About a month ago, I met Joey Mellows through twitter (@BaseballBrit).
He mentioned that he has a new love for baseball, specifically independent baseball, even though he has never seen an indy ball game in person… yet.
Here is his story:
Indy Ball: The British Are Coming
by Joey Mellows
@BaseballBrit on Twitter
In June 2018 I intend to fly 6,515 miles from Seoul to Kansas to watch a baseball game between the Kansas City T-Bones and Lincoln Saltdogs. I have never watched an independent league game before but want to learn more about baseball that is played and operated outside of the monopolistic Major and Minor Leagues.
At the age of 32 I have decided to roll the dice with my life (and career) and have informed my current employer of my intentions to leave my steady, well-paid job, in June 2018 so that I can watch, document and write about the current state of independent baseball within the USA.
I am also a Brit, with little experience of baseball except for three recent summers spent following the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, the LG Twins in Korea and the Texas Rangers in the MLB. My upbringing is similar to many from the UK with soccer, cricket and rugby dominating my early sporting interactions growing up in England.
The plan at present is still highly flexible, and that is where I hope, you, the readers of Kayla Thompson’s excellent Indy Ball Island website, can help contribute as I travel throughout the USA in 2018 and 2019 following players, teams and stories around the various traditional summer independent leagues.
I am particularly interested in the joys, frustrations and day-to-day lives of people associated with Indy Ball.
This is especially true if you are a:
- fan of a specific team
- player (current, past or aspiring)
- coach/ manager
- front-office worker (intern, part-time or full-time)
- broadcaster/ podcaster
- scorer/ statistician/ historian
- local resident from a town/city with an Indy Ball team
- local resident/ business owner from a town/city where an Indy Ball team has sadly left
I intend to chronicle the stories, eccentricities and business elements of independent baseball – particularly geographical regions of the country that have been overlooked or ignored until the arrival/departure of independent ball.
Recommendations on ballparks, the independent baseball life, famous fans, books, websites, and people to follow on Twitter would be gratefully received and I hope to hear from many of you before next summer – so please get in touch!
About Joey Mellows (@BaseballBrit)
I caught the baseball bug whilst attending my first game in Osaka, Japan as a means of keeping my visiting British parents occupied for the evening. Since then I have spent the majority of my free time watching, reading, discussing, and travelling to baseball games with an assortment of characters with a shared passion for the KBO, NPB, MLB and SABR.
I am also intent on helping to further baseball interest among British fans with a group of podcasters from www.batflipsandnerds.com and run the UK fan accounts for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers on Twitter.
I encourage all of you to help out Joey on this adventure in any way that you can!