The following article aims to inform and help you decide which independent team to vote for during the next two weeks of battle.
One of the most desired outcomes from this competition is to increase interest in independent baseball and to have more UK fans visiting an indy ballpark on their next US visit.
With that in mind Table 1 shows you:
- Nearest international airport
- Drive time to the ballpark from the airport
- Closest MLB team
Table 1: Which is my ‘local’ team?
|Team||International Airport||Drive Time to Ballpark||Closest MLB Team|
|Cleburne Railroaders||Dallas – Fort Worth||51 mins||Texas Rangers|
|Gary SouthShore RailCats||Chicago||48 mins||Chicago White Sox|
|Kansas City T-Bones||Kansas City||23 mins||Kansas City Royals|
|Lancaster Barnstormers||Philadelphia||86 mins||Phillies/Orioles|
|New Britain Bees||Boston/New York||124/129 mins||Red Sox/Yankees|
|Rockland Boulders||New York||61 mins||New York Yankees|
|San Rafael Pacifics||San Francisco||46 mins||San Francisco Giants|
|Schaumburg Boomers||Chicago||21 mins||Chicago Cubs|
|Somerset Patriots||New York||68 mins||Mets/Yankees|
|Sonoma Stompers||San Francisco||76 mins||Giants/Athletics|
|St. Paul Saints||Minneapolis – St. Paul||25 mins||Minnesota Twins|
|Sugar Land Skeeters||Houston||45 mins||Houston Astros|
|Texas AirHogs||Dallas – Fort Worth||18 mins||Texas Rangers|
|Washington Wild Things||Pittsburgh||38 mins||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Windy City ThunderBolts||Chicago||36 mins||Chicago White Sox|
|York Revolution||Baltimore/Washington||64 mins||Baltimore Orioles|
A map showing the location of the 16 teams in the competition can be found here.
Table 2 takes a closer look at the history and average attendances (from 2017) of the 16 teams along with the number of championships won within their current league. Social media presence, measured by followers on Twitter (correct as of April 14th), is also included to offer a snapshot of a team’s existing popularity online.
Table 2: Do I want to follow a more successful/popular team or support an underdog?
|Team||Founded||Champs||League||Attendance (av.)||Twitter Followers|
|Cleburne Railroaders||2017||0||American Association||1,780||1,232|
|Gary SouthShore RailCats||2001||1*||American Association||3,632||4,519|
|Kansas City T-Bones||2003||1||American Association||4,069||6,293|
|Lancaster Barnstormers||2003||2||Atlantic League||3,754||5,663|
|New Britain Bees||2015||0||Atlantic League||3,091||2,391|
|San Rafael Pacifics||2011||2**||Pacific Association||480||1,780|
|Somerset Patriots||1997||6||Atlantic League||5,185||9,131|
|Sonoma Stompers||2014||1||Pacific Association||257||3,019|
|St. Paul Saints||1993||0***||American Association||8,296||26,226|
|Sugar Land Skeeters||2010||1||Atlantic League||4,672||10,160|
|Texas AirHogs||2007||1||American Association||1,173||1,542|
|Washington Wild Things||1997||1||Frontier||1,884||5,129|
|Windy City ThunderBolts||1995||3||Frontier||1,672||2,303|
|York Revolution||2006||3||Atlantic League||3,155||6,140|
*2 in former Northern League
** 1 in former North American Baseball League
*** 4 in former Northern League
The seedings for the 16-team battle royale were announced on the recent Bat Flips & Nerds podcast. The positions are entirely subjective and mostly based on the tables of data above along with a good dose of ignorance. Give the pod a listen here:
The full bracket can be found using this link.
Round of 16:
|St. Paul Saints ||vs||San Rafael Pacifics |
|Somerset Patriots ||vs||Cleburne Railroaders |
|Schaumburg Boomers ||vs||New Britain Bees |
|Kansas City T-Bones [4||vs||Washington Wild Things |
|York Revolution ||vs||Windy City ThunderBolts |
|Lancaster Barnstormers ||vs||Rockland Boulders |
|Sonoma Stompers ||vs||Gary SouthShore RailCats |
|Texas AirHogs ||vs||Sugar Land Skeeters |
For those keen to learn more about independent baseball – read this introductory article!
Then why not simply choose your favourite logo from those below?