Cooper: Fans feel the pain as indy ball continues to shrink

From J.J. Cooper at Baseball America on September 23, 2019:

It wasn’t that long ago when it didn’t seem crazy to think that the biggest four independent leagues (American Association, Atlantic, Can-Am and Frontier) might one day field close to 60 teams.

When the 2020 season begins, the four leagues will be fortunate if they field 40 teams combined.

The Kansas City T-Bones, a long-running stalwart of the American Association, were battling being evicted from their stadium because of more than $700,000 in back rent and utility payments. The Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions have had their lease cancelled because of more than $400,000 in unpaid rent.

And the Frontier League crowned the River City Rascals as the league champions in a celebration that was also a fond farewell. The Rascals owners announced in August that they were shutting down at the end of the season.

Coming into the 2010s, indy ball seemed to be growing and growing. Coming into the 2020s, the picture is much less promising.

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Originally published: September 23, 2019. Last Updated: September 23, 2019.