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Went to an independent pioneer league game


IdahoBert

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With MLB contracting the minor leagues Boise, Idaho lost its long time NWL short season team and my kids that still live in town took me to a game tonight for Father’s Day. 

All the players look older and bigger than the players I remember from the last 30 plus years when the team was affiliated with the Angels, the Cubs, and the Rockies. I was hoping there might be some career minor leaguers who were released from AA or AAA, but the league will not accept anyone who’s had more than three years of professional experience. 

I saw very few pitches above 86 mph, although a couple reached 91 or 92. There were no home runs tonight. There is a pitch clock and the home team won and the game took 2:25. SWEET! If the game is tied, they have some dumb kind of home run derby that I just couldn’t take the time to figure out when I was reading about it.

The fielding seemed pretty decent compared to the 19-21 age guys I am used to seeing, and the outfielders had some pretty strong arms. There were some real lasers from right field to home plate that were quite exciting. There were a couple completed double plays too.   

You’re never going to see a Ken Griffey a Dontrelle Willis, Gleyber Torres, or Kyle Schwarber come through town again. Rickey Henderson started his career here in 1976 playing on a high school field for the Athletics’ rookie league team. 

But it surprised me how entertaining it was and in some respects, how little different from what I was used to seeing - with some exceptions - compared to short season Class A. I have to say, though, when he was 17 Gleyber Torres already looked like a major leaguer. i’m going to miss those moments.  

But I will definitely come back. Ticket prices are definitely lower. The food, however is just as expensive.  

But still, if I could hang the people from lamp posts who contracted the minor leagues and took away genuine major league prospects from smaller cities all over America, I would do it  

I’m kidding…

 

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26 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

With MLB contracting the minor leagues Boise, Idaho lost its long time NWL short season team and my kids that still live in town took me to a game tonight for Father’s Day. 

All the players look older and bigger than the players I remember from the last 30 plus years when the team was affiliated with the Angels, the Cubs, and the Rockies. I was hoping there might be some career minor leaguers who were released from AA or AAA, but the league will not accept anyone who’s had more than three years of professional experience. 

I saw very few pitches above 86 mph, although a couple reached 91 or 92. There were no home runs tonight. There is a pitch clock and the home team won and the game took 2:25. SWEET! If the game is tied, they have some dumb kind of home run derby that I just couldn’t take the time to figure out when I was reading about it.

The fielding seemed pretty decent compared to the 19-21 age guys I am used to seeing, and the outfielders had some pretty strong arms. There were some real lasers from right field to home plate that were quite exciting. There were a couple completed double plays too.   

You’re never going to see a Ken Griffey a Dontrelle Willis, Gleyber Torres, or Kyle Schwarber come through town again. Rickey Henderson started his career here in 1976 playing on a high school field for the Athletics’ rookie league team. 

But it surprised me how entertaining it was and in some respects, how little different from what I was used to seeing - with some exceptions - compared to short season Class A. I have to say, though, when he was 17 Gleyber Torres already looked like a major leaguer. i’m going to miss those moments.  

But I will definitely come back. Ticket prices are definitely lower. The food, however is just as expensive.  

But still, if I could hang the people from lamp posts who contracted the minor leagues and took away genuine major league prospects from smaller cities all over America, I would do it  

I’m kidding…

 

That's so good, I know that these players are hoping for a chance at the show, maybe a second chance, but it would be great for the local baseball community if some players came back for a season or two.

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7 hours ago, IdahoBert said:

But still, if I could hang the people from lamp posts who contracted the minor leagues and took away genuine major league prospects from smaller cities all over America, I would do it  

I’m kidding…

 

I was with ya until the last two words … 😉

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16 hours ago, IdahoBert said:

With MLB contracting the minor leagues Boise, Idaho lost its long time NWL short season team and my kids that still live in town took me to a game tonight for Father’s Day. 

All the players look older and bigger than the players I remember from the last 30 plus years when the team was affiliated with the Angels, the Cubs, and the Rockies. I was hoping there might be some career minor leaguers who were released from AA or AAA, but the league will not accept anyone who’s had more than three years of professional experience. 

I saw very few pitches above 86 mph, although a couple reached 91 or 92. There were no home runs tonight. There is a pitch clock and the home team won and the game took 2:25. SWEET! If the game is tied, they have some dumb kind of home run derby that I just couldn’t take the time to figure out when I was reading about it.

The fielding seemed pretty decent compared to the 19-21 age guys I am used to seeing, and the outfielders had some pretty strong arms. There were some real lasers from right field to home plate that were quite exciting. There were a couple completed double plays too.   

You’re never going to see a Ken Griffey a Dontrelle Willis, Gleyber Torres, or Kyle Schwarber come through town again. Rickey Henderson started his career here in 1976 playing on a high school field for the Athletics’ rookie league team. 

But it surprised me how entertaining it was and in some respects, how little different from what I was used to seeing - with some exceptions - compared to short season Class A. I have to say, though, when he was 17 Gleyber Torres already looked like a major leaguer. i’m going to miss those moments.  

But I will definitely come back. Ticket prices are definitely lower. The food, however is just as expensive.  

But still, if I could hang the people from lamp posts who contracted the minor leagues and took away genuine major league prospects from smaller cities all over America, I would do it  

I’m kidding…

 

Erie, Pa can support AA baseball but Boise can't?  I suppose Boise's so-called remote location works against it. 

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Independent league ball is fun - very low key, but some decent talent in some leagues.  There was a team up in Nashua, NH many years back which would sometimes get former big leaguers for a period of time and I got to see the Cansecos hot dogging it at Holman Stadium.  Another time, Rickey Henderson was supposed to play and the place was unusually packed.  Unfortunately, he was a no show.     

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 6/18/2023 at 7:51 PM, Tiger337 said:

Independent league ball is fun - very low key, but some decent talent in some leagues.  There was a team up in Nashua, NH many years back which would sometimes get former big leaguers for a period of time and I got to see the Cansecos hot dogging it at Holman Stadium.  Another time, Rickey Henderson was supposed to play and the place was unusually packed.  Unfortunately, he was a no show.     

In the early 80s when I was recovering from a motorcycle accident, I visited my sister for a couple weeks in Nashua New Hampshire and went to a bunch of games at Holman stadium. It was a Pirates AA affiliate then and I saw eight games there. It was a long homestand and the home team won all 8 games either as a walk off in the bottom of the ninth or coming from behind and sealing it by the seventh or eighth inning. It was without a doubt, the most exciting string of games I’ve ever seen. I saw Ted Kluszewski there. He was a scout.  

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26 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

In the early 80s when I was recovering from a motorcycle accident, I visited my sister for a couple weeks in Nashua New Hampshire and went to a bunch of games at Holman stadium. It was a Pirates AA affiliate then and I saw eight games there. It was a long homestand and the home team won all 8 games either as a walk off in the bottom of the ninth or coming from behind and sealing it by the seventh or eighth inning. It was without a doubt, the most exciting string of games I’ve ever seen. I saw Ted Kluszewski there. He was a scout.  

I loved when Nashua had a AA team (first the Angels and then the Pirates) and I went frequently.  So, I wouldn't be surprised if we were at one of the same games.  Those were some of my best ballpark experieces ever.  It was before minor league games were popular, so the crowds were not large and it was all baseball.  A minor league game was not a circus with non-stop music and sounds and all the silliness between innings.  Some of that stuff is fun but they over do it.  

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I was just looking back at the Nashua Rosters.  They had an AA team from 1983-1986.  I saw future major leaguers like Devon White and Bobby Bonilla, but the guy I remember the most was Reggieeeee WEST! He had a good season for them, but never made it to the majors.   I also remember Biiiiiiiip Roberts. The cool thing about Holman Stadium is that it was the home of the first racially intregrated team of the 20th century.  Their roster included Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe.  

They later had some independent teams (which is when I saw the Cansecos), but could not support a modern affiliated team.   

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I don’t know, Nashua has a bigger metro area than Manchester which has a AA team. But Manchester city itself is slightly larger and may be slightly more convenient to Boston. Also, interestingly, Manchester is slightly more male a population and Nashua is slightly more female, if that means anything. But both probably couldn’t do it at the same time, unless the Braves move back to Boston …

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16 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I don’t know, Nashua has a bigger metro area than Manchester which has a AA team. But Manchester city itself is slightly larger and may be slightly more convenient to Boston. Also, interestingly, Manchester is slightly more male a population and Nashua is slightly more female, if that means anything. But both probably couldn’t do it at the same time, unless the Braves move back to Boston …

They have the population to support a team, but they don't have the stadium.  Lowell, MA has the same problem.  

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