The Shovel City (Marion, OH) Crawlers from the first-year, four-team Independent Baseball League reportedly folded a month ago, leaving the Tiffin (OH) Saints, Adrian (MI) Pioneers, and the traveling Ohio Travelers to carry the circuit for rest of the 2014 season. Read more here. Now a man claiming to be the Pioneers former general manager is sharing his not-so-kind thoughts on a public forum. Read postings here.
2 responses to “Shovel City Crawlers Fold, First-Year IBL Limps to Finish, Former Pioneers GM Sounds Off”
Well, if, as Jerry Garland wrote, “Not a single player or coach has been given game-day pay for the entire season,” then one can’t really consider the league to be on the professional level. And when the “Latest News” on the league’s home page still touts they “are in the process of creating a schedule for the 2014 season,” there’s not much hope of generating a following. Living in Atlanta, the mention on the IBL site that “there currently is one franchise secured and signed on for 2015 in the Atlanta area” is quite interesting to me, but I’ve heard nothing about that anywhere else. Independent leagues just don’t work in the Southeastern US, unfortunately, and it sounds like one solely based on weekend play in parts mostly unknown in Ohio and Michigan doesn’t work either.
I think that the heyday for new independent baseball leagues is over. People look at the Atlantic League and the American Association and think that they can duplicate the success, but they don’t look at the major investment and major sacrifices that the many, many investors who set up the leagues had to go through for years and years.