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7/18/2021 3:20 pm  #1


The Major American Baseball League

The Major American Baseball League: a 5 part introduction

https://i.imgur.com/2JcTQ6u.png


PROSPECT CREATION
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Part 1: The Association’s downfall

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(if you haven't read my last thread that's cool i get it it's a lot of words but if you want to click here)The Association, baseball’s highest mountain top and the first major attempt at a national league, was on thin ice as they headed into the 1903 season. With Chicago becoming a members association, the major teams of the era began to be pressured by their own fans into becoming community owned organizations. Struggling teams at lower levels began to sell shares of their clubs to supporters, and the landscape basically changed overnight into a sea of community pillars all over the country. With those extra revenues, many higher level regional clubs, such as Buffalo, Worcester, and Minneapolis’ top teams, were immediately able to compete for contracts of quality utility Association players, but more importantly, top prospects. Many of the Association’s players who signed minor league deals began to be snatched up by these “minor league” teams that began to operate without the need for money from Association organizations, and pillaged the top players by offering more money in the immediate future. Admittedly, this would have also helped Association members, if only it were that simple.

 Many Association teams were struggling financially as of the 1903 offseason. Detroit’s consistently poor play had left a lot to be desired by the local population, and many upstart organizations sprouted up around the city in an attempt to offer Detroiters a better product. Federal Athletic, despite their Championship win only 2 years prior, had only seen a decrease in attendance since moving to the Association, mainly due to club perception. As a result, the club’s board of directors began to slowly pull funding from the team in order to bolster its other functions and sponsorships, mostly olympic sports. Edwin Cole, owner of the struggling Cleveland Baseball Club, was notorious for his previously inexplicable financial moves and this issue proved to be no different. It was clear to everyone that the team was going to be financially handicapped with the season fast approaching, as the team privately financed a new stadium on the lakefront and Cole was unwilling to offload contracts for his star batsmen. Without the revenue to mitigate the financial contracts, Cole’s need for control saw him fire only one man in the offseason: his manager. As a result of no income outside of his ownership of the club, and his refusal to sell the organization to its fans or another owner, he quietly, briskly dismantled the club. In a matter of days, the Association was down to 11 members, with two more seeming less likely by the day.

 In a move that ended up surprising only the most out of touch fan, the Association would not have a 1903 season. Its legacy is one of an amalgamation of teams of vastly different qualities, and only a few capable of withstanding national scrutiny. The Association was dead.

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Part 2: The resurgence of regional leagues and the introduction of promotion/relegation

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Because of the Association’s swift and hard failure, the baseball world and its new member association clubs began to bolster their regional leagues. Each former Association club, with the exception of the dismantled Cleveland squad and Detroit’s Rowdies, are accepted back into their state/region league to little fanfare. However, Adam Hirsch, owner of one of the Brooklyn Baseball Club, still sees beyond the New York League as being the final resting place for his creation. Initial talks with other leagues stall until the conversation gets brought around to promotion and relegation. Originally a European concept, the system would allow for lower level and small market teams to compete for greater reward and exposure over time by rising through the ranks, while forcing large market teams to still plan and perform at the highest level possible, lest they be relegated. The discussion takes place over the course of nearly twenty years, as many teams near the north and south of the proposed league had very small travel budgets allocated, but in 1922, the Eastern League system finalizes with 60 teams and 3 separate tiers of the sport. Over the next two decades, many former owners began to sell off their shares of the organization, and by 1941, only a few teams were either owned by individuals or a company.

The midwestern leagues vary on how to approach the concept. Many of the larger, westward midwestern teams are in favor of creating a super league of sorts, as the travel costs are far greater for teams such as the Kansas City Baseball Club to compete against top opponents. Minneapolis and St. Paul’s top teams are also in favor, while the original Association midwestern teams remained hyper regional since the breakup. Only during the auto manufacturing boom of the late 1900’s and early 1910’s does the possibility of Detroit’s teams travelling become a reality, and as many other midwestern cities continued to grow throughout the 20’s, the thought of a midwestern super league became a serious possibility. In 1933, with many former players now working with the WPA and thus depopulating lower leagues, large member association clubs formed together to make a 15-team “Midwestern Championship League”. Over time, other organizations reformed, as becoming a low-level baseball player became a possibility. Eventually, the Midwest formed three tiers of baseball, with the hope to introduce promotion and relegation for the 1942 baseball season.

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Part 3: Baseball’s reputation heading into World War II

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Baseball had established itself as the quintessential American game by this time. Before the Civil War, the spread of the sport into the land-rich south had created a foundation for the new, burgeoning reconciliation project for all regions of the broken nation. Many other sports are left as footnotes, as baseball reigns king in all of the contiguous 48 states, as well as parts of Canada. Hockey remains popular in Northern states, as well as remains the primary sport played in Canada.

As far as particular brands and the national recognition of teams? It’s popularly considered that assume that the Eastern League, and specifically the two bitter rivals of Brooklyn and New York City Athletic, are the best region in baseball. The Eastern Standings will usually be seen in midwestern and Eastern Canadian newspapers, albeit secondary to their own regional leagues.Speaking of, the Midwest’s league is also considered to be the best league in baseball, but that’ most often heard within the region. The Chicago Republics Baseball Club is known internationally for starting the greater movement towards Member Association clubs, and is held as the second favorite team of many outside of their region. St. Louis’ very own club, which existed first as a travelling team but settled in the city after the implosion of the Association, is also very popular due to their reach in the early days of baseball. Next on the totem pole are the large state leagues, meaning California, Florida, and Texas. California’s talent pool, specifically, is by far the most diverse in the country, and many ethnic or occupational teams exist, however the best teams usually have large backers within either shipping or entertainment. The need for a national league, however, remains dormant as America seems to finally have a time of peace and economic prosperity.

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Part 4: The Pause and the Plan

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The war puts baseball on pause. Unlike our timeline, where the national game became a large morale boost during the war for civilians back home, the leagues didn’t have as much collective national pull to ensure their players stayed out of the war. President Roosevelt, a New York native, still understood the importance of the sport to his region and his nation. He was able to get into contact with Hirsch, now the aging team president of the member association Brooklyn Baseball Club, and declares that if he can put together a national coalition league, most likely in major manufacturing cities and population centers in the East and midwest, that Roosevelt would personally dismiss some of the stars drafted into the military.

The Eastern Premier League teams began to scramble in an attempt to reconfigure their league into a national one, and through the hard work and negotiating skills of both Eastern Premier and Midwest Championship leagues, the sport was to ascend once again as a national game in both spirit and organization starting in the 1943 season. The plan was seen as an advantageous one, as the 16 teams selected were all in good financial standing, and had a solid mix of representation between members associations, single-owner teams, and organizations sponsored by corporations. This league was here, and it was going to be here to last.

However, ethical concerns came up in taking men away from their sworn duty just to play a game, especially since leagues were paused overseas in order to ensure national security. Out of respect for the rest of the world, the plans were tabled until after the fighting was over.

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Part 5: The Trophies

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Once the war was over, almost every team in the nation remained paused. 1946 became the target date for the newly christened Major American Baseball League, but the regional leagues, dependent on the regional popularity of the game to remain relevant on a larger level, demanded compensation for the act of these teams leaving. Although it wouldn’t mean much to the bottom line of the teams leaving, the fan bases of each organization still wanted to find a way to play lower teams because of emotional investment. The East and Midwest both construct elimination tournament trophies, in which alongside the regular season, the MABL teams from each region will play a home and away game against either 13 to 17 regionally similar opponents (depending on the region and rivalries), culminating in an end of season tournament after each league has completed their playoff series.  The East’s trophy will be named for Brooklyn team president Adam Hirsch, who is in his last few moments after a lifetime dedication to the sport, and the Midwest’s trophy will be the De Jong Cup, named after legendary Republics manager Rob De Jong. The league will start in 1947.

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I hope everyone is as excited as I am.  I’ve had this one brewing for a minute and I can’t wait to share what I have in store. Onto the teams! 

Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 6:44 pm)


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7/18/2021 4:20 pm  #2


Re: The Major American Baseball League

Harbor Athletic Club:
One of the oldest clubs still existing in baseball, Harbor Athletic went through a stretch of extremely rough years around the turn of the century, and thus weren’t picked to become members of the Association. However, after their stint in the doldrums of the Chesapeake League, club owners and directors dumped obscene amounts of money into the organization. They enjoyed a massive run of success in the first half of the Eastern Premier League after escaping the second tier in just the first year of Pro/Rel, but recently diverted from their winning ways. Before the stoppage, their team slowed down tremendously in terms of production, yet always found a way around relegation. They’re traditionally called the Harbors, but due to the team’s underperforming nature over the last decade, many opposing fans (and even some of their own) have given them the nickname of “Hacks”. 

They’re managed and operated by a limited company, the Harbor Athletic Club, which is split in ownership between the extremely large, vocal  Hack fanbase and the Baltimore-based multinational shipping giant Ameritime’s owner Jacob Connor. Oftentimes these two groups are in harmony, but don’t expect the peace to stay for long if the team keeps on losing. 

And lose they might! This team is bad in all senses of the word. Without a solid development system in place, many of the team’s best players are back from war in their 30’s. Right Fielder Nate Smith is the player to keep your eye on, as he might be the best chance this team has at an all-star on their roster. Over the hill players second baseman Brian King and first baseman Sandy Rodriguez anchor the right infield, while third baseman Damien Callis and shortstop Joe Mickelson round out the left. The youngest player in the starting lineup, left fielder Nate Duniven, is 26. Catcher Zach Guidry is 36, while centerfielder Bobby Marinelli is 34. The starting pitching corps, led by Kellen Sears, is all around or just under the 30 mark. Mike Williams, Brad Bainter, Elijah Perkins, and Steve Wakefield finish up the starting rotation, while the bullpen is anchored by 40-year old Jimmy McKim. This team will need to flip some trades and develop through the draft soon, but the prospects of this year are not encouraging.
https://i.imgur.com/RfZK2xa.png
 
https://i.imgur.com/PKnsG6y.png

Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 12:34 pm)


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7/18/2021 4:43 pm  #3


Re: The Major American Baseball League

I'm liking what I'm seeing for Baltimore! The whole story is a great hook, and seeing some of what you've done over the past few months, this will be something special. Looking forward to it!


https://i.imgur.com/eRSnsTt.pnghttps://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/779911989928656957/832381487709945877/CLT.png
https://i.imgur.com/GkGUEc4.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/ncGXK03.png
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7/18/2021 4:59 pm  #4


Re: The Major American Baseball League

Boston Bees Baseball Club:

One of the three Eastern teams from the Association coming back around, Boston’s squad has had a very steep shot up the totem pole. In a crowded region with rabid local fanbases, the Bees have been able to drown out the noise since their disappointing Association efforts and were able to regularly sit atop the New England league for their post-TA, pre-EPL days. Owner Robert Payne sold off the team through the first few years of the Eastern Premier League, and the supporters’ new board of directors let the squad run itself. It paid off, as the team never finished below tenth in a single season’s standings (which occurred last year, in 1946). Boston’s top team, financed by many of the rich white anglo-saxon protestants in the city (hence the WASPs nickname), have developed an attitude of arrogance that is admittedly deserved.

The biggest thing going on with the team is the stadium situation. Run out of the south side of the city by bitter rival North End and their rowdy blue collar fans, the Bees have set up shop across the river from Cambridge, another bitter rival. They’re in a pissing contest with a bunch of Harvard alums at this point to make the biggest, grandest baseball palace imaginable, with the hope that one runs out of money before the other. With the draft soon approaching and rookie amateurs looking for big major league deals, it is to be seen whether Boston will take their pedal off the gas and put the money where it matters.

However, much of that dominance was due to pitching that has since retired from the 1941 season. First Baseman Brandon Madden is the classic slugger archetype and possibly the second best all-star hopeful for the team, behind right fielder Chris Errico. Evan Stafford is in the 4 spot, while the left side of the field is covered by the energetic shortstop Allen Nicholson, third baseman Luke Bullock, and Left Fielder Alan Muro. Steve Fixmer is behind the plate, with Brian Mckernan, the 32 year old starter coming off of a worrying season in the EPL, is the team’s best pitching option going into ‘47. The rest of their rotation looks pitiful, as Jim Culbertson and Guy Woods are too old to be effective, while Kevin Olson and Paul Lawler are too young to have developed solid control over their breaking pitches. The bullpen might be the thing that saves this team from being dead last, but relying on the relievers to do heavy lifting is just a recipe for disaster.
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Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 12:34 pm)


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7/18/2021 5:58 pm  #5


Re: The Major American Baseball League

Fan of both Baltimore and Boston, count me in on this series!


https://i.imgur.com/mzxlzCK.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/FV7qxRo.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/DE9l51q.pnghttps://imgur.com/CnPB2Kd.pnghttps://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rO2lHNCwOQU/YJSIGHOBaSI/AAAAAAAADlM/2z1DSX9npSg20WMzDMKhqMLfmJBEu5qfQCLcBGAsYHQ/s400/Halifax%2BMariners-01.png
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7/18/2021 6:03 pm  #6


Re: The Major American Baseball League

Brooklyn Baseball Club:

The Juggernaut continues its march onward. Originally dominant in the New York League, then the Association with the greatest pitcher of all-time, then back in the New York League, and then in the EPL with arguably the greatest hitter of all time. This team has become the most steeped in a history of success, and has become the most obnoxious fanbase in baseball because of it. Many from the borough are devoted yet pleasant, yet as the Eastern Premier League has grown in popularity, so have the Jays for their constantly cocky attitude and the organization’s goofy antics, but most importantly their winning. Brooklyn, coming into 1946, had won 6 of the 20 EPL championships. Then they won another. The nine stars on their uniform each represent a major league championship (their New York League championships are numerous, but Hirsch said publicly in 1923 that the “State Leagues are child’s play.”), 2 Association victories and 7 EPL titles.

Brooklyn, due to their massive fanbase, was the first to create a strange rule in their members association ownership. To become a shareholder of the team, you have to prove current or former residence of either the borough of Brooklyn or the surrounding area. As such, the team’s fans populate nearly every corner of the city, and encapsulate the diversity of New York in a unique way.

Brooklyn, headed by Adam Hirsch, the team president for over four decades, is set up for success beyond his passing. The team was able to secure funds over the course of the war to scout quality young talent, both for players at home playing amateur ball and those overseas, playing on military bases. In the amateur circuit the team found Brooklyn native Brian Rosenberg, a corner outfielder with a daredevil streak in him on the basepaths. It s said that his biggest inspiration was Eastern Premier League superstar Jeremy Schreiber, who once stole 94 bases in the EPL’s 76 game season, batting .375 with 14 home runs. While scouting ballplayers overseas, Jays scouts found Center Fielder Noel Kelley, Third Baseman Justin Kovacs, and raw teenage pitchers Gary Hansen and Matt Rhodes. Mike Kulp occupies the other outfield spot, as first baseman Matt Box and shortstop Ryan Babb fill out the infield. Mike Germain, another youngster at 23, is the catcher for some of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Tim Vogt, who came onto the scene at 21 and threw heaters past the EPL’s best bats, lost four years of prime opportunity and hopes to remain dominant on the mound. Mike Walsh and Jonathan Schuckman are the other starters, while Matt Clemens anchors a solid bullpen. This team is going to be dominant, and anything less than a MABL Championship Series victory is a disappointment.
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https://i.imgur.com/O4GW6K5.png

Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 12:35 pm)


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7/18/2021 7:07 pm  #7


Re: The Major American Baseball League

New York City Athletic Club:

The Boroughers are back, baby! The team, always playing second fiddle to the boys across the East River, have firmly planted their flag in lower Manhattan. The organization, still operated by a limited company of the same name and overseen by Chris Wester’s son Lyle, have remained a dominant force in the Eastern landscape. In addition to their 3 EPL championships, the team has also gone on barnstorming tours of the American West during winter months in order to prepare for upcoming seasons, and developed a large fanbase on the West Coast because of it. It still prides itself on being the Pride of New York, but the Moles have burrowed their way into the hearts of millions outside the city.

The Boroughers have successfully gathered players for their run at the Eastern pennant from all across the nation, grabbing arguably the best player in baseball, second baseman Ryan Miller, away from his hometown in northern Colorado to come play in the biggest market in the world. Phil Funk covers first for the team, while Mat Newkrk and Oscar LeVecchia are over at short and third, respectively. The outfield platoon of Josh Mattson, David Flood, and Jeremy Johnson are a set of powerful middle-lineup bats. Californian J.D. Sarver, a loud young catcher, is going to be receiving pitches from the only weak spot on the entire roster: the starting rotation of inexperienced youngsters,Matt Strait, Garrett Cline, Jeff Knowlen, and Todd Rouleau, led by old veteran Miles Butler. This team is going to contend for the top spot in the East, and it’s once again on the Boroughers to see if they can outlast those dastardly Jays.

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Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 12:35 pm)


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7/18/2021 7:59 pm  #8


Re: The Major American Baseball League

Manhattan Baseball Club:

Manhattan’s history is possibly the strangest of all. The organization began as a response to the “race mixing” of NYCAC, and began as the “All-White, All-American Boys in Blue”, an option for the sh-t people of Manhattan and the Bronx to come together and be the worst. The blue part of their original slogan only lasted a game, as the team’s launderer threw some red clothes in with the load and accidentally created the squad’s iconic indigo coloring. Originally forced to play outside of the Eastern League system due to discrimination practices, the squad finally desegrated in 1926 under intense pressure from the Eastern Premier League, who saw the benefit of having 3 competitive, well-funded New York squads.

They got the nickname “Giants” from a quote by owner Theodore “Ted” Newsome, who said when asked about how competitive his team would be were iit to play against Brooklyn, “If they’re considered men amongst boys, we’re giants amongst men”.

Held at Newsome Park in Upper Manhattan, the first series between Manhattan and Brooklyn consisted of a 21-3, 17-1, and 24-8 victories in favor of the Jays.

Newsome is a tycoon in his own right, a titan of industry who will use his power, money, and influence to change the world how he sees fit. The team has gotten away from the racism that once defined it, but yearly face off against Harlem’s “Black Giants”, an impressive squad formed in protest to the acceptance of Manhattan into the Eastern League system.

The team certainly has quality players, many of whom were around for a run from 1937-1941, featuring multiple second place finishes in the Eastern Premier League. The team looks to come off a poor showing by their standards in the 1946 EPL season, placing 8th in the standings. Left fielder David Fassett and second baseman Pat Sprang, both players of color, are the best players on the team. Center fielder Brian Dyck and right fielder Howie McGregor finish out the outfield, while first base Justin Manson, shortstop Ben Derringer, and third base Dan Hasty cover the basepaths alongside Nick Gross, a catcher who debuted at 18 and has started every game since. Sadly for the Moneybags, the cost of quality pitching allowed it that only one pitcher came back to the Giants after the war. Sam Coffman, a very good player by all accounts, is leading a starting rotation that doesn’t deserve to be named (Nick Powers, Matt Stocker, James Fossen, and Kurt Seeman [yes, really]). Paul Gillihan and Brooks DuMont lead a bad bullpen, as well. It’s a miracle that this team isn’t projected to be last in the standings come October with how poor this pitching is.

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https://i.imgur.com/3cwF7yl.png

Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 12:36 pm)


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7/18/2021 8:08 pm  #9


Re: The Major American Baseball League

QCS wrote:

I'm liking what I'm seeing for Baltimore! The whole story is a great hook, and seeing some of what you've done over the past few months, this will be something special. Looking forward to it!

I don't think you'll be disappointed in the stories I have planned!

Rugrat wrote:

Fan of both Baltimore and Boston, count me in on this series!

Excited to hear it! IMO Boston is one of my favs, and the Harbors' logo is one of the better era appropriate ones.

Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/18/2021 8:08 pm)


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7/18/2021 10:33 pm  #10


Re: The Major American Baseball League

Centennial Baseball Club:

Philadelphia’s oldest team got left out of the Association due to a similarly timed stretch of poor seasons in the regional league, seeing a team ten years their junior take the spot instead. However, just like Baltimore, the 76s proved post Association that they were the best team for the region, and it wasn’t particularly close. Philadelphia’s former Association team wasn’t able to keep up, and Centennial was able to quickly establish themselves as the premier Penn/Jersey team. And despite only one EPL championship, coming toward the beginning of the League’s establishment, they never fell below 12th (which they reached only once, in 1940).

This team was originally owned by a single man, Chris Struve, but he sold the team to the supporters long ago, assuming that the team would fall by the wayside and float away with the sands of time. SIKE! The board of directors were able to keep the team’s head above water and then some, although team president Harry Shuster is a bit in over his head on this one.

The prospects of this year turning out well for this team are slim. The 26 year old second baseman Nolan Meyer is the best player on this team, albeit he only has one year of pro ball under his belt. First baseman Kevin Cattarinussi and Right fielder Joe Jones aren’t much to write home about, but aren’t going to hurt the order or defense any. Continuing the average, shortstop Freddie Raffety and third baseman Chris Reesman line the left side of the infield. The outfield has some fun young guys in Jeff Brodbeck and Javon McLoed playing left and center, while the aging Jared Banks sits behind home plate as the catcher. The Opening Day starter for Centennial is young ace Prince Jones, thought to be one of the best pitchers in the game. Alan Gragson, Bobby Champagne, Jarod Crowley, and Jeremy Cannon round out an otherwise average starting lineup, while Zach Albrecht is the main reliever for the club. As long as they’re not last, the middle of their order will hopefully get their sea legs and Philadelphia is going to be fine.

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https://i.imgur.com/jl3weBY.png

Last edited by H-Town1141 (7/19/2021 12:36 pm)


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