United Shore Professional Baseball League
United Shore Professional Baseball League official logo.png
SportBaseball
Founded2016; 6 years ago (2016)
Inaugural season2016; 6 years ago (2016)
Owner(s)Andy Appleby
CEOAndy Appleby
PresidentDana Schmitt
No. of teams4
CountryUnited States
Venue(s)Jimmy John's Field
Utica, Michigan
ContinentNorth America
Most recent
champion(s)
Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers
Most titlesUtica Unicorns (4)
Official websiteUSPBL.com

The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) is an independent baseball league in suburban Metro Detroit, Michigan, United States, started in May 2016.[1] Each team in the USPBL plays a 42-game regular season schedule from May through September, with a mid-season all-star game and a championship game at the conclusion of the regular season.[2] The games are played at Jimmy John's Field in Utica.[3] Most of the games are broadcast live on the USPBL's YouTube channel, with select games airing on ESPN3.

History

The United Shore Professional Baseball League was founded by Andy Appleby, a former senior vice president of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. Justin Orenduff, a former First Round Pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is the Director of Baseball Operations.

The league has four teams based in Metro Detroit, with all games being played at Jimmy John's Field in Utica, Michigan.[4] The $12 million ballpark has seating for 2,000 and a total capacity of 4,000. It was built on capped brownfield that previously served as an unlicensed dump for household waste.[5]

The league is aimed at 18- to 25-year-olds who either went undrafted out of college, or who have been released from prior minor league contracts. Their pay is expected to range from $600–$800 per month, with housing provided by host families.[6] It is meant to give players recently graduated from college or with limited minor league experience a chance to stay in baseball shape, and give them an opportunity to be signed to contracts with MLB affiliated minor league teams. League revenue comes primarily from sponsorship partners and other advertisements, ticket sales and ballpark concessions. Current managers in the league include former Major League Baseball players Jim Essian, Paul Noce, and Von Joshua.

Forty-five players from the USPBL have signed contracts with Major League Baseball organizations. During the 2019 season, pitcher Randy Dobnak became the first alum to advance all the way to the Major Leagues when he was called up to the Minnesota Twins on August 8, 2019. A second USPBL alum, Logan Gillaspie, was called up to the Baltimore Orioles on May 17, 2022. A third USPBL player, Jared Koenig, made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics during the 2022 season.

Teams

Champions

USPBL champions
Season Champion Runner-up Result
2016 Utica Unicorns Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers 5–0 [7]
2017 Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers Westside Woolly Mammoths 5–2
2018 Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers Eastside Diamond Hoppers 9–3
2019 Utica Unicorns Westside Woolly Mammoths 6–5
2020 Utica Unicorns Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers 11–9
2021 Utica Unicorns Eastside Diamond Hoppers 6–5
2022 Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers Utica Unicorns 8–6

References

  1. ^ "Minor League Baseball Comes to Utica". Detroit News. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  2. ^ "United Shore Professional Baseball League – Q & A". Indy Ball Island. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Anatomy Of Jimmy John's Field". USPBL.com. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Ballpark Preview: Jimmy John's Field". Ballpark Digest. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Names, mascots unveiled for teams at new Utica stadium". Detroit Free Press. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Single-Site Indy League Hopes To Buck Trend". Baseball America. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  7. ^ Folsom, Brandon (September 12, 2016). "Utica Unicorns power to USPBL title with home runs, pitching". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 12, 2016.