As in the past, Indy Ball Island always strives to give new startups a fair chance at showing what they’re all about.
I recently had the opportunity to do a Q & A with Gary Snyder, owner of the Fiesta Winter League (FWL), to provide players and fans with more information about the upcoming league.
You’re currently involved in a few projects. What is the Military Baseball Team that you’re currently working with?
The Fiesta Winter League’s current involvement with the US Military baseball team was for player development and scouting of players to possibly sign to the FWL or to refer them to the Mexican leagues.
We signed six players from various countries:
Bahamas (1 player)
Virgin Islands (1)
What is the pay/housing/travel situation for those players?
The US Military baseball team tour was a pay to play league that offered military & non- military players an opportunity to play baseball in three different states. They provided them housing, a charter bus & meals .
What is the Fiesta Winter League? How many teams will the league have and where will it take place?
The Fiesta Winter League was created for all players who are looking for a place to play during the Fall/Winter months for their own needs; For example: a player wanting more stats, improve on their mechanics, stay game ready or to prepare for spring/summer baseball leagues while also having opportunities to be seen by the Mexican leagues.
Currently the FWL is offering four teams with a roster of 23 players and two coaches .
All four teams will be playing at Ray Kroc Baseball Complex in Yuma, AZ.
Are the players being paid or will it be a pay-to-play league?
The FWL is a combination of players who are already signed and looking to extend their season, stay game ready and increase stats as well as those looking to get opportunities to play vs top talent and possibly get signed to a higher independent paying league.
Because of this, the FWL doesn’t pay their players. We do offer an accessible fee so that they can achieve their personal performance goals and enjoy the passion for high level baseball.
What is the housing situation for these players?
The hotel sponsor is Budgetel
They will be offering rates for double beds for the season at a 1 time fee of $240 per player* which includes continental breakfast and on some weekend nights special live music & appetizers.
(*This is based on 2-3 po which is paid to hotel directly with coupon from team coach.)
What does the season schedule look like? What dates are you running?
Sept 27-28 Pre-invite 2 day showcase for players at Joe Orduno Field in San Luis, AZ
Sept 29-30 2 day mandatory league showcase Ray Kroc Baseball Complex in Yuma, AZ
Oct 1 inter-squad scrimmage @8am. Draft @1pm and players report to club house @5pm
Oct 2-22 FWL inaugural season
All Fiesta Winter League scheduled games will be at the Ray Kroc Baseball Complex in Yuma, AZ and the All-Star game will be held at Arizona Western Community College vs AWC Topped-Ranked Matadors.
What type of scouting do you expect?
Scouts for the Mexican League will actively be sending and placing players to teams in:
“LIV” liga invernal veracruzana A ,
“LMP” liga Mexicana Pacifico AAA ,
“LMB” liga Mexicana beisbol AA-AAA ,
“LNM” liga norte de Mexico A-AA
“LAB” Liga Argentina beisbol.
We’re also happy to provide and recommend players to all US independent & affiliated league teams as well.
Will players have official stats recorded online?
Yes. There will be access to live up-to-date stats and live video streaming provided online through pointstreak.com under FWL official stats site.
What are the chances players will be able to sign to higher leagues?
Throughout the past year of just offering exhibition games and direct international tryouts, the FWL have had players signed to:
LIV 🇲🇽 (8 players)
LMP 🇲🇽 (2)
LMB 🇲🇽 (3)
LNM 🇲🇽 (2)
AA 🇺🇲 (1)
Players have a higher opportunity to sign for a future independent level while playing during FWL and receiving live stats & video game feeds that they can use to showcase their abilities. A professional player should always be in shape and getting reps for scouts and future league contracts.
FWL gives them the opportunity to play competitive baseball on US soil at an accessible cost.
Do you have any age/experience restrictions for players?
FWL offers the opportunity to players 18+
World-wide, with or without player eligibility.
So many of these leagues go dark shortly after starting, or do not happen at all. Are you confident enough in your financials that this league will last and succeed? How are you funding it?
Great question and statement…
The honest reality is that these leagues come and go regardless of who comments or provides truth. The best word of advice for a player is to do your homework wisely before you make a decision to spend $1 dollar to X amount.
Check social media, websites, baseball movements and sponsors.
I’m glad the FWL model is a steady and secure opportunity, and that it’s based on people who are from Yuma, Arizona. These people are known highly in the community and are dedicated to baseball, which provides an opportunity for bringing in higher connections in both baseball and the city.
The FWL 2019 inaugural season has already been paid for since March 2019 and will be paid through until FWL instructional 2020 in March as well. Our funding has been gathering since June of 2018 through personal accounts and international team sponsorship and development. So I believe our model is strong & backed for years to come.
We’re the only official league to play VS LMP, LMB & LNM 🇲🇽 (Single A through AAA teams) because of our strong ties & top talent. We’re a feeder for new talent to be discovered or rediscovered.
When are tryouts and where can players get further information on them?
Players can register on Facebook event links or www.fiestawinterleague.com (yellow tabs with each location & date available)
July 28 , 2019
La Sierra university RIVERSIDE California
8 am @100 early bird / $125 @ location
8am @100 early bird / $125 @ location
San Diego California
8am @100 early bird / $125 @ location
2 day mandatory League Showcase
Ray Kroc baseball complex Yuma az
8am @$350 early bird / $450 @location
Received $25 back by mentioning Indy Ball Island.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the league?
Player will have opportunities to do one on ones with their coaches and get in extra work plus have direct contact with the owner and media.
Players will have opportunities to understand a professional contract, the terms and what is needed to sign one for future purposes. Creating 5 Tool players on the field and off the field is our goal to get you ready for spring.
FWL will also be giving back to community through neighborhood community service, kids clinics and big brother programs.
Our goal is to better baseball and community ties overall.