Independent Carolina League - The Papers
The Independent Carolina League paper was submitted to the 10th annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture. The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture examines the impact of baseball on American culture.
Click here to download the paper.
Hank Utley and Scott Verner were chosen to present the story of the Independent Carolina Baseball League during the 10th annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture.
Click here to download the presentation.
Abstract: The Independent Carolina League, 1936-38: Baseball Outlaws
The independent Carolina League, the professional offspring of semi-pro textile baseball, was born of the Depression-era collapse of organized professional baseball leagues, fed by inter-community rivalries and nurtured by a spirit of independent community enterprise. It became a threat to organized baseball when its leaders realized they could attract high-quality players by offering salaries that were competitive far beyond the size of the league towns, and by promising players career stability (instead of the journeyman life of the organized minor leagues), community hero status and off-season jobs in an era of severe economic uncertainty. Declared an outlaw league by organized baseball, the league nevertheless survived and flourished for three years, partly because of strong community support that defied "organization" from outside and partly because the executives of the close-knit league had the flexibility to make rules to fit any situation that came up, stoking rivalries while also helping to keep rival teams from foundering financially. Several of the league's strengths, however, became fatal weaknesses when organized baseball began to recover from the Depression and high-quality prospects again began to see their best opportunities in organized baseball instead of the outlaw league.
©1998 By R.G. "Hank" Utley and Scott Verner