The Independent Players Baseball Organization was established in Springdale, Pennsylvania, during the summer of 2001. Since that time teenage players (13 – 18 years of age) from Western, Pennsylvania participating on the team have experienced summer baseball at the highest level of competition in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
The organization was established realizing that circumstances may exist that prohibit aspiring young baseball players from having an opportunity to play summer baseball at a high level of competition, or at a frequency that they desire. Many local community leagues and organizations that are available for players of high school age to participate limit the number of games that can be played, or control the schedule and teams that can be played. Some aspiring young talented players may not have a local team in their area to play for during the summer. The Independent Players Baseball Organization was designed for aspiring players desiring to fill their summer with a baseball experience that includes sound instruction in practice sessions and a full schedule against some of the best teams in the area and nation.
The Independent Players Baseball Organization was established exclusively for the benefit of participating players, obtained through the opportunity to play against the highest level of competition in the region. The team started out as “independent” since it was not affiliated with any one league. Now that the WPEBL was formed the Players are a part of that league. They have joined the WPEBL because of the college and professional exposure of the league as well as the best competition in Western Pennsylvania. There are no boundaries as to where players that wish to participate on the team may come from, or limitations as to where, when, and how many games can be played. Throughout the summer the Independent Players Baseball Organization seeks to schedule games against the best teams in the tri-state area, regardless of the league in which they participate, or the area in which they may be located.
The coaching staff provides instruction in all aspects of the game, and emphasizes the development of skills and routine execution of basic fundamental technique in all phases of baseball. Younger players on the team benefit from practice and game experience, as well as the opportunity to play with older more seasoned players that serve as developmental peer role models. Older players that have mastered the fundamental techniques of the game, and perfected their skills also establish the standard for aspiring young players. Through observation and participation with older players, younger players develop a clear understanding of the skill level required to compete at a high level, and are challenged to perform. Exposure in this environment is an excellent means for young players to develop their skills as baseball players, with the encouragement and positive reinforcement of their coaches and team mates.
In addition to team practices and games played throughout the months of June and July, the Independent Players Baseball Organization participates annually at The Beast of The East Tournament in Wheeling, West Virginia, Freeport International Tournament,and the Pennsylvania State Connie Mack Tournament. The Independent Players Baseball Organization advanced to the Regional Connie Mack Tournament in 2002 and 2003, representing the State of Pennsylvania and were champions of the Seneca Valley Wooden Bat Tournament in 2004. The Players were also ranked first in the state and second in the country in 2004.
The Independent Players Baseball Organization aspires to be known as one of the best organizations for developing the skills and mental toughness of teenage baseball players. The means of developing young baseball players is through sound instruction in the fundamentals of baseball, productive practice sessions, positive reinforcement, and experience against strong competition. Over the course of each season players participating on the team are seen often by coaches and scouts from various colleges and professional teams. The Independent Players Baseball Organization and all of its participants and spectators will adhere to principles that abound sound character, poise, composure, integrity, sportsmanship, and commitment. At no time will behavior which causes embarrassment to the team or organization be tolerated. Participants involved with such behavior will be dismissed.
The Independent Players practice and play home games in Springdale, Pennsylvania. A schedule consisting of 50 games is played each summer, with games being played at home and away at locations in the Tri-State area.