Tag Archives: independent league

National Urban League Update… it’s exactly what you expect.

nupbl

I’ve recently been contacted by multiple (now former) players of the National Urban Professional Baseball League who provided me with an update.

And…. it’s exactly what everyone expected.

Yes, there are still glorified American Legion games taking place, but that’s about all it is.

One player sent me an outline of all the reasons he believes the league is a scam (shocker… I know):

  • Players have yet to be paid
  • Tryouts during the middle of the season
  • League is very unorganized
  • “Claims” of hacking of funds
  • Donate button is on multiple web pages going towards Michael Mayden’s (owner) PayPal account
  • “Claims” of people working behind the scenes

And while there are still players down there believing all of Mayden’s lies and fairy tales, most of the players are figuring it out and leaving.

A player sent this explanation of what is happening to me via email:

Insight of National Urban Professional Baseball League
From the start of the season the players had to go out with sponsor packet forms to reach out to businesses for sponsorships. Though I have nothing against going to Church. Players were force to wear team jerseys, and force to go to church as part of the this “Community Outreach Program”. As you may know already the website for this league is trash which was made by Mayden himself. Probably the sloppiest web design I’ve ever seen. With a help of one of the players the website looks a little better, but Mayden is always adding and taking off things on the web page.
The players have yet to be paid as our gross pay is $500 a month. We get $250 every 16th and 30th of the month till the end of the season as stated in our contract. It seemed odd to me that we had this team meeting about someone hacking into Mayden’s PayPal account, and other accounts associated with the league before we received our first paycheck. Recently Mayden has left back to Chicago IL for a funeral (June 18th) and won’t be back till Sunday (June 24th).
He claims there are other workers working behind the scenes, but with the league falling apart we have yet to see any of these people other than Dr. Little (Which was in the beginning of the season) in helping to make this league succeed. I took a picture on my phone of the list of people “supposedly” working behind the scene before Mayden took it off the website. Also, Mayden randomly made a development league tab in regards of getting future prospects to come down to Laurel MS, and pay ($1,500) to be trained/developed by coaches (We don’t have any coaches). He later took this down, but I still took a picture of it.
I would like to mention Mayden repeatedly been saying that everything we make from ticket sales and concession sales is profit. Which doesn’t make sense to me because Profit= Revenue- Cost. With everything we made so far he said he has been using it to pay the field off and for umpires ($100 per ump). This implies he is in debt. Which by the way we have no more umpires, we have players umpiring the game now because Mayden said we don’t have any funds to get actual umpires. Since we have not been paid yet a lot of players (mostly from his team) has left, and now since Mayden is gone some players are actually thinking about leaving within the next week. With this is happening Mayden has been opening tryouts to replace players.
This last part is really what makes me believe this is a scam. So the donate page (before he took down the address). If you type P.O. Box 288696 Chicago, IL 60628 in google, you’ll see multiple web pages with the exact same P.O. box number including websites directed to the League, and of course http://www.theword247.info/The-Word.html Which is Mayden Ministries, and also Melvin Mayden Ministries: http://www.reachingthepeople.net/ .
I ask for you’re help in exploiting Mayden regarding his involvement with this league. Everyone needs to know that if any league, camps, or anything associated with Michael E. Mayden should not be trusted unless proven otherwise. As of right now I am helping one of the players help raise some money to get other players a little bit of money, so they may return home if Mayden doesn’t come back in regards of player compensation.

I would hope with this email it would help inform players their decisions about coming into this new league. I really don’t want future players waste their money, and opportunity with this league. If this league is going to work it has to be run by someone other than Mayden.

Thank you for your time

Sincerely,

Former National Urban Player

This is in no way the only message I’ve received. In fact, another former player messaged me a few nights ago urging me to check out the game being broadcast on Facebook Live… just so I could see the player in shorts umpiring the game behind home plate and hear the (silent and nonexistent) crowd.

A news article posted by the Clarion Ledger on June 22nd confirms the story:

LAUREL, Miss. — A south Mississippi baseball league aimed at black players says it may fold unless it can raise money.

The National Urban Professional Baseball Leaguetells WDAM-TV that it’s not attracting enough fans and sponsors to stay afloat. Michael Mayden, who leads the league, says he brought the league’s four teams to Laurel, thinking people would be attracted to the games.

Mayden’s goal was to develop players who could win college scholarships and professional contracts, renewing the supply of black players to baseball. But now the league has announced it could shut down within 10 days.

Laurel Recreation Director Elvin Lumer says he hoped the league would attract people from surrounding cities. He vouches for the league’s legitimacy and says the city supports it.

I hate to say, I called it but…. I was skeptical about this league from day one, and it only got worse every time I was ignored or disrespected when I voiced my concerns about the league to Mayden and to the few players that were constantly supporting him.

I want new leagues to succeed, but in this day and age, the chances of that are slim, especially when you have no actual baseball business sense or financial backing that you KNOW will cover the ENTIRE LEAGUE for the season.

Plus, there are already eight indy leagues with at least some credibility… plus every MLB team and their five or six affiliated teams per organization. How much more watered down will talent be in ANY new league that is starting? Don’t we want only the best players playing PROFESSIONAL baseball?

I’m tired of the start ups that clearly have no business running. I’m tired of kids get scammed. And this one is even worse, as Mayden clearly took advantage of already disadvantaged players.

*Update (6/26)* some players are broke, hungry and stuck in Laurel, MS. This weekend, some of the guys are putting on games to try to raise money for the ones who need it. If you are near the area, please help if you can!

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Dominican Republic Team Out of the Can-Am League

can-am

Earlier this week, the Can-Am League issued a press release stating that the Dominican Republic team would not be playing their remaining games on the schedule.  The Hollywood Stars, owned by the Pecos League, will play out the rest of the games.

This isn’t a huge loss for the league as the Dominican Republic team failed to win any of their nine games that they had played. Last year, the team went 2-15.

Below is the Can-Am’s official press release:

 

HOLLYWOOD STARS TO REPLACE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TEAM

Durham, N.C. — Due to transportation issues, the Dominican Republic team, which finished its games against the Can-Am League’s American clubs Sunday, has been replaced on the schedule by the Hollywood Stars. The Stars competed in the independent Pecos League in 2017.

The Dominican Republic team had been scheduled to play at Ottawa June 19-21, at Trois-Rivières June 22-24, and at Québec June 26-28. All dates and times will remain the same for games against Hollywood.

After the news was made official, a representative of the Dominican Republic team emailed me to tell me that the transportation issue was really just a way for the league to make an excuse not to have them play the remainder of their schedule. They stated that the bus was cancelled by the league, without warning, leaving the Dominicans stranded in New Jersey after having to check out of their hotel.

I reached out to the Can-Am commissioner, Miles Wolff, for his response on Tuesday (6/19), and he told me that:

The Dominican team was scheduled to leave NJ yesterday at 11 a.m. on a bus that the league had hired.   No players were there to meet the bus.  Canadian visas had not been acquired.  Although the DR organizers stated that the team would be ready today, the uncertainty over whether we would have a team to make the trip to Canada caused the league to cancel the Canadian portion of the series.

After Wolff’s email response to me, he went on record with the Ottawa Sun to discuss the issue further, stating:

“I cancelled it,” Champions owner Miles Wolff said. “The decision was mine, not theirs. Their bus was supposed to leave New Jersey at 11 (Monday morning). The team wasn’t ready to leave. They said, ‘Oh, we’re going to leave at 3 the next morning.’ Canadian visas hadn’t been applied for. There was huge uncertainty.

“The team wasn’t very good. They hadn’t gotten their U.S. visas, so they were using a lot of players out of New York City. Last year, they were only 2-16 in the league and they said, ‘OK, we understand the league is strong. We’re going to have a good team for you this year. We want to really do it right.’ It turned out to be worse than last year. The last straw was them cancelling the bus that was supposed to leave. We needed to make sure a team was going to be here.”

The Dominican team representative assured me that they had players in place to play and did everything the league asked of them.  The representative also told me that the bus situation and time of departure was supposed to be set by them, and not the league.  Wolff has been on the record multiple times stating that the Dominican team cancelled the bus, which caused him to cancel the series; however, I have seen an email where he has admitted to cancelling the bus himself because the representative was trying to “force things.”

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The Hollywood Stars team, which was the Canadian version of the Salina team that just finished their partial schedule, was already in place and ready to take over and play. It does appear that having two different Salina teams (one in Canada and one in the States) shows that this may have been in the works for weeks without the Dominican team’s knowledge.

Since first publishing this article, I’ve been informed by a member of the Salina team that many members were supposed to play in both Canada and the United States. Others were scheduled to return to their original team. Some members of the Canadian Salina team were on their way back to their Pecos League team or on their way to join the Salina team in New Jersey, but were then told they needed to stay. A lot of players had to figure out a way to cancel plans or make other arrangements to stay or return to Canada to form the Hollywood Stars team.

So even if the Can-Am had this planned for weeks, they did not let the Pecos League know about it either.

Understandably, the Dominican Republic team is angry and upset about how the league has handled this entire situation.

Regardless of what exactly happened, the Can-Am bringing in poorly performing teams from outside the league has given them a bad look in recent years.

So far this season, the Salina Stockade (a Pecos League team) is 3-7, the new Hollywood Stars team (basically the Canadian roster of the Stockade) lost their first game and the Dominican team went 0-9.  Last year, there were two foreign teams playing a partial schedule: the Cuban National Team which went 5-16, and that same Dominican team which went 2-15.

The Can-Am has been doing this for years – relying on travel teams or other teams outside of the league to fill their schedule – but these teams are rarely competitive which makes for some long games for both players and fans.

In a way, it almost seems like a publicity stunt that does the exact opposite of what one is supposed to do.  These teams rarely bring in droves and droves of fans (the Dominican team was an exception), but it also appears that it has alienated a lot of fans from the six “core” teams in the league who see it as a joke and are frustrated with seeing such poor play.

Did the Can-Am really believe that the Dominican Republic team couldn’t continue on to the Canadian leg of the schedule? What really happened with the bus situation? Did the poor performance of the team lead to the switch?

Remember, there are always three sides to the story. I gave you the Can-Am League’s and the Dominican Republic team’s… I’ll leave it up to the reader to figure out the third side.