE ACCEPTED TO TRAINING CAMP, PLEASE DO NOT CLICK PAY UNTIL YOU ARE CONFIRMED. YOU HOWEVER WILL NOT BE FULLY REGISTERED UNTIL PAYMENT IS RECEIVED, SPOTS ARE LIMITED BASED ON NEED, YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL CONFIRMING YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED AND MAY PAY AT THAT TIME.

Honestly, it seems as though we’ve heard this information countless times over the last few years about a new start up league. I have reached out to Dallas Murphy (presumably the owner, as his name is listed first on the staff directory) to see if he is willing to answer any questions players or myself may have for him. Please comment on here or email (kaymthompson@gmail.com) any questions you may have for the league.

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30 thoughts on “The Thoroughbred Baseball League”

  1. What is the player pay? It says they will be paid weekly. Will all players receive the same pay or will experience, skills, etc. determine rate? What is the rate of pay or high-low pay range?

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    1. If a player is invited to attend training camp and is cut, will the $590 refunded or is payment of the $590 fee a guarantee that he will make a team?

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  2. It appears the thoroughbred baseball league is just another con job to take hard earned money away from innocent young players with a dream lack of details in its plan….about as vague as the league that wants a team in Puerto Rico without finalizing details. Dave Moore Saxtons River Pirates Vermont

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  3. Gee, this business model smells familiar.

    And the name “Dallas Murphy” sounds a little contrived. What alias did Art Wilkinson use — you remember, the run-away promoter/convicted felon of Heartland of America Baseball League?

    This isn’t a reboot if Art Wilkinson’s con, is it?

    If you don’t get answers from “Dallas”, I see Scott Nathanson listed as a Baseball Operations person — he is active on Facebook and managed in the Empire and Desert Leagues recently. You might want to ask him wazzup.

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  4. Any league that charges a fee for a tryout is suspicious but a $590 charge is no doubt absurd. If a player is good enough to be a professional, he should not have to pay over 500 bucks for that opportunity. Simple math tells us that if this scam gets enough guys to stock just four 25-man rosters he will collect $59,000 in tryout fees. Then, if the league even begins play, he has seed money financing from the very players he portends to be “helping”. This is not a “professional” league. It is plain and simple a pay-for-play scheme. There are dozens of questions that should be asked. Housing? Workers Comp Insurance ( Required by law)? Professional statistics recorded on a system recognized by pro scouts in order that the player is on record as having played pro baseball? And so many more….

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  5. Hmmm … I may have jumped the gun with my glib first comment

    In doing some research, “Dallas Murphy” is apparently a real individual, has experience with baseball leagues/showcases/tourneys, has local community support, and has deep pockets (or backer with big-time bling).

    I hope this works out — for players who really do want to keep pursuing the dream.

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  6. My boyfriend is currently in this league. It was a scam. First they said they would be staying in family houses, lie. They are now staying in a hotel and are discounting the money out of their pay. Second, they said they would be reinbursing the $590 if the player made the team, lie. They have been postponing the pay, they said they would reinburse it back to the account on the 15th ofJune. We still haven’t received the money. Third, they said the pay would be 300-600 weekly, my boyfriend got 200 dollar on the 17; 100 per week. The players were complaining because 2 weeks went by and they didnt have any money, Dallas said that if someone tried to sue him, he would make sure that player would never play again. This is a fraud. We made so many sacrifices, my boyfriend left his job because we thought this would be the perfect chance for him to start playing again after being released by the Marlins for an arm injury. We are so upset.

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    1. Well… players can’t stay with host families if there aren’t enough people who are willing to house them. 150 players cannot get housed in one town.
      Back in his Q&A on this website in March https://indyballisland.com/2017/03/30/thoroughbred-baseball-league-q-a/
      Dallas talked about the living situation including the hotel arrangements if there weren’t host families.
      He also addressed the pay… saying it is 400-600 a month. He didn’t lie there and this information was public well before the season. Sorry, but even well established indy leagues don’t pay 600 a week. I’m sure the contract he signed did not say 600 weekly.
      I’ve also heard from multiple players and people associated with the league that the tryout money should be back to them this week.
      I’m not saying that there isn’t problems and clearly things haven’t gone as smoothly as planned, but this is a startup indy league and for people to think it would already run as well as a league like the Frontier which has been around and established for 25 years is just crazy. Start up leagues are a risk you take.

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      1. Kayla,

        Please keep us posted on the return of the training camp monies from your sources.

        I have a couple of players who paid but didn’t go to camp because of various reasons (signed with other league, quit baseball and got a real job, injuries, etc.). They have been promised refunds of their training camp fees for nearly a month now. I think if nothing happens by this week, that would be cause for alarm.

        Also, did you read this news article posted at the league’s Facebook page?
        http://www.kentucky.com/sports/mlb/article158076959.html

        Wow, I’ve heard of player-managers before but never player-league-owner! Seems like an interesting blog topic.

        Imagine being the manager trying to run the team or a player competing for playing time with the owner of the league at a position?

        FYI.

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  7. (Doh!) … just saw your Facebook post referencing the same article that I linked above. Sorry for not catching that sooner.

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      1. Also Baseball in Kentucky,

        I understood the article to say that the father, although “spokesman” of sorts, is NOT the owner of the league. The son (player) is the owner. Note this passage in the article:

        “Dallas Murphy Jr., who finished his college career last year at Asbury University, continues to pursue his own baseball dream and that of his father. He plays for one of the six horse-themed teams, the Stallions, while also being the principal owner of the complex and the league”

        He actually plays for the Paints and is having a tough start batting under .200 and leads the team in Ks. So my statement/question above is valid — imagine trying to “manage” or compete for playing time against the “owner” of the league.

        Reread the article and let me know if you see something different. Or if you think the article is erroneous.

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  8. Ok, to be clear, Dallas Murphy the owner has a son, Dallas Murphy who played college ball at Asbury University. I don’t know why they are saying the son is the owner. That doesn’t really make sense to me. The player, Dallas Murphy, was on the Stallions team and was moved under the team his father coaches, the Paints.

    Dallas Murphy, the father, owns the entire complex and the hotel they are staying at, along with the gas station next to the fields.

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    1. Also Baseball in KY,

      The situation is unique, that’s for sure.

      My guess, based purely on the article, is that the father ran into financial difficulties during the recession. There’s probably some sort of loan restructuring that occurred, perhaps with the stipulation that the father cannot be named as “owner”. Or maybe they are putting the stadium & league in the younger Murphy’s name for tax reasons.

      Regardless, the younger Murphy, the player, appears to be the named owner of the league. Which makes for a wild set of circumstances.

      I guess he can be “managed” by his dad without any issue. But I wonder how the bench players feel seeing a guy playing in front of them with poor numbers and with little chance of starting in front of the owner of the league.

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      1. I was under that impression as well… that the son was named the owner for various reasons, but really his dad runs everything.
        Also, the older Murphy basically created the league so his son could keep playing so…. if I’m one of the players, I’m thanking the son no matter how poorly he’s doing because he’s basically the reason the league exists and they get to play.

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  9. No training camp fee refunds yet — at least not to my 3 players who paid but then didn’t even attend the camps. The League has promised and missed refund dates 3 times now.

    I’m guessing that none of the Thoroughbred players have gotten their refunds either, but they’re afraid to mention this because they are in the middle of their season playing for the League.

    Just a FYI.

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    1. Player still havent received any payment. I’ve spoken to managment over texts because they refuse to answer calls and they keep telling us that is arriving over the mail. They told us yesterday that it was going to be mailed out today. The players that are still there are struggling. Some of them, dont even have money for food. This is unfair treatment. Management dont answer calls and the team’s manager my boyfriend was playing in, Sandy Deleon, keeps making up excuses and abusing the players. He even went so far as to say that one of the players was going to get his money last because he was asking for it way too much. One of the players fell on his arm anf got injured and they didnt even ask him if he was okay, he had to leave. My boyfriend was having pain in his arm, i had to go get him. They dont care about their players. The stats are not even posted either. One player left and they gave him his money back but they wont give others their money.

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  10. I finally made the two hour trek down to check out the league in person this weekend and here were my thoughts for anyone interested (sorry that the post is a little long):

    Players – There are some players who have some raw talent, though since there are no updated rosters and no announcers, I am not sure who they were. Typical of any level of baseball, there are a few that could probably move up a level and be successful and most are at the highest level they will see. The players played hard and seemed to have a good time doing it. Hitting was good, the play in the field was not very good and the pitching was good in the early innings, but they left the pitchers in for too long which led to bad pitching once they got tired. This might be due to a lack of depth in pitching. One game I saw, the pitcher only gave up two runs the first six innings, but then gave up nine in the seventh inning and was never pulled even though it was clear he had nothing left. Also, it seems a lot of the players have got to know each other while all staying at the same hotel so there was a good amount of playful trash talk going back and forth.

    Fields – The fields were not in the best shape. I am not sure if this is the regular or just a product of being at the end of the season. Only one field had a working scoreboard, so it seems this was not something that was fixed during the season. The complex itself has three or four other fields that do not appear to be used for anything currently. It really appears to be a high school/little league complex that is currently being used for professional ball.

    Attendance – I was one of only about 20 people in attendance that day and may have been the only one who was not a family member of a player. Though to be fair it was about 95 degrees and there was no shade so maybe they get better attendance when it is cooler. The seating was right behind home plate on both fields and was comfortable. Would have been nice to have some temporary awnings over some of the seats or some place within view of the game within the shade.

    A few things of note to me. First, I don’t know if I have ever seen a manager having as much fun as Scott Nathanson (I think that was who it was). That guy seems to just have a great love of being around the game. Second, I saw something I have not seen before – a player called out at first, the manager arguing, and the umpire actually changing his mind and calling him safe. This was unbelievably funny and led to both managers making fun of the umpires not knowing the rules for the rest of the game. One thing that did strike me was this seems like a perfect league to market to families with younger kids. Inexpensive admission and with the players right there, and others players who are not playing hanging out in the stands or between the fields waiting for their game, it would provide a great place for kids to meet players, get autographs, and have a fun baseball experience.

    Overall, I had mixed feelings about the league. I enjoyed the play in most of the games that I saw (I watched 3 games and saw all 6 teams), but it was pretty disorganized from a fan’s point of view. It is a cheap ticket and the seats are comfortable, though hot, uncovered, and obstructed by metal fencing on one of the fields. There is virtually no way to know who any of the players are which was really disappointing and with no working scoreboard on one of the fields, it is difficult to follow any game going on there. Since it is two hours away from me, I probably wouldn’t make the trip to see it again unless they improved some of the game day and field deficiencies. But if they did and the league survives for a second year, I wouldn’t mind giving the league another try.

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    1. Are there official scorers? Are the stats published anywhere (Pointstreak)? Kind of odd to think that a kid would want an autograph from a player whose name isn’t even announced to the fans on a PA system! If a player has to pay $590 to join the league it is NOT pro baseball. It is “pay to play”. Nothing more than adult men’s league. Maybe better than average men’s ref league but the atmosphere is just the same as any men’s adult league anywhere in the USA.

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      1. Haven’t seen updated rosters or stats and that has been my biggest complaint about them. Whether they are actually keeping stats or not, I am really not sure at this point. Although they say they are, how hard is it to load them up on pointstreak after a month and a half?

        I wont get into the debate about whether it is a pro league or not. There has been enough of that on here and on the fb group. Everyone has their own opinion due mostly to the tryout fee and whether or not it was paid back. I just went to give it a try from an fan and game experience perspective and tried to just approach it from that angle.

        I will disagree about the kids. For a six or seven year old kid, it can just be a thrill to be that close to baseball players and interacting with them. I have seen plenty of that even in the summer collegiate leagues. Most little kids don’t care about the stats of a player (although I did at that age), just the fact that it is a player. If you can build that kind of good experience for kids and families, they will come back.

        The league definitely has a long way to go and I am doubtful that it will be able to survive. In my opinion, it was started too quickly and did not have the right business and marketing people around it to make it successful. I remember some of the early Frontier League of the 90s and this is well below that in every aspect. The United Shore seems to have found the way to make the single field concept work with marketing and careful planning for a couple of years before launch. But not knowing the TBL guy’s finances, maybe there is still time to make it work. But it will take a lot of changes and a little luck.

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  11. The only bright spot for this league are the players playing out there seem to have fun. Most of them have played the highest they will in their career while some of them will move on to better leagues.The coaches seem knowledgeable for the most part and seem to have fun with their teams which is good to see. That is about the only nice thing you can say about the league.

    Now to list some of the terrible parts of the league. The fields are youth baseball fields which they have tried to pawn off as professional baseball fields. The park used to or still is a youth baseball facility that the staff over there believes it is professional enough. Well with how bad the lips are at the edges of the infields and the outfield is looking just as bad no way they can fool anyone into thinking these are professional baseball fields, sad to see they even try to fool anyone. The next issue with the league is the fact the players are not getting paid when they are supposed to. Sad to see these players not get the money they are owed when they are playing hard and trying to move up. From reading other comments on this site and the group on facebook page dallas murphy seems to have not followed through on his promise to the players in putting them first, clearly he sold them on a dream of theirs in hope to profit only for himself. He needs to do a better job actually managing the park, fixing the park scoreboards/fields, getting actual attendance, and focus on getting the players seen rather than coaching one of the teams. The fact that stats are not being posted for the players makes the chances of playing higher up unattainable. The league was sold on giving chances to the ones that get overlooked and they still have little to no chance being seen here. There is some good talent here, but sadly they will not get seen like they should have been.

    I had high hopes for this league to make it, but seems like it won’t. It seems very close to a “pay to play” mens league not a professional baseball league. Advice to players looking to play independent baseball stay away from this league.

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  12. Wow … some real revelations here in the comments on this and the other 2 “Thoroughbred League” blogs at this site … the most alarming is an assertion by Theo in one of the other articles

    Why aren’t some of you posting your concerns at Independent Baseball Chat Group on Facebook?

    Is it because that weenie administrator, Bob MayEye, has some sort of weird hard-on about people (continuing to) talk about the Thoroughbred Baseball League and their questioning of non-payment of players?

    If so, i understand. That guy with his whittle doggie picture on FB strikes me as a thin-skinned turd who gets riled-up if people don’t stay on “his” topics. Just him closing the group (which, of course, virtually guarantees no growth of new members) was indication enough that he’s a control freak instead of just letting conversations evolve naturally.

    Of course, there should be deletions and censorship of slanderous posts, but just because someone revisits a topic covered previous isn’t a reason to go all apeshit on the poster. Earth-to-Bob-MayEye, maybe some readers (like new ones) didn’t see the topic that you claimed was beaten-to-death.

    What a weenie.

    Thanks for the new info commenters here — important information for players and their families to review.

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    1. Can you please stop bringing your comments about someone else from another website on this blog? I understand what you’re saying but did a grown man really just write “what a weenie.” about another grown man on this page?
      You can get your point across without nonsense please.

      And I get that players aren’t getting paid. They aren’t getting back that tryout money. The fields are terrible. It’s constantly raining so they cancel games because again, the fields are terrible. There aren’t any stats posted.
      It’s been the same thing all season. Soooooo… if they’ve had enough, they’re adults who can make the decision to leave. Why stay? To get the money they are promised? We all pretty much know at this point it won’t happen. Is Dallas threatening them to stay? On what grounds because… once again, he clearly isn’t going to pay them.

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  13. O.K. Maybe a little overboard criticizing the FB administrator. Sorry.

    I don’t think you’re giving enough credit to the type of pressure and courage it would take for an (adult) player to pick-up and leave at this point when “promises” continue to be made.

    “We all pretty much know … ” and “he clearly isn’t … ” are statements made by those of us not confronted with a choice to pick-up and leave when there’s a chance some miracle can happen.

    Also, where can these players go at this point? Some might be thinking that they shouldn’t rock-the-boat because maybe, just maybe, those stats will be done someday and they can point to how they did when it comes to next season’s tryouts.

    Of course, that’s what the TB league honchos are counting on to keep the players from a mass exodus or publicly criticizing the league.

    Tough spot for these players — and that’s the reason to continue to be critical of this league. It is important to warn others in the future. Especially because now the TB league is advertising a pay-to-play instructional thing in the Fall. I’m sure they will claim that “contracts” will be offered as an enticement.

    Contracts to a terrible fields, no-stats, lucky-if-you-get paid, league. Woo hoo!

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  14. I have not made any personal comments about these folks nor have I brought in information from any other place. I just feel that it should be known that this league is NOT a professional league and that promoting it by merely talking it up on any website is a disservice to young players who are actually PAYING MONEY to play what they think is “professional baseball”. It is NOT and is something that should be clearly exposed for what it is… not even as good as many local adult recreational leagues.

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    1. You have finally put the nail in the coffin!! the Thoroughbred League is a disservice to young players and a Black Eye to the state of Kentucky!! Dallas Murphy should stop quoting Bible Verses when he speaks. He has no love of the game, and certainly no love for the young men who placed their hopes, aspirations, commitments and $$$$$ in this so-called league!!!!!!

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