I have agreed to terms with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League, an independent league located in the Great Lakes and upper Midwestern region of the United States. Washington is located in western Pennsylvania, and opens the season May 21. Spring training (for once, a spring training that is held entirely during spring) for the Wild Things starts May 6, with five exhibition games scheduled during the two week period leading up to the season.
As an independent team, Washington has no affiliation with a Major League Baseball organization, and they do not receive any funding from Major League Baseball. The Frontier League is a part of the Independent Professional Baseball Federation, a loose affiliation among six independent leagues that observe players’ contracts with their specific teams and allow for the trading and selling of players across leagues.
While Pennsylvania is hardly the last frontier, this provides me the opportunity to play during the 2010 season. Many Major League players have played for independent teams at some point during their careers, whether it was their first professional experience, somewhere in the middle of their career, or the culmination of their playing days. Playing for an independent team is not a dead-end street during the Major League quest, and often gives players a rebirth that helps them get noticed by teams that wrote them off earlier in their careers.
With the next stop on this baseball adventure being Washington, Pennsylvania, it is a good thing I have already put myself halfway between Phoenix and Washington. A recent trek has brought me to Texas, where I am currently working on my swing with swing coach, Jaime Cevallos (his knowledge and products are described on his web site here).
Another season is nearing and it is another new state of residence. One of my good friends called my girlfriend and I, “modern gypsies;” it is tough arguing that when you have called six states home in the last four years. Coal country, here we come.