Escadian Professional Baseball (EPB) is a professional baseball organization located in the country of Escadia. A total of 24 teams now play in the Atlantic League (AL) and Federal League (FL), with 12 teams in each league.
Teams play 150 games each season and six teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the National Series, a best-of-seven championship series between the two league champions that dates to 1950. Baseball broadcasts are aired throughout Escadia and in several other countries throughout the world. Games are aired on television, radio, and the Internet.
The first professional teams were founded in the greater New London area at the turn of the 20th century. The first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who often jumped from one team or league to another. The first major professional league was the Atlantic Baseball Association (ABA) founded in 1932 which consisted of teams located in the western region of the Escadia. The rival Federal Baseball League (FBL) was formed two years later in 1934 with teams located in the eastern Escadia. In the 1940s, the popularity of the sport increased significantly. In 1943, the Escadian Baseball Championship took place between the ABA and FBL champions. It was the only time prior to the EPB that the two league champions competed. The single game saw the ABA's Philipsburg Pete's defeated the FBL's Lescogan Redsox 2-1 at Grandview Field in New London. However, immediately after the game the result was contested by the FBL and Lescogan who accused the umpires of bias towards the ABA. The ABA and FLB would merge in 1950 to form the Escadian Professional Baseball league.
The league was formed in 1950 upon the merger of the Atlantic Baseball Association (ABA) and Federal Baseball League (FBL). Major James Coldwell, President of the Federal Baseball League convinced the ABA team owners to merge the leagues after negotiating for close to six years. The leagues would maintain autonomy with the each league champion meeting in a final series called the National Series Championship. Coldwell would serve as Escadian Professional Baseball's first Commissioner with former ABA President Jack Howell serving as President. In the inaugural 1950 season, both the Atlantic and Federal leagues fielded four teams apiece. There were two ABA and two FBL clubs that could not agree to terms and did not field teams.
The original four teams in the Atlantic League were: Westport Chiefs, New London Escadians, Normount Royals and Philipsburg Black Sox. The original Federal League teams were the Buckingham Aces, New Alexandria Athletics, Chapeauroux Eagles and Los Benza Giants.
Westport would defeat Buckingham 3 games to 2 to win the first ever National Series Championship.
In the early years the Westport Chiefs established themselves as the most dominant club in baseball, winning the National Series four times and the pennant eight times in the leagues first decade.
The EPB would expand yet again the following season, with the Amaya Angels joining the Atlantic League and the Roisel Nationals joining the Federal League. With a total now of eight clubs in the each league, it was decided that the each league would split into two divisions of four teams.
In 1966 the Atlantic League would add two clubs, one to each division, with the Stratham Knights and Whitebridge Rockets joining the league. That season the Los Benza Giants won their first of three in a row National Series Championships (1966, 1967 & 1968).
The Federal League would expand by two clubs in 1973 with the addition of the Kennebec Olympique and Campino Chargers bringing the EPB to a total of 20 teams. That same year the EPB changed both League Championship Series from a 5-game to 7-game series.
In 1988 the New Alexandria Athletics won three National Series Championships in a row (1988, 1989 & 1990) and reached the National Series a fourth time the next season only to lose to the Flemington Flyers, who would go on to win three National Series Championships in a row (1991, 1992 & 1993).
For the 1991 season, the Atlantic League announced they were implementing the Designated Hitter rule to align with the Federal League, who had used a DH since the inception of the league in 1950.
The last expansion occurred in 1994, when the Hampstead Generals and Pearson Falcons joined the Atlantic League and the Randall Rays and Rhayme Rangers joined the Federal League. Both leagues would re-align to three, four team divisions. A best-of-5 Division Championship series was added along with a Wildcard (the team with most wins outside the three divisional winners).
Starting in the 2016 season, a second Wildcard birth was added to each division. A single playoff between the two Wildcard teams would determine which club would become the fourth team in the Divisional Championship.
Collective bargaining before the start of the 2017 season saw some rule changes including the active roster expanding from 23 to 24 players while the secondary roster was reduced from 42 to 40. Mandatory time served on the disabled list was shortened from 21 to 14 days.
List of teamsEdit
|North Division||Foxmere Lions||Foxmere, MA||Petrocol Dome (52,172)||Fergus Lay||Ramon Garza|
|Normount Royals||Normount, RC||William M. Harris Stadium (33,775)||Glen Brice||Noah Cundall|
|Pearson Falcons||Pearson, RC||Harper Field (34,600)||Neil Hockenhall||Howard Rood|
|Whitebridge Rockets||Whitebridge, MA||Legion Field (27,100)||Ramon Pena||Lenny Edison|
|Central Division||Hampstead Generals||Hampstead, ES||RD Bank Park (26,319)||Jayden Sheldon||Adelmar Bea|
|Flemington Flyers||Flemington, RC||Pollarus Park (34,574)||Manuel Renteria||Luis Nunez|
|New London Escadians||New London, RC||New London Sportplex (60,100)||Pedro Vega||Mitchell Peter|
|Ponteira Pirates||Pontiera, RC||FedEx Field (44,963)||Kane Legh||Taisuke Suitani|
|South Division||Lockeport Blues||Lockeport, ES||Oceanview Park (34,042)||Douglas Henwood||Chris Hyatt|
|Philipsburg Black Sox||Philipsburg, AS||SAP Park (58,000)||Bertrand Summerfield||Eduardo Mora|
|Stratham Knights||Stratham, AS||BurstCola Park (26,100)||Norihisa Ueno||Luis Perez|
|Westport Chiefs||Westport, AS||Bettridge Park (43,500)||Jude Bracegirdle||Zachary Breatron|
|North Division||Amaya Angels||Amaya, MA||RentMoto Field (31,890)||Howard Breayley||Ed Morales|
|Buckingham Aces||Buckingham, WM||Westminster Dome (50,786)||Paul Mullock||Oliver Straw|
|Kennebec Olympique||Kennebec, TB||Palais des Sports (24,042)||Shane Wilson||Jamie Vanstone|
|Randall Rays||Randall, EA||Propiva Park (30,225)||Simon Sare||Flip van der Leeden|
|Central Division||Chapeauroux Eagles||Chapeauroux, TB||Banque de Terebonne Stadium (43,090)||Brody Kimball||Louie Batey|
|Lescogan Red Birds||Lescogan, ES||Premier Group Park (37,978)||Ellis Crawford||Elton Belsey|
|Rhayme Rangers||Rhayme, TB||Oracle Dome (55,000)||Frazer Jeremy||Miguel Angel Velez|
|Roisel Nationals||Roisel, TB||AXA Parc (40,712)||Peter Witney||Raul Lopez|
|South Division||Campino Chargers||Campino, CT||Velasquez Stadium (39,550)||Alan Tod||Wilfred Rockburn|
|Los Benza Giants||Los Benza, CT||bet123 Stadium (40,680)||William Trebilcock||Carlos Diaz|
|New Alexandria Athletics||New Alexandria, ES||eTelecom Park (45,600)||Gyu-sik Park||Glen Bicknell|
|Villatoya Kings||Villatoya, CT||Villatoya Coliseum (47,250)||Mark Riley||Hannes Klammer|
|Robert J. Davis||Commissioner|
|Joe Lidberg||President, Business & Media|
|Russell Brown||Chief Operating Officer|
|Michael Flores||Chief Communications Officer|
|Joe Mathis||Chief Financial Officer & Senior Advisor|
|Robert Oliva||Chief Legal Officer|
|Alton Wells||Chief Investment Officer|
Several networks televise baseball games, including TV4, ESN, and EBC Sports.
Since 2008, TV4 Sports has broadcast EPB games on TV4 Saturday Baseball throughout the entire season. TV4 also holds rights to the All-Star Game until 2020. They share coverage of the Division Series round of the playoffs with ESN. TV4 also alternates League Championship Series broadcasts, broadcasting the Atlantic League Championship Series (ALCS) in odd-numbered years and the Federal League Championship Series (FLCS) in even-numbered years. TV4 broadcasts all games of the National Series.
ESN continues to broadcast EPB games through 2020 as well, beginning with national Opening Day coverage. ESN broadcasts Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, and Baseball Tonight. ESN also has rights to the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game through 2020. ESN has rights to the first round Division Series.
EBC Sports airs Sunday afternoon regular season games (non-exclusive) nationally. EBC Sports carries the League Championship Series that are not included under TV4's television agreement; EBC Sports shows the FLCS in odd-numbered years and the ALCS in even-numbered years.
Fox Sports International is a partner of the EPB who broadcasts games outside of Escadian in countries such as the United States, Latin America, Europe and Japan.
In January 2016, the EPB negotiated a new 4-year contract with the networks:
ESN: $912M ($228M /year)
TV4: $592M ($148M /year)
EBC: $319M ($79M /year)
Each of the 24 teams receive $19M yearly over the four year term.
Top five player contracts as of the end of the 2018 EPB season.
|Player||Contract Value||Yearly Salary||Total Years|
|Jamie MacLaine (PHI)||$137,000,000||$19,000,000||6|
|Tim Panther (CHA)||$74,200,000||$10,600,000||7|
|Marcelino Grandela (PHI)||$67,900,000||$5,300,000||6|
|Ben Priestner (NOR)||$63,200,000||$11,000,000||6|
|Joshua Bisdee (PHI)||$60,500,000||$12,100,000||5|