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Vintage League with Vintage Ballparks?

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  • Vintage League with Vintage Ballparks?

    Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
    I'm a native Clevelander and I loved / appreciated your first attempt at a League Park model. Very much hope you are able to finish the project one day and post some pix of it here. (I'd love to have a good quality replica of both League Park and Cleveland Municipal Stadium too!)

    Very sorry to hear that you lost your files, I sure hope you are going to see it through. The start you had was amazing.

    I wish there was a solid economic or financial reason for some group or individual to reconstruct a new League Park, a lifesize duplicate of the original, for use by some real team.

    Does anyone think that if someone (investment group or corporation) chose say 8 cities with long baseball tradition and built (rebuilt) their old classic parks (major or minor league) as true as they could to the originals (without all the crap that owners seem to think modern day fans need thats extraneous to the game) that something like a vintage league from say the dead ball era of the early 20th century would have *any* chance of succeeding financially? I have always felt that it would, that the game itself is enough, but I am a purist.

    (I will post the 2 preceeding paragraphs as a new thread also, I dont want to hijack this one.)

    I posted this on the latest "League Park" thread & I got to thinking. What if a group or individual decided to form a vintage league and play the game differently. Not as todays whippet bat, lively ball, steroid infested, home run derby, for the primary benefit of corporate America in their luxury boxes; but instead built copies of the older classic parks with very deep outfields and fences. (Not Camden Yards type classic inspired duplicates. I mean exact copies of places like League Park, Sportsman's Park, Ebbets Field, Forbes Field, the PG, Crosley Field etc. Even some minor league parks. And played the game with a vintage league with restrictions on the bats (handles and bulb and weight and sweet spot) & balls (liveliness, centers tightness of stitching etc.). With deep fences, (Think: "Carriage Parking" in the outfield! lol) emphasis on strategy (No DH !) pitching and defense. Chances to see real triples and ITP home runs, not ones where errors in the field are merely ignored or discounted by the scorer.

    Does anyone think such a league would have any economic chance of success at all? Is the game alone still enough for anyone? Or, do people today have to have all the stuff (read: "Crap") that goes along with a trip to most of the modern day ball parks? When I was young Tribe fan growing up I went to the ballpark to watch BASEBALL, eat some hotdogs, some peanuts, drink some Coke, (Later years, some beer) listen to Herb Score's play by play on my radio that I brought along. Thats about it. And it was Great too.

  • #2
    They have games like that still. The independent league is where those moments are at.


    • #3
      I dont know where you're located, but here's a list of independent teams across the country:

      Bridgeport Bluefish - Bridgeport, CT
      Camden Riversharks - Camden, NJ (just E of Philadelphia)
      Lancaster Barnstormers - Lancaster, PA
      Long Island Ducks - Central Islip, NY
      Newark Bears - Newark, NJ (northern NJ - just west of NYC)
      Somerset Patriots - Bridgewater, NJ (north central NJ)
      Southern Maryland Blue Crabs - Waldorf, MD
      York Revolution - York, PA (N of Baltimore, S of Harrisburg, and W of Lancaster)

      Atlantic City Surf - Atlantic City
      Brockton Rox - Brockton, MA (S of Boston)
      Nashua Pride - Nashua, NH (1 Hr N of Boston) *a Women's team plays here*
      NEW JERSEY JACKALS - Little Falls, NJ (just W of NYC)
      Ottawa Rapidz - Ottawa, ON (by the NE NY border)
      QUÉBEC LES CAPITALES, Quebec City, QC (5hrs N of Portland, ME)
      SUSSEX SKYHAWKS, Augusta, NJ (About an 1.5hrs E of Scranton, PA)
      Worcester Tornadoes, Worcester, MA (1hr E of Boston)

      Chillicothe Paints - Chillicothe, Ohio (1 hour S of Columbus, OH)
      Florence Freedom - Florence, Kentucky (just W of Cincinnati, OH)
      Kalamazoo Kings - Kalamazoo, Michigan (1 hour S of Grand Rapids, MI)
      Midwest Sliders - Waterford, MI (just N of Detroit)
      Traverse City Beach Bums - Traverse City, MI (appox 3hrs NW of Saginaw, MI)
      Washington Wild Things - Washington, PA (appox 1 hour SW of Pittsburgh)

      Evansville Otters - Evansville, Indiana (3hrs from St Louis/Cincinnati in either direction)
      Gateway Grizzlies - Sauget, Illinois (city limits of St. Louis)
      River City Rascals - O’Fallon, MO (Just W of St. Louis)
      Rockford RiverHawks - Loves Park, IL (City limits of Rockford, IL)
      Southern Illinois Miners - Marion, IL (2hrs SE of St Louis)
      Windy City ThunderBolts - Crestwood, IL (Chicago city limits)

      Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks - Fargo, ND
      Gary Southshore Railcats - Gary, IN (just SE of Chicago)
      Joliet Jackhammers - Joliet, IL (1hr SW of Chicago)
      Kansas City T-Bones - Kansas City, KS
      Schaumburg Flyers - Schaumburg, IL (appox 1hr NW of Chicago)
      Winnipeg Goldeyes - Winnipeg, MB (3.5hrs N of Fargo... brrrr)

      Edinburg Coyotes - Edinburg, Texas (2.5hrs S of Corpus Christi, TX)
      Alexandria Aces - Alexandria, Louisiana (2hrs NW of Baton Rouge, LA)
      Harlingen Whitewings - Harlingen, Texas (2.5hrs S of Corpus Christi, TX)
      Laredo Broncos - Laredo, Texas (2hrs west of Corpus Christi, TX)
      San Angelo Colts - San Angelo, Texas (appox 4hrs W of Austin, TX)
      Amarillo Dillas - Amarillo, Texas

      El Paso Diablos - El Paso, TX
      Ft Worth Cats - Ft. Worth, TX
      Grand Prairie Airhogs - Grand Prarie, TX (Between Ft. Worth & Dallas)
      Lincoln Saltdogs - Lincoln, NE (1hr SW of Omaha, NE)
      Pensacola Pelicans - Pensacola, FL (1hr E of Mobile, AL)
      Shreveport Sports - Shreveport, LA (3hrs E of Dallas, TX)
      Sioux City Explorers - Sioux City, IA (1.5hrs N of Omaha, NE)
      Sioux Falls Canaries - Sioux Falls, SD (appox 4hr SW of Minneapolis, MN)
      St. Paul Saints - St. Paul, MN (just E of Minneapolis, MN)
      Wichita Wingnuts - Wichita, KS (2.5hrs N of Tulsa, OK)

      Calgary Vipers - Calgary, Alberta (11hrs E of Vancouver... brrrr)
      Chico Outlaws - Chico, CA (2hrs N of Sacramento, CA)
      Edmonton Cracker Cats - Edmonton, Alberta (3hrs N of Calgary.. brrr brrr brrr)
      Long Beach Armada - Long Beach, CA (just S of Los Angeles, CA)
      Orange County Flyers - Fullerton, CA (inside the Anaheim, CA city limits)
      Reno Silver Sox - Reno, NV (2hrs NE of Sacramento, CA)
      San Diego Surf Dawgs - San Diego, CA
      St. George Roadrunners - St. George, UT (appox 2hrs NE of Las Vegas, NV)
      Yuma Scorpions - Yuma, AZ (appox 3hrs E of San Diego)


      • #4
        Yes I am very familiar with the independent leagues I have attended many games in the (now defunct, sadly) Western Baseball League, which the Golden League is a successor of. Blair Field in Long Beach Calif is a classic ball park although a bit on the small side. I have also read and own 2 or 3 books on the Northern League and its early seasons when Miles Wolff had his original idea. I guess my idea is similar to his for the Indy leagues, but as I envisioned it, it would be a little more big time & probably cost prohibitive. I'd love the chance to see a ball game in a place like Ebbets Field or League Park. I guess I want a super sized Indy league, which would probably have to be (or would tend to be) so commercialized to build those kind of old time parks over again, as to defeat my own purpose, which would be a purer game for fans and a fanbase for whom *the game is enough*

        You are probably right JeepingBaseball, in that the Indy leagues are probably as close as I am ever going to get to repeating the purity of experience I had with the Indians of the 1960's and 1970's. Thank you very much too, for all the trouble you went to, to create that list


        • #5
          Horray for the Amarillo Dillas! Home town team!

          Anwyas, vintage baseball is something that has been apart of living history organizations over the last several years. MLB actually has a brief documentary about the people that play this game on their programing. My brother used to play vintage ball for one of those living history groups. It's actually really cool and I've seen him play in a couple of tournaments. Here's the wiki for it to give you an idea of it. Most of them just play on local fields with back stops... thus no outfield walls.

          Baseball writer


          • #6
            I love your idea. BUT!!!!!!

            Major league baseball teams would NEVER allow it. They have rights of refusal don't they?
            Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)


            • #7
              Along these same ideas; I thought it would have been neat if the Yankees had built a replica of Hilltop Park somwhere next to the new stadium, part of some Yankees museum; then they could have an official Highlanders Vintage team to play there.
              ..."I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for."


              • #8
                Originally posted by cgcoyne2 View Post
                I love your idea. BUT!!!!!!

                Major league baseball teams would NEVER allow it. They have rights of refusal don't they?

                There's no reason why independent leagues can't operate in major league cities, except that they tend to be too expensive and indy leagues get a better response when they're the only game in town.


                • #9
                  This sounds like the usfl, aba, xfl, and other league that wants to compete with a the highest league. Youre best bet would be to do a minor or developmental league like the arena, d-nba, milba.

                  Even the AAFL which was supossed to be a televized football league in the spring when people crave football the most, hasn't really panned out and they have had to push it back another year on 2 seperate occassions. They even had a good idea which was play in college stadiums and have guys who played college ball in that state automatically get put on that team. Then draft the rest of the guys whose state doesn't have a team.

                  Its just so hard to get people to sway their opinions and at the same time get owners who can survive the first few years of money issues.
                  The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.


                  • #10
                    Its difficult to drum up interest in a minor league product in a major league city, especially if its not tied to the major league team. Its one thing if you have a class A affiliate of the major league team near by (Staten Island Yanks, Brooklyn Cyclones, etc) because you have the tie-ins and cost shares but fully independant is hard.


                    • #11
                      A little on the lighter side, but I was watching one of the videos from the wiki link, and there's a modern day truck clearly in the backround. Sort of takes you out of the moment, which reminded me of this Conan O'Brien clip.:
                      The video experience serves up the best video content from AOL and around the web, curating informative and entertaining snackable videos.


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