PRESS RELEASE – After 38 years in professional baseball and 28 years with the Minor League Baseball office, Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner [this week] announced that he will retire on Dec. 31, 2020.
Tag Archives: MiLB
PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball™ (MLB™) has informed Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) that it will not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season. As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020.
PRESS RELEASE – This morning at 11am in multiple cities in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana press conferences are being held to announce the return of baseball after the COVID-19 pause of the college and professional game. Continue reading
A Sports Illustrated survey of minor league organizations, sent to all teams in late April, shows just how desperate the situation has become. The responses of 68 clubs—in addition to interviews with executives representing 21 of those teams—make clear that the minor leagues are facing a crisis that could destroy professional baseball in cities across the country. Read more here. This could apply to independent professional and summer collegiate clubs as well.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are offering their fans Ballpark Dinners To-Go on Tuesday, April 28. Fans may order dinner online through the team’s website and pickup their order any time between 4:30pm and 6:30pm on that day. Read more here. The Clinton LumberKings are offering curbside ballpark food pickup too. Read more here. Click here for Order Form.
The world has changed dramatically over the past six months, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has halted sports. When MLB and MiLB negotiators convene on a teleconference on Wednesday, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations say MiLB will indicate that it agrees to 120 affiliated teams in a new PBA. Read more here. In a joint MLB-MiLB statement, that parties said the following:
“The respective negotiating teams of Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball held a constructive meeting on Wednesday. The parties are continuing their discussions, with the goal of concluding a mutually beneficial long-term agreement in the near future.”
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) issued the following statement regarding a pair of articles published in recent weeks regarding the state of the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA): Continue reading
While most everyone involved in MiLB is cautiously optimistic publicly, the reality is it is going to be quite difficult for any MiLB team to play at all this year. In off-the-record discussions with people all around the game, there is a near-universal acknowledgement that there are a massive amount of hurdles that have to be overcome to make any MiLB season happen. Read more here.
“In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season. We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak.”
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced STOUFFER’S®, a leader in frozen prepared entrées, as the “Official Macaroni & Cheese” of MiLB, as well as the “Official Lasagna” and “Official Frozen Prepared Meals” of MiLB. The announcement comes as part of a new, multiyear strategic partnership celebrating communities and providing family-friendly experiences — both central values to the STOUFFER’S and MiLB brands.
Save Minor League Baseball Task Force Co-Chairs Lead Introduction of Congressional Resolution Supporting Minor League Baseball
Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), David McKinley (R-WV), Max Rose (D-NY), and Mike Simpson (R-ID) – co-chairs of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force — introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of Congress that Major League Baseball (MLB) should maintain the current minor league structure rather than proceed with its plan to eliminate 42 minor league clubs. Read press release and resolution here.
PRESS RELEASE – Mayors of Chattanooga, Tenn., Dayton, Ohio, and Columbia, S.C. tomorrow [Wednesday] will announce the official formation of the Mayors’ Task Force to Save Minor League Baseball. The Task Force will be co-chaired by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. Continue reading
After spending more than 30 years learning the ins and outs of corporate America, Fernando Aguirre was ready to own a business and bought the Erie SeaWolves (Double-A, Eastern League) in 2015. Late last year, Aguirre learned that the SeaWolves are one of 42 teams that could be axed under a proposal by MLB. But, he is working to save the team and his investment. Meanwhile, UPMC Park is in the middle of a $16 million renovation with some parts finished, including a new field that was put in place before the 2019 season and a new scoreboard that was installed during the season. Read more here.
Joined by a large group of community leaders and local, state and federal officials on Thursday at the Centre County Visitors Center, the short-season single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals launched the #SaveOurSpikes campaign to fight back against a Major League Baseball proposal that if enacted would eliminate affiliations for State College and 41 other minor league clubs. Read more here.
Major League Baseball said Saturday it is committed to protecting minor league teams, a day after U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal warned of possible congressional action if the organization followed through on minor league contraction plans. Read more and watch news report here.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has become the latest Connecticut official to urge Major League Baseball to save the minor league team in Norwich (CT), warning congressional action might be taken. Read more here.
The long-term future of Dutchess Stadium and its tenants, the Hudson Valley Renegades, remains uncertain pending a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its 162 minor league teams. Read more here.
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball shared the same Las Vegas hotel at last year’s Winter Meetings. A year later, the MLB contingent was at the Grand Hyatt, while MiLB was housed at a Hilton down the road. Physically, the two groups were separated by only a mile. After a few rounds of negotiations—both in conference rooms and in the media—the sides appear much farther apart. Read more from Baseball America here.
PRESS RELEASE – During this week’s Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, representatives from Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Major League Baseball (MLB) engaged in formal and informal discussions regarding the Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) that were cordial and productive. Following those meetings, MLB has repeatedly and inaccurately stated the position of MiLB with respect to several key areas under consideration in the PBA negotiations. To correct the record, Minor League Baseball’s positions on the key areas are as follows: Read more here.
PRESS RELEASE – Approximately 4,500 baseball executives from more than 200 professional teams, media from around the world and hundreds of exhibitors and job seekers will converge on San Diego for the 2019 Baseball Winter Meetings™ at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront and the San Diego Convention Center from Dec. 8-12.
Norwich (CT) Mayor Peter Nystrom says he plans to fight hard to preserve his town’s little piece of Americana — the soon-to-be-renamed Connecticut Tigers (we’re hoping for Narwhals) (Single-A, New York-Penn League). Mayor Norstrom stated:
I’m writing to every municipality affected by this. These are community centers. Dodd Stadium is a community center. To me, this is a stab in the back.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents Norwich, said he believes MLB has underestimated the clout these communities have. He co-authored a letter signed by over 100 colleagues to MLB officials outlining the negative implications of contraction and reminding them Congress has the power to reconsider the league’s antitrust exemption. MLB responded. Read more here.
In recent weeks, details of the plan have been slowly leaking out, the MLB spin being it’s designed to (1) upgrade all the minor league facilities and (2) improve “wellness” for the minor leaguers in terms of travel and living conditions. In truth, as always, it’s designed to save money, lots of money, and the proprietors of these minor league teams, many of whom have their life savings invested in them, be damned. Read more here. Read about the Erie SeaWolves and Connecticut Tigers here. Read concerns in Erie (PA) about the SeaWolves here. Read about the fight brewing in Daytona (FL) over the Tortugas here.
PRESS RELEASE – This is community service and engagement. These are new identities and recharged returning concepts. This is Copa 3.0. Minor League Baseball’s award-winning initiative of cultural engagement with Hispanic and Latinx communities across the country, Copa de la Diversión returns in 2020 for its third season with more teams than ever. A total of 92 franchises will participate in the Copa program next year — up from 72 in 2019 — with the complete collection of new team names and eye-catching logos rolling out Thursday afternoon.
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) announced today that Jerry Howard of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes is the recipient of the fourth annual Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award. Howard will receive the award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
PRESS RELEASE – — Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) announced today it has selected Eastern League President Joe McEacharn as the recipient of the 36th annual Warren Giles Award, which honors outstanding service as a league president.
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced the Hartford Yard Goats as the recipient of the 2019 John Henry Moss Community Service Award for demonstrating outstanding, ongoing commitment to charitable service, support and leadership within its local community and within the baseball industry. The Yard Goats will receive the award on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront during the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet. Created in 2013 by Minor League Baseball, the award honors the late John Henry Moss, who founded what would become the South Atlantic League in 1959 and led the league as its president until 2007.
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) announced today that the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Triple-A International League are the recipients of the 54th annual Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotional effort in Minor League Baseball.
It didn’t take long after Major League Baseball announced a proposal to eliminate 42 teams from the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) line-up for someone to step up to the plate and launch a petition drive to save certain franchises. Click here for a petition to save the Appalachian League. What? Didn’t MiLB just announce Pulaski as the winner of the President’s Award? ‘Thanks for the memories, Pulaski!”
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) announced today that the Pulaski Yankees are the recipients of the 46th annual John H. Johnson President’s Award. The team will receive Minor League Baseball’s top honor at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
Work on the new stadium in Wichita (KS) progresses, as construction crews are now under six months from the home opener for the Wichita Triple-A baseball team that will play in the Pacific Coast League. Opening Day is April 14. View 32 photos here.
The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. Read more here, here and here.
The last time Pat O’Conner was at Parkview Field was opening day of 2009, the first baseball game ever played in the downtown stadium. O’Conner, president of Minor League Baseball since 2007, returned to Fort Wayne on Wednesday for the Midwest League’s Fall Meeting, which the TinCaps played host to for the first time this week. Read more here.
Last Thursday evening at the El Paso Chihuahuas’ (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) home of Southwest University Park, the Minor League Baseball Innovators Summit concluded with the Golden Bobblehead Awards. Read more here. Beyond the Golden Bobbleheads, view Benjamin Hill’s best promos here.
As a team participating in MiLB’s Copa initiative, the Bradenton Marauders will play as the Bradenton Barbanegras for four games this season, starting Saturday night against the Tampa Tarpons. Bradenton’s proximity to the Floridian Gulf Coast makes the region ripe with centuries-old stories of conquistadors and other seafaring explorers. To better connect the region’s maritime history to its robust, large Hispanic community, the Babanegras (“Black Beards”) moniker came to light. Read more and see uniforms here.
Minor League Baseball is unveiling the 72 team identities for the 2019 Copa de la Diversión program. From the Chicharrones de Columbia to the San Bernardos de Salem, learn about the logos as they are revealed. Read more and see logos here.
The City of Topeka (KS) could be cheering on its own minor league baseball team soon. During their latest monthly meeting, the Topeka and Shawnee County Riverfront Authority discussed ways to tie the Riverfront, Downtown, and Noto together, including a new ballpark. Read more here.
Minor League Baseball Reveals 2019 Copa Details, Team Identities and Logos will be Unveiled March 18
Minor League Baseball today unveiled the 397-game schedule for its second annual Copa de la Diversión (Fun Cup) event series, taking place during the 2019 season. The 2019 season will see 72 teams transform their brands to join in Copa’s mission to authentically connect MiLB teams with their diverse communities, and embrace and celebrate the culture and values that resonate most with Latinx fans nationwide. Read more here.
Minor League Baseball Unveils Finalists in its Copa de la Diversión Season-Long Event Series Competition
PRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today unveiled the finalists of its inaugural Copa de la Diversión™ (Fun Cup™) event series that took place during the 2018 season. The winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 10, at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas during the Opening Session.
The cornerstone of MiLB’s Es Divertido Ser Un Fan® (It’s Fun to be A Fan®) Hispanic/Latinx fan engagement initiative, Copa de la Diversión (“Copa”) established an innovative new platform authentically connecting MiLB teams with their diverse communities, embracing the culture and values that resonate most with Hispanics/Latinx nationwide. Thirty-three teams adopted culturally-relevant on-field personas and integrated more local flavor into their gameday experiences for designated games.
The five Copa finalists are: Mariachis de Nuevo México (Albuquerque Isotopes), Monarcas de Eugene (Eugene Emeralds), Cucuys de San Bernardino (Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino), Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City Dodgers) and the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio (San Antonio Missions).
“Copa generated the positive buzz and subsequent following because of the passion, creativity and hard work all of the participating teams and their community partners poured into the campaign,” said Kurt Hunzeker, Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Research for Minor League Baseball. “The five finalists and their respective communities should celebrate this honor and achievement as their vision, inclusion and leadership have established the perfect playbook for other sports properties wanting to authentically connect with their local Latinx communities.”
The five finalists represent every classification of Minor League Baseball, reinforcing the success and relevancy of the event series throughout MiLB and its communities. The contending teams were selected by Minor League Baseball’s newly-formed Latinx Advisory Committee comprised of leaders in multicultural academia, media and marketing. The committee ranked the teams on how well they achieved the primary objectives of the Copa event series including increasing awareness, authentic engagements and attendance with U.S. Hispanics/Latinx in their local community; embracing this community and culture that is passionate about baseball, family and fun by updating their ballpark experience to match the values this specific fan segment cherishes most; creating and embracing culturally-relevant on-field personas that authentically connect them with their local U.S. Hispanic/Latinx community; and amplifying MiLB’s continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball nationwide.
Notable accomplishments of the finalists included:
• The Albuquerque Isotopes (Mariachis de Nuevo México) setting a single-game attendance record (16,975) for their first-ever Mariachis’ game on May 5 and leading all Copa-participating teams in most attendees gained per game, averaging 5,000 more fans each Copa game compared to similar dates in 2017.
• The Eugene Emeralds (Monarcas de Eugene) leading all Copa-participating teams in community impact metrics by engaging 16 local civic groups, community organizations and corporate offices, investing significant time and resources to authentically connect with Eugene and surrounding areas’ Hispanic/Latinx communities.
• The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino (Cucuys de San Bernardino) achieving their season-long attendance increase goal during their first Cucuys’ game, as 6,887 fans packed San Manuel Stadium on Thursday, May 3, an increase of 272 percent compared to similar game date in 2017.
• The Oklahoma City Dodgers (Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City) establishing deep connections with local area businesses searching for programming to reach OKC’s Hispanic/Latinx community, resulting in the second-largest commercial partnership revenue among all Copa-participating teams.
• The San Antonio Missions (Flying Chanclas de San Antonio) generating the most team-controlled retail sales for its Flying Chanclas’ licensed products with more than $700,000 in retail sales (in-ballpark and via the team’s online store).
In September, Minor League Baseball announced it is expanding Copa de la Diversión for the 2019 season, more than doubling the number of participating teams to 72. The new Copa identities will be unveiled in March 2019.