The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States, especially the greater metropolitan areas of Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. It operates in cities not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The Atlantic League requires cities to have the market for a 4,000 to 7,500-seat ballpark and for the facility to be maintained at or to exceed AAA standards.
The Atlantic League exists so that professional baseball players who are not signed by a Major or Minor League organization could have another chance at playing at a higher level. Although the level of Atlantic League play can be categorized as between AA and AAA, players in independent baseball are usually not scouted heavily by Major League teams. Many former Major League ballplayers have called Atlantic League teams home in an effort get back to the Majors. The league also caters to players who are not quite talented enough to play at a higher level.
Disabled list: Any player placed on the disabled list must sit out for at least seven games. The first day on the disabled list is the day after the player's last game.
Designated hitter: A hitter may be designated to bat for the pitcher in any spot in the batting order in any game without affecting the status of the pitcher. The DH must be selected and be included on the lineup cards presented to the umpires prior to the game. The DH is locked into the batting order, but may be removed for a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner, who in turn immediately becomes the DH. While still in the game, the DH may be used defensively, but the pitcher must assume the batting of the replaced defensive player, thus terminating the DH role.
Pinch hitter: A player shall be considered a pinch hitter only if he enters the game as a substitute batter, and then only on his first time at bat, which must be before he becomes a fielder.
Regulation game: A regulation game consists of nine innings, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened (1) because the home team needs none of its half of the ninth or only a fraction of it, or (2) because the umpire calls the game. EXCEPTION: A double-header consists of two seven inning games, in which the rules applied for the ninth inning are applied to the seventh inning. If a game is called, it is a regulation game: 1- If five innings have been completed. 2- If the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings. 3- If the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score. If each team has the same number of runs when the game ends, the umpire shall declare it a "tie game." If a game is called before it becomes a regulation game, the umpire shall declare it "no game."
Expansion drafts: When a new team joins the league, the existing teams must protect a given number of players from their end-of-season roster (active and disabled). The new teams will draft The Atlantic League negotiating rights to a selected number of players from the existing teams' rosters. No team can lose more than two players.
Open tryouts: The Atlantic League holds a league wide open tryout in Florida every winter. Each team in the league has the option to hold open tryouts for the ballplayers to attempt to make the team. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and have prior baseball experience for tryout for the team. Players signed by the open tryout are invited to spring training, but not guaranteed a place on the teams' roster.
Players in the Atlantic League typically make under $3,000 a month. While the $3,000 per month maximum is not a salary cap, Joe Klein, Executive Director of the Atlantic League said that "(The eight teams) do their budgets together," Klein said, "It's hard to get them all in the same room, no less to agree on the same number." according to Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat.
The Atlantic League plays a split season format in which the first half and second half winners of each division will play in a best of three Divisional Series.
In the event a club should win both halves of their division, their opponent for the best of three divisional playoff shall be the club, regardless of division, designated as the WILD CARD, that has achieved the best overall record for the entire season. In the event of a tie between 2 or more clubs, the normal tiebreakers would be in effect.
In the event the same clubs win both halves of their respective divisions there are two scenarios:
l. If the two Designated Wild Card entrants (teams with next best overall record) are in separate divisions, they shall play the Division Champion in their respective division (regardless of record) in order to ensure each division having a representative in the Championship Series. 2. If the two Designated Wild Cards are from the same division, then and only then would a seeding system come into play, by won loss record with one playing four and two playing three with all ties decided by the tie breakers system described above.
The winners of the two Divisional Playoff Series will meet in a best-of-five Atlantic League Championship Series.
|Atlantic League of Professional Baseball|
|Freedom||Lancaster Barnstormers||2005||Lancaster, Pennsylvania||Clipper Magazine Stadium||6,200|
|Newark Bears||1998||Newark, New Jersey||Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium||6,200|
|Somerset Patriots||1998||Bridgewater, New Jersey||Commerce Bank Ballpark||6,100|
|York Revolution||2007||York, Pennsylvania||Sovereign Bank Stadium||5,200|
|Liberty||Bridgeport Bluefish||1998||Bridgeport, Connecticut||The Ballpark at Harbor Yard||5,300|
|Camden Riversharks||2001||Camden, New Jersey||Campbell's Field||6,425|
|Long Island Ducks||2000||Central Islip, New York||Citibank Park||6,002|
|Southern Maryland Blue Crabs||2008||Waldorf, Maryland||Regency Furniture Stadium||6,000|
|Aberdeen Arsenal||Bel Air, Maryland||Thomas Run Park||1,000||1999-2001||Replaced by the Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles Class-A affiliate)|
|Atlantic City Surf||Atlantic City, New Jersey||Bernie Robbins Stadium||5,500||1998-2006||Moved to Can-Am League|
|Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds||Quakertown, Pennsylvania||Memorial Park||800||1998-2002||Became Pennsylvania Road Warriors.|
|Nashua Pride||Nashua, New Hampshire||Holman Stadium||4,375||1998-2005||Moved to Can-Am League.|
|Newburgh Black Diamonds||Newburgh, New York||Delano-Hitch Stadium||3,100||1998-1999||Moved to Quakertown, Pennsylvania to become Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds.|
|Pennsylvania Road Warriors||Pennsylvania||2002-2004||Dissolved by league to make way for the Lancaster Barnstormers|
|Road Warriors||2006-2007||Dissolved by league to make way for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs|
|Long Island||5||Southern Maryland||0|
|1998||Atlantic City Surf||South||3||Bridgeport Bluefish||North||1|
|1999||Bridgeport Bluefish||North||3||Somerset Patriots||North||0|
|2000||Nashua Pride||North||3||Somerset Patriots||South||0|
|2001||Somerset Patriots||South||3||Newark Bears||North||2|
|2002||Newark Bears||South||3||Bridgeport Bluefish||North||0|
|2003||Somerset Patriots||South||3||Nashua Pride||North||2|
|2004||Long Island Ducks||North||3||Camden Riversharks||South||0|
|2005||Somerset Patriots||South||3||Nashua Pride||North||0|
|2006||Lancaster Barnstormers||South||3||Bridgeport Bluefish||North||0|
|2007||Newark Bears||North||3||Somerset Patriots||South||1|
|2008||Somerset Patriots||Liberty||3||Camden Riversharks||Freedom||1|
|(past and present)|