Tag Archives: Heartland of America Baseball League

2015 Annual Report

As 2015 comes to an end, I just wanted to thank you all for making Indy Ball Island so great! It was a crazy year in independent baseball with all of the (failed) start up leagues and the other stories from more established leagues.

Over 71,000 people from 91 countries visited Indy Ball Island this year!

I posted 72 different articles in 2015… here are the top 5 (in case you haven’t had a chance to check them all out):

Re-Inventing Indy Ball? The Heartland Of America Baseball League – Q & A with Director of Operations. As we all know… this league never materialized after so many other issues arose.

The East Coast Baseball League Ends Before Ever Playing a Game.

Japanese Independent Baseball Tryouts Coming to the US. Look for a follow up in 2016 with some of the players who were signed to contracts!!

Nick Renault – World Traveler Returns Home.

Why Isn’t Anything Being Done About the Evansville Cheating Scandal?  A week after this article was published, the Frontier League did in fact force Evansville to forfeit ten games.

I had a fun and interesting 2015 covering indy ball. Thank you to all the players, coaches, front office staff, and fans who made this year so enjoyable! Thank you for allowing me to bring you some of the stories surrounding a part of baseball that often gets little attention outside of the towns that they play in.

Here is to an even more amazing 2016! Be on the lookout for more player features, news on any new independent leagues looking to last longer than a few weeks, Japanese Independent Ball, and much more!!

Happy New Year!

 

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Are We in for Another Summer of New Indy Leagues?

Last off season, we highlighted many independent leagues that were looking to start in 2015.  First up were the Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League (MRPBL) and the East Coast Baseball League (ECBL). Then came word of one (and then two) leagues in the Ozark, Missouri area – The Heartland of America Baseball League and The Ozarks Pro Baseball League.

Sadly, none of them were able to have an entire season in their original form. During the summer, we recapped what happened to each;  The MRPBL played for a couple of weeks but ultimately folded. The ECBL never played a game, but it was resurrected by one of the team’s owners as the North Country Baseball League. They played a full season and had some players promoted although there were still many issues to overcome due to how quickly it had to be put together.  And Ozark, Missouri didn’t see any professional baseball games this summer as neither league could work through problems to field teams.

To say the least, this summer was not a good one for independent baseball from a new league standpoint.

But as the temperatures are starting to drop, the off season and rumors of new independent leagues are just heating up.

So far, we have heard of four leagues working on debuting in 2016 – The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL), The Empire League, The Desert League, and the U.S. Baseball League.

Last month, we had a Q & A with the USPBL’s Executive Director of Baseball Operations which you can find HERE. The league is looking to field three teams that will all play in the same stadium (that is currently being built) in Utica, Michigan.

The Empire League is a continuation of the North Country Baseball League. Eddie Gonzalez, who was an essential part of the NCBL, will operate as the Empires League’s Director of Baseball and Business Operations. The league will be returning to Old Orchard Beach, Maine and Watertown, New York as well as bringing new teams to Albany and Rome, New York. We are working on getting an interview with Eddie soon!

The Desert League and the U.S. Baseball League have been quieter about their 2016 plans.

The Desert League will be looking to field teams in Arizona and California for a season that runs from August through October. Their website states that:

The Desert League of Professional Baseball is a fall Independent League that will begin its inaugural season in August. The season will run from August until October with each team playing about 60 games.  All of our players will be paid.  No player will pay to play in our league.  This is true professional baseball.

We are catering to the first year pro player.  Our goal is to help players get their foot in the door of professional baseball, there for we have adopted roster rules that require each team to carry 12 rookies. If you are looking for a place to start your professional career look no further.

I have been in talks with members of the Desert League staff and will release more information as well as a Q & A when the league has officially set their plans.

And finally, the U.S. Baseball League is looking to bring baseball to Ozark, Missouri the right way. In August, we reported that Price Cutter Park in Ozark had been purchased. It appears as though that will be the future home of the U.S. Baseball League. They are working hard to get the field ready for baseball in the near future. We will also have more information when it is released as well as a Q & A with the league before the season begins.

Please remember to subscribe to Indy Ball Island to keep up with all the off season news!