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American Association, Frontier League now MLB Partner Leagues

Major League BaseballTwo more independent leagues are now under the MLB umbrella, as the American Association and Frontier League have signed up as MLB Partner Leagues, joining the Atlantic League.

According to a press release from MLB, the Frontier League and the American Association will collaborate with MLB on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the United States and Canada.

“We welcome the American Association and Frontier Leagues as Partner Leagues, and look forward to working with them toward our shared goal of expanding the geographic reach of baseball,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations, via press statement.

“We look forward to our partnership with MLB incorporating the American Association into the MLB family. To grow America’s Pastime, it’s critical to bring all stakeholders in professional baseball to the table,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “We believe this association with Major League Baseball will culminate in a comprehensive agreement that will grow baseball and shine an even brighter light on the American Association. The American Association has already established itself as a premier professional league in North America, this partnership will only enhance the American Association’s stature among the professional baseball world.”

Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee says, “The Frontier League is honored to become a Partner League with Major League Baseball. This partnership will be beneficial in growing our great game of Baseball in all of our United States and Canadian markets. Our teams and fans will all be excited to see the League grow in years to come. The Frontier League began in 1993, to have a relationship with Major League Baseball, is one of the greatest moments in League history.”

There are still some smaller indy leagues out there, such as the Pecos League, but with the inclusion of the three leading independent leagues, MLB has subsumed the vast majority of independent baseball. It will be interesting to see exactly what being an MLB Partner League really means and exactly who benefits.

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