Tag Archives: Frontier League

Broadcasting Baseball – Tim Calderwood

On what would have been opening weekend in the Frontier League, Indy Ball Island still wanted to bring a Frontier League staple to all of our readers, words from the Boomers broadcaster Tim Calderwood.

Hello Indy Ball Island!

One thing we have a plethora of currently is time. I am grateful that Indy Ball Island has given me the opportunity to use some of that time to write about one of my passions in life, indy ball, and share some stories. I’m a visual guy so you know pictures will be involved in this as well. One of the things I have grown to love about indy ball is that everyone has a story, the unique perspective that I have is to tell those stories every night for others to hear and get the best seat in the house to watch as more chapters are written (Well, best seat ish).

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There will be plenty of time for stories and thoughts over the coming weeks before the return of baseball, but in the meantime I have a very wide range in musical taste (Eminem to Eric Church to Dave Matthews to Phish and everywhere in between), but every time I write something I like to use Jay-Z from PSA, allow me to reintroduce myself!

My name is Tim Calderwood and I IMG_-pwmpwkam currently the broadcaster for the Schaumburg Boomers in the Frontier League. I have been with the Boomers since their first season, 2012. I’ll give a little bit more of my history in just a moment, but first since we are becoming buddies you can call me Popcorn, or TCPopcorn. It’s a nickname that has stuck with me for my entire tenure in baseball. On twitter @tcpopcorn and ditto on insta, though I don’t post much on insta. And twitter may fall into your realm because most of my posts come during baseball season.

20190809_213741During the pandemic to keep my baseball fix going I have been hosting a program that I post on Twitter and Youtube called Quarantine Cards where I open baseball cards, which is something I started doing during game broadcasts last year and wanted to start again while we wait this out (Stay safe out there everyone!).

One of the things I liked to do during my broadcasts was to try and find cards of Frontier League players that have reached the show and share a bit of their story, yes, you can make your way from indy ball to The Show.

 

NOTE: If you have any cards of Frontier League players in The Show, send ‘em my way! 20200418_213712They go with me to every game on the schedule to remind people that dreams can come true.

 

But back to my story. My broadcasting roots in indy ball trace all the way back to 2007. I spent three years with Traverse City (Beach Bums – Mich. 2007-09) and one year with Lake Erie (Crushers – Ohio 2010) before moving to Gary in 2011. One thing I have in common with the players is that for four years I lived with a host family before landing back in my homeland of Chicago. I’ve been broadcasting baseball since college, but as a ‘professional’ since 2005. I put professional in quotes because really as I look back at IMG_20200409_180957_392pictures and memories frequently, who can call this a job. I once heard a quote, find something you love to do an you’ll never work a day in your life, and ain’t that the truth. Each and every night and ballpark and season is filled with its own excitement.

Of my 13 years broadcasting professional baseball, all of them have been in the independent ranks and 12 of those years in the Frontier League. Now some people may say that being a lifer isn’t a desirable position, but I point to finding something you love and going with it. I enjoy being able to remember details of a player when they make it to The Show, or attending a wedding, or recounting great moments in team and league history (Plenty of those in the coming blogs I am sure). Many people have made careers in independent baseball, although as Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee likes to say, “We’re family and you’re welcome to stay as long as you like, but we hope you get the heck out of here.”

I have built so many relationships through baseball. From players to coaches to managers to players who have become coaches and then managers to coaches who have become managers. I’m lucky in Schaumburg that the team has had only one manager in franchise history, Jamie Bennett. Many Frontier League teams are now led by familiar faces, and I have been able to build relationships with many of them in addition to my peers in the broadcast industry and the countless people from other organizations I have met annually in my Tour de Frontier as I like to call it.

Here’s to hoping we have many tours down memory lane in the coming months! Until next time,

Yours in Indy Ball,

TCPopcorn

Indy League Updates Concerning COVID-19

The restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic have altered independent baseball leagues around the country.

As of April 21st, 2020, these are the updates that we have been given:

Atlantic League

(March 16, 2020) Atlantic League President Rick White issued the following statement:

The CDC recommendation that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events consisting of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks has made clear the Atlantic League’s Opening Day of April 30 will be delayed. ALPB Professional Tryout Mini-Camps have also been postponed.

As the Coronavirus pandemic evolves, the ALPB remains focused on the health and well-being of our neighbors, fans, players, umpires and employees.  When these challenging circumstances pass, we look forward to welcoming fans to our ballparks, putting smiles on their faces and creating lifelong memories.

An announcement regarding the ALPB 2020 Championship Season schedule will be made at a future date on all team and Atlantic League websites and official social media platforms.

American Association

MOORHEAD, MINN. – The Board of Directors of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball has postponed the start of the 2020 regular season, which was scheduled for May 19.

The American Association will aim for a start date of the season in early July. The league intends a season that will include 80 games and extend to late September. The early July timeline, along with the length of the season, is subject to the ability to hold games in home markets while abiding by federal, state, provincial governments laws and municipal health orders and guidelines.

“The American Association looks forward to the day when we can safely re-open our stadiums to our fans and provide entertainment and social interaction,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “However, we will not jeopardize the safety of our fans, staff, players, umpires or vendors and will abide by all national and local restrictions when determining if we can open in early July.”

Frontier League

The Frontier League announced today they are officially delaying the scheduled May 14th start of the 2020 Frontier League season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The League, which is the largest independent baseball league in North America, will continue to monitor the situation, and announce a start date for the 2020 season at the appropriate time.

“The safety of our Fans, Players and Team employees is our highest priority at this time” stated League Commissioner Bill Lee. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to play baseball in 2020 and will continue to track the pandemic as well as Federal, State and local social distancing requirements in all of our markets.”

The Frontier League has also announced the delay of the League’s annual Tryout Camp and Draft scheduled for April 27th and 28th in Avon, Ohio. “It is our goal to hold our tryout camp, spring training and start our season as soon as possible”, added Commissioner Lee. “Our Board of Directors is meeting weekly to monitor and discuss the situation, and we will provide updates as the pandemic progresses. We ask all of our Fans, Players and Staff members to follow the recommendations of Federal, State and their local health officials, in hopes of slowing the spread of this virus.”

Debuting in 1993, the Frontier League is the largest and longest-running of the modern independent leagues and features teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. More information can be found at http://www.frontierleague.com or by contacting office@frontierleague.com.

United Shore Professional Baseball League

To Our USPBL Fans:

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe.

We wanted to provide an update on the status of the 2020 USPBL baseball season at Jimmy John’s Field in light of the developments related to the coronavirus in the State of Michigan and across the United States and the world. Following President Trump’s announcement on March 29 that the federal government has extended its social distancing guidelines through April 30, we have determined that we will need to postpone the start of the USPBL baseball season, which was scheduled to begin on May 8. At this time, we have set a target date of May 29 for the start of our 2020 season, but we will continue to monitor developments on the state and federal level. With the flexible structure of our league, we still expect to be able to play a full season at Jimmy John’s Field this summer, and we will release a revised 2020 game schedule as soon as possible. We will always put the health and well-being of our fans, players, umpires and employees first, and we will follow all guidelines and directives of federal, state and local agencies with respect to when it will be safe to start our baseball season at Jimmy John’s Field this year.

While we wait for the start of the 2020 season, and some normalcy to return, we are hard at work on increased measures that will be put in place at the ballpark for the 2020 season to maintain and elevate our stature as the cleanest and safest ballpark in America, including the installation of hand sanitizing stations throughout the ballpark, and more extensive daily sanitizing and power washing of the ballpark before every game. We also are working on special programs targeted at people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in ways both large and small, including a program that will offer 4 complimentary tickets to any 2020 season game for all first responders, special discounts on birthday parties at the ballpark for anyone whose birthday took place during the Stay Home order, and special group outing offers for graduation parties.

In the meantime, we ask everyone to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other federal and state public health officials, so that we can get through this outbreak as quickly as possible.

We look forward to seeing you again soon for USPBL baseball games at Jimmy John’s Field, and we will be open again as quickly as it is safe to do so, and in accordance with the direction being provided by federal and state public health officials.

From all of your friends at the USPBL – Stay Safe & Stay Healthy!

 

Pacific Association

(March 19, 2020) 

San Francisco, Calif. – As we prepare for the start of our season in June, the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, and each of our teams in Sonoma, Napa, Vallejo and Fairfield, in consultation with health and wellness experts, have decided to keep plans for our summer season.

In all hopes that the mass spread of the coronavirus becomes controlled, there is an unknown stage for the next few months. We will be providing regular updates as new health and safety progressions transpire over the next 30 days and beyond. The Pacific Association will continue to monitor this fluid situation and make adjustments to our operations as warranted.

Please join our league and each of our teams in offering our support and sympathy to our friends and family in our local communities, around the country and the globe. Together we will get through this.

Pecos League

4/16/2020 – The Pecos League is aware of the rapidly changing developments regarding COVID-19. The Pecos League was originally scheduled to have a 64 game regular season start on 5/27/2020 and end on 8/1/2020 with 12 teams in 6 states. This will not happen.

The Pecos League has adjusted its season to a 48 game season with a start date to July 1, 2020 with an end date August 16, 2020 assuming it is deemed safe by local governments to play with fans at this time.

The other option the Pecos League may have to consider is to have four teams play in one location. No travel, no hotels and likely limited fan interaction would occur. But the players who need to play in the 2020 season would be able to play.

“There are 12 cities in the Pecos League and there are 12 different opinions, two of the cities have said no baseball in 2020. We will adjust and if possible play a 48 game season beginning July 1.”

Empire League

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