Johnson: Experiencing grassroots baseball in the Northwood League

From SABR member Sarah Johnson at AAA Magazine on July 21, 2017:

They’re the sounds that warm every baseball fan’s heart after a long winter — the pop of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt and the crack of the bat when a player makes solid contact. And in a setting so intimate that this slice of Americana is not drowned out by corporate excell. At Northwoods League games around the Midwest, ball fans can experience grassroots baseball and watch future major-leaguers in ballparks steeped in the game’s history.

Founded in 1994, the Northwoods League is a short-season (72 games) collegiate league with 20 teams scattered throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada. It attracts prospects from around the country trying to catch the eye of scouts. Unlike most college games where the ‘ping’ of the aluminum bat is repeatedly heard, this league uses the wooden variety to more closely resemble the professional experience.

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Originally published: July 24, 2017. Last Updated: July 24, 2017.