Unaffiliated baseball in North America (for the purposes of the North American definition used here we are not including Mexico as the various Mexican leagues are part of the Latin American sphere of baseball) can be a bit strange. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but unaffiliated baseball in North America is different than anywhere else. The reason for this is simple, unaffiliated leagues in North America are right at the doorstep of Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. I’m not willing to call them direct competitors, because honestly, in terms of money made there is no competition.
The unaffiliated North American Leagues are odd ducks because they can so easily be lost in the shuffle. Everything they do is dwarfed by MLB/MiLB and ultimately these leagues haven’t been successful at creating much in the way of a following outside of their respective local fans. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any non-local individuals covering unaffiliated, or independent, baseball in North America. There most certainly are, there just aren’t as many as you would think given the number of unaffiliated leagues that can be found in North America.
To that end, there will be no state-by-state or region-by-region breakdown like I provided in Australasia and Europe. Rather. There will be a simple listing of all the leagues that operate in North America with methods of following/contacting them. Then a few reporters who do work on a more continental scale by covering various unaffiliated leagues as opposed to the scant article here and there about the specific indie team that plays near where they live. There’s nothing wrong with that sort of sports journalism, but this article is more about the big picture.
American Association – @AA_Baseball
Atlantic League – @AtlanticLg
Empire Professional Baseball League – @Empireproleague
Frontier League – @FLProBaseball
Pacific Association – @PacProBaseball
Pecos League – @PecosLeague
United Shore Professional Baseball League – @uspbl
Western Association – TheWAPB2020
If you are looking for coverage of unaffiliated North American baseball then Kayla is the number one person to follow. She uses her website, Indy Ball Island, and Twitter feed to get the word out about unaffiliated baseball every single chance she gets. Kayla doesn’t limit herself to just North American leagues, but she is the number one place to find news and info on any unaffiliated North American league. It’s not often that someone is the end all and be all of a topic, but Kayla is that when it comes to unaffiliated North American baseball.
Easily the best aggregator for unaffiliated North American baseball news. Matt himself doesn’t offer up much in the way of opinion or analysis, but that’s not really the purpose his website and Twitter are set up to serve. There are lots of news stories that pop up about unaffiliated North American leagues, teams, players, etc. It’s nice to have the majority of those available on one website or in one Twitter feed
Bob has been involved in baseball for decades, not just on the unaffiliated side but with affiliated baseball as well. He brings a great deal of knowledge to the table and that allows him to adeptly cover unaffiliated ball both from its own point of view and the affiliated point of view. I’m not sure exactly when Bob became an indie baseball proponent, but I’m glad he did because his website has become an invaluable resource for news tidbits, opinions, and player (both past and present) profiles.
That may not seem like a lot, but trust, me, if you are interested in the North American independent professional baseball scene these are the main three people worth following. I’m sure some of the league or team-centric folks will catch your eye over time, but for the bigger picture, these three can’t be beaten. When added to my own coverage that is 🙂
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Minor League Ball