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Independent League News
Northern League Eyes Expansion Print
Written by The Staff   
Friday, 16 February 2007 16:00

Northern LeagueClark Griffith, the commissioner of the independent Northern League is looking to expand the league by as many as four, with Saskatoon a possible new market. As reported by the Winnipeg Sun:

"I look at a map and Saskatoon glows as such an obvious choice," said Griffith Thursday.

"I would love to have four Canadian teams.

"I talked to Peter Young (Calgary Vipers president) yesterday and he said: 'We have got to have a team in Saskatoon.'

"And I said: 'We are going to have a team in Saskatoon.'"

Griffith claims the league is good health and is especially pleased with stadium renovations in Calgary, where bench seating has been replaced with stadium seats.

 
South Coast League Inks Agreement with Spalding Print
Written by Press Release   
Sunday, 28 January 2007 16:00
SpaldingThe South Coast League of Professional Baseball, the southeast’s newest independent minor league baseball circuit, is pleased to announce a league wide agreement with Spalding Baseball as the “Official Baseball of the SCL” for the inaugural 2007 season.

Spalding has long been a leader of innovation and quality in the sporting goods category dating back to 1876. From the development of being “America’s First Baseball Company”, Spalding’s tradition of innovation continues to this day.

“We are delighted to partner with a company with such a rich tradition and respect throughout the industry as a whole,” said South Coast League COO Chris Allen. “They have been a pleasure to work with and we look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.”

By signing the deal, Spalding will gain exclusive rights to be the “Official Game Baseball” and the “Official Practice Baseball” of the South Coast League.

Spalding will also provide specially stamped baseballs for the SCL’s All-Star Game and Championship Series, along with an All-Star MVP trophy and new Pro-Select gloves for the MVP’s of both events.

The South Coast League is a six-team based independent professional baseball league located in the Southeastern U.S. First pitch is scheduled for May of 2007.
 
Fielder Named Hitting Instructor for South Coast League Print
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Written by Press Release   
Thursday, 04 January 2007 14:06
Cecil Fielder and South Coast League GroupThe South Coast League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce the signing of former major league home run champion Cecil Fielder as Roving Hitting Instructor for the 2007 season.

“This signing sends a message to our players and the baseball industry as a whole that the South Coast League is committed to player development,” said SCL Chief Executive Officer Jamie Toole . “Cecil was a premier hitter during his career and our players will benefit from his instruction.”    

A graduate of UNLV, Fielder (pictured, second from left) was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 31st round of the 1981 amateur draft, but did not sign. The following season, he was chosen by the Kansas City Royals in the 4th round of the 1982 draft. The Royals ultimately traded Fielder to the Toronto Blue Jays in February of 1983 where he began his minor league career.

Fielder made his debut with the Blue Jays in the summer of 1985, and managed to hit 31 homeruns and 84 RBI’s in limited playing time over four seasons. After the ’88 season, the Hanshin Tigers, of Japan ’s Central League, purchased his contract from the Jays and the rest was history.

Cecil went on to hit 38 homeruns in 1989 for Hanshin and quickly became a fan favorite in Japan , earning the nickname “Wild Bear”. The crowds weren’t the only ones pleased with his resurgence, as multiple major league scouts took notice. 

In 1990, Fielder returned to the majors with the Detroit Tigers and became the first player to hit 50 homeruns in a season since George Foster hit 52 for the Reds in 1977. On the last day of the Tigers' season at Yankee Stadium, Fielder hit his 50th and 51st home runs to become the 11th player in ML history to reach the 50-HR plateau.

“We are delighted to have someone with so much experience and knowledge of the game to instruct our young hitters,” shared SCL Chief Operating Officer Chris Allen. “Anytime you are able to work with someone with such an accomplished resume as Cecil’s, it can only be a positive for your organization.”

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Clark C. Griffith Named Commissioner of Northern League Print
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Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 02 January 2007 17:36
Northern LeagueCHICAGO (January 2, 2007) -- The Northern League of Professional Baseball announced the appointment today of Clark C. Griffith as its new Commissioner, effective immediately. The announcement was made by Rich Ehrenreich, President/Managing Partner of the Schaumburg Flyers and a member of the Northern League’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Griffith, who previously had served as the Northern League’s General Counsel, replaces Jim Weigel. Mr. Griffith was elected to the position by unanimous vote of Northern League owners following the League’s annual meeting in Orlando.

Mr. Griffith brings his successful and uniquely diverse experience as an attorney and as a professional baseball executive to the top leadership position of the Northern League.

Mr. Griffith is an adjunct Professor of Sports Law at two St. Paul law schools, and Chairman of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University. Mr. Griffith is also the Governor of the American Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law Forum. A lawyer and arbitrator, Mr. Griffith is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Federal and Minnesota state courts.

In announcing the appointment, Mr. Ehrenreich expressed the League’s excitement with the elevation of Mr. Griffith to the Commissioner’s post.

"Clark has league office experience in the Northern League both in our early years as well as recently, and has simply been outstanding in his guidance,” Mr. Ehrenreich said. “It's become clear over the years to the Board of Directors that the title ‘Commissioner’ fits Clark like a glove.”

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Four Former Orioles Added to Revolution Coaching Staff Print
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Written by Press Release   
Friday, 22 December 2006 16:16
York RevolutionThe York Revolution announced Friday that “The Oriole Way” is alive and well in York as it named four former Baltimore Orioles to lead the coaching staff in the upcoming inaugural season. Chris Hoiles was announced as the club’s first-ever manager and will be joined by Tippy Martinez as pitching coach, Ryan Minor as the team’s infield/hitting coach, and Al Bumbry as outfield/baserunning coach and community ambassador. Beginning in May of 2007 the Revolution will open play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

“We are thrilled to bring Chris, Tippy, Ryan and Al to lead the Revolution coaching staff through our inaugural season,” said Peter Kirk, chairman of Keystone Baseball, ownership group of the York Revolution. “I am confident that their leadership, Major League experience and impeccable knowledge of the game provide us with a coaching staff that is second to none in all of minor league baseball.”

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Wally Backman Named Manager for Peanuts Print
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 04:13
Wally BackmanWorld Series Champion Wally Backman to manage Peanuts

ALBANY, GA- The South Georgia Peanuts have named former big leaguer Wally Backman field manager for the upcoming season.

“I’m very excited to be back in baseball,” said Backman. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much I missed the game.”

Backman grew up in Beaverton, OR and attended Aloha High where he hit .548 as a senior. Wally came from a baseball background as his father played in the minors for the Pirates organization. After high school, Wally was selected in the first round of the 1977 draft (16th overall) by the New York Mets. He progressed quickly through the system as a second baseman, and earned a September call up for the 1980 Mets, hitting .323 in 93 at-bats.

“We’re thrilled to have Wally on board with the Peanuts, said General Manager Keith Michlig. “He’s a name most people familiar with Major League Baseball will recognize. More importantly, he has been recognized for his ability to work with young players at our level. His expertise will only help solidify our efforts to develop players and help them take that step towards the major leagues.”

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Fullerton Flyer’s Charlie Hough Signed By Dodgers Print
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Written by Press Release   
Sunday, 17 December 2006 16:00
Long Beach ArmadaL.A. Successful in 2nd Attempt to Lure Him to their Farm System

(Pleasanton, CA. December 18, 2006) The Golden Baseball League (GBL) announced today that 2006 Fullerton Flyer pitching coach, Charlie Hough, has been signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers to handle similar duties for the Class A Inland Empire 66ers in the California League. Hough was instrumental in building a formidable Flyer pitching staff that dominated the GBL in the second half of the 2006 season and led the team to the GBL Championship Series before falling to the Reno Silver Sox. He produced 2006 GBL Pitcher of the Year, Chris Jakubauskas, and GBL All-Star closer Wes Faust. He was also instrumental in the development of Baseball America Top Indy Prospect, and knuckleballer, Mike McTamney.

“This comes as no surprise, as the Dodgers have been after Charlie for over a year,” said GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt. “Last spring, Tommy Lasorda called Ed Hart, our General Manager in Fullerton, and offered 10,000 baseballs if we would release Hough from his contract so he could become the pitching coach for the Dodgers rookie-ball affiliate in Ogden, Utah.”

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South Coast League 2007 Schedules Announced Print
Written by Press Release   
Thursday, 14 December 2006 02:32

South Coast LeagueThe South Coast League today released all schedules for the upcoming 2007 season. Select the links below to view the corresponding PDF files for each club:

 
Bradenton Juice Name Aguilar as GM Print
Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 02:40

Bradenton JuiceThe Bradenton Juice announced today the hiring of Andrew Aguilar as general manager. The 33-year old Laramie, Wyoming native brings more than nine years of professional baseball experience to Bradenton.

A graduate of the University of Wyoming, which features a well-known logo of a rider on a bucking horse, Aguilar is preparing for a wild ride of his own. 

“The chance to build an organization from the ground up is an incredible opportunity,” Aguilar said of the Juice, which begins play in May of 2007, “and being able to work in a place like Bradenton, which I will be making my home, is very exciting.”

Aguilar was assistant general manager for the Alexandria Aces of the United League last season and was also AGM for the Jackson Senators of the Central League from 2002-2005. He has worked for the Jackson Diamond Kats of the Texas-Louisiana League and the Southern Oregon Timber Jacks of the Northwest League. Aguilar, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Broadcasting from UW, the school that produced broadcasting legend Curt Gowdy, began his professional baseball career as a radio broadcaster. He even managed to broadcast games during his first several seasons as AGM, until deciding to focus his career on the front office.

“Andrew is a hard worker who loves baseball and knows what it takes to operate a successful organization,” said Omar Roque, SCL Director of Florida Operations, noting that three of Aguilar’s teams have won Organization of the Year awards.

The Juice offers fan-friendly, affordable fun. They will play a 90-game season, with 45 home games at Manatee Community College. For season tickets, call 941-761-HOME.
 
Redfish Name Jackie Hernandez as Manager Print
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Written by Press Release   
Sunday, 19 November 2006 11:00
RedfishThe Charlotte County Redfish have landed their biggest catch to date, as former big leaguer and World Series Champion Jackie Hernandez has been named manager for the upcoming season.

“I’m very happy to be a part of the Redfish family,” shared Hernandez. “I’m looking forward to this opportunity and I feel we will be very successful and competitive.”

A baseball lifer, Hernandez has spent the past 46 years in professional baseball. Born in Central Tinguaro, Cuba, Hernandez came up through the Cleveland Indians organization and ended up playing on four major league teams. Jackie broke into the big leagues with the California Angels on September 14, 1965, just four days after his 25th birthday. In 1971, the catcher turned shortstop made the final out to clinch the World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“We couldn’t be happier to have a professional like Jackie on board with the Redfish,” shared Assistant General Manager Steven Tricarico. “Everyone that I have spoken with held the highest regard for him and spoke of his competitive nature.”

While a member of the Pirates, Hernandez was part of baseball (and social) history. On September 1, 1971, he started at shortstop as part of major league baseball’s first All-Minority lineup. A solid defensive player, Jackie was in constant demand as a late-inning replacement.

“I enjoy teaching these young athletes how to play the game the right way and stay competitive,” said Hernandez. “I’m excited to be coming to Charlotte County and plan on bringing our fans a winning team!”

Jackie’s confidence about winning baseball games is well earned. In 2004, Jackie took home his fourth championship ring with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association of Independent Baseball. He had previously won back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002 with the New Jersey Jackals of the Independent Can-Am league.

The South Coast League is a six-team based independent professional baseball league located in the Southeastern U.S. First pitch is scheduled for May of 2007.
 
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