Tag Archives: Independent baseball in arizona

Desert League Announces Open Tryout Dates

The newly formed Desert League has announced open tryouts for the 92 roster spots (23 per team) available this upcoming season.

desert league logo

Baseball is a child’s game. Played by both children and adults who can’t let go of their children’s game. As Jim Bouton said, “You spend your life gripping a baseball and in the end you discover it’s the other way around.”

For $60 you can see if you still carry the dream and are good enough to realize it. For just three Jacksons you can take a chance that you are good enough to make money playing baseball.

The newest independent baseball league in the country and the ONLY league that is scheduled to play during the Fall and Winter will be holding tryouts to see if you can keep your dreams alive.

The Desert Baseball League is headquartered in Yuma and will play this September in Yuma, San Luis, Somerton and Imperial County, California. The players will be paid and insured. But most importantly they will move from southern Arizona to professional leagues in the US and Mexico and begin their journey up the baseball ladder.

So put down your baseball cards and pick up your glove and meet coaches and staff of the Desert League of Professional Baseball in Superior that Tuesday afternoon and see if you have what it takes to make your Field of Dreams possible. As they say, you can’t get a hit if you don’t swing the bat.

Go to www.desertleague.com to register and get more information.

Currently, their website lists three different tryouts as well as the dates for their open training camp.

Tryouts

Mountain View, California

Register: https://desertleague.regfox.com/san-jose-desert-league-tryout

WHEN: June 5, 2016

WHERE:  Mountain View High School

3535 Truman Ave,  Mountain View, CA 94040

SCHEDULE:

9 AM – noon: Evaluations
1 PM – 3 PM: Live game

$60 tryout fee in advance/$75 day of tryout


Superior, Arizona

Register: https://desertleague.regfox.com/superior-arizona-try-out

WHEN: June 21, 2016

WHERE: Superior Jr/Sr High School

SCHEDULE:

Noon – 2 PM: Evaluations
2 PM – 4 PM: Live game

$60 tryout fee in advance/$75 day of tryout


Riverside, California

Register: https://desertleague.regfox.com/desert-league-riverside-tryout

WHEN: July 17, 2016

WHERE: La Sierra University

4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, CA 92505

SCHEDULE:

9 AM- Noon: Evaluations
Noon – 2 PM: Live game

$60 tryout fee in advance/$80 day of tryout


Interested players should register for our open training camp scheduled for September 15-20 in Chandler. There are just 92 roster spots (23 per team) available this season.

Players unable to attend the Desert League training camp may contact the league for information on other tryout options.

Plans For Fall Indy Baseball League is Nothing New

For the last few months, I have posted updates on the Desert League, an independent league that is looking to be the only indy league running in the off season.

Recently, it has come to our attention, thanks to Richard Hopkins, that the idea for a fall independent baseball league in Arizona has been going on before the Desert League was created;  However, those plans have never been officially put into place.

Hopkins sent us an email with his backstory about a fall league:

The idea of a fall independent league came from I believe Sandy Alderson, in 1997 or 1998.  He wrote letters to cities in Arizona that had fields available, looking for host cities.  One went to the City of Buckeye.  The city manager at the time gave me the letter and asked me to follow up as I was the ‘baseball guy.’  The idea was to have each independent league have an all star type team so the players had a chance to get seen by scouts in town for the Arizona Fall League.
After a couple of years, he gave up and wished us well in trying to get this going.  It has been worked on continually since then by myself, Richard Hopkins.  Jim Hayes joined the effort about 10 years ago.  We made presentations to the Brawley City Council and the San Luis mayor and a councilman or two.  After each, we were taken to a local baseball game, one a Mexican league game played in San Luis, and introduced to the crowd as those bringing baseball to their community.
As Jim Hayes and I have worked on this for about 10 years or so, others come and go.  Someone referred Luke Powell to us 2 years ago or so, and we invited him to one meeting in Yuma.  He kept pushing for us to call this the Desert League and make it a pay to play league.  Jim and I have always insisted this be an independent league.  He took it on himself to do a website called the Desert League ‘for us,’ even though the league was called Arical Professional Baseball League.  I filed the paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State late in 2013.  The LLC was formally accepted August 2014 after I finally got around to publishing the articles in a local newspaper.
We have worked our butts off and every time we are just about ready to go, something comes up from prior leagues (Yuma), field usage (Brawley), field costs (Goodyear), and the sour taste former leagues in AZ have left with cities all over.
We do not want to fail miserable like other recent independent leagues in Arizona.  As such, Arical requires the first year budget be deposited up front in escrow so that the league will not fold in 3 weeks or halfway through, and be able to pay the bills all year.  The fields will also be paid in full up front.  All players will be paid a monthly salary and be covered by insurance as well.  Ours will not be a pay to play league.
This is but another set back in a long line of setbacks, but this is something new.  From what I have been reading, the Desert League appears to have stolen our proprietary business plans and ideas, as well as cities we have met with as Arical.  Luke Powell is no longer affiliated with Arical Professional Baseball League LLC.
Here are some newspaper articles.  The first is from the West Valley View of June 22, 2006.
Minor league baseball likely to return to W.V.
Thu, 06/22/2006 – 5:00pm   

Richard Hopkins, who’s spent the better part of the summer thus far assisting with scouting for the U.S Women’s World Cup baseball team, soon may see another of his diamond-based endeavors come to fruition.

It’s called the Baja League, and if the remaining wrinkles in the planned independent baseball league are ironed out, play could begin in September with as many as six teams scattered throughout the Southwest U.S.

The West Valley team would be based in Buckeye, Goodyear or Maryvale, depending on which municipality can most efficiently provide stadium usage.

“Buckeye Main Street finally may be ready to fix the field in Buckeye so we can play there, like we’ve been trying to get for the last five years,” Hopkins said.

The remaining teams most likely would include another from Arizona, San Luis, and several from California, possibly Palm Springs, El Centro and Indio. The sixth team would be based in Tecate, Mexico.

“Basically, it’s all going to be the Southwest U.S. because we can play here in the fall,” Hopkins said.

Games would be scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On the off days, teams will travel or play exhibition games vs. teams from other leagues.

Starting in September not only gives the league more time to reach the necessary agreements with local cities and towns, it also should mean a higher quality of play.

“We hope to attract the players that have just been released from Class A, Class AA, Class AAA, because that all ends about Labor Day,” Hopkins said. “The other independent leagues in the U.S. end about that time, so we figured we could get them in the fall and that way it would be the best of the best.”

Games most likely would run through the weekend before Thanksgiving, but exact schedules, along with many other league details, remain to be finalized.

Another from 2014, in the Yuma Sun.
As one can plainly see, the efforts for a fall independent league have been going on for more than 2 years.

If all of this sounds similar to another story last summer, that’s because it is. It mirrors the issues that occurred between the Ozark Pro Baseball League and the Heartland of America Baseball League. As readers may remember, neither league had a season.

It has been heavily documented how difficult it is to start an independent baseball league. Will either of these leagues start and be successful? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for further information!

(For clarification purposes, the Desert League we have been reporting about is not and never was going to be a “pay to play” league as stated in Hopkins story.)