Tag Archives: Washington Wild Things

Upsets? Underdogs? Not on THIS Island.

Tonight’s game between the Road Warrior Black Sox and the Washington WildThings was the reason Indy Ball Island was created.

The two teams played the first game in a best of 3 semi-final playoff series to determine which team will move on to the championship series next weekend. The league, created by the WildThings with help from Joe Torre and the Black Sox, was thrown together as a 4 team/1 stadium deal to bring baseball to Western Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two teams (the WildThings and the Slammin’ Sammies) are ran and operated by the WildThings. The other two teams (Road Warrior Black Sox and Baseball Brilliance Sox) were put together through Joe Torre, PJ Phillips and the Black Sox Road Warriors touring league.

The Black Sox players do not get paid. In fact, the players usually pay a fee to be in the Black Sox camps. They are also tasked with finding and paying for housing. The guys often struggle to find affordable living arrangements for the entire season, so they bounce around from place to place while trying to scrape up enough money to pay for food. Some even take on jobs as Uber or Door Dash drivers just to make ends meet in between practice and games.

They are often seen as the underdogs. The guys who didn’t have a chance to make it. The guys who weren’t good enough.

Winning a game against THE team that created the whole league would be an upset. They aren’t supposed to win. They aren’t the guys the (socially distanced) fans are there to see. No. They’re the nobodies.

But not to me… Not on this island.

We don’t believe in upsets and underdogs here. Why? Because I know their stories. Everyone has one. And to still be playing baseball for no pay in the middle of a pandemic, you have to have something else too…

Heart.

Passion.

A true love for the game.

Now don’t get me wrong, every baseball player in indy ball must possess these things. But these guys might just have a little more.

They have a chip on their shoulders. A desire to prove everyone wrong. I’ve been in the dugout with the Black Sox players over the years. I know the passion that they have for the game of baseball.

I’ve followed these players for years. I’ve seen all their highs and lows play out in leagues like the Pecos and Pacific through their social media and nightly box scores. These are “my boys.”

I’ve helped some of them link up with Joe and the Black Sox. I’ve fed some of them when they came to town as visitors in the Frontier League. I’ve watched them get called up and been there to let them vent when they got released.

They are the ones I root for. The players who I cheer for. The ones I want to see succeed.

They don’t want to be considered “the Cinderella story.” No, they just want to be seen as winners.

And tonight… the Black Sox were winners. The team defeated the WildThings 16-5. If they win tomorrow, they will “upset” the home team and move on to the championship series.

During the 9th inning, I turned to one of the Black Sox players who played in the earlier game as part of the Baseball Brilliance team and said… “This is why I created Indy Ball Island. For nights like this.”

I’m proud of you boys.

If you know… you know.

Change the culture.

Where YOU Can Watch Baseball (In Person and Online)

The Coronavirus pandemic has greatly changed how we will be spending our summer this year. Unfortunately, independent baseball hasn’t been left out of the impact this virus has had on America.

But there IS professional baseball happening all over the country. You just have to know where to look. And if going to a stadium doesn’t sound appealing during a global pandemic, there are plenty of ways to get your baseball fix by watching online.

Atlantic League

While the Atlantic League is not operating for the 2020 season, the Sugar Land Skeeters have created their own 4-team league (The Constellation Energy League) based out of their stadium in Sugar Land, Texas.

The four teams that will be playing are:

Sugar Land Skeeters – Managed by Pete Incaviglia

Team Texas – Managed by Roger and Koby Clemens

Sugar Land Lightning Sloths – Managed by Greg Swindell

Eastern Reyes del Tigre – Managed by Dave Eiland

There will be a total of seven games played at Constellation Field each week from the Opening Day on July 3 through the conclusion of the season on Aug. 23 (56 total games).  The schedule is subject to change, but single games are anticipated to be played on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and doubleheaders will be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Games will be broadcasted by AT&T Sportsnet or streamed online through Meridix.

Tickets can also be purchased HERE.

The Somerset Patriots are another Atlantic League team looking to bring professional baseball to their ballpark this summer. The Patriots will play the New Jersey Blasters on Fridays and Saturdays for a 12-game, six weekend schedule beginning on July 17th at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Games can be seen live on their Youtube Channel HERE.

Tickets can also be purchased HERE.

American Association

The American Association is continuing with a 6-team league based out of “hub cities.”

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and Winnipeg Goldeyes are operating out of Fargo, The Sioux Falls Canaries and St. Paul Saints are operating out of Sioux Falls, while the Chicago Dogs and Milwaukee Milkmen will operate out of their own respective stadiums.

The entire 60-game season can be streamed online for $19.99 at: https://www.aabaseball.tv/

Tickets can be purchased at the following links:
Fargo/Winnipeg TICKETS
Sioux Falls/St. Paul TICKETS
Chicago TICKETS
Milwaukee TICKETS

Frontier League

The Frontier League as a whole has canceled their championship season, but multiple teams have created their own leagues to continue play throughout the summer.

Washington has become home to a 4-team league. The Washington Wild Things and Slammin’ Sammies (operated by the Wild Things) and the Baseball Brilliance Sox and Road Warrior Black Sox (operated by Joe Torre and the Black Sox) are playing an 80 game season, consisting of double headers Thursday-Sunday.

Every game can be streamed live for free at: Watch LIVE

Individual game tickets can be purchased HERE.

The Black Sox will also be holding their own games Monday – Wednesday (not open to the public) as a part of a minor league system and a way to get guys a chance to play daily while having the option to “move up” to the big league based on performance and need.
For more information about the Black Sox, check out their official website HERE.

Florence and the Lexington Legends (usually a MiLB team) announced their own 4-team league, the Battle of the Bourbon Trail.

Both cities will form two teams that will play in front of fans every Wednesday through Sunday starting in Florence on July 31st and run for 7 weeks.

Each organization will field two high caliber teams. Florence will host the Y’alls and the return of the Freedom. Lexington will host the Legends and their second identity, Las Leyendas.

Florence tickets can be purchased HERE.

Lexington tickets can be purchased HERE.

Joliet is holding the Champion Cup. Four teams will compete for the Cup, all playing a 27 game schedule each at DuPage Medical Group Field from July 16 through September 6.

Each team will play 3-4 home games per week in a schedule that generally will include night games on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with additional ticketed day games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  

Fans can purchase an online channel ticket to watch the full season for $49.99 HERE, individual games for $5.99 HERE or purchase tickets to attend HERE.

All-American Challenge

A 32-game schedule will feature the New Jersey Jackals and the Jersey Wise Guys playing at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ, Sussex County Miners and Skylands Cardinals at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, NJ; Rockland Boulders (not affiliated with the New York Boulders) and New York Brave Palisades Credit Union Park. All games will be held on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Yogi Berra Stadium TICKETS
Skylands Stadium TICKETS
Palisades Credit Union Park TICKETS

United Shore Pro Baseball League

The USPBL has started their 2020 season. The league has always consisted of 4 teams playing at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, Michigan. Games are played Wednesday – Sunday.

Games are shown live through Facebook and Youtube.

A limited number of single game tickets are also available HERE.

Pecos League

The Pecos League is operating with 4 teams for the 2020 season. The Houston Apollos, Roswell Invaders, Salina Stockade and Tucson Saguaros are all playing at Coastal Park in Houston, TX. The games (mostly double headers) will take place Wednesdays – Sundays.

The schedule and links to individual tickets can be found HERE.

Games are also streamed for a cost through Meridix.