On December 9, 2010 the Can-Am League (Independent), announced through a press release that “the New York State League (NYSL) will serve as the official developmental league of the Can-Am.” When I heard about this agreement between two independent minor leagues, I was intrigued. This was the first time I had heard of one independent league being an official developmental league of another independent league. When I heard about this, I started to read about the NYSL and learn about a baseball league I previously knew nothing about.
The NYSL is a no frills league that was developed in 2006 for players that do not want to give up on their professional baseball dreams, but have nowhere else to go. If these players no longer have college eligibility or have been released from their professional contracts, the NYSL may be the place for the players to keep the dream alive.
All games are doubleheaders and all doubleheaders start at 8am. There are no excuses for being late, and you will be unconditionally released from the league for being late. There are no mid-inning promotions, no fireworks and no fans. The league is built for baseball and baseball only. The NYSL is for players who want to move up and get picked up by professional organizations. Oh, and they have no fans watching the games. Looking at the leagues statistics website, Pointstreak.com, the average attendance in 2010 was 0. There were 76 game dates with a total attendance of 0. If you are playing in the NYSL, you are doing it for the love of the game and not for fanfare.
The leagues website, www.nystateleague.com has a page that indicated 10 reasons why the NYSL is the best route for professional baseball. If you went to a school where scouts never visited, you need to work on mechanics, you had injuries, were a “late bloomer” or if your team stunk are just some of the reasons to join the NYSL.
Since the league was founded, there have been approximately 200 players that have been signed to professional contracts. There have been players signed into affiliated teams, independent teams and international teams. Now, the NYSL will be the feeder league for the Can-Am League. The Can-Am League has a rule that each team must have a minimum of five rookies on the roster. Can-Am Commissioner Miles Wolff has stated that the NYSL can show if rookies have the ability to play in the Cam-Am League. Being located in New York, the NYSL plays its games at locations easy for members of the Cam-Am league to scout their players.
The leading hitter for the NYSL, Eric Flynn, played 30 games in 2010. In his 30 games, he had a batting average of .506 with 23 runs scored and 24 runs batted in. For 2011, Flynn signed a contract with the Beenleigh Hawks of the Greater Brisbane Baseball League in Austrailia. The 2010 leaders in saves, Tom Moran finished the 2010 baseball season with the Oakland County Cruisers of the Frontier League.
The New York State League is the place to play if no one noticed you or if you think you have what it takes to be noticed. In any case, I respect these players. Playing doubleheaders at 8am for the love of the game and to improve their abilities is something that should be highly respected. So, if you are Chris Nastasi who led the NYSL in home runs and signed with the St. George Roadrunners of the Golden Baseball League or you are Kenta Sato who was the 2010 NYSL leader in strikeouts and is now pitching in Australia, the sacrifices of the NYSL is well worth it.