Legends On Deck

After The Regular Season, It’s Winter Ball

When the last out is recorded in the World Series, it marks the end of the major league baseball season and the start of their second season; the Off-Season.  But this is also a time when another season takes place and that is Winter Ball.

Teams send some of their prized possessions to compete in leagues set up to showcase their talent like the Arizona Fall League, Australian Baseball League and the Caribbean League.

The Arizona Fall league, as described by MiLB.com, is the “finishing school” for the game’s elite prospects, a six-team league, owned and operated by Major League Baseball and comprised of players from all 30 clubs. The league runs from October to November, with a champion from the league crowned in a one game take all.

The Australian Baseball League features players from around the globe, including many with ties to Major League organizations, and includes six teams located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The Australian League runs from end of October to end of January.

The Caribbean League consists of the Dominican Winter League, Mexican Pacific League, Puerto Rican League and Venezuelan Winter League, which all send their league champions to compete in the annual Caribbean Series in February. Each individual league has a mix of some of the top MLB players, prospects and even players that once donned major league uniforms.  The variety of players makes for games played in front of packed stadiums and fans having a great time at the park.

Back in 2010, Ozzie Guillen described to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, just how the passionate the fans can be during the Caribbean Series, “If you don’t win, you don’t look too good with the people, they take this thing seriously. They are really into it.”

“If you don’t win, you don’t look too good with the people, they take this thing seriously. They are really into it.”

It has to be tough to play a full season in the minors or even the majors and then compete in winter ball, where the games are just as serious as the regular season.

But the key to the winter leagues are for players that need the extra work to continue to push themselves to become even better ball players. There is a risk of injury or maybe even over-playing, but at the end of it all, teams get a better feel for what they have going into the spring training.

Winter Baseball is also a way for the fans to be able to follow some of their favorite players even if the calendar has changed to football season.

(Featured Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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