Godfather Media Announces Fifth AWBL Market

PRESS RELEASE – Godfather Media, Inc. is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement between its subsidiary American West Baseball League (AWBL) and Albie Lopez, former MLB player, and Eddie Marin, a local businessman and sports agent for the Mesa, Arizona Territory.

Albert Anthony “Albie” Lopez is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Albie was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 20th round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. Then was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the second round (48th pick overall) of the expansion draft in 1997 then traded Lopez to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, where he was part of the World Series winning team. Lopez was also with the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Seattle Mariners organizations.

Eddie Marin, who is a partner with Mr. Lopez, is a local businessman in Mesa, Arizona. He also is a local sports agent, and has been working for 2 years to bring professional minor league baseball to the valley of the sun.

Mr. Marin commented, “I am very excited to have this opportunity to bring a baseball franchise to Mesa, Arizona. The American West Baseball League is sure to provide a great opportunity for myself as well as other businessmen looking to own and operate a professional baseball team.”

Sean Smock, Commissioner of the American West Baseball League, commented on the addition of a team in the valley of the sun, stating, “I am very excited about our partnership to bring professional minor league baseball to a market with great fans and a history of producing great baseball players.” Smock stated further, “To partner with a local group from Mesa, Arizona with great ties to the community and the game of baseball will make the experience amazing for fans and business partners of their local team.”

The American West Baseball League Founding Members are: Fullerton, Yuma Arizona, Long Beach, San Diego, and Mesa, Arizona


Filed under League & Franchise, Market & Location

16 responses to “Godfather Media Announces Fifth AWBL Market

  1. Ron

    a couple of the owners in Long Beach owned Silk City Ventures Yes it states that in the press release

  2. Edgardo

    Sorry my bad, the Long Beach team

  3. Edgardo

    Are silk city ventures the owners of the San Diego team?

  4. Ron

    They are working on something I believe in San Marcos, CA from what I hear. The conversations they have had with former big league players isn’t for playing it is for coaching, management etc. Again I am not 100% sure of what is going on behind closed doors, but I know the league has been working on a model to design, finance and operate several new ballparks. Which is a large reason why the Frontier League, American Association and Atlantic League are so successful, the communities they are asking sponsorship money from, and asking people to buy season tickets know for the most part that each franchise will still be there the next year. The high school/college or run down minor league facilities doesn’t offer many other avenues of revenue other then baseball. And like I said I know DC Sports has hired or is partnered with several former affiliated and independent league executives as well as guys with good business backgrounds, the guys in Mesa have a well connected baseball mind in Eddie Marin (Baseball Scout and Agent), and Godfather Media with its subsidiary ERA has several good sources it can use to its disposal. But lets give them a shot before we continue to knock them.

  5. Edgardo

    Interesting news about San Diego & Tony Gwynn Stadium, where is the team going to play… PETCO PARK? This is what I mean already signs of cracking, it seems if you want a team you can have it. Did the league not look at ballparks before they awarded a team to Hoynes? San Degio won’t build a ballpark for independent baseball, they have a MAJOR LEAGUE team in the Padres. Just look at the Atlantic League, American Association, and Frontier League the most sucessful indy leagues ever and they are ran by people who have tons of baseball experience. It’s going to be a tough go for the teams in this league, college ballparks & spring training ballparks are tough to make it work. I glad I’m not paying the lease in Mesa, Long Beach, OC. This is independent baseball, your not going to make money. It’s good they have talked to former MLB players, but the MLB players are the guys who get paid the most. I doubt MLB players will leave the Atlantic League/American Association for this setup. Alot has been said about this league, and soon it will be time for this league to show it… and I can’t wait.

  6. Ron

    Well said Alan! And unfortunately about 75% of the owners in minor league sports dont succeed.

  7. Ron

    Not to mention, there have been a ton of teams operated and ruined by “baseball guys” because they lack the ability to operate and promote a business and at the end of the day these professional sports teams are about 80% business and 20% baseball.

    • ballparkbiz

      This is a unique business. You need “baseball business” people. Former players can be terrible owners, if they have no money and/or are unwilling to learn the business. Business people who are arrogant about their past success in other sectors of the economy can also be a train wreck, if they are not willing learn from those who are in the know. The best owners are those with money, passion, creativity, who are eager and willing to be students of the game not being played on the field.


  8. Edgardo

    A strong league starts from the top and in my mind the AWBL doesn’t have it. Not enough baseball knowledge to run this league. I give this league two years max and then it will all be over. To many markets that have been ruined by previous owners. I can’t wait for this league to start in 2013 so we can have something to talk again. First franchise to go under… Long Beach or San Diego. Just another league where bills won’t be paid, and players, and fans get screwed.

    • Ron

      Interesting assessment, the GBL/NAL same guys was run and started by two guys out of college with zero baseball experience and whether it was run properly it still lasted far longer than 2 years. Some of your best baseball ownership groups had zero to no baseball operation history, that’s why just about anyone with a good business background and enough money can buy into a franchise. I will be honest I am most concerned with the military guy in San Diego, to begin with I know they aren’t allowed to play at Tony Gwynn Stadium which is the only professional grade park in the county, and James Hoynes is a life long military man, meaning great benefits and pension plan but he can’t really have that much money. From people I am talking to on the inside, the league is working on several new ballpark deals and has private financing plans in place. Their goal with this is to get rid of the GBL/NAL quick flip model. I have hope for the league I live in OC and know they have some good partners within the league and a lot of interest from high profile retired MLB players not of the Canseco type lol. So I am interested to see how this will all shape out. And if I had to choose which teams would fall first it would be San Diego, the other groups are solid although I am a bit skeptical of the decision for Godfather Medial to hold two teams. I know the guys in Mesa have good backing and strong baseball backgrounds, Long Beach is a bunch of former Wall Street individuals who have some good baseball guys internally such as former players and front office execs, and godfather media if they sell Yuma I think will be a decent group. Again it’s all hearsay but I’m excited to see it all shape out.

  9. Ron

    I am not a fan of indy ball occupying the spring training homes, you can have 3,500 people in the park (which is good by indy standards), but in 10k-12k seat parks it gives it a bad atmosphere.

  10. Scott

    goodness isn’t there already indy league ball in the PHX area? Yes, there is..but nobody knows about it – Freedom League. It can work, but you gotta put the blood, sweat and tears into marketing/sales.

  11. Just Some Internet Guy You Dont Know

    At least they’re starting to bring in non GBL people…guess we’ll see when this clusterf gets off the ground….

    • Just can’t seem to let a new league do its thing and prove to you that they can make it right. They have been bring in non-gbl people, lets see Jim Hoynes, DC Sports and Lopez-Marin which is 3 out of 5 teams. So give them a chance and you will be proven wrong.

      • Ron

        I agree Michael, but there will always be skeptics, who cares, if you and I want to support the league, lets do what we can to get involved. I have already contacted the group in Long Beach to express my interests. Funny thing is the GBL members that are in AWBL Michael Cummings, Ed Wong, Michael Leyva, Will Joyce, etc all have been screwed by the GBL/NAL and unfortunately they didn’t play the media game that David Kaval, Kevin Outcalt and Bob Young all created when trying to point fingers at the owners rather then the league management or lack there of. There is a reason why the best GBL/NAL franchises Calgary, Edmonton, Chico, have all backed out, and when the Northern League, United League, Golden Baseball League merger occurred, all of the Northern League teams signed on with Frontier and American Association opting to pay franchise transfer fees of $250k-$750k to get far away from those guy in the NAL, And the only team they have that aren’t league owned is Maui which Bob Young can’t afford any other league, and San Rafael I don’t even understand why its in existence.

        It is just funny how little most of these bloggers know. GO AMERICAN WEST BASEBALL, may you prove everyone wrong!

      • ballparkbiz


        I fail to see how anything you have said in your comments enhances the credibility of the AWBL. Let’s be clear, there is no love here for the former GBL/NAL leaderhship, nor has anyone suggested that the new NAL is on the path to greatness, but what does any of this have to do with the future success of the AWBL? Instead of me going on a long diatribe here, why don’t you (or anyone else here for that matter) simply offer five to 10 good reasons why you believe the league will succeed?


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