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
–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!