Tag Archives: Lincoln Saltdogs

Indy Ball – The British Are Coming

About a month ago, I met Joey Mellows through twitter (@BaseballBrit).

He mentioned that he has a new love for baseball, specifically independent baseball, even though he has never seen an indy ball game in person… yet.

Here is his story:

Indy Ball: The British Are Coming
by Joey Mellows
IMG_20171119_154017.jpg
@BaseballBrit on Twitter

 

In June 2018 I intend to fly 6,515 miles from Seoul to Kansas to watch a baseball game between the Kansas City T-Bones and Lincoln Saltdogs. I have never watched an independent league game before but want to learn more about baseball that is played and operated outside of the monopolistic Major and Minor Leagues.

 

At the age of 32 I have decided to roll the dice with my life (and career) and have informed my current employer of my intentions to leave my steady, well-paid job, in June 2018 so that I can watch, document and write about the current state of independent baseball within the USA.

 

I am also a Brit, with little experience of baseball except for three recent summers spent following the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, the LG Twins in Korea and the Texas Rangers in the MLB. My upbringing is similar to many from the UK with soccer, cricket and rugby dominating my early sporting interactions growing up in England.

 

The plan at present is still highly flexible, and that is where I hope, you, the readers of Kayla Thompson’s excellent Indy Ball Island website, can help contribute as I travel throughout the USA in 2018 and 2019 following players, teams and stories around the various traditional summer independent leagues.

 

I would love to hear from you via a direct message to @BaseballBrit on Twitter or joe_mellows@hotmail.com if you wish to contribute or be included in my research and travels.

I am particularly interested in the joys, frustrations and day-to-day lives of people associated with Indy Ball.   

 

This is especially true if you are a:

  • fan of a specific team
  • player (current, past or aspiring)
  • coach/ manager
  • front-office worker (intern, part-time or full-time)
  • broadcaster/ podcaster
  • scorer/ statistician/ historian
  • owner
  • local resident from a town/city with an Indy Ball team
  • local resident/ business owner from a town/city where an Indy Ball team has sadly left

 

I intend to chronicle the stories, eccentricities and business elements of independent baseball – particularly geographical regions of the country that have been overlooked or ignored until the arrival/departure of independent ball.

 

Recommendations on ballparks, the independent baseball life, famous fans, books, websites, and people to follow on Twitter would be gratefully received and I hope to hear from many of you before next summer – so please get in touch!

 

About Joey Mellows (@BaseballBrit)

 

I caught the baseball bug whilst attending my first game in Osaka, Japan as a means of keeping my visiting British parents occupied for the evening. Since then I have spent the majority of my free time watching, reading, discussing, and travelling to baseball games with an assortment of characters with a shared passion for the KBO, NPB, MLB and SABR.
I am also intent on helping to further baseball interest among British fans with a group of podcasters from www.batflipsandnerds.com and run the UK fan accounts for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers on Twitter.

 

I encourage all of you to help out Joey on this adventure in any way that you can!

 

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Cause I Play Indy Ball – The New Hit Single By Tycen PoVey?

Indy ball life can be rough for players.  It is not only physically exhausting, but it can be mentally exhausting and frustrating as well.

Sometimes, all a player can do is look back on that part of his career and laugh about the experiences that he had. That’s exactly what former indy ball player, Tycen PoVey, is doing with the help of some funny, but truthful lyrics and his old guitar.

PoVey put together a nice college career that led him to be signed as a free agent by the Dodgers in 2007, but he was released after the season ended.

“Baseball has always been good to me. I was fortunate enough to play it for a long time. I followed my dream out of high school into college and was able to play well enough to get to the professional level. After some injuries, I soon found myself trying to get into indy ball.”

PoVey spent four up and down seasons in indy ball with the Evansville Otters and Traverse City Beach Bums (Frontier League) and the Lincoln Saltdogs (American Association.)

“Even when I got another shot in indy ball, I was injured again and again. I was forced to change positions: from catching, to the outfield and back. Then, I finally found myself on the mound and ended up pitching for a couple seasons. That was soon ended by, you guessed it, another injury and my 8th surgery overall.

“During that time I found out a lot about myself and made a ton of friends in the process, most of whom I still stay in touch with today. We all like to joke about indy ball, but the fact is, I wouldn’t have traded anything I went through.  With a mix of a lot of traveling, amazing fans, and having different cultures and personalities all together in a small clubhouse, I was bound to come out with some stories.”

He has been out of baseball for over two years now and wanted to create a humorous way to remember his time there while helping current independent players laugh a little about their situation.

Used to racking up hits on the field, PoVey is now trying to create some musically on his YouTube page as well.The first song he posted, “Indy Ball”, was a general view on living the indy ball lifestyle.

“I like to goof around on the guitar. I’m not great, but I’ve always liked to write songs to make people laugh.

“When I wrote ‘Indy Ball’, I just tried to take experiences from each place I played that every player could relate to – from peanut butter spreads to bad clubbies and wondering what we are doing here.  We have all had similar experiences. After playing both songs to some close friends and family, they begged me to put it online to show their friends.”

*Warning* lyrics and content may not be suitable for children.

His second song features a well known (and often joked about) topic in the indy ball world, Slumpbusters – the “larger” girls who help players out of their slumps.

“When I wrote ‘The Slumpbuster Song’ it was actually after an amazing weekend I had. The details of that weekend are locked away in a vault, but I will just say that one day I was 0-8 in a double header. Then the rest of the weekend, I went 10-12 with 3 home runs and 6 doubles (laughs). She deserved a ballad.”

*Warning* lyrics and content may not be suitable for children.

“After hearing the song and my stories, some people thought I was crazy.  Getting paid 800 dollars a month, living out of a suitcase and traveling the country in a bus that seemed to only break down in the most remote places… They wondered why I did it.

“But honestly, I’m very thankful for having coaches that believed in me enough to let me play as long as I did. I’m also very thankful for my experiences and the friends that I made.  Indy ball is amazing. A lot of talent is found in indy ball, and I got to see future big league talent and even play against former big league players. It was a great experience that I’ll always cherish.

“I hope my songs make those who have been there or are there smile. And for those who haven’t played, I hope it gives them a little insight of the funny things that we have to deal with.

“I hope everyone enjoys it! There should be more to come. And I’m sorry if those from Sioux City take my words to heart. Hey, at least you’re not Amarillo (laughs).”

You can subscribe to Tycen’s YouTube channel to hear more songs as they are released: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrW_PBNJwJwbC2Ks5vC6Bsw