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Joined: 07/10/2015 Posts: 451
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I don't like it because there are already leagues that serve that purpose

and do a VERY good job of it. The NECBL in New England and the Northwoods in the Midwest (and, to a lesser extent, the Coastal Plain, Valley, and Futures leagues). The NECBL, in particular, is a great feeder for the Cape, and the geographic proximity makes it easy to call in reinforcements when Cape teams need injury replacements during the playoffs or otherwise late in the season. There are also some players on the Cape who need to leave to start classes, and players are brought in to replace them.

I'm particularly worried about what the Appy League will do to the Coastal Plain and Valley leagues. The CPL has worked hard to build itself up as a legitimate second-tier collegiate summer league, and it would be a shame to see MLB and USA Baseball team up to destroy that. The Valley League has struggled in the past 20 years and is a shadow of what it used to be -- but it's stayed the course, and the Charlottesville Tom Sox have become the flagship franchise. If you can't play for the Tom Sox and are facing a decision between playing in Luray or playing in a former MiLB stadium in Greeneville, TN, with MLB/USA Baseball funding, the team in Luray is going to lose out.

The NECBL and Northwoods do an excellent job as "feeder" leagues, playing in beautiful old stadiums (and in the case of the Northwoods, quite a few new stadiums). Madison draws 6500 per game in the Northwoods (we often have a couple of first years playing there); Keene and Newport are the cream of the crop in the NECBL (we always have at least a couple of guys in Keene, and this year we will have players in Newport for the first time in a few years -- but historically had players there -- Brandon Marsh and Pat McAnaney excelled there, and I believe Chris Taylor played there after his first year at UVA).

MLB seems to have done this all in bad faith. They're out to assert their dominance like the Alpha Male gorilla, and destroy what they can. There are already existing summer collegiate leagues that fill all the niches -- the Cape takes mostly rising juniors, but there are rising sophomores on every team, and some rising seniors. The NECBL and Futures League in New England fill the other needs by taking a mix of experienced players from D1, 2, and 3, and jucos, and rising college sophomores; the Futures League has been known to take a handful of rising freshmen too (Zack and Jake Gelof and Jimmy Sullivan all played there after their senior years of HS, as have several players from Va Tech, Vanderbilt, etc. -- I saw recent 1st round pick Cade Cavalli out of Oklahoma play as a rising freshman in the Futures League a few years ago). The CPL and Valley Leagues have a similar mix, with a little less talent than the NECBL. The Cal Ripken League in the DC area has a good mix of rising sophomores from good schools, rising juniors who couldn't get picked up by the Cape or NECBL, and fills in with other college players. Florida and Texas have up-and-coming collegiate leagues. California's league is becoming much, much better. There is an established league in the Pacific Northwest too that is good. And Alaska doesn't have the cache it once had but still gets good players, especially from the Western schools.,

BTW, you mention the Pioneer and Frontier Leagues. The Pioneer League is continuing as a MLB-sanctioned independent league. The Frontier League is an independent league and will remain an independent league, but it's located in the Midwest, with teams from Washington, PA west through OH, IL, KY, etc.

(In response to this post by CT Wahoo)

Posted: 12/14/2020 at 6:24PM


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12/22William & Mary(W) 76-40
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1/2Virginia TechPPD
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