SABR Nine: Golden Baseball League CEO and Founder Dave Kaval

At age 30, it would seem that Golden Baseball League CEO and Founder Dave Kaval has spent most of his adult life making his dreams come true.

After earning a BA from Stanford University, Kaval and friend Brad Knull embarked on a baseball odyssey in 1998 like few others–to see a baseball game in all 30 ballparks in 38 days.

At age 30, it would seem that Golden Baseball League CEO and Founder Dave Kaval has spent most of his adult life making his dreams come true.

After earning a BA from Stanford University, Kaval and friend Brad Knull embarked on a baseball odyssey in 1998 like few others–to see a baseball game in all 30 ballparks in 38 days. He and Knull chronicled their adventure in the book, The Summer that Saved Baseball.

Subsequently earning his MBA from Stanford as well, Kaval was able to turn a class project into reality, and thus the eight-team Golden Baseball League was born.

One of the unique aspects of the league is its single-entity ownership model, where the league owns all the teams. This is designed to provide stability and “sort of align incentives in the early years,” according to Kaval.

The league, now in its second year of play, enjoyed an encouraging season in 2005. One of the noteworthy events of that season was the formation of the Samurai Bears, the first all-Japanese born team to play in an organized American league. Although the team folded after the 2005 season, it showed the possibilities of what professional international baseball has to offer an American audience.

In the end, Kaval



Originally published: May 4, 2006. Last Updated: May 4, 2006.

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