Revived Northern League Hires Former Dodgers GM as Commissioner

Northern League LogoPRESS RELEASE – The Northern League of Professional Baseball, a DC Sports & Entertainment, LLC company, is pleased to announce the hiring of veteran big league executive Dan Evans as the Commissioner of the Northern League. Evans, who was the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2001-2004, joins the Northern League after successful Major League Baseball decision-making roles with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and currently, the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Chicago native was CEO/President of Paragon Sports Management and currently is the President and CEO of Evans Baseball Consulting. Dan also serves on the Advisory Board for Baseball Prospectus, for which he contributes the column “108 Stitches”.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Mr. Evans as Commissioner of the Northern League. Dan is a visionary, a leader and one of the true good guys in this game. His ability to brand himself as one of the elite of his trade, with more than 25 years as a Major League Baseball executive, gives us a tremendous resource as a league looking to retake its claim as one of the most prominent of professional sports leagues.” Said Nick Desrosiers, President of DC Sports & Entertainment. “This is a proud day for us as an organization. The hiring of Dan is the first of many steps we will be taking to prove to the rest of this industry that we are back and that we are here to play ball.” He added.

“I am truly excited about this opportunity, as it will be fun to bring a family-oriented brand of professional baseball to communities across North America,” said Evans. “The Northern League has such a rich history, and I plan on using my three decades of unique experience within the game to cultivate a great environment for our fans, players, team operators and staff.”

“We have a lot to do in the next 15 months, but that will give us time to get it right for May of 2014,” Evans continued.

The Northern League will begin play in May of 2014 with teams located throughout the Northeast, Midwest and Southern Canada. The League will hold individual press conferences to announce the inaugural franchises in the very near future.

The Northern League of Professional Baseball is an independent professional baseball league. Founded in 1902, it is the nation’s oldest independent baseball league. To learn more about the league, its member teams or corporate partnership opportunities contact the staff at (857) 366-6572 or visit us in any of the following ways:

The Northern League ofProfessional Baseball(857) 366-6572


Filed under Personnel & Operations

15 responses to “Revived Northern League Hires Former Dodgers GM as Commissioner

  1. Al

    In the Northeast, Sussex County, Worcester, & Atlantic City have open ballparks, in the Midwest perhaps Lake County?

    • Token

      Four clubs is barely a quorum. Any less than eight, and many people question the viability, even in the old NoL. I hate to say it, but there is not even a perhaps in Lake County. There is no stadium, and even the field surface is temporary. Even if the Fielders took care of all the prep (EIR, etc.) needed before a shovel of dirt is turned, there is a minimum of 12 months of work needed from the ground up. I don’t see anyone doing that without a firm franchise in hand.
      In terms of markets that don’t already have a minor, indy or summer team, there may now be more suitable vacancies in the Can-Am/Atlantic footprint than the old Northern footprint. And the larger the footprint of a proposed league grows, the less likely it is to get off the ground. The American Association is a rare example of ambitious geography ending up a success. Even then, there have been teams in that league that didn’t last. Say what you will about the Pecos League type of outfits that don’t pay some of their players, announce everything in the wrong order (lease comes before team nickname, colors, logos, manager, soda, ya know), etc., but most of those leagues are geographically compact. For that matter, a few of the lower-level affiliated leagues are arguably geographically compact.

      • Al

        I just named a few markets to get discussion going. I totally agree that this new version of the Northern League needs a minimum of six to start. A four team league makes no sense. It doesn’t matter what Independent League it is you’re always going to have teams that fail therefore if your league consists of scraps from other leagues there is a good chance they could become scraps again.

      • Token

        I want to agree with you on the scraps comment, but then I think about the last 20 years. What is indy ball other than the scraps left behind by MiLB? Granted, there are some markets that weren’t inhabited for a good reason. Macon and Baton Rouge, for example, just aren’t willing or capable to support professional baseball. Then there are the markets that thrive and make it clear that somebody missed the boat. The Winnipegs and Fargos and Sugar Lands are wonderful places to see any sort of baseball. MiLB would be better off with those markets.

  2. Ken Tater

    @al you make many good points. The indy baseball ownership fraternity is small because there are not a lot of people with the cash to sustain cash losses (or willing too)
    year after year. I think the biggest challenge of the NL will not only be to find teams, but also to keep them in a reasonable proximity to each other to minimize travel costs for the franchises.

  3. Al

    @ MikeG – Google is a great search engine, isn’t it? bing works really well too. You must know what I am talking about with that snarky reply.

    I have never been a believer of Independent leagues that are ran by companies, it doesn’t work because its not benefiting the teams in the league. If you’re a prospective owner and the franchise fee is 50, 60, 80k whatever, and you pay that to the league but the league is ran by a company, who is it benefiting? Not saying that this would/will happen but it’s pretty obivious I very we’ll could.

    As for Dan Evans he is a great baseball man, and would be a great commissioner but how committed is he to the Northern League? He was also hired as a Scout/Cross Checker for the Toronto Blue Jays in February, and I bet the Blue Jays are putting him to work.

    The expected launch date is May 2014, giving the league 15 months to get it together, in my mind they have till November 2013. If they plan on stealing teams from other leagues there’s a short window from the end of the season (September), until teams schedule for with following season which is (November) if they our targeting teams from the Frontier, American Association, & CanAm which our the leagues in the described areas that they seem to be targeting.

    Just shaking the tree a little bit…

    • MikeG

      I dont know any of the specifics but I do know that the apparent hiring of a quality baseball guy appears to be a positive. Too many people on these sites where you can post under ten different names try to tear people and concepts down before they even have a chance to get going.

      The Northern League was the standard for independent baseball for many years and it is interesting that a group is trying to bring that back.

    • Ken Tater

      Al, I think you are accurate in that 2014 is real aggressive. IF they are able to pull off getting the league launched by that date it would probably be with only 4 teams or so in the first year.

      • ballparkbiz

        One of the biggest challenges will be the lack of available markets. It is highly unlikely the new NL would be able to steal any teams from existing indy pro or strong summer collegiate circuits. It would be naive to think otherwise. And, if you are a new market interested in hosting baseball, you are going to go with a proven commodity before venturing down the road with an upstart league. I don’t have much confidence here, but let’s see where it goes.


      • Al

        @ MikeG, lets not try and twist things here. As I stated in my previous posts Dan Evans is a great baseball man, after that I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. Professional baseball is a business, and in business you try not to make bad investments. After reading the first sentence in this Press Release I began to wonder if this newly proposed Northern League would work. (See my previous posts as to why).

        @ Ken, it’s a very short window indeed to get things started. I honestly don’t see teams leaving their current leagues for the unknown. When the last rendition of the NL folded in 2010, four teams went to the AA, with three teams moving to the FL, and it made sense on all aspects. As for open markets right now, you probably could find six but you then ask yourself why haven’t these cities joined current leagues within there landscape.

        Keep in mind, Independent Baseball is a relatively small fraternity.

      • Boomer

        Al, the three markets that went Northern-Frontier were all with different franchises. All three were in pretty sad shape financially. The Flyers, RiverHawks and Jackhammers didn’t pay vendors which is pretty common in indy ball. Schaumburg and Joliet also didn’t pay the lease to the cities, which is why they got evicted. Both teams folded. The team in Rockford is the Chillicothe team that went dark after 08. The original Rockford team is… in limbo? Didn’t fold, didn’t move, don’t know what the status is.

  4. Ken Tater

    What markets are they going to go into? What markets are left? Unless they want to try to steal some teams from exisiting indy leagues…… I will say that hiring Dan Evans was a great move. Great baseball man who gives them some instant
    credibility. Let’s see if they can pull this off…..

  5. Mark.

    Any news of who will be playing in this version of the NL?

    • Al

      Dan Evans great baseball mind, everything else after Dan looks/seems very sketchy to me.

      Do your research people.

      • MikeG

        yes do you google research because as they say in the insurance commercial “you can’t put it on the internet if it is not the truth”. Congrats Al on being another naysayer. Good luck Dan and the remainder of the new Northern League crew!

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