The Inter-County Major Baseball League
The Inter-County Major Baseball League Teams
The Grey Bruce Baseball League
The Grey Bruce Baseball League Teams
The North Dufferin Baseball League
The North Dufferin Baseball League Teams
Welcome to the turnstile part of the ICBL, GBBL and NDBL Infosite, a collection of and on all the major and minor leagues inside the province of Ontario, which resides in the Dominion of Canada. It is also an attempt to establish all the top leagues in this region and take all of their franchises into one united site. This site wishes to salute the teams in these special league, that have stuck in, through the thick and thin, staying in sport and keeping it alive for all the people to enjoy province, if not nation, wide. And though some of the entries in these leagues did not last long, they left many memories to those who watched them play.
The 2000 campaign will be the Inter-County Major Baseball League's 82nd as the Inter-County Major Baseball League started in 1919 and though the league's presence has been interrupted many times by the enterance of minor leagues and teams, independent and affiliated. Without the Inter-County Major Baseball League, Canada, especially Ontario, would be left without an alternative to these cash first, fans second minor league systems. The financially-strapped Inter-County Baseball League decided that they would step into the void big time, as the league enters the 21st Century. The league has established outposts from Toronto, with the Maple Leafs, London, with the Majors, Kitchener, with the Panthers, Hamilton, with the Cardinals, Guelph, with the Royals, and Brantford, with the Red Sox.
These franchises have seen such success, that current commissioner Bob Thomas has decided in 2000, he would add the St. Thomas Storm and the Waterloo Tigers to the fold. With the inclusion of these two centres and the 2001 entry of the Barrie Baycats, along with possibly 3 or 4 more franchises to be added 2002 forward, the Inter-County Major Baseball League has undoubtedly shown they are not only the league of the next century, they have shown a commitment than many of those temporary minor leagues and teams failed to show all interests in Canada and Ontario Baseball. Several of the nation/province's best players have been given tryouts and eventually landed on Inter-County teams, giving all the teams, new and old, plenty of talent. And unbeliveably, there is still more uncovered diamonds in the rough for even more expansion franchises if the league decided to expand into two to four divisions of 5 or 6 teams each (North, West, South, East).
This eventual expansion into the country yet to be trailblazed was the brainchild of many former commissioners and director of operations within and outside of the league. They overall envisioned a Canadian/Ontario League with up to 20-24 teams, including 4 divisions in the four expressed regions, and the majority of the new teams, being based in Southwestern Ontario as well by 2007. Fortunately under this system, all new entries would not struggle financially, as long as they could work a marketing blitz, in relation with the Toronto Blue Jays and Baseball Canada/Baseball Ontario, and get a television cable deal signed, sealed and delivered, thus allowing all interested teams and areas to remain, as is the current position of the Ontario Hockey League and would not force those teams to withdraw from the league as quickly as they had entered, no matter how weak or small the market. This idea would ultimately proved to be successful, and as has been proven to in fact work in other areas.
Well, my only true personal motive behind backing this theory, myself, is that I, being a huge Listowel Legionaires and supporter of Canada and Ontario Baseball, would really love to see our original Listowel Legionaires Inter-County Major Baseball League franchise re-established here in this town. We have the rabid fans, we have the major financial support and most importantly we have the park and feeder players from the local junior league. This could work and work well with and into the original above plan that the league wants to look at and let's all admit it, expansion does the league's body good. The more teams, the more support, finacial, fan, media, etc. that the league will need in order to fight off the expansion of foreign minor league systems that don't quite know what we want here in this nation/province.
Despite what happens within the realms of expansion, the source for Ontario Baseball, within the executive ranks says that the rankings this year in the Inter-County Major Baseball League should have the 2000 season finish out with 1. Toronto Maple Leafs, 2. Kitchener Panthers, 3. Guelph Royals, 4. St. Thomas Storm, 5. Brantford Red Sox, 6. Hamilton Cardinals, 7. London Majors and 8. Waterloo Tigers and the Final will be Toronto over Kitchener.
With this being said, many in minor league independent baseball leagues like Frontier League Baseball in London and Northern League Baseball in Thunder Bay and Quebec are starting to see the need for feeder leagues like the Inter County Major Baseball League, the same way the Inter County Major Baseball League looks at Ontario Baseball Association formed leagues like the Grey Bruce Baseball League and the North Dufferin Baseball League. That new-found importance has brought the current big fish feeding from smaller fish recruitment system into focus and is starting to make a difference amongst the newest of teams, swift movement amongst teams like the St. Thomas Storm, Waterloo Tigers and the newest kid on the block, the Barrie Baycats, will eventually force many of the old schoolers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Kitchener Panthers chief examples, to stop the ancient old boys room draft system in which only those hand picked by themselves got in. This was the main cause for the lack of talent that shook every amateur and minor league since the 1994 MLB mid-season strike.
The 2000 campaign will not begin in this young decade old baseball league, which was looked upon as the leading contender for talent as a feeder league to the Inter County Majors the Grey Bruce Baseball League started in 1989, which was not that long ago and with that short history in mind you have to wonder what went wrong as far as the operation of this once great league. Some theorist think that there was just clearly no structure at the top and that the league, which at the start of its conception back in 1985, had started as merely a recreational league, grew too big for its britches. Others realize that the arch-rival North Dufferin Baseball League was always recruiting players and taking well founded team, such as the Flesherton Rangers organization, from Grey Bruce. And that did not help matters any. The operation in its last year, had prime junior teams in the Listowel Legionnaires and the Chesley Chiefs. Also strong teams within the Owen Sound Rams and Port Elgin White Sox ranks. The Kincardine Cardinals rounded out the rest of the field. Whatever the case, this much maligned league, despite the bright and fresh talent it had, could not recover from the Y2K Bug that attacked it over the winter and forced the brains behind the operation to either get big or go out. The league, still with Inter County Major quality areas in Listowel, Owen Sound and Port Elgin, ceased operations and hasn't promised to return for 2001, leaving many players displaced and looking for teams to play with amongst other Inter County Major Baseball League teams. That isn't the case in Listowel, where the immediate end of one era just naturally begot another. The Legionnaires began their 2000 campaign in the Inter County Minor Baseball League and with a strong show of talent along with its standings and the number of eligible players that will be soon overage, many are asking if and when the Inter County Major Baseball League executives will award the town and area a franchise for keeps in the Senior circuit.
The recovery of the Grey Bruce Baseball League is one thing that will most definately play against the City of Owen Sound and Town of Port Elgin, as far as attracting an Inter County Major Baseball League franchise. The Senior circuit frowns upon defeat amongst executives but even worse, it frowns upon support for softball, which seems to be the sport of choice from Hanover north. With that sport outmatching baseball in all areas (media, fans, player participation, etc.), ICMBL baseball may be delayed for at least another 2 to 3 years before the overall climate is well enough to hold a franchise or two during the league's expansion drive.
The 2000 campaign will be one of the greatest the North Dufferin Baseball League hs had in years. With the Grey Bruce Baseball League folding, the North Dufferin Baseball League will be looking to add any displaced baseball franchises of the Grey Bruce Baseball League to add along with their current lineup of the Beaver Valley Beavers, the Clarksburg Blues, the two Collingwood teams, being the Blues and the Cubs, the two Flesherton teams bing the Senior Rangers and Junior Rangers, the Creemore Braves, the Ivy Leafs, the Lisle Astros, the two New Lowell teams, being the Senior Knights and Junior Knights, the Orillia Majors and the Stayner Squires.
These teams will be the only ones that will be territory-wise, property of the newest Inter County Major Baseball League team and will need a waiver to be released. That gives Barrie a huge advantage as far as making a killing on recruiting alone. With that in hand, some feel that the Baycats may make a run at not just making the playoffs but getting to the Finals with the talent provided from the North Dufferin Baseball League. This is even with the expansion tag added onto them. If Owen Sound were to entered into the league, this would provide problems with this scenerio, as the Beaver Valley Beavers, the Clarksburg Blues, the two Collingwood teams, being the Blues and the Cubs, the two Flesherton teams bing the Senior Rangers and Junior Rangers and the Creemore Braves would all be possibly recalled but even weirder would be Port Elgin placing a third entry, as all of the Grey Bruce Baseball League's former teams, the Port Elgin White Sox, the Chesley Chiefs and the Kincardine Cardinals, except of course the Owen Sound Rams would be theirs. The only centre that can make and take of their own, and do it quite efficently, would be the Town of Listowel and their beloved Legionaires.
So it is up to the fans, players and executives of these teams in the Inter County Major Baseball League, Grey Bruce Baseball League, North Dufferin Baseball League, Frontier League Baseball and Northern League Baseball to keep this game together as one united huddle on the mound, talking to each other and communicating. This site has many ways for all of you to interact with one another so please use them as they were meant to be used. The same number of people supporting this site is also the same number of those same fans who want to support North American Minor League/Amateur Baseball and if it is low, we will accept that only because our Major League cousin has made that the temperature of that very fever. Maybe one day, someday, the fever will once more be hot, the numbers will be high and father will once more take his son to the ballgame. Until then this site will be there for them.
As well, feel free to check out these three personal favourite Canadian Ontarian Amateur Baseball team sites, read up on and bookmark them, if you wish: