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Golden Baseball League

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The Golden Baseball League was an independent minor league in California, Arizona, Utah, and Canada whose member teams were not associated with any Major League Baseball teams. It operated from 2004 to 2010.

The GBL did not use the designated hitter rule; rather, pitchers batted for themselves. Player salaries ranged from $750 to $3,000 per month. Each team's entire payroll was less than a third of what the major league mininum is for one player ($316,000).

The GBL's presenting partner was Safeway Inc. Other investors in the GBL included Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, former National Football League players Mike Sherrard and Christian Okoye, and executives from Cisco Systems, Taleo, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, among others. David Kaval was the league's co-founder, chief executive officer and interim president.

In its final years the league operated as a ten-team circuit composed of two divisions. The GBL had planned to add additional teams in California and Arizona, plus teams in Oregon within five to seven years. Following the 2010 season the league merged with the United Baseball League and Northern League to create the North American League. The franchises in Calgary, Chico, Edmonton, Maui and Yuma all survived the move and became the members of the North American League.

Contents

[edit] Cities Represented

[edit] 2005

The Golden Baseball league was formed in 2004 and began play on May 26, 2005. For their first season, the league was comprised of eight teams that played their home games in city- and university-owned stadiums, with the exception of the Japan Samurai Bears, a traveling team of Japanese players that played all of its games on the road. Three of the GBL's teams, the Chico Outlaws, Long Beach Armada, and Yuma Scorpions, operated in former Western Baseball League cities. On May 9, Major League Baseball's all-time stolen base leader, Rickey Henderson, signed a contract to play for the GBL's San Diego Surf Dawgs. The season ended with a four team championship tournament on Labor Day Weekend. The tournament ended with the Surf Dawgs winning two games on the final day, knocking off the Mesa Miners in the second game to wrap up their championship season.

2005 Standings
California Division Arizona Division
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
San Diego Surf Dawgs 52 38 .578 0 Terry Kennedy Mesa Miners 51 39 .567 0 Les Lancaster
Chico Outlaws 49 41 .544 3 Mark Parent Yuma Scorpions 47 43 .522 4 Benny Castillo
Long Beach Armada 49 41 .544 3 Darrell Evans Surprise Fightin' Falcons 45 45 .500 6 Ozzie Virgil
Fullerton Flyers 34 56 .378 18 Garry Templeton Japan Samurai Bears 33 57 .367 18 Warren Cromartie

[edit] Playoffs

  • Double elimination Semifinals San Diego 9, Chico 0; Mesa 8, Long Beach 0; Chico 7, Long Beach 0 (Long Beach is eliminated); Mesa 2, San Diego 0; San Diego 2, Chico 1 (Chico is eliminated)
  • Championship Game San Diego 9, Mesa 6

[edit] 2006

For the 2006 season, the returned as a six team league. The Mesa Miners and Surprise Fightin' Falcons suspended operations, and the Japan Samurai Bears also would not return. However, a new team, the Reno Silver Sox, became their first club in Nevada and went on to capture the league title.

2006 Standings
First Half Second Half
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Reno Silver Sox 25 15 .625 0 Les Lancaster Fullerton Flyers 26 14 .650 0 Garry Templeton
Chico Outlaws 22 18 .550 3 Mark Parent Chico Outlaws 24 16 .600 2 Mark Parent
Long Beach Armada 22 18 .550 3 Darrell Evans Reno Silver Sox 22 18 .550 4 Les Lancaster
Yuma Scorpions 18 22 .450 7 Benny Castillo San Diego Surf Dawgs 19 21 .475 7 Terry Kennedy
Fullerton Flyers 17 23 .425 8 Garry Templeton Long Beach Armada 15 25 .375 11 Darrell Evans
San Diego Surf Dawgs 16 24 .400 9 Terry Kennedy Yuma Scorpions 14 26 .350 12 Benny Castillo

[edit] Championship Series

  • Reno defeated Fullerton 3 games to 1

[edit] 2007

The St. George Roadrunners replaced the San Diego Surf Dawgs in 2007, and the Chico Outlaws won the championship that season, defeating the Long Beach Armada 3 games to 1 in the finals.

2007 Standings
First Half Second Half
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Chico Outlaws 25 13 .658 0 Mark Parent Long Beach Armada 25 13 .658 0 Darrell Evans
Long Beach Armada 23 15 .605 2 Darrell Evans Yuma Scorpions 21 17 .553 4 Benny Castillo
Yuma Scorpions 21 17 .553 4 Benny Castillo Chico Outlaws 19 19 .500 6 Mark Parent
Orange County Flyers 19 19 .500 6 Gary Carter Orange County Flyers 18 20 .474 7 Gary Carter
Reno Silver Sox 18 20 .474 7 Les Lancaster St. George Roadrunners 16 22 .421 9 Cory Snyder
St. George Roadrunners 7 31 .184 18 Cory Snyder Reno Silver Sox 15 23 .395 10 Les Lancaster

[edit] Championship Series

  • Chico defeated Long Beach 3 games to 1

[edit] 2008

For the 2008 season, two Canadian teams from the Northern League, the Calgary Vipers and the Edmonton Cracker-Cats, joined the Golden Baseball League and the circuit split into two divisions.

2008 Standings
First Half
North Division South Division
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Calgary Vipers 26 18 .591 -- Mike Busch Orange County Flyers 28 15 .651 --
Edmonton Cracker-Cats 22 22 .500 4 Yuma Scorpions 25 19 .568 3.5
Reno Silver Sox 18 26 .409 8 Jeffrey Leonard Long Beach Armada 21 22 .488 7 Steve Yeager
Chico Outlaws 15 27 .357 10 John Macalutas St. George Roadrunners 18 26 .409 10.5 Cory Snyder
Second Half
North Division South Division
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Edmonton Cracker-Cats 29 15 .659 -- Long Beach Armada 26 18 .591 -- Steve Yeager
Calgary Vipers 19 24 .442 9.5 Mike Busch St. George Roadrunners 25 19 .568 1 Cory Snyder
Chico Outlaws 19 25 .432 10 John Macalutas Orange County Flyers 23 20 .535 2.5
Reno Silver Sox 12 32 .273 17 Jeffrey Leonard Yuma Scorpions 23 21 .523 3

[edit] Playoffs

  • Semifinals (Best of five): Calgary 3, Edmonton 0; Orange County 3, Long Beach 2
  • Championship Series: Orange County 3, Calgary 2

[edit] 2009

For the 2009 season, the Reno Silver Sox folded, the Edmonton Cracker-Cats were replaced by the Edmonton Capitals, and the Tucson Toros and Victoria Seals began play.

2009 Standings
First Half
North Division South Division
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Calgary Vipers 26 13 .667 -- Morgan Burkhart St. George Roadrunners 25 15 .625 -- Cory Snyder
Edmonton Capitals 23 18 .561 4 Brent Bowers Long Beach Armada 20 18 .526 4 Garry Templeton
Chico Outlaws 19 19 .500 6.5 Kory DeHaan Orange County Flyers 17 20 .459 6.5 Phil Nevin
Victoria Seals 17 24 .415 10 Darrell Evans Tucson Toros 17 21 .447 7 Tim Johnson
Yuma Scorpions 10 27 .270 13.5 Boris Villa
Second Half
North Division South Division
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Calgary Vipers 23 14 .622 -- Morgan Burkhart Tucson Toros 21 14 .600 -- Tim Johnson
Edmonton Capitals 21 20 .512 4 Brent Bowers St. George Roadrunners 23 19 .548 1.5 Cory Snyder
Victoria Seals 15 26 .366 10 Darrell Evans Long Beach Armada 20 18 .526 2.5 Garry Templeton
Chico Outlaws 14 25 .359 10 Kory DeHaan Orange County Flyers 20 19 .513 3 Phil Nevin
Yuma Scorpions 19 20 .487 4 Boris Villa

[edit] Playoffs

  • Semifinals (Best of five): Calgary 3, Edmonton 1; Tucson 3, St. George 2
  • Championship Series: Calgary 3, Tucson 1

[edit] 2010

The Maui Na Koa Ikaika and the Tijuana Cimarrones joined the league while the Long Beach Armada left. The Chico Outlaws won the championship that season, defeating the Maui Na Koa Ikaika in the finals.

2010 Standings
North Division South Division
Team W L Pct. GB Manager Team W L Pct. GB Manager
Chico Outlaws 55 30 .647 0 Garry Templeton Maui Na Koa Ikaika 56 26 .683 0 Cory Snyder
Calgary Vipers 53 35 .602 3.5 Morgan Burkhart Orange County Flyers 51 35 .593 7 Paul Abbott
Edmonton Capitals 51 38 .573 6 Brent Bowers Tucson Toros 46 43 .517 13.5 Tim Johnson
Victoria Seals 45 43 .511 11.5 Kip Gross Yuma Scorpions 41 49 .456 19 Darryl Brinkley
St. George Roadrunners 23 58 .284 30 Darrell Evans Tijuana Cimarrones 10 74 .119 47 Enrique Brito

[edit] Playoffs

  • First Round: Maui defeated Calgary
  • First Round: Chico defeated Orange County
  • Finals: Chico defeated Maui

[edit] League Champions


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