North American League logo
|No. of teams||unknown, potentially up to 18|
The North American League is an independent baseball league set to begin play for the 2011 season. The new league will consist of a merger of three independent leagues, the Northern League of Illinois, United League Baseball of Texas, and the Golden Baseball League based in the Western United States and Western Canada. Golden Baseball League Commissioner and Diamond Sports & Entertainment CEO Kevin Outcalt organized the merger and will head up the new league.
With teams in the U.S. in the midwest, south, west and also with teams in Mexico and Canada the North American League has the largest geographic footprint of any minor league. The league has stated is expects the teams to have the following business benefits from the size and geographic scope:
- Ability to attract marketing deals from the national budgets of major corporations
- Significant cost reduction with collective purchasing and volume discounts
- Leverage of Best Practices and Revenue Programs across all teams
- Ability to attract other entertainment because of so many venues - concert tours, etc.
To keep travel costs from being a financial issue for the team, the league will play in a division structure where teams will play 75% of their 96 game schedule within their division and make just one lenghty roadtrip of 12 games outside of their division. For the Chicago-area teams from the Northern League this reduces their travel costs as they no longer have to make multiple roadtrips of short duration to Canada, North Dakota, and Kansas City. The league will conclude the season with Divisional playoffs followed by a North American Championship Series.
The roster rules eliminate the LS classification system and allow all teams to keep their existing players from 2010 which should see similar level of play as last year. These leagues had contracts of 35 players purchased by major league organizations in 2010. In addition, these three leagues placed half of the prospects on the Baseball America Top Indy Prospects List and six of the 14 players on the 2010 Baseball America All-Indy First Team.
From the Golden Baseball League
- Calgary Vipers
- Chico Outlaws
- Edmonton Capitals
- Na Koa Ikaika Maui
- Orange County Flyers
- Yuma Scorpions
- Tijuana Embajadores
From the Northern League
From United League Baseball
Tucson Toros (sitting out a year while the AAA Portland Beavers are in Tucson)