INDEPENDENT CROWDS TOTAL 7.5 MILLION FOR SECOND TIME
Independent Baseball Insider
(Vol. 4, No. 29, September 28, 2006)
By Bob Wirz
September 29, 2006 - 2:14 PM
by: CanAm Administrator
As we projected in this space a few weeks ago, regular season Independent Baseball games drew 7.5 million fans for the second year in a row. The final total was 7,554,512 breaking last seasons record of 7,525,211 by about 30,000. We salute everyone who played a role.
-Former Florence, Hall, Lynn, and Ramirez Impress
Baseball organizations always like to keep the pipeline full with talent at every level. This is one more area where Independent Baseball is contributing to major league teams. We don’t often look at the Class A level, but there were some terrific performances from Indy grads this summer.
Branden Florence, who played with the Atlantic League’s travel team, the Road Warriors, when he was only 23 in 2004, had his best season in ’06 when he drove in 86 runs while hitting .327 for Philadelphia’s Florida State League team at Clearwater. Kevin Lynn was an impressive 8-1 with a 2.03 earned run average and more than a strikeout per inning for Tampa Bay at Southwest Michigan in Battle Creek before being promoted in the final days to Triple-A Durham, NC. Lynn had five seasons of Independent Baseball with stops at Kalamazoo, MI (Frontier League), Brockton, MA three different times, Alexandria, LA and Fort Worth, TX, the latter in 2005.
The New York Yankees made two in-season acquisitions that look very promising at season’s end. They inked centerfielder Victor Hall, who had hit .365 and stolen 15 bases in 17 games for eventual Golden League champion Reno, NV, and the 26-year-old lefty hit .321 and stole another 35 bases for Tampa. Florida State League teammate Edwar Ramirez whiffed 47 in only 30.2 innings while compiling a 4-1 record and a 1.17 ERA. He was not scored on his last 18.1 innings. Ramirez, 25, had 16 saves, a 1-1 record and a 1.07 ERA along with 45 strikeouts in 25.1 innings before leaving Edinburg, TX of the United League at mid-year. The righthanded Ramirez had his first big strikeout season pitching for Pensacola, FL, now in the American Association, one year ago.
(This is an excerpt from the weekly column Bob Wirz writes on Independent Baseball. Fans may subscribe at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his new blog (www.IndyBaseballChatter.com ) or comment to RWirz@aol.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and is located in Stratford, CT.)