ECBL Folds, North Country Baseball League Formed

East Coast Baseball LeagueNo surprise here, but the start-up East Coast Baseball League has crashed and burned before playing a single inning, thanks to overly confident, novice founder Colin Cummins.  In fact, he admitted to the Portland Press Herald, “It’s my fault.”  Yes it is, and he was warned, no matter the excuse about losing a “chief investor.”  Picking up the pieces, Watertown Bucks owner Bruce Zicari decided to regroup with his newly created North Country Baseball League consisting of the Bucks, Newburgh Newts, Old Orchard Beach Surge and a travel team.  Read more here.  Watch news report here.

The Bucks began play Sunday, in front of a team-reported crowd of “nearly 400” (view video here), but we don’t expect long-term survival for the NCBL, unless Zicari is willing to spend some of his Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger money to subsidize the circuit to keep it afloat.  That said, good luck to the new league and those involved.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “ECBL Folds, North Country Baseball League Formed

  1. Dave

    I’m from Johnstown. The Prospect Collegiate League contacted the city manager a couple of months ago, expressing interest in placing an expansion team here for the 2016 season. Apparently Cummins is aggressively pushing for his ECBL to immediately set up shop in Johnstown, which would block the Prospect League’s expansion plans.

    I think the Prospect league would be a perfect fit for Johnstown and have a good chance of being a financial success. The ECBL on the other hand; in my opinion it seems to be a scam. If this joke of a league gets off the ground, I see nothing but unpaid bills and lawsuits, all of which will turn off this city from ever again agreeing to having a baseball team.

    • ballparkbiz

      Thanks for the link. Incredible. You know, I shake my head so much I think I’m going to have to hire a chiropractor full time to work out the kinks in my neck.

      Alan

      • Mark

        hahaha Brilliant!

      • tenaciouspuma

        http://blogs.hudsonvalley.com/fullcount/2015/06/19/newburgh-newts-looking-for-a-new-home-11-games-into-inaugural-season/

        Honestly, these towns and cities who approve of this guy need to be voted out, replaced, whatever. Anytime someone goes into business or gets hired, doesn’t anyone do any background work at all?? I understand that these smaller towns and cities can get fooled simply because the people they have in power have no clue about sports/baseball…but come on. Do they need rent that bad?

      • tenaciouspuma

        Wow, I apologize, I just read that whole article. If they can get revenue for games at 11am, then all the power to them. Who in their right mind would sponsor that!! Well, at least we have an idea what Mr. Cummins has been working on while he screwed over that poor ignorant sole in Watertown NY. That “league” is now down to four teams of which one is owned locally and has two travel leagues…that poor cheeseburger guy is taken this one hard on the nose. It is really a shame…he needs to pay whoever, shut it down and maybe get involved with a shortseason A ball team or collegiate league team if he wants to be in baseball so bad. He seems to be a baseball guy who just wants to be in the game. Unfortuneately, it’s going to be a very expensive lesson.

  2. My hats off to the new Independant league that is replacing the ECBL.
    This a good development – for small towns that still want pro baseball.
    The new footprint for fans needs to expand into the old NY- Penn league city’s.
    Watertown
    Elmira
    Utica
    Newark
    Geneva
    Batavia
    Auburn
    Amsterdam
    Glen Falls
    Oneonta

    Zacari needs to contact these City’s .?

    • tenaciouspuma

      No shot…that poor guy will lose $750000+ this year and their is no product. Newburgh is drawing 10 people a game…Watertown is not much better. Why would places that actually draw players and fans and not have to pay for players ever switch? The business model sucks i.e. Pecos League, ECBL, this other one that brought guys in and flopped. No shot..I feel bad for that Zucari guy, he has lost so much money that he could have bought into an A franchise or run an elite college organization

    • Been Around

      Who didn’t see this coming? “My big investor backed out” translates to “I duped a lot of people by telling them I had a big investor when I did not.” This, combined with the league in the Northwest, looks like the indy ball craze of the 90s – any town that had a patch of grass, some “I love baseball” guy stuck an indy team in there. No money, no resources to tap in to, no real operators for day-to-day functions, no idea of how to run a team, much less a league. Just throw a cute logo and name out there and try to cash in. I hope these communities didn’t invest a lot of taxpayer money in facilities for these leagues.

  3. tenaciouspuma

    Broke down and went to a Bucks game in Watertown. What a mess. Music playing during the innings, no sponsors (as stated above), maybe, and I mean maybe, 50 people at the field. Pitching was junior college level. I didn’t see any players remotely close to what resembles “A” ball or good collegiate league ball. No league website, no standings. 8$ for general admission which was a good 6$ too much. Won’t go to another game. I will wait for the NY Penn and college leagues to start

    • The league does have a website : http://www.northcountrybaseballleague.com/
      While the standings/statistics are not up to date, at least they have Pointstreak integration. I agree that Watertown’s prices are a bit high. Newburgh is charging $5 per ticket, which would seem to be more inline with the level of play. I hope to check out a Newts game this weekend, so will report back on the experience.

      • tenaciouspuma

        Nice…thanks Brian, I didn’t see much up in Watertown in terms of quality of play at all..hope you get to see better

    • Gene

      Went to Newburgh’s opening game and one additional game The Opening game had about 100 fans attending. The attendance at my second game was about 25. Fielding was not to good but the pitching was good at both games. The league has just sold a pitcher to the Atlantic League.

      Gene

  4. tenaciouspuma

    I think the Rams was more of a clash with politicians…maybe they did see the writing on the wall (no pun intended). That poor guy is going to lose a lot of money for what isn’t even really a league…newburgh looks shaky as well, next to fall?

  5. eastfirst107

    Yeesh, that’s a frighteningly blank outfield wall in that YouTube clip.
    (For whatever problems the Watertown Rams had, selling fence signs didn’t appear to be one of them: http://bit.ly/1dtx92q )

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