United Shore Professional Baseball League
|No. of teams||4|
|Venue(s)||Jimmy John's Field (Utica, Michigan)|
|Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers|
The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) is an independent baseball league in suburban Metro Detroit, started in May 2016. Each team in the USPBL will play a 50-game regular season schedule from May through September, with an all-star game and championship game at the conclusion of the regular season. The games are played at Jimmy John's Field in Utica. Most of the games are broadcast on the USPBL's YouTube channel, however starting with the 2018 season, select games have started airing on ESPN3.
The United Shore Professional Baseball League was founded by Andy Appleby, a former senior vice president of the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. The league has four teams based in Metro Detroit, with all games being played at Jimmy John's Field in Utica, Michigan. The $12 million ballpark has seating for 4,000 and was built on capped brownfield that previously served as an unlicensed dump for household waste.
The league is aimed at 18–25 year olds who either went undrafted out of college, or who have been released from prior minor league contracts. The pay is expected to range from $600–$800 per month with housing provided by host families. It is meant to give players recently graduated from college or with limited minor league experience a chance to stay in baseball shape and give them an opportunity to be signed to contracts with MLB affiliated minor league teams. All league revenue comes primarily from sponsorship partners and other advertisements, ticket sales and ballpark concessions.
The Utica Unicorns won the initial league championship with a 5–0 win over the Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers on September 11, 2016.
List of teams
- Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers
- Eastside Diamond Hoppers
- Utica Unicorns
- Westside Woolly Mammoths
- "Minor League Baseball Comes to Utica". Detroit News. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "United Shore Professional Baseball League – Q & A". Indy Ball Island. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Anatomy Of Jimmy John's Field". USPBL.com. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- "Ballpark Preview: Jimmy John's Field". Ballpark Digest. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Names, mascots unveiled for teams at new Utica stadium". Detroit Free Press. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Single-Site Indy League Hopes To Buck Trend". Baseball America. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Folsom, Brandon (September 12, 2016). "Utica Unicorns power to USPBL title with home runs, pitching". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 12, 2016.