Tag Archives: Empire League

2021 Season Wrap-Up and a Look Ahead

Baseball season is over. The Atlanta Braves are the 2021 MLB World Series champions. 2022 schedules are starting to be released. And it’s time to officially wrap up the 2021 Independent baseball season.

2021 Season Champions:

MLB Partner Leagues

Atlantic League – Lexington Legends (Win in their first year in the league)
Atlantic League Official Press Release

American Association – Kansas City Monarchs (2nd championship in 4 years)
American Association Official Press Release 

Frontier League – Schaumburg Boomers (4th championship – the most in league history)
Frontier League Official Press Release

Pioneer League – Missoula Puddleheads (Win the first championship as a Partner league)
Pioneer League Official Press Release 

Other Independent Leagues

United Shore Pro Baseball League – Utica Unicorns (Win third straight championship)
USPBL Official Press Release 

Pecos League – Tucson Saguaros (Win back-to-back championships)
Tucson News Press Release 

Empire League – Saranac Lake Surge (First championship in franchise history)
Empire League Official Press Release 

Yinzer League – Killer B’s (win back-to-back championships – the only winners in the league’s two year existence in Washington, PA)

Southern Shores Pro League – S. Carolina Yankees (Inaugural season for the league)

2022 News

Atlantic League Adds a 10th Team

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced it has added a 10th team for 2022. Referred to as the Kentucky team (KY), the club will be listed on the league’s official 24th Championship Series Season schedule.  

The club is owned by Lexington-based Stands LLC, which plans to announce a team name shortly. The club will play a full Atlantic League schedule while co-occupying the home of the defending ALPB Champion Lexington Legends. The two clubs will also play each other in select matchups. 

The Kentucky team will provide a 10th team and balanced schedule in the year in which a Staten Island club will join the eight existing Atlantic League clubs. A 10th city will join the league in 2023 when Hagerstown, Maryland, fields an Atlantic League club.

CLICK HERE to read more.

American Association Releases 2022 Schedule

The American Association of Professional Baseball has released the 2022 league schedule which includes the debut of a new member, division realignment, and a new playoff format. The American Association will play a 100-game season in 116 days. Opening Day is Friday, May 13 and the regular season will conclude on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day).

DOWNLOAD THE 2022 SCHEDULE HERE

The 2022 season will kick off with a full six-game slate on Friday, May 13 and will feature the first-ever game of the Lake Country DockHounds, who will face their cross-town rival Milwaukee Milkmen at the Milkmen’s home stadium in Franklin, Wisc. The DockHounds, based in Oconomowoc, Wisc., will open the newly-constructed Wisconsin Brewing Company Field on Friday, May 20 and host the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Pioneer League Releases 2022 Schedule, Add Two Teams

The Pioneer Baseball League (“PBL”) today announced its schedule for the 2022 Championship Season. The PBL expands to 10 teams in 2022 with the return of the Northern Colorado Owlz (formerly Orem Owlz) and the addition of a new team in Flathead Valley, MT.

“We’re very excited to begin the 2022 season after the historic year we just completed,” said Pioneer League Commissioner Jim McCurdy. “By adding two new teams in two new ballparks, the league is poised to build on its promise to sensibly expand throughout the Mountain States region.

CLICK HERE to read more and view entire schedule.

Yinzer League off-season

The Black Sox/Yinzer League are continuing their usual off season training including tryouts and scout days in Florida. The Black Sox Pro Baseball League will once again be having a barnstorming tour playing spring training games in various indy leagues around the country before the 2022 Yinzer League starts.

CLICK HERE for more info on the Black Sox.

2021 The Summer of Signings

Major League Baseball organizations are signing independent players at an alarming rate this summer.

Baseball America has reported that 150 players have been signed from the MLB Partner Leagues (Atlantic League, American Association, Frontier League, and Pioneer League) as of their article on June 25th.

With the reduction in minor league affiliated teams, it makes sense for the MLB Partner Leagues to act as true feeder leagues to major league organizations. On top of that, the summer off for most players last year also has to be attributing to the injury-riddled rosters.

And while the number of contracts purchased gives indy ball players hope, it is starting to affect the level of play (especially pitching) for those still within the partner leagues.

If you’ve watched any game from a Partner League this season, you may have noticed that the level of play is down from years past. That was evident in the beginning of the season, but even more so now that their rosters have all been poached for talent to fill spots. Specifically, there is a huge drop in the level of pitching. Teams are really just trying to find arms to fill spots and eat up innings. Throwing strikes with some sort of velocity is a plus, but even that is getting harder and harder to find.

So if the major league organizations find players in the partner leagues, where do the partner leagues go to fill their depleted rosters?

Of course, the normal college grads are always an option but…

There are various true independent leagues running around the country that each have a goal to get players the game reps they need to be seen and hopefully move up to a partner league.

Right now, the Yinzer League (based in the Frontier League Washington Wildthing’s ballpark in Pennsylvania) are playing games every day. This league, ran by Joe Torre and the Black Sox (you may be familiar with them if you’re a reader of this site), has worked hard to get guys seen and signed this summer. Players have gone to each partner league in the month that they have been playing.

The USPBL (which also runs out of a single stadium in Utica, MI) is another option for players who need a spot to play.

Likewise, the Pecos League in the southwest and the Empire League in the northeast are giving players opportunities to play, gain stats, and hopefully move up to a team that is looking for a player who is already game ready.

If you’re sitting at home but want to get back in the game… there ARE spots available. A LOT of spots. It may not be easy finding them. It may be a true grind once you get there. But teams are looking.