Updated Baseball Fever Policy

Baseball Fever Policy

I. Purpose of this announcement:

This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

Baseball Fever is a moderated baseball message board which encourages and facilitates research and information exchange among fans of our national pastime. The intent of the Baseball Fever Policy is to ensure that Baseball Fever remains an extremely high quality, extremely low "noise" environment.

Baseball Fever is administrated by three principal administrators:
webmaster - Baseball Fever Owner
The Commissioner - Baseball Fever Administrator
Macker - Baseball Fever Administrator

And a group of forum specific super moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep Baseball Fever smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with our policy. The moderators are ALL volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.

II. Comments about our policy:

Any suggestions on this policy may be made directly to the webmaster.

III. Acknowledgments:

This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

IV. Requirements for participation on Baseball Fever:

Participation on Baseball Fever is available to all baseball fans with a valid email address, as verified by the forum's automated system, which then in turn creates a single validated account. Multiple accounts by a single user are prohibited.

By registering, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct yourself accordingly. Abuse of the forum, by repeated failure to abide by these policies, will result in your access being blocked to the forum entirely.

V. Baseball Fever Netiquette:

Participants at Baseball Fever are required to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
a. All posts to Baseball Fever should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.

b. Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post.

c. Quote only the portion of a post to which you are responding.

d. Standard capitalization and punctuation make a large difference in the readability of a post. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS is considered to be "shouting"; it is a good practice to limit use of all capitals to words which you wish to emphasize.

e. It is our policy NOT to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials.

f. Personal attacks of any type against Baseball Fever readers will not be tolerated. In these instances the post will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the personal attack via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue personal attacks will be banned from the site.

g. It is important to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.

h. The netiquette described above (a-g) often uses the term "posts", but applies equally to Private Messages.

VI. Baseball Fever User Signature Policy

A signature is a piece of text that some members may care to have inserted at the end of ALL of their posts, a little like the closing of a letter. You can set and / or change your signature by editing your profile in the UserCP. Since it is visible on ALL your posts, the following policy must be adhered to:

Signature Composition
Font size limit: No larger than size 2 (This policy is a size 2)
Style: Bold and italics are permissible
Character limit: No more than 500 total characters
Lines: No more than 4 lines
Colors: Most colors are permissible, but those which are hard to discern against the gray background (yellow, white, pale gray) should be avoided
Images/Graphics: Allowed, but nothing larger than 20k and Content rules must be followed

Signature Content
No advertising is permitted
Nothing political or religious
Nothing obscene, vulgar, defamatory or derogatory
Links to personal blogs/websites are permissible - with the webmaster's written consent
A Link to your Baseball Fever Blog does not require written consent and is recommended
Quotes must be attributed. Non-baseball quotes are permissible as long as they are not religious or political

Please adhere to these rules when you create your signature. Failure to do so will result in a request to comply by a moderator. If you do not comply within a reasonable amount of time, the signature will be removed and / or edited by an Administrator. Baseball Fever reserves the right to edit and / or remove any or all of your signature line at any time without contacting the account holder.

VII. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for Baseball Fever:

Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for Baseball Fever is: "Does this message discuss our national pastime in an interesting manner?" This post can be direct or indirect: posing a question, asking for assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing posts. In general, a broad interpretation of "baseball related" is used.

Baseball Fever is not a promotional environment. Advertising of products, web sites, etc., whether for profit or not-for-profit, is not permitted. At the webmaster's discretion, brief one-time announcements for products or services of legitimate baseball interest and usefulness may be allowed. If advertising is posted to the site it will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the post via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue advertising will be banned from the site. If the advertising is spam-related, pornography-based, or a "visit-my-site" type post / private message, no warning at all will be provided, and the member will be banned immediately without a warning.

It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The site reserves the right to limit the frequency of such announcements by any individual or group.

In keeping with our test for a proper topic, posting to Baseball Fever should be treated as if you truly do care. This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected in the thread, since Baseball Fever is sometimes considered to be a valuable reference for research information.

VIII. Role of the moderator:

When a post is submitted to Baseball Fever, it is forwarded by the server automatically and seen immediately. The moderator may:
a. Leave the thread exactly like it was submitted. This is the case 95% of the time.

b. Immediately delete the thread as inappropriate for Baseball Fever. Examples include advertising, personal attacks, or spam. This is the case 1% of the time.

c. Move the thread. If a member makes a post about the Marlins in the Yankees forum it will be moved to the appropriate forum. This is the case 3% of the time.

d. Edit the message due to an inappropriate item. This is the case 1% of the time. There have been new users who will make a wonderful post, then add to their signature line (where your name / handle appears) a tagline that is a pure advertisement. This tagline will be removed, a note will be left in the message so he/she is aware of the edit, and personal contact will be made to the poster telling them what has been edited and what actions need to be taken to prevent further edits.

The moderators perform no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he/she may point out gross errors in factual data in replies to the thread, the moderator does not act as an "accuracy" editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator's decisions should not be taken personally.

IX. Legal aspects of participation in Baseball Fever:

By submitting a post to Baseball Fever, you grant Baseball Fever permission to distribute your message to the forum. Other rights pertaining to the post remain with the ORIGINAL author, and you may not redistribute or retransmit any posts by any others, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the original author.

The messages appearing on Baseball Fever contain the opinions and views of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of Baseball Fever, or of the Baseball Almanac family of sites.


Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever |
"Baseball Almanac: Sharing Baseball. Sharing History."
See more
See less

1970 Global Baseball League

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 1970 Global Baseball League

    Can anyone give me details about this league?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Milwaukee T View Post
    Can anyone give me details about this league?
    I have googled this and come up with the following link.
    which seems to be some form of online league? Not sure this what you are searching for?
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda


    • #3
      A New Major League

      The plan was to have a new Major League in 1970. It was to be in Jersey City, Mobile, and a few cities scattered about the world. There was support for ti, but financing fell apart as Japan let in the proposed owners there and the expansions in the states was allowing in the people that were behind this league.

      I'm just wondering if anyone had ever come across a list of the proposed cities.

      It was the work of Walter Dilbeck and was to include Venezuala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, and the USA.


      • #4
        The Global Baseball League was chartered in Evansville in October 1966 (on paper only until 1969). Businessmen from 14 cities were at the initial meeting - led by Walter Dilbeck. Quote:

        (...owner Walter Dilbeck continued with his dream of a world-wide league and in late September, formally announced the formation of the Global League. The plan called for two American-based teams, and two rooted in Japan. The U.S. teams would operate out of Louisville and Jersey City, but would also play games in Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. One anticipated drawing card was the “colorful halftime show” to come after the fifth inning of every game. It would feature Geisha girls and other examples of Japanese culture.)
        Dilbeck toured Vietnam (two weeks in March/April 1966) as an observer and writer. Believed that Asians saw Americans as soft - helping to cause the spread of communism; thus, he wanted to put them in a league together to gain a mutual respect.

        The original plans called for 12 US teams in two divisions. Teams would supposedly be added in Tokyo, Puerto Rico, Manila and Honolulu. The idea was to begin in 1968.

        Happy Chandler involved in league. He said (in Dec 1968) that he would open an office in Louisville soon - staff to include Dick King, former associate of PCL president Bill Mckechnie Jr. (when McKechnie was at ATL)

        An erroneous story was floated that billionaire Howard Hughes was backing the league.

        The Global League used a designated hitter.

        Dilbeck purchased the Toronto club of the International League in October 1967 for $65,000 and relocated them to Louisville. Dilbeck is described as an "Evansville real estate man who has business interests in Louisville." In 1969:
        The Louisville club became an unexpected trouble spot late in the spring. With less than a week before the openers, IL Commissioner George Sisler Jr. revoked the franchise. The club owed over $70,000 in debts and stadium rental, and owner Walter Dilbeck (who was still involved in dubious and doomed-to-fail Global League scheme) had failed to meet the deadline for completing the sale of the club to an Indianapolis businessman
        Dilbeck also helped Evansville get a franchise in the Southern League in 1966. Dilbeck also attempted to purchase the KC A's from Finley to keep the club from moving to Oakland.

        Dilbeck was a big WWII war hero. And as the Sporting News says, "He is not inclined to let you forget it."

        Global League formed by Walter J. Dilbeck, an Evansville, Indiana businessman. The league expects to begin operations (on a wide scale) in 1970.

        League execs:
        Dilbeck, president
        Jack Corbet, exec vp
        Danny Menendez, vp
        Happy Chandler, commissioner
        Hillman Lyons (one of Happy Chandler's aides), assistant to the president
        Paul May, league rep

        On January 20, 1969 Enos Slaughter signed up to be a coach for the New Orleans club. Also associated with the league are Johnny Mize, Gordon Jones and Stu Miller. Mize slated to manager - told the Sporting News that he talked to the following to get them to manage as well - Roy Campanella, Allie Reynolds and Bob Turley.

        The league decided to operate in 1969 though. Spring training was to begin on March 3, 1969 in Daytona Beach. 125 players actually showed up for spring training that began on April 2.

        2 from Japan - Tokyo and Yokohama
        2 from continental US - Jersey City and New Orleans
        1 from Venezuela - Caracas
        1 from Puerto Rico - San Juan

        New Orleans was changed to Mobile, Alabama in February.

        20 players per team max

        Bill McKinley was named supervisor of umpires on 2/15/1969. He will assemble the staff, administer them and work some games himself.

        The league placed an ad in the Sporting News for tryout camps:
        Long beach, CA 2/19-20
        Bryan, TX 2/21-22
        Mobile, AL 2/23-24
        Baton Rouge, LA 2/25-26
        Jacksonville, FL 2/27-28
        to be conducted by: Enos Slaughter, Johnny Mize, Gordon Jones and Stu Miller.
        ad stated: "Attention: All free agents with previous experience in AAA or Major Leagues contact Global Baseball League, 600 Walnut Street, Evansville, Indiana, 47708.

        Mize claims he was blackballed by MLB after his connection to the Global League.

        On May 26, 1969 news hit that the league can't pay their hotel bills. The six teams are in a Caracas hotels and owe $90,000. At that point 87 players make up the six teams. League rep Paul May tried to play off the issue as not a serious matter; however, the U.S. embassy in Caracas called Dilbeck in Evansville and stressed the seriousness of the matter.

        All games were actually played in Central America and Caracas. The league seems to have only played games for three weeks in May - 12 games. Men were stranded in Caracas without food and other necessities.

        Dilbeck claimed to have poured $2.8M into the league from 1966-69.

        Apparently the six clubs had been lodging at the hotels in Caracas since some time in April. Early in May the league admitted having financial trouble. They planned to leave Caracas for the U.S. but could not afford to do so. At this point the six teams supposedly "represent":
        New York
        Los Angeles
        Puerto Rico
        Dominican Republic

        In June 1969 the Baptist Foundation of America (an extremely seedy company) purchased the Global Baseball League (plus a lake in western Kentucky) for $3,860,000 in notes from the foundation. By now teams are "representing":
        Mexico City
        Puerto Rico
        New Jersey

        As the Sporting News said, "franchise names changed faster than a guy on the lam from the cops."

        Actaully, Dilbeck had secretly bailed out of the league before it began - selling to the Baptist Foundation in January 1969.

        As of July 1970, Dilbeck was unable to turn the Baptist Federation notes into cash. No one would take them - even at a discount - see the attached article about the Baptist Foundation.

        No games played in 1970.

        Quote from the book Baseball and American Culture by:

        ...players were trained in the Caribbean in 1969, the league suffered financial problems and went bankrupt. It was purchased by the Baptist Foundation, part of a complicated scheme to defraud investors. Dilbeck later pleaded guilty to tax violations.
        See interesting attached article TSNGlobal from the Sproting News after the league's failure.

        Rick Manders (former CLE farmhand) played outfield in the Global League. He claims he lost 20 lbs. from lack of food in Venezuela. He was only paid for 3.5 days worth of work, though he was in the league about two months.


        About Dilbeck:
        -known as a local huckster

        Dilbert and Spiro Agnew had some scandalous dealings together. Story about Dilbert and Spiro Agnew

        Ran for mayor of Evansville as a Democrat.

        Donated $140,000 to Ronald Reagan's Presidential campaign in 1968 and $200,000 to HHH's in 1972.

        Walter J. Dilbeck, 72, Real Estate Developer

        Published: June 1, 1991
        Walter J. Dilbeck Jr., a real estate developer and onetime business partner of Spiro T. Agnew who served a prison term for tax evasion, died Thursday at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. He was 72 years old.

        He was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday with heart and kidney ailments, a brother said.

        Mr. Dilbeck was one of the nation's most decorated soldiers of World War II, during which he received two Distinguished Service Crosses, four Bronze Stars and four Purple Hearts. He was cited for singlehandedly holding off more than 200 German SS soldiers, killing or wounding 60, in a battle near Buchof, Germany.

        He was later involved in an ill-fated attempt to form a new baseball league. And a real-estate partnership with Mr. Agnew, who had resigned as Vice President in 1973, ended bitterly, with each accusing the other of exploitation.

        In 1976, Mr. Dilbeck pleaded guilty to filing a false Federal income tax return for 1969. He served 60 days in prison.

        He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dorothy; 4 daughters, 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, his mother and 7 brothers and sisters.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Brian McKenna; 03-29-2008, 10:17 AM.


        • #5
          Oh my

          Thank you very much for the information. I was hoping for a few details, but you had more than I had even thought might still exist. Most impressive and appreciated.


          • #6
            You prompted me on the subject. I just finished an 8-page paper on it. Going to submit it to the SABR Biography Project.


            • #7
              I've wondered

              It is simple little interests of some that keep the information alive for all. It's good to hear that you sumbmited that as well. I have thought about that for a project I have been doing on franchise histories for my son and I, but I'm only about 3/4 of the way to where I want it to be.


              • #8
                PM me with your email and I'll send you a copy.


                • #9
                  Want to hear something funny? Walter Dilbeck is my great grandfather.


                  • #10
                    He was quite a character. I enjoyed researching him. There were some positives and some negatives in my article.


                    • #11
                      From SABR Biography Project:

                      The Global League

                      Major League Baseball’s revenue generating power exploded during the 1950s and 1960s due in large part to franchise relocations and expansion, though in truth it had to be dragged into the lucrative expansion era. William Shea drummed up support, at least on paper, for a third major league to be called the Continental League in response to the recent loss of two New York franchises to California fans. He enlisted a respected name, Branch Rickey, to gain the attention of the media, public, and especially the conservative major league magnates. In doing so, he achieved his goal, not the one involving a third league, but he gained a National League expansion franchise for New York. The majors also grew to include American League franchises in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Milwaukee and National League additions in Houston, San Diego, and Montreal by the end of the 1960s.

                      The expansion potential seemed limitless. Commissioner William Eckert's reign shifted the focus to include the international game as well. First, he hired Robert Maduro to represent the league in international affairs, specifically to help cultivate Latin American talent. Then he set about to ease disputes between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, and later he turned the focus to the global market, even considering the lofty goal of a global World Series. Perhaps more importantly, he backed expansion into Canada, a radical idea at the time. In August 1968 the plans reached fruition when Montreal was awarded a franchise.

                      One man, a real estate developer from Evansville, Indiana, sought to take the idea to its zenith. He wanted to form a third major league, one that included teams from all over the baseball world. They would travel from country to country playing ball and, it was hoped, raking in the profits. The idea is farfetched even today. Like any farfetched plan, it needed a salesman. This plan had the ultimate one, a huckster who could sell anything to anyone. The problem was getting a hold of him after the deal went south.

                      Walter J. Dilbeck Jr. began his life innocently enough in July 1919. He was the first child of modest parents who in all had eight children to feed and support. The family struggled, especially with a father who listed his profession in the 1930 U.S. Census as "plasterer, odd work."

                      The Dilbeck family lived in Fort Branch, Indiana, a home Walter Sr. had since his birth in 1896. Walter Jr. graduated from high school and found work on a dispatcher crew for the railway. Then, he carved his initial fame in this world in a big way.

                      He enlisted in the military on June 3, 1944, joining the Seventh U.S. Army, 253rd Infantry Regiment, F Company. April 6, 1945 found F Company just outside Buchhof, Germany. Advancing through the area, the company was attacked on both sides by over two hundred German SS troops. The Americans panicked, everyone scampering in retreat. The Germans started mowing down the fleeing soldiers. Private Dilbeck planted himself on a bare knoll and started firing as rapidly as possible, reloading time and again amid heavy return fire. Eventually, the enemy attack stalled. Dilbeck had wounded or killed over sixty SS soldiers. For his actions, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest decoration for gallantry in action.

                      Dilbeck milked this fame until his dying breath. For all the good he did in Germany, The Sporting News eloquently summed up his flashy nature and penchant for self-promotion stating, "He is not inclined to let you forget it." Back home, Dilbeck used all his guile and charm to build a fortune through real estate and other business interests in Indiana and Kentucky.

                      Dilbeck was loud and ostentatious. He wore flashy jewelry with huge nuggets on his rings. He rented out the entire floor of a hotel every Christmas for his family and friends and claimed to give a lucky fifteen of those a new Oldsmobile every year. He dropped names of politicians and show biz stars he claimed were close friends. He spent $120,000 once to take sixty friends to Buchhof to bask in his heroism and place a plaque near the site of his fame. His obituary posted his often repeated, and exaggerated, boasts that he was awarded two Distinguished Services Crosses, four Bronze Stars, and four Purple Hearts.

                      Underneath, Dilbeck was as sly as they came. He was under investigation more than once by real estate boards for varying infractions including practicing without a license. He was banned by one real estate board for refusing to return an investor's deposit. At another time potential investors followed up his pitches with a call to his supposed banking investors only to receive a very disconcerting "no reply."

                      Dilbeck latched onto politicians and celebrities, always trying to work some kind of angle. He once ran for mayor of Evansville and contributed heavily to Presidential campaigns, giving $140,000 to Ronald Reagan's drive in 1968 and $200,000 to Hubert H. Humphrey's in 1972. He got himself invited to Hollywood parties via a friendship with producer and studio executive John Beck. At a party at Frank Sinatra's house in Palm Springs, Dilbeck found a soul mate to help put into motion one of the plans he hatched, Vice President Spiro Agnew.

                      Agnew had just resigned the vice presidency amid criminal charges for extortion, bribery, and tax evasion. Dilbeck hired Agnew at the cost of $100,000 a year and up to 50% of potential profits. What Dilbeck wanted was an influential face to present developing deals to potential domestic and international clients. The pair, seemingly made for each other, made headlines when they lured Kuwaiti officials to Kentucky in a plan to build some sort of Disney-like water park. The Dilbeck/Agnew relationship ended in the only fashion it could, with each claiming the other swindled him. The relationship, though, did bring Dilbeck some national fame and, unfortunately, piqued the interest of the Internal Revenue Service.

                      The IRS determined that Dilbeck had made $2,800,000 from 1968-72. Amazingly, he had only claimed income in 1968 and '69 of $10,400 each year and nothing for the other three years, despite the contributions to the Reagan and Humphrey campaigns and other heavy expenditures. He eventually pled guilty to filing a false tax return for 1969 and served sixty days in jail in 1977 plus ten months of probation.

                      Dilbeck first became involved in baseball in 1965 when he helped Evansville land a club in the Southern League. He then purchased interests in the Rock Hill franchise of the Western Carolina League and Columbus of the Southern League. In October 1967 Dilbeck secured the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League for $65,000 and moved them to Louisville. The franchise was later seized by International League officials amid mounting debts and after Dilbeck failed to complete the sale to an Indianapolis businessman. In 1968 Dilbeck attracted little interest from Charlie O. Finley when he offered to buy the Kansas City A's in an effort to keep the club from moving to Oakland.

                      In the spring of 1966 Dilbeck toured Vietnam for two weeks as an observer and writer. He left the experience believing that Asians saw Americans as soft; thus, he believed this helped cause the spread of communism. He decided that he wanted to put a baseball league together that would foster mutual respect between nations. He claimed that to have conversations with Commissioner Eckert about the idea, but that just may have been his salesman's rhetoric.

                      On October 7, 1966, Dilbeck made his first public announcement stating his desire to form a third major league. Later that month, representatives from thirteen cities met in Evansville to form the Global League. Officials represented Manila, San Juan, Indianapolis, St. Paul, Portland, Long Island, San Diego, Phoenix, Akron, Chicago, Seattle, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee.

                      At the third meeting of the Global League on January 16, 1967, money was finally put up by two representing cities. Dilbeck wrote a check for $50,000 on behalf of Indianapolis, and Isadore Newman did the same for Jersey City. Vincente Corea, commerce attaché from the Philippines, also gave verbal assurances that Manila would back a team. However, the 1967 and '68 baseball seasons came and went without a word about the Global League. Then, Dilbeck announced that spring training was slated to begin in February 1969.

                      On the surface, he had a good plan. First, he put a recognizable face to the endeavor on October 22, 1968, when he landed politician and former baseball commissioner Happy Chandler, who had recently gathered headlines as a potential running mate of Presidential candidate George Wallace, at $4,000 a month to act as the league's commissioner. Six days later, Chandler hosted ceremonies displaying the first player to sign a Global League contract, 21-year-old Arnold Edward Davies.

                      In the early 1950s Chandler was president of the International Baseball Congress, a subsidiary of the National Baseball Congress, which held the lofty goals of bringing the American game to all corners of the world and creating a nonprofessional international championship tournament. After four years, he was able to organize the first such tournament in September 1955, which included teams from Canada, Hawaii, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States. In 1965 Chandler signed on as commissioner for the Continental Football League, an attempt to create a third major football league.

                      Dilbeck also hired George Yoshinaga, editor of the Japanese Los Angeles newspaper Kashu Mainichi, to travel to Japan in November 1968 to recruit a Japanese club or two; he was successful in securing a team. The club would be called the Tokyo Dragons after their manager Toru Mori, a former star of the Chunichi Dragons. Mori was a five-time, power-hitting All-Star first baseman and right fielder for three clubs in Nippon Professional Baseball from 1958-68. Mori, who had copped the home run and RBI crowns in 1959, had just retired. He brought twenty players and two trainers with him to spring training. For a Latin team, Dilbeck hired former major leaguer Chico Carrasquel to manage and put a club together. He showed up at spring training with 27 ballplayers from Central and South America.

                      To attract, recruit and manage American talent, Dilbeck hired former major leaguers Enos Slaughter, Johnny Mize, Stu Miller, and Gordon Jones. He was turned down by Eddie Stanky, Roy Campanella, Allie Reynolds, Bob Turley, and Yogi Berra. Dilbeck also inked longtime American League umpire Bill McKinley to amass and administer an umpire staff and to officiate games as well.

                      Tryout camps were advertised in The Sporting News and set for February in Long Beach, California, Bryan, Texas, Mobile, Baton Rouge, and Jacksonville; however, not all the camps took place. The Global League set the lofty goal of asking for "All free agents with previous experience in AAA or Major Leagues." The talent level of the Global League, though, would ultimately be well below that.

                      On the administrative end Dilbeck, the league president, hired several men with long resumes in the game. Eighty-one-year-old Jack Corbett was hired as executive vice president at a salary of $30,000 to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Global League. Corbett started playing professional baseball in 1904 in Indiana. In 1915 he became field manager for the Asheville Tourists of the Class-D North Carolina State League. Interestingly, his batboy that year was 15-year-old Thomas Wolfe, the future novelist. Wolfe would later base a character on Corbett.

                      Corbett also managed Columbia to the South Atlantic League pennant in 1917 before becoming president and later principal owner of Atlanta in the Southern Association in the early 1920s. During the '30s Corbett ran clubs in Jersey City and Syracuse, and eventually moved to California and joined the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. There, he designed and patented a set of bases. By 1939, the Jack Corbett Hollywood Base Set would be used by major league clubs. Today, they are the only bases used by all thirty clubs.

                      Corbett purchased the El Paso of the Arizona Texas League in 1948. Two years later, he was suspended by National Association president George Trautman for signing Mexican League players. Organized baseball had recently signed a 'no raiding' agreement with the Mexican League. Corbett filed a $300,000 lawsuit charging Organized Baseball with anti-trust violations. His case was one of three lumped together and brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1953. In 1959 Corbett was part of an unsuccessful bid to form a second major football league, the International Football League. Five years later, he filed another suit against major league executives for ousting him from the game in 1950 and essentially blackballing him. It proved unsuccessful as well.

                      Danny Menendez was hired as vice president to help open up markets. In the 1940s he scouted for the New York Yankees, signing Hank Bauer, a St. Louis pipe fitter, to a contract after the war. In the early 1950s Menendez purchased the Toledo Mud Hens. He was sued by Toledo fans after moving the team to Charleston, West Virginia, in midseason 1952 and keeping their prepaid ticket money. He later worked as general manager for the Memphis Chicks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Menendez also joined the effort to form the Continental League, representing the proposed Toronto organization. During the 1970s and '80s, he headed minor league operations for the Montreal Expos.

                      Hillman Lyons was hired to assist Chandler and Dilbeck. He had worked for various Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves' minor league clubs throughout the 1960s. Paul May, Dick King, former associate of Pacific Coast League president Bill McKechnie Jr., and Thomas Redmond, representative of Bankers Acceptance Corporation, also took active roles in the Global League.

                      Dilbeck tried to land a television deal for the Global League. For this, he used his relationship with John Beck. Beck was a Hollywood producer and had worked as a production executive for Howard Hughes at RKO Pictures. Dilbeck and Beck approached the Hughes Sports Network with the proposal in February 1969. They were turned down flatly; however, Dilbeck, always the schemer, leaked a story that he had secured a $6,000,000 deal with Hughes. The related story secured quite a bit of press for the upstart league. Beck, for his part, only helped with the effort to cozy up to Dilbeck. He wanted to make a movie about Dilbeck's life, especially the war experiences. Charles O'Neal, father of actor Ryan O'Neal, wrote a screenplay titled "The Private War of Walter Dilbeck."

                      The Global League made some more headlines when it tried to raid the major leagues of some top names. Jim Bunning, Roberto Clemente, Don Drysdale, Jim Fergosi, Joe Horlen, Jim Maloney, Juan Marichal, Bill Mazeroski, Brooks Robinson, and Ron Santo were each offered four-year deals for $150,000 a year plus 2.5% equity in their teams. Hank Aaron was offered $500,000 over two years.

                      The Global League further encroached into Major League Baseball's plans for Milwaukee. Milwaukee was starved for baseball after recently losing the Braves to Atlanta. They sought an expansion franchise, a drive led by future Brewers' owner and future MLB commissioner Bud Selig. Dilbeck opened negotiations to use Milwaukee County Municipal Stadium for some league games. Walter O'Malley stepped in and basically threatened that such an occurrence would strongly hinder the city's chance of landing a major league club. Needless to say, Milwaukee backed away from the idea.

                      Entering 1969, the Global League talked a good game. They claimed at various times to be representing cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Juan, Tokyo, Yokohama, Louisville, Jersey City, New Orleans, Caracas, Mobile, Honolulu, Manila, Houston, Kansas City, and Mexico City. They were also going to put on some football-like "colorful halftime shows." After the fifth inning, they planned to display some international customs and traditions, such as featuring the flare of Geisha girls. For the most part, these grandiose plans went unfulfilled.

                      Only four clubs were ultimately secured for the league. Toru Mori brought over a full Japanese club, at an initial cost of $27,000, and Chico Carrasquel, from Caracas, put together a team of Latin players. The Americans attracted about eighty guys, few of whom had any professional experience. The American clubs may have claimed affiliation to certain cities but again that was just rhetoric. As The Sporting News noted, "franchise names changed faster than a guy on the lam from the cops."

                      Spring training was first supposed to start in February and then March. Finally, 125 players met in Daytona Beach on April 2, 1969, to begin warming up. Mize, Slaughter, Stu Miller, Gordon Jones, Mori, and Carrasquel worked with the players. Moving fast, the Americans settled on about forty players to fill two rosters. In the first action, the "Jersey City" squad played Caracas that day. The league finally settled on a 138-game schedule.

                      The financial cracks were evident from the start. The cost of housing, feeding, and providing the men with $15 a week "walking around money" in Daytona Beach nearly broke the league and highlighted the precariousness of the endeavor. From the players' perspective, however, things were going well: accommodations at a local Holiday Inn were comfortable and food and equipment was up to par; however, as a sign of things to come, no paychecks were forthcoming. The biggest problems hit as soon as the men left Florida for the Caribbean.

                      Opening Day was set for April 24 in Puerto Rico. The league set a few firsts for professional baseball leagues. The Global League introduced the designated hitter and the designated pinch runner. If it had survived, the league planned to operate with unlimited substitutions like football. A player could be taken out of the game and return at any time. This would allow offensive and defensive platoons, whereby a "good glove, no hit" shortstop could man the position but a teammate would bat for him. A team could field its best nine on defense and bat its strongest hitters; in theory, this could potentially involve eighteen different ballplayers.

                      The players themselves were lacking in professional experience, few ever playing above the semi-pro level. Stu Miller summed up the talent level as, "terrible...Class A at best and some of it worse." Enos Slaughter was a little more kind. He claimed that one of the players was capable of playing at the major league level as a journeyman, but that the rest were "Class A or perhaps AA."

                      As soon as they landed in Puerto Rico, the teams ran into a disorganized mess. The lead men hadn't done their jobs. There was no advertising for the contests; as a result, attendance was scanty at best. The American squads played on opposites ends of the island, one competing against the Japanese club, the other taking on the Latin club. It was now obvious to some that Dilbeck talked a good game, but his inattention to detail was evident. Financial problems arose almost immediately. The hotels were not being paid. The players, making between $600 and $1,200 a month, were not seeing any cash as well. Neither were the coaches. Things looked bleak as virtually no one showed up for the games in Puerto Rico. Somehow, the hotel situation was cleared up, and the players, eighty-seven in all, took off for Caracas at the beginning of May.

                      Things seemed slightly better in Caracas. The first, and only, paychecks finally arrived. Moreover, the crowds were a little larger. It was all an illusion, though, because the bills were larger as well. The Global League played eleven games in Caracas and then folded. None of this information was getting back to the United States, as there was no press coverage.

                      The ex-major leaguers, the coaches, and most of the administrators took off for home despite being owed back salary. Smelling trouble, they had either left the league before Caracas or shortly after arriving. The Latin players were, for the most part, home so there was less of a burden there. The others, the bulk of the young American players and the Japanese, were stuck without any cash. They were stranded at the hotels. The hotels, by the way, were also not being paid. League representative Paul May was still in Caracas with the men. He was promising paychecks, so the men initially hung around with few complaints.

                      Eventually, the men felt trapped. No cash was forthcoming--and the league had previously gathered everyone's passport and was refusing to return them. On May 26, 1969, word finally reached the United States about the plight of the league and the young ballplayers. The UPI reported that Caracas hotels were owed $90,000 and were threatening to cut off food to the men. The story only broke because the players made a formal complaint to the police that they weren't eating.

                      The U.S. and Japanese embassies in Caracas were trying to mediate the matter. A U.S. embassy representative called Dilbeck in Evansville to stress the seriousness of the situation. That was the last anyone heard from Dilbeck on that matter or any other matter pertaining to the Global League for quite a while. The Sporting News tried several times to contact him, but the calls either went unreturned or the caller was flatly hung up on.

                      Most of the guys stuck in Caracas were teenagers with little to no money to make their way home. Jim Reemsnyder, age 19, was one such player. He went to Florida in spring training hoping to get a tryout with the Mets. Instead, he was recruited by Global League officials. He was the only American assigned to the Latin squad. Stuck in Caracas with the others, Reemsnyder appealed to the U.S. Embassy. The league had his passport and was refusing to give it back. The hotels would cut off the players' food but would later feel sorry for the men and start feeding them. Reemsnyder said this cycle continually played itself out. He wasn't sure where his next meal was coming from. At times he said the men scrapped together a little cash and purchased beans and bread to live off for a few days. He finally received some money from home and took off, still owed $1,200 in salary.

                      Rick Manders, a former five-year Cleveland Indians' farmhand, was one of the outfielders. He claimed to have lost twenty pounds while in Caracas. Ultimately, he was only paid for half a week. Manders was one of the better players in the league, one of the few with professional experience. He arrived back in the United States in mid-June and joined Tampa of the Florida States League.

                      The Americans finally found their way home. In mid-June they were flown to Columbus, Georgia, and then scattered. On July 4 the Japanese players tried to take off for Miami. They appealed to their embassy for some assistance. Embassy officials gave them $200, so they bought some food and took seven cabs to the airport. They even boarded the plane. As it was taxiing down the runway, the plane was stopped by police who forced the players to disembark. The owners of the El Conte Hotel had obtained a court order preventing their departure. The team had nowhere to turn but their embassy, which eventually floated them some cash and mediated the crisis.

                      Dilbeck finally stuck his head out of the cave in July and opened up about the Global League debacle. To listen to Dilbeck, the financing for the Global League was on the up and up. He claimed to have personally put $2,800,000 into the operation. That figure is highly suspect considering all the bills that went unpaid from the beginning of the endeavor. A few years later Dilbeck would refine his statements, putting his losses at closer to a half million dollars. He would say in 1973 that he had "just finished up paying the last bills." This was news to the executives, coaches, and players that took part in the Global League and never received their cash, not to mention the foreign hotels.

                      A shocking, yet in hindsight revealing, revelation came to light after the league failed indicating Dilbeck's relationship with a seedy corporation known as the Baptist Foundation of America. Dilbeck supposedly sold his rights in the league, sometime in 1968, and a lake in Kentucky to the Baptist Foundation for $3.8 million. A year later, Dilbeck was telling investigators that he had actually swapped his rights in the Global League for notes in the Baptist Foundation and that he couldn't find a buyer for the notes. The Baptist Foundation, having no actual affiliation with any religion, was at the time being investigated for numerous ethical violations. The whole Baptist Foundation and Dilbeck relationship was confusing to the point of being incomprehensible, which in all probability was its intent.

                      One amazing aspect of the affair is that many of those involved never seemed to blame Dilbeck personally. In fact, they had kind words for him, even after being stiffed. Clearly, he had a charismatic personality and was always able to spin situations to deflect personal blame or repercussions. The salesman could win anyone over.

                      Another interesting aspect of the experience is the effect on Johnny Mize's career. Mize claimed that he was essentially blackballed by Major League Baseball for his participation in the Global League. He ended up as a recreation director for St. Augustine Shores in Florida.

                      The league itself is notable for its early use of the designated hitter. It was also foresighted in recognizing the need to better cultivate baseball abroad. Future decades would see a major league franchise in Toronto, an explosion of foreign-born players in Organized Baseball, greater international cooperation, major league clubs playing abroad and even the World Baseball Classic, a tournament of international clubs representing sixteen nations in 2006.

                      Summing up the Global League is best left to the men who were there. Stu Miller says, "I was conned." He didn't stay long. Another official was later interviewed by The Sporting News to give background information on the league but asked not to be identified because he would be "embarrassed" if anyone knew he was a part of such an operation. Jack Corbett was a little more forthcoming. The 81-year-old says he is "a lot wiser and a lot poorer since I got hooked up with the Global League. [It] was the most mixed-up affair I've ever see. Believe me, it was an Alice in Wonderland deal."


                      Chicago Tribune

                      Christian Science Monitor

                      New York Times

                      The Sporting News

                      Washington Post


                      • #12
                        Seattle and Milwaukee?

                        The majors also grew to include American League franchises in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Milwaukee and National League additions in Houston, San Diego, and Montreal by the end of the 1960s.
                        Kansas City and Seattle joined the AL for the 1969 season. The Seattle club fielded a team in one season only, 1969, and moved to Milwaukee.

                        I suggest passing over 1969 and Seattle:
                        . . . Kansas City and Milwaukee . . . by 1970.

                        KC and Mil were not new major league cities, and both were in the majors throughout the Continental League episode.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by schnitzeltaco View Post
                          Want to hear something funny? Walter Dilbeck is my great grandfather.
                          Schnitzeltaco, could you please email me? My address is I've been working on my family tree, and I'm pretty sure that Walter Dilbeck is a cousin of mine through his mother.