The Golden Baseball League
The Golden Baseball League was an independent baseball league with teams located in the Western United States and Canada. None of the teams in the GBL were directly associated with Major League Baseball, but some players did work their way to the majors. The league lasted from 2004 to 2010. After the league folded, some teams were merged to help form the North American League.
The Teams of the Golden League
The Golden Baseball League started with eight teams and ended with six. One unique team that was featured the first season of GBL operation was the Japan Samurai Bears, the leagues traveling team. The Bears did not have a home stadium and played all their games on the road. Early in the league, the teams leased time at ballparks owned by Universities and other athletic associations. During the leagues last season there were six different teams located in Canada, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona.
The North American League
After the completion of the 2010 season, the Golden League merged with the Northern League and the United Baseball League to form the North American League. The NAL has initially been successful. There are 10 teams distributed equally among two divisions. There is now a team in Illinois and four in Texas. The league reports that in 2010 there were 35 players whose contracts were purchased by Major League ball clubs. Four additional teams have been approved to join the NAL for the 2012 season: Long Beach Armada, Omaha Flame, Tucson Toros, and the Orange County Flyers. Hopefully, you get the opportunity to see some North American League teams, or other independent baseball leagues, play ball this summer.