Todd Frohwirth was a high school senior with no future in professional baseball until he saw Kent Tekulve on television and tried pitching like the unorthodox right-hander. Eight years later, he was Tekulve’s teammate in the major leagues. Exclusively a reliever, Frohwirth spent parts of nine seasons (1987-1994, 1996) with the Phillies, Orioles, Red Sox, and Angels. After adjusting his low sidearm delivery to an extreme submarine style with Baltimore, he led the American League in relief innings pitched over a three-year span from 1991 to 1993.
Todd Gerard Frohwirth was born on September 28, 1962, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the youngest of Russell and Patricia (Burke) Frohwirth’s six children – following Mark, Gary, Jay, Amy, and Scott. According to a 1956 city directory, Russell taught at the Bay School of Music. Prior to serving two years in the Army during the Korean War, Todd’s father was a guard for the 1950-51 Milwaukee Allen-Bradleys of the National Industrial Basketball League.1
“I started playing baseball with my four brothers when I was seven years old, and I always threw sidearm. It was natural for me,” Todd explained.2 “I used to be told to throw overhand. But I’d end up throwing it over people’s heads. The ball would sail. So I found out it was better to stay down.”3
Outside of backyard Wiffle Ball competition and the Northwest Little League, Frohwirth rarely pitched. “I used to think I was Manny Trillo when I played second base,” he recalled.4 While the sidearm-throwing Trillo lasted 17 big-league seasons – earning three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers – Frohwirth struggled to hit much more than .200 for the Messmer High School varsity.5 “Playing in the major leagues was never my dream growing up,” he said.6
Television broadcasts of the 1979 World Series proved to be the turning point. The Pirates edged the Orioles, four games to three, with Tekulve making five relief appearances and saving three of Pittsburgh’s victories. “One of my brothers saw Kent Tekulve… and said, ‘You throw like him,’” Frohwirth said.7 “Tekulve’s arm angle was between submarine style and sidearm.”8 Urged on by his siblings, Frohwirth said, “Next day I tried it, and they couldn’t hit it.”9 He added, “I only did it fooling around. I wasn’t thinking I would ever be good.”10
Initially, Frohwirth’s pitches had little velocity or sinking action and he remained an undistinguished second baseman for his final season at Messmer. He received no college baseball scholarship offers and wasn’t drafted by any professional team following his June 1980 graduation. That fall, he enrolled at Waukesha (Wisconsin) Technical Institute – a junior college – where basketball was to be his primary sport.11 The 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander also enjoyed his first pitching success, though, and continued honing his mound skills with Newport of Wisconsin’s amateur summer Langsdorf League.12
After two years at Waukesha Tech, Frohwirth matriculated at Northwest Missouri State University to major in physical education.13 He was a relief pitcher for the Bearcats’ 1983 Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association squad.14 Royals Stadium was a 90-minute drive south of the school’s Maryville campus, so baseball coach Jim Johnson occasionally took his players to see the major leaguers – including Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City’s perennial American League saves leader who flummoxed hitters with an extreme, submarine-style delivery. “[Johnson] wanted me to throw more like Quisenberry,” Frohwirth recalled. “The coach thought that would be a good way for me to pitch.”15
Good advice regarding the unorthodox style was hard to find. “There was nobody at all for me when I was in college,” Frohwirth said. “Anything the regular pitching coach told me, I just had to try that. I think that was why I had a lot of control problems.”16 Nevertheless, he impressed scouts while hurling for the Waukesha Nationals in the summer Land of Lakes League, and as a senior starter at NWMSU.17 The Philadelphia Phillies selected Frohwirth in the 13th round of the June 1984 amateur draft, and he was signed by scout Don Williams.18
Frohwirth debuted with the Bend (Oregon) Phillies of the short-season, Class A Northwest League in 1984. In 49 2/3 innings, he posted a 1.63 ERA, struck out 60 batters and allowed only 26 hits. His 11 saves tied for most in the circuit. In 1985, he advanced to the Peninsula (Hampton, Virginia) Pilots and led the Single-A Carolina League in saves (18) and appearances (54). In addition to returning Frohwirth to fulltime bullpen status, the Philadelphia organization insisted that he raise his release point a foot and a half or two.19 “They thought I looked more like Quisenberry, but they wanted me to look more like Tekulve,” he explained. “The Phillies didn’t want me throwing underhand. They thought I was doing well.”20
In spring training 1986, Frohwirth received tips regarding the footwork on his delivery from Tekulve himself, for whom the Phillies had traded the previous year.21 That season, Frohwirth cut his walk rate in half and led two different Philadelphia affiliates in saves. With 10 saves in 32 appearances, he tied for Clearwater’s top spot in the Single-A Florida State League, even after advancing to the Reading (Pennsylvania) Phillies of the Double-A Eastern League at midseason. There he notched a team-high 12 saves in 29 outings. Frohwirth also credited pitching instructor Eddie Watt for his steady climb up the organizational ladder.22
On September 20, 1986, Frohwirth married Jacqueline Vincent. They remained partners for the rest of his life and had two children: son Tyler and daughter Samantha.
Frohwirth returned to Reading to begin 1987 and held opposing hitters to a circuit-best .183 batting average.23 In just 36 appearances, he saved an EL-leading 19 games before he was promoted to the Maine Guides of the Triple-A International League at the beginning of July.24 Six weeks later, the Phillies surprised Frohwirth by releasing veteran Tom Hume and calling him up. “The rap against submarine style pitchers… is that they’re supposed to have problems getting out lefthanded hitters who get an extra-long look at the ball,” noted the next day’s Philadelphia Daily News. Frohwirth acknowledged, “In Reading, I pretty much got all the lefthanders out. When I got to Maine, the last two games that I lost, it was lefthanders that beat me. But I’m trying some new things.”25
On August 10, 1987, Frohwirth debuted against the Cubs at Veterans Stadium. Philadelphia led, 4-2, with two on and one out in the top of the fifth when Phillies starter Kevin Gross was ejected (and later suspended) because umpires discovered a piece of sandpaper glued in the heel of his glove.26 Frohwirth warmed up quickly, whiffed that season’s eventual MVP – Andre Dawson – and retired Jerry Mumphrey on an inning-ending grounder. He hurled a scoreless sixth inning before yielding to Tekulve following a leadoff single in the seventh. Frohwirth was named the winning pitcher after closer Steve Bedrosian nailed down the final three outs.
“I’ve pretty much tried to copy how Teke (Tekulve) throws, because I wasn’t good enough with any other way… This will be really good for me. When I have trouble, the guy I’m trying to copy is right here to help me out.” Frohwirth said afterwards.27 Years later, Frohwirth reflected, “Tekulve showed me how to get my fingers on top of the baseball on my breaking ball. He taught me to point my fingers into the ground on my release. But it took me three years to learn how to do those things.”28
After four appearances, Frohwirth returned to Maine and finished with a 1-4 record and a 2.51 ERA in 27 Triple-A outings before he rejoined the Phillies in September. He received the Paul Owens Award as the organization’s top pitching prospect.29 In his 10 major-league outings in 1987, Frohwirth didn’t allow any runs in 11 innings. That winter, he gained more experience in the Puerto Rican League by going 5-1 with five saves and a 0.59 ERA in 25 appearances for the Lobos de Arecibo.30
Frohwirth made Philadelphia’s Opening Day roster in 1988 and pitched in the season-opening loss at Veterans Stadium. After posting an 8.44 ERA in six outings, however, he was demoted to Maine, where he led the Triple-A club with 49 appearances and 13 saves. On June 13, Frohwirth rejoined the Phillies for a few weeks when the 41-year-old Tekulve went on the disabled list for the first time in his career. However, he saw action in only 12 big-league contests in ’88, going 1-2 with an 8.25 ERA.31
In 1989, Frohwirth opened the season with Philadelphia’s new IL affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) Red Barons. When the Phillies called him up in mid-April, he didn’t allow a run until his sixth outing, but his ERA had soared to 6.55 in 11 appearances by the time he was returned to Triple-A on May 18. One month later, Frohwirth was summoned to Philadelphia for 72 hours, but didn’t pitch before he was demoted again. Finally, on June 29, he returned to the majors for the rest of the season. For a Phillies team that finished last in the NL East with a 67-95-1 record, he was 1-0 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 appearances.
Twice in September, Frohwirth and Quisenberry – with the Cardinals in his final full season – appeared in the same game. During batting practice before a contest in St. Louis, they met for the first time. “We made eye contact. It was clear he wanted to visit. And I wanted to visit with him,” Frohwirth recalled. In Triple-A, Frohwirth had felt a similar, fraternal urge when he spotted submarining Mets prospect Jeff Innis. “It’s like we were friends before we ever met,” he explained.32
Frohwirth cracked Philadelphia’s Opening Day roster again in 1990 but he recorded only three outs and walked six in five outings. Following a demotion to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he led the IL with 21 saves and all Triple-A pitchers with 67 appearances. He wasn’t recalled in September, however, and was granted free agency in October. On December 12, Frohwirth signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
Over seven seasons in the Phillies’ organization, Frohwirth had tried a variety of release points from sidearm to underhand. “I was up and down and all around,” he said. “Every pitching coach told me something different.”33 Over 72 big-league appearances, while he’d limited righty hitters to a .206 batting average, lefthanders had pounded him at a .351 clip. Baltimore’s Triple-A pitching coach, Dick Bosman, had noticed Frohwirth’s difficulties with lefties and proposed a solution: become a fulltime submariner.34 “It was just a matter of appealing to his common sense,” Bosman explained. “That was the way he was going to be the most successful.”35
Determined to fix himself, Frohwirth went back to the IL to begin the 1991 season with the Rochester Red Wings. Although his 1-3 record and 3.65 ERA in 20 appearances were nothing special, he earned eight saves and chose the word “lucky” to describe his time there with Bosman. “He was the first coach I ever worked with who knew exactly what I was talking about, what I was feeling,” Frohwirth said.36 “Throwing sidearm, when the ball would tail away from lefthanders it would be going toward the barrel of the bat. Throwing underhanded, it goes straight down, and that’s a tough pitch for any hitter.”37
The Orioles called Frohwirth up to the majors on May 28. He debuted that night by hurling a perfect eighth inning in a Baltimore win. In his first 10 days with the team, he made seven appearances, working 8 1/3 scoreless innings without allowing a hit. Of the 26 batters he faced, the only one to reach base safely did so on a passed ball after striking out. On July 15, Frohwirth notched his first major-league save in a 2-1 Orioles victory at Anaheim Stadium – whiffing Dave Winfield and Lance Parrish before retiring Gary Gaetti on a grounder to shortstop.
Setting up Orioles closer Gregg Olson became Frohwirth’s primary role, but he also worked a career high six innings on July 27 after starter Jeff Ballard was knocked out in the opening frame. Three times, Frohwirth worked in both ends of doubleheaders. By season’s end, he was 7-3 with three saves and a 1.87 ERA. In 96 1/3 innings over 51 appearances, he allowed only 64 hits and 29 walks for an outstanding 0.965 WHIP.38 “I saw him with the Phillies when I was with the Cubs, but he didn’t throw like he is now. He consistently throws strikes with velocity and movement, and camouflages the ball,” observed Orioles manager Johnny Oates. “He has been nothing short of exceptional… I don’t think anyone could have looked you in the eye last spring and say he was going to pitch this well.”39
Frohwirth said, “I find myself with a little better velocity from submarine style for some reason. From what my catchers tell me, the way my arm comes through, or something makes me be able to throw the ball three miles an-hour faster. It also makes my breaking pitch rise, kind of like a rising curve ball.”40 Despite Baltimore’s sixth-place finish, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. earned American League MVP honors with a career year. Frohwirth finished second to the “Iron Man” in Most Valuable Oriole balloting.41
Baltimore surprised many by contending for the American League East division title in 1992. Between June 20 and July 12, Frohwirth didn’t allow an earned run over 24 consecutive innings. On August 19, he was ejected for the only time in his big-league career. After Frohwirth inherited a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the top of the fourth against the Mariners at Camden Yards, he believed his 1-and-2 pitch to Edgar Martínez should have been called strike three. Umpire Larry Barnett disagreed, however. After Martínez clobbered the next offering into the left-field seats, Frohwirth threw the new ball, his cap, and his glove towards home plate.42 It was the only grand slam he allowed in the majors.
Frohwirth rebounded to pitch scoreless ball in his next 10 outings, including the save in a one-run victory on September 4 in Anaheim that brought the Orioles within a half-game of the first-place Blue Jays. Baltimore finished third, seven games behind with an 89-73 record, and Frohwirth completed his first full season in the big leagues with a 4-3 record (2.46 ERA) and four saves in an AL-leading 106 relief innings.43 In 14 of his 65 appearances, he worked at least three frames. After blanking the Twins for five innings on the Fourth of July, for example, he allowed no hits to the White Sox over 4 2/3 frames two nights later. “I never get sore in my shoulder,” Frohwirth said. “I can pitch every day.”44
Prior to spring training 1993, Frohwirth and the Orioles avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $900,000 contract plus incentive clauses – more than tripling his ’92 salary of $265,000.45 He saw action in a career-high 70 contests as Baltimore again contended into September before finishing third behind Toronto. Frohwirth’s ERA ticked up to 3.83, however, with worsening rates of hits, walks, and homers allowed for the second straight year. He also had fewer strikeouts. Although he’d held lefthanded hitters to a .245 batting average since joining the Orioles, that figure was also trending the wrong way: from .223 to .246 to .267. Bosman, by then Baltimore’s pitching coach, observed “The closer you approach underhand, the less strain there is on your arm. Unfortunately, there isn’t as great a repertoire of pitches to throw.”46
That offseason, the Orioles offered Frohwirth $720,000 to return – reflecting the maximum 20-percent pay cut that was permitted. Adam Katz, the pitcher’s agent, termed it “something of a no offer.”47 Then, on December 14, Baltimore inked side-arming reliever Mark Eichhorn for even less money.48 One week later, they announced that Frohwirth would not be offered arbitration, making him a free agent and seemingly ending his Orioles career. “They felt I wasn’t pulling my weight for my salary,” he said. “I’ve had three great years there, but it’s a business decision.”49
In January 1994, however, Frohwirth signed a minor-league deal to return to the Orioles organization. In spring training, it appeared that two of baseball’s handful of side-armers or submariners would team up Baltimore’s bullpen. “There is a kinship, there definitely is,” Eichhorn acknowledged. Frohwirth said, “We just respect each other for not having a lot of ability and finding a way to pitch in the major leagues.”50 When Baltimore tried to send Frohwirth to Triple-A after he struggled in Grapefruit League play, though, he refused. He was granted his release two weeks before Opening Day.51
Frohwirth signed with the Boston Red Sox and began 1994 with their Triple-A IL affiliate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. On May 4, he returned to the majors by notching a five-out save against the Mariners at Fenway Park in which he struck out Ken Griffey Jr. – one of the AL’s toughest lefthanded hitters. It proved to be a rare season highlight, however. After Frohwirth posted a double-digit ERA in 17 appearances, he returned to Pawtucket in mid-June. The Red Sox brought him back in August, but he was 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA in 22 appearances for Boston when a players’ strike ended the season prematurely shortly thereafter.
In 1995, Frohwirth went to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates but didn’t make the roster of the team that finished with the National League’s worst record. “That was hard to do,” he remarked. “The Pirates only had about two good players.”52 He caught on with the Cleveland organization and posted a 3.34 ERA in 26 outings for their (Triple-A American Association) Buffalo Bisons affiliate. He wasn’t needed in the majors, though, as the Indians went 100-44 to romp to their first AL pennant in 41 years.
Frohwirth moved on to the California Angels in 1996 and opened the season with the Vancouver Canadians in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. In two call-ups to the big leagues, his ERA was 11.12 in four outings. After the Angels let him go on June 5, he signed with the Orioles the next day and returned to Rochester for his last nine appearances as a professional pitcher. “I just decided I wasn’t going to be the next in line in Baltimore and I was getting tired of Triple-A, so I retired,” he explained.53
In the majors, Frohwirth finished with a 20-19 record, 3.60 ERA and 11 saves in 284 games over parts of nine seasons. Overall, he held opposing batters to a .250 average, with righties hitting .229 and lefties connecting at a .285 rate. Typical of submariners, he kept the ball in the park with his sinking deliveries. He allowed one homer in every 18 innings pitched.
Back in Wisconsin, Frohwirth played softball and attended Brewers games with his family. In 1997, he became the head baseball coach at West Waukesha High School, near the new home he was building.54 He spent 1999 as the pitching coach for the Beloit Snappers, Milwaukee’s Class A Midwest League farm club. By 2001 – when Frohwirth was welcomed into the Old Time Ball Players Association of Wisconsin Hall of Fame along with former Brewers pitcher Jerry Augustine and the late Cooperstown inductee Al Simmons – he was Augustine’s assistant coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.55 The Orioles also hired Frohwirth as a scout.
Frohwirth had coached middle-school basketball during off seasons throughout his 13-year professional baseball career, but leading girls’ high school teams was a new challenge that he embraced in the 21st century. In 2006, his Whitefish Bay High School squad reached the state finals. “He was just a very good man,” said Whitefish Bay athletic director John Gustavson. “He didn’t have to coach high school kids. He could have been a Bob Uecker in the [broadcast] booth. He was just that funny.” Regarding Frohwirth’s style, Gustavson recalled, “He could be very blunt, and he mixed in more than a little bit of sarcasm sometimes… He liked to project himself as a little bit of a country bumpkin, that he wasn’t very smart, but he was very smart, and he knew what he was doing.”56 After moving on to Mukwonago High School, Frohwirth also led that girls’ program to the state finals in 2013. He then coached boys’ basketball at Marquette High School for a year before taking over the girls’ team at Elkhorn Area High School.
In 2014, Orioles manager Buck Showalter invited Frohwirth to work with submarining reliever Darren O’Day in spring training.57 Baltimore reached the ALCS that season and O’Day became an AL All-Star the following year. In June 2016, Todd’s son Tyler Frohwirth – a right-handed pitcher like his dad – was drafted by the Phillies in the 31st round.58 While it was surely a proud moment for the family, the news arrived less than a year after Todd was diagnosed with cancer.
Todd Frohwirth was 54 when he succumbed to stomach cancer on March 26, 2017. He is buried at Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha.
This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and David Bilmes and fact-checked by Henry Kirn.
1 “Milwaukee Allen-Bradley 1950-51 (NIBL),” https://www.nasljerseys.com/EBA/Rosters/NIBL/Allen-Bradley_Rosters.htm (last accessed September 29, 2021).
2 Bob Ryan, “Underhanded Tactics Work for Frohwirth,” Boston Globe, May 19, 1994: 71.
3 Kent Baker, “Frohwirth is No Bullpen Underachiever,” Baltimore Sun, August 29, 1991: 5E.
4 Ryan, “Underhanded Tactics Work for Frohwirth.”
5 Jayson Stark, “Submariner Surfaces as a Trend,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 27, 1987: 5C.
6 Geoff Freeborn, “Todd Frohwirth: Former MLB Pitcher Several Teams,” https://www.sidearmnation.com/interviews/index.php?id=55 (last accessed September 30, 2021).
7 Ryan, “Underhanded Tactics Work for Frohwirth.”
8 Tom Flaherty, “Orioles’ Frohwirth Finally Arrives with his Unconventional Submarine,” Milwaukee Journal, September 17, 1993: C1.
9 Stan Isle, “Phillies’ Frohwirth is a Tekulve Clone,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1984: 9.
10 Stark, “Submariner Surfaces as a Trend.”
11 Mark Maske, “Frohwirth Finds Down Gets Them Out,” Washington Post, March 13, 1992: C1.
12 Todd Frohwirth, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss, June 28, 1984.
13 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 66.
15 Flaherty, “Orioles’ Frohwirth Finally Arrives with his Unconventional Submarine.”
16 Stark, “Submariner Surfaces as a Trend.”
17 Frohwirth, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss.
18 Todd Frohwirth, 1988 Topps baseball card.
19 Baker, “Frohwirth is No Bullpen Underachiever.”
20 Peter Schmuck, “Frohwirth Finds It’s Relief to End Identity Crisis,” Baltimore Sun, March 5, 1992: 1B.
21 Stark, “Submariner Surfaces as a Trend.”
22 Schmuck, “Frohwirth Finds It’s Relief to End Identity Crisis.”
23 Todd Frohwirth, 1988 Donruss the Rookies baseball card.
24 “Around the Minors,” The Sporting News, July 13, 1987: 46.
25 Paul Hagen, “Phils Cut Reliever Hume; Frohwirth Wins in Debut,” Philadelphia Daily News, August 11, 1987: 89.
26 Fred Mitchell, “Phillies Scuff Up Cubs Pitcher,” Chicago Tribune, August 11, 1987: 1.
27 Peter Pascarelli, “Hume Cut; Frohwirth Called Up,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 11, 1987: E1.
28 Ryan, “Underhanded Tactics Work for Frohwirth.”
29 Todd Frohwirth, 1993 Topps baseball card.
30 Peter Pascarelli, “Brink, Nine More Invited to Training,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 8, 1988: D6.
31 Paul Hagen, “Tekulve Disabled for 1st Time in Career,” Philadelphia Daily News, June 14, 1988: 82.
32 Ken Rosenthal, “O’s Pair Delivers, With Variety to Go,” Baltimore Sun, February 21, 1994: 4C.
33 Maske, “Frohwirth Finds Down Gets Them Out.”
34 Schmuck, “Frohwirth Finds It’s Relief to End Identity Crisis.”
35 Maske, “Frohwirth Finds Down Gets Them Out.”
36 Baker, “Frohwirth is No Bullpen Underachiever.”
37 Jim Henneman, “Frohwirth Setting Up Nicely for Orioles,” Baltimore Sun, September 11, 1991: G1.
38 WHIP = walks plus hits divided by innings pitched.
39 Baker, “Frohwirth is No Bullpen Underachiever.”
40 Flaherty, “Orioles’ Frohwirth Finally Arrives with his Unconventional Submarine.”
41 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 66.
42 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 66.
43 1993 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 66.
44 Flaherty, “Orioles’ Frohwirth Finally Arrives with his Unconventional Submarine.”
45 Peter Schmuck, “Frohwirth Forgoes Arbitration, Signs for $900,000,” Baltimore Sun, February 10, 1993: 10D.
46 Rosenthal, “O’s Pair Delivers, With Variety to Go.”
47 Jim Henneman, “O’s Provide No Relief to Olson, Frohwirth,” Baltimore Sun, December 21, 1993: 1A.
48 Ryan Allan, “Veteran Reliever Mark Eichhorn Became Another One,” Toronto Star, December 15, 1993: B4.
49 Henneman, “O’s Provide No Relief to Olson, Frohwirth.”
50 Rosenthal, “O’s Pair Delivers, With Variety to Go.”
51 Tom Keegan, “Frohwirth is Granted Release,” Baltimore Sun, March 21, 1994: 4C.
52 “That’s Embarrassing,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 20, 1996: 22.
53 Todd Hansen, “Frohwirth Out of Majors, But Not Vice Versa,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 10, 1997: 6.
54 Hansen, “Frohwirth Out of Majors, But Not Vice Versa.”
55 “State Group Adds Simmons to Hall of Fame,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 13, 2001: 4C.
56 Steven L. Tietz, “Frohwirth Remembered as One Who Helped Turn Around Whitefish Bay Girls Hoops,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 28, 2017, https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/columnists/whitefish-bay/2017/03/28/frohwirth-remembered-one-who-helped-turn-around-whitefish-bay-girls-hoops/99728884/ (last accessed October 13, 2021).
57 Eduardo A. Encina, “A New Slant on O’Day’s Changeup,” Baltimore Sun, March 6, 2014: D1.
58 The younger Frohwirth played through 2018 in the minors and independent ball.