Independent League Reality

So you are sure that after high school you are going on to play college ball somewhere, you are willing to make the sacrifices. You make it to the next level and now it’s your last year of college and you are graduating. Now what. Independent Leagues maybe?

Coach Baker has had some stark posts regarding the realities of the Independent Leagues based on first hand knowledge. It demands your attention. Check the level of gas in your tank before you go on this journey. Read this article from Baseball America and maybe you’ll get a better perspective about what it is really going to be like.

Fantastic article Dino

It is an ironic point about the indy leagues…if you are so ate up that you gotta be a baseball gypsy…the truth of the article and what Coach has shared makes no difference at all…crazy true fact…though, it may, in the hands of some caring family member…get you into the hands of some friendly de-programmer sooner 8)

Another board I’m a part of got talking about this kinda in a thread and I thought it would go good with this topic on LTP

This is taken in response to this quote

Now this of course is in regards to mid major and major DI programs, not all DI programs are going to have the funding to do this, but it does drive home the point that Minor league and Indy ball isn’t glamours whatsoever.

Currently being in minor league ball and have been for the past 5 years I can attest that the conditions are not bad. Although currently in the AA,AAA level there are far better than Short Season Low-A and High-A.

Your constantly eating fast food because you are limited to the places you can walk too to eat, you get $20 a day in meal money an whatever else comes out of your pocket and then you have to pay your clubbie afterward for washing your clothes and feeding you after the game.

At the end of the season if you end it in the positive at least $100 your doing well. You definitely need a full time job in the off-season or play winter ball. Also when you get to spring training you dont get paid and still need to live for 6 weeks so there are extra expenses there too.

I toiled in Indy ball for 2 summers before realizing I didn’t want to be 30 years old before I started a “real” life.

I played for the Lincoln Saltdogs in the Northern League. We shared Haymarket Park with the University of Nebraska. Our team was comprised of washed up 30 year olds that had been released from organizations and were clearly delaying reality. The rest of us were just out of college and didn’t get drafted so we wanted to see where we stacked up before we gave the game up.

By all accounts, Lincoln was one of the best places to play in all of Indy ball. Haymarket Park was incredible and we averaged about 4,500 a night for attendance. However, it was really annoying sharing a clubhouse with Nebraska. They were treated like royalty by everyone in town. We had seperate locker rooms in the same clubhouse and ours was a total joke compared to theirs. Nevermind the fact that 80% of those playing for Nebraska at the time would never be good enough to play in the Northern League. The atmoshpere was comparable to AA ball, but the lifestyle was disgusting. Players left their wedding rings in their lockers when they left town. The partying and steroid use was far more than I was comfortable with so I hung’em up midway through my 2nd season.

In my experience, Indy ball is mostly loaded with guys who are terrified of losing their identities as ball players and are clinging on to their few remaining years in the sun before, heaven forbid, they have to lead responisble lifestyles.

Well, that’s one way of looking at it!