Golden Baseball League: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Golden Baseball League
GBL Safeway Logo.png
Golden Baseball League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 2004
No. of teams 10
Country(ies)  United States
Most recent champion(s) Calgary Vipers
Official website

The Golden Baseball League, based in San Ramon, California, is a professional independent baseball league with teams in the western United States, Canada and Mexico.

The GBL is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or the organized Minor League Baseball system, but has featured players with MLB experience (Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, Alex Arias, Bud Smith, Desi Wilson, Jose Lima, Hideki Irabu, Junior Spivey) as well as many young players that hope to one day reach the majors. It was formed in 2004 and began play on May 26, 2005. The GBL has a drug-testing policy that has the same standards as the Olympics, becoming the first baseball league to do so in North America.[1]

As an independent baseball league, the GBL exists to give professional baseball players who are not currently under contract with a Major or Minor League organization another chance at playing at the professional level. Officials in the baseball industry have stated the GBL level of play to be at the Double-A level.[2] Over 100 players have been sold to MLB organizations since it began play, with four players already making it to a major league uniform – Adam Pettyjohn, Scott Richmond, Chris Jakubauskas, and Sergio Romo. Except for the veteran-laden Atlantic League, the GBL consistently sells more player contracts to MLB teams than any other independent minor league.[citation needed]

The GBL's presenting partner is Safeway Inc. Other investors in the GBL previously included Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak,[3] former National Football League players Mike Sherrard and Christian Okoye, and executives from Cisco Systems, Taleo and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.[4]



Golden Baseball League Main Logo.png

The league was founded in 2004 by Stanford University graduates David Kaval and Amit Patel and became a reality when Cisco Systems Vice-President and experienced sports investor Kevin Outcalt joined the league to provide administrative and marketing skills and the initial capital to launch the league. Kaval is the president and chief executive officer (Patel departed after the 2008 season to run his family business conglomerate in Laurel, Mississippi). Curt Jacey is the league's vice-president of operations. Kevin Outcalt serves as the league's commissioner and chief marketing officer. Jim Peters is the chief operating officer, and Bill Weiss is the league's secretary and historian.[5]

Many former MLB coaches and players have coached or managed in the GBL, including Les Lancaster, Mike Marshall, Ozzie Virgil, Jr. Darrell Evans, Garry Templeton, Cory Snyder, Jeffrey Leonard, Gary Carter, Mike Busch, Steve Yeager, Phil Nevin, Charlie Hough, Mark Parent, Tim Johnson, Terry Kennedy and Warren Cromartie.[6]

The beginning

The league began with a single-entity model whereby the league owned all the clubs (except Tijuana and Japan which were partnerships). Since then, several of the clubs have been sold to private groups.

In its inaugural season, the league was composed of eight teams: the Chico Outlaws, Fullerton Flyers, Long Beach Armada and San Diego Surf Dawgs in California; Mesa Miners, Surprise Fightin' Falcons and Yuma Scorpions in Arizona and the Japan Samurai Bears. All teams played their home games in city- and university-owned stadiums, with the exception of the Samurai Bears, a traveling team of Japanese players that played all of its games on the road. The Japanese team was a late entry as the Tijuana Toros, who led all of minor league baseball in attendance at over 13,000 fans a game, had jumped from the Mexican League to the GBL in December to be a charter member of the league. In late January, government troops from Baja California seized the stadium with military force and returned it to a new ownership group in Tijuana to play back in the Mexican League.[citation needed]

Three of the GBL's teams, Long Beach, Chico and Yuma, operated in cities that once hosted Western Baseball League teams. The WBL operated from 1995 to 2002.

On May 9, 2005, Major League Baseball's all-time stolen base leader, Rickey Henderson, signed a contract to play the 2005 season with the Surf Dawgs.

The 2005 season ended with a four-team championship tournament on Labor Day Weekend. The tournament ended with San Diego winning two games on the final day, knocking off Mesa in the second game to win the title.

José Canseco, another retired star, signed with the Surf Dawgs in 2006 as part of his attempt to return to baseball and promote his book Juiced, along with its upcoming movie adaptation. Canseco was traded to the Armada after only one game. He said that the move was to be closer to his daughter.[7]

Season 2: Two teams shut down, one moves to Nevada

Before the 2006 season, Surprise folded, while Mesa moved to Reno, another former Western League city, and became the Reno Silver Sox, the first GBL club in Nevada. The league moved to a six-team format and did not have the traveling Samurai Bears return.

League expands to Utah and Canada

Prior to the 2007 season, the San Diego Surf Dawgs folded after San Diego State refused to honor the club's lease at Tony Gwynn Stadium, resulting in a lawsuit that ended with an out of court settlement paid by the university to the league.[citation needed] The GBL remained at six teams by adding the St. George RoadRunners. The Utah city also hosted a Western League club from 1999 to 2001, the Zion Pioneerzz, becoming the fifth former WBL city to join the league.

In 2008, two former Northern League clubs, the Calgary Vipers and Edmonton Cracker-Cats, joined the GBL, becoming the loop's first two Canadian teams.

The league expanded to nine teams in 2009 with the addition of the Victoria Seals, while the Reno Silver Sox moved to Tucson to become the Toros. The Cracker-Cats were sold to Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz and renamed the Edmonton Capitals for the 2009 season.

Tijuana joins league in 2009 and will play in 2010

On December 15, 2008, the league signed a letter of intent to place another expansion franchise in Tijuana, Mexico. After the addition of the expansion Tijuana Potros on January 13, the Armada were moved to the North Division. The Potros themselves would postpone the season due to the swine flu outbreak in Mexico.[8] This made all their scheduled games days off for the other nine teams and left their GBL future in serious doubt.

As planned, the Tijuana team did return for the 2010 season but came back with a new name and additional owners. The Tijuana Cimarrones were announced as a member of the GBL when the schedule was released on January 15, 2010. In addition, Mexican hitting legend Cornelio Garcia will manage the ballclub.[9]

Yuma becomes a Colombian affiliation in 2009

On May 20, 2009, the Yuma Sun reported that the team had signed an affiliation agreement with the Colombian Professional Baseball League (CPBL).[10] Under the terms of the affiliation, the CPBL will handle all on-field personnel and player issues while the team will retain control of promotions, concessions, and other front-office business. The Scorpions will act as a showcase team for players from all four CPBL teams.[11]

Yuma Scorpion Reynaldo Rodriguez, of Cartagena, Colombia, was named GBL 2009 Rookie of the Year, the top prospect in all the independent leagues by Baseball America, and had his contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.[12]

Maui Announced for 2010, Long Beach suspended

On September 30, 2009, the GBL announced that the sports and entertainment company XnE Inc. had purchased the territory rights to place teams in Hawaii and that their inaugural team would play at the War Memorial Complex in Maui in 2010. The team announced their name as Na Koa Ikaika Maui, which means the Strong Warriors of Maui.

The Long Beach Armada announced that they were suspending operations due to an ongoing stadium lease dispute with the city of Long Beach.

Drug Testing

The league is the only independent baseball association to have drug testing. The league CEO Dave Kaval explains:

"I feel that there is no place for illegal drugs in our business. We run a family-friendly operation off the field, and illegal drug usage by our players would undermine the trust we have established with our fans. That is exactly what has happened at the MLB level. As a steward of the great game of baseball, I am proud to say that we have the most stringent drug policy in all of professional baseball."[13]

Current franchises

Golden Baseball League
Division Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
North Calgary Vipers 2005 Calgary, Alberta Foothills Stadium 6,000
Chico Outlaws 2005 Chico, California Nettleton Stadium 4,200
Edmonton Capitals 2005 Edmonton, Alberta Telus Field 10,000
St. George RoadRunners 2007 St. George, Utah Bruce Hurst Field 2,500
Victoria Seals 2009 Victoria, British Columbia Royal Athletic Park 4,247
Division Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
South Na Koa Ikaika Maui 2009 Wailuku, Hawaii Maehara Stadium[14][15] 4,100
Orange County Flyers 2005 Fullerton, California Goodwin Field 3,500
Tijuana Cimarrones[16][17][18] 2009 Tijuana, Baja California Estadio de Beisbol Calimax 18,500
Tucson Toros 2009 Tucson, Arizona Hi Corbett Field 9,500
Yuma Scorpions 2005 Yuma, Arizona Desert Sun Stadium 10,500

Teams set to play as early as 2010

Defunct/Inactive Teams

Teams that never played

Possible Future Expansions

Season-by-season results

2005 Season

PL California Division W L GB PL Arizona Division W L GB
1 San Diego-x 52 38 -- 1 Mesa-x 51 39 --
2 Chico-y 49 41 3 2 Yuma 47 43 4
3 Long Beach-y 49 41 3 3 Surprise 45 45 6
4 Fullerton 34 56 18 4 Samurai Bears 33 57 18

x-Division Champion y-Wild Card (Division champions and top two wild card teams go to Championship.)

Playoffs and Championship (4 team double-elimination, final 2 teams face in one game playoff):
Game 1 SAN DIEGO 9 Chico 0
Game 2 MESA 8 Long Beach 0
Game 3 CHICO 7 Long Beach 5 (Long Beach eliminated)
Game 4 MESA 2 San Diego 0
Game 5 SAN DIEGO 2 Chico 1 (Chico eliminated)
Championship Game SAN DIEGO 9 Mesa 6 (San Diego wins championship)
MVP Cody Clark, San Diego
Year Most Valuable Player Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Manager of the Year Executive of the Year
2005 Desi Wilson, 1B/OF, Surprise Grant Gregg, LHP, Chico Nick Guerra, C/3B, San Diego Manny Ayala, RHP, Mesa Terry Kennedy, San Diego Bob Linscheid, Chico[32]

Gold Glove winners:[33] Pitcher: Adam Pettyjohn, Long Beach Catcher: Cody Clark, San Diego First base: Yuji Nerei, Samurai Bears Second base: Kenichi Miura, Samurai Bears Third base: Sean Walsh, Fullerton Shortstop: Jeremy Hernandez, Long Beach Outfielders Marcus Knight, Mesa; Billy Brown, Surprise; Travis McAndrews, Long Beach

2006 season

PL 1st Half Standings W L GB PL 2nd Half Standings W L GB
1 Reno-z 25 15 -- 1 Fullerton-x 26 14 --
2 Chico 22 18 3 2 Chico 24 16 2
3 Long Beach 22 18 3 3 Reno 22 18 4
4 Yuma 18 22 7 4 San Diego 19 21 7
5 Fullerton 17 23 8 5 Long Beach 15 25 11
6 San Diego 16 24 9 6 Yuma 14 26 12

z-First-half champion and best overall record, x-second-half champion (Champions of each half face in 5-game series for championship. If one team wins both halves, the team with next best overall record receives championship bid.)

Championship (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 RENO 11 Fullerton 4
Game 2 RENO 5 Fullerton 4
Game 3 FULLERTON 9 Reno 5
Game 4 RENO 5 Fullerton 3 (Reno wins championship)
MVP Doug Gredvig, Reno
Year Most Valuable Player Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Manager of the Year Executive of the Year
2006 Peanut Williams, 1B/DH, Fullerton Chris Jakubauskas, RHP, Fullerton Matt Maloney, OF, San Diego Phil Springman, RHP, Chico Les Lancaster, Reno Becca Hoffer, Chico

All-League Team: Catcher: Marcus Jensen, Reno First base: Desi Wilson, Chico Second base: Adam Mandel, San Diego Third base: Henry Calderon, Yuma Shortstop: Bret LeVier, Fullerton Utility: Craig Kuzmic, Chico Outfielders: Seth Pietsch, San Diego; Jason Van Meetren, Chico; Jeff LaRue, Long Beach; Scott Goodman, San Diego Designated hitter: Peanut Williams, Fullerton Starting Pitchers: Chris Jakubauskas, Fullerton; Andre Simpson, Long Beach; Ben Thurmond, Reno; Phil Springman, Chico; Brian Kroll, Chico; Nate Sevier, Reno Relief Pitchers: Josh Rummonds, San Diego; Scott Schneider, Reno; E.J. Shanks, San Diego; Mike Peck, Long Beach; Wes Faust, Fullerton

Gold Glove Winners:[34] Pitcher: James Johnson, Reno Catcher: Marcus Jensen, Reno First base: Desi Wilson, Chico Second base: Rob Gandolfo, Chico Third base: Henry Calderon, Yuma Shortstop: Hector Tena, Yuma Outfielders Chris Klemm, Long Beach; Lino Garcia, Chico; Ryan Webb, Long Beach

2007 season

PL 1st Half Standings W L GB PL 2nd Half Standings W L GB
1 Chico-x 25 13 -- 1 Long Beach-z 25 13 --
2 Long Beach 23 15 2 2 Yuma 21 17 4
3 Yuma 21 17 4 3 Chico 19 19 6
4 Orange County 19 19 6 4 Orange County 18 20 7
5 Reno 18 20 7 5 St. George 16 22 9
6 St. George 7 31 18 6 Reno 15 23 10

x-1st half champion, z-2nd half champion and best overall record

Championship (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 CHICO 10 Long Beach 4
Game 2 CHICO 12 Long Beach 8
Game 3 LONG BEACH 7 Chico 5
Game 4 CHICO 6 Long Beach 1 (Chico wins championship)
MVP Scott Dragicevich, Chico
Year Most Valuable Player Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Executive of the Year
2007 Daniel Nava, OF, Chico Todd Gelatka, RHP, Chico Kane Simmons, OF, Reno Dustin Gober, RHP, Long Beach Curt Jacey, Reno

All-League Team: Catcher: Buddy Morales, Orange County First base: Jaime Martinez, Long Beach Second base: David Bacani, Orange County Third base: Henry Calderon, Yuma Shortstop: Jesse Kovacs, Chico Utility: Ryan Stevenson, St. George Outfielders: Daniel Nava, Chico; Kane Simmons, Reno; Johnny Kaplan, Long Beach Yosvanny Almario, Yuma Designated hitter: Peanut Williams, Orange County Starting Pitchers: Ben Fox, Orange County; Derek Loop, Chico; Ryan Claypool, Long Beach; Roger Luque, Yuma; Dusty Bergman, Reno Relief Pitchers: Todd Gelatka, Chico; Dane De La Rosa, Long Beach; Anthony Pluta, St. George; Neil Hayes, Yuma

2008 season

Overall Standings:[35]
PL North Division Standings W L Winning % GB PL South Division Standings W L Winning % GB
1 Edmonton-y 51 37 .580 -- 1 Orange County-x 51 35 .593 --
2 Calgary-x 45 42 .517 5 1/2 2 Yuma 48 40 .545 4
3 Chico 34 52 .395 16 3 Long Beach-y 47 40 .540 4 1/2
4 Reno 30 58 .341 21 4 St. George 43 45 .489 9

x-1st half division champion, y-2nd half division champion

2008 All-Star Game:
Northern Division Playoff (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 CALGARY 8, Edmonton 4
Game 2 CALGARY 8, Edmonton 2
Game 3 Edmonton 1, CALGARY 8 (Calgary wins series 3-0)
Southern Division Playoff (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 ORANGE COUNTY 4, Long Beach 2
Game 2 Orange County 4, LONG BEACH 5
Game 3 LONG BEACH 13, Orange County 4
Game 4 Long Beach 3, ORANGE COUNTY 4
Game 5 Long Beach 2, ORANGE COUNTY 12 (Orange County wins series 3-2)
Championship (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 Orange County 5, CALGARY 6
Game 2 ORANGE COUNTY 13, Calgary 1
Game 3 Calgary 9, ORANGE COUNTY 14
Game 4 CALGARY 9, Orange County 1
Game 5 Calgary 9, ORANGE COUNTY 10 (Flyers win Championship)
Series MVP Josh Arhart, Orange County
Year Safeway Most Valuable Player Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Manager of the Year Executive of the Year
2008 Patrick Breen (Orange County) Trevor Caughey (Chico) Colin Moro (Calgary) Ben Shockey (Chico) Gary Carter (Orange County) TBA

All-League Team: Catcher: TBA First base: TBA Second base: TBA Third base: TBA Shortstop: TBA Utility: TBA Outfielders: TBA Designated hitter: TBA Starting Pitchers: TBA Relief Pitchers: TBA

2009 season

Overall Standings:[36]
PL North Division Standings W L Winning % GB PL South Division Standings W L Winning % GB
1 Calgary-x, y 49 27 .645 -- 1 St. George-x 48 34 .585 --
2 Edmonton-z 44 38 .537 8 2 Long Beach 40 36 .526 5
3 Chico 33 44 .429 16 1/2 3 Tucson-y 38 35 .521 5 1/2
4 Victoria 32 50 .390 20 4 Orange County 37 39 .487 8
5 5 Yuma 29 47 .382 16

x-1st half division champion, y-2nd half division champion, z-wild card

Northern Division Playoff (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 CALGARY 15, Edmonton 4
Game 2 CALGARY 7, Edmonton 3
Game 3 EDMONTON 13, Calgary 6
Game 4 Edmonton 7, CALGARY 8 (Calgary wins series 3-1)
Southern Division Playoff (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 TUCSON 9, St. George 4
Game 2 ST. GEORGE 6, Tucson 3
Game 3 ST. GEORGE 1, Tucson 0
Game 4 St. George 1, TUCSON 5
Game 5 St. George 4, TUCSON 5 (Tucson wins series 3-2)
Championship (best of 5 game series):
Game 1 CALGARY 9, Tucson 8
Game 2 CALGARY 11, Tucson 4
Game 3 TUCSON 12, Calgary 1
Game 4 Tucson 10, CALGARY 18 (Calgary wins championship)
Series MVP Sergio Pedroza (Calgary)
Year Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Manager of the Year Executive of the Year
2009 Nelson Castro (Calgary) Matt Durbin (Orange County) Reynaldo Rodriquez (Yuma) Mikael Ryder (Chico) Morgan Burkhart (Calgary) Darren Parker (Victoria)
Attendance (paid):[37]
Team Total Average
Tucson 139,149 3,661
Victoria 93,691 2,342
Chico 89,276 2,177
Edmonton 84,813 2,174
Calgary 54,910 1,525
Long Beach 54,931 1,408
Yuma 41,578 1,259
St. George 44,417 1,168
Orange County 28,344 944

All-Star Games

2006 GBL All-Star Game

The GBL played their very first All-Star Game on July 18, 2006 at Chico's Nettleton Stadium pitting the North All-Stars against the South All-Stars.[38]

2008 United League vs. Golden League All-Star Game

The GBL reached a two-year agreement with the United League to face off in All-Star Games. The 2008 game was hosted by the ULB's San Angelo Colts, while the 2009 game was to be hosted by the Orange County Flyers.[39]

With the bankruptcy of the United League in the off-season after 2008 and the ensuing new ownership of the ULB not honoring the agreement to send a team to play the GBL in the 2009 All-Star game[citation needed], the second half of this agreement was canceled.

2009 GBL All-Star Game

The GBL held its own All-Star Game, North vs. South, in St. George, Utah - home of the RoadRunners on Tuesday, July 14. In front of a packed house the fans saw an exciting contest and also saw pitchers Donnie Brandt and Isaac Hess purchased by major league organizations during the game by Milwaukee and Boston respectively.

2010 and 2011 GBL All-Star Games

On December 9, 2009 the GBL and the Northern League announced a two year agreement that would pit the all-stars of the two leagues against each other in the mid-summer classic. The 2010 game will be in Tucson on July 14 while the leagues will face off in Zion, Illinois at the newest ballpark (currently under construction) in the Northern League.[40]

GBL Instructional/Developmental Leagues

Arizona Winter League

On November 15, 2006, the Golden Baseball League announced the Arizona Winter League, which would be a short-season instructional league for its summer league. The league began play on January 19, 2007. The Arizona Winter League has just completed its third season. In the first three years, over 130 Arizona Winter League players have been signed to professional contracts. Two of those players, Scott Richmond and Sergio Romo, are now pitching in the major leagues. The 2009 Arizona Winter League began play on January 31, 2009 and has expanded to 8 teams and almost 200 players.

Arizona Summer League

On April 3, 2009, the Golden Baseball League announced its second instructional league known as the Arizona Summer League, which is patterned after the AWL. This league consists of three teams, the Canada Miners, El Centro Imperials and San Luis Atleticos and began play in late June 2009.

The ASL had 12 players signed to pro contracts during the 2009 season.


The Yuma Scorpions became the first franchise in the league to broadcast select games on Adelphia Cable, which were produced by Arizona Western College Television Services.[41] The Edmonton Cracker-Cats televised selected games by reaching an agreement with Shaw TV.[42] The Golden Baseball League announced they had reached a deal with iBN Sports to broadcast 40 games on the internet showing various teams.[43]

The Chico Outlaws agreed to a deal with Comcast SportsNet to carry selected games in 2009.[citation needed]

Notes and references

  1. ^ The Golden Baseball League, Independent baseball back in California
  2. ^ Tucson Toros join Independent Professional Baseball League (Tucson Toros website, AUgust 29, 2008)
  3. ^ Pat Sajak's GBL page at
  4. ^ Golden Baseball League Ownership Group
  5. ^ GBL 2008 Media Guide
  6. ^ Questions and Answers, GBL website
  7. ^ Canseco seeks trade from Surf Dawgs
  8. ^ Tijuana on Hold for '09, GBL website, May 8, 2009
  9. ^ 2010 GBL Schedule
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ SABR Nine: Golden Baseball League CEO and Founder Dave Kaval
  14. ^ Golden Baseball League plans to have Maui team in 2010, Robert Collias, The Maui News, September 30, 2009
  15. ^ Golden Baseball League Expands to Hawaii, GBL website, September 30, 2009
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b Golden Baseball League adds Maui, Tijuana teams for '10; drops Long Beach, Ballpark Digest, January 15, 2010
  19. ^ Golden Baseball League Reaches Agreement To Place Team In Palm Springs, Our Sports Central, December 14, 2009
  20. ^ GBL Press Release, Tijuana Potros Officially A Member in the Golden Baseball League for 2009
  21. ^ Expansion Team Dreams of Field, Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2006
  22. ^ SUPPORT SANTA CLARITA, GBL website, April 4, 2006
  23. ^ Moody, Darrell. "Bring Silver Sox to Carson City" The Nevada-Appeal. June 21, 2008.
  24. ^ Moody, Darrell. Silver Sox deal getting a little bit closer? The Nevada-Appeal. September 13, 2008
  25. ^ Gabel, Chris. Silver Sox could be headed down the highway Reno Gazette-Journal, September 16, 2008
  26. ^ a b Moody, Darrell. GBL wants to keep Silver Sox in area; local investors sought for team The Nevada Appeal, September 16, 2008
  27. ^ Golden Baseball League coming to Kamloops
  28. ^ GBL Executives still hoping for local team, Gregg Drinnan, Kamloops Daily News, August 14, 2009
  29. ^ Edmonton Cracker-Cats join Golden Baseball League
  30. ^ Golden Baseball League teams go up against Chinese Olympic baseball team
  31. ^ Mitchell, Kevin. Sunshine boys eye Saskatoon Saskatoon Star Phoenix, October 27, 2007
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ San Jose Mercury News: 2008 Golden Baseball League standings
  36. ^ 2009 Golden Baseball League standings at
  37. ^ Attendance at
  38. ^ GBL All-Star Game, GBL website, April 17, 2006
  39. ^ [1]
  40. ^ [2]
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address