The New Jersey Independent Baseball League was established On August 20, 2008 in Magnolia, New Jersey by Gary Shears. This locally owned and operated league was formed to be an alternative to the nationally owned league franchises that were the only weekend men’s leagues in the area for ball players for many years. It was common place for these national franchise leagues to have costs that were too high and run by leadership that made decisions at the direction of the national organization as opposed to consulting the members who made up the league locally on decisions which impacted them. The goal was and remains to offer adult baseball players in Southern New Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area a quality weekend men’s recreational baseball league that was fun, affordable and run fairly with the best interest of the players as a priority.
The inaugural season of the NJIBL kicked off on Sunday April 5th 2009 across 21 fields in the Southern NJ/Greater Philly area. The NJIBL consisted of 42 teams that had defected from the South Jersey chapter of the Men’s Senior Baseball League, the Tri-State chapter of the National Adult Baseball Association as well as newly formed teams. These teams were spread across three age divisions, a 14 team over 18 division, a 23 team over 25 division and a 5 team over 35 division. The NJIBL also featured an 18 team Fall League as well. By the end of the year the league had 60 teams take the field under its banner.
By opening day of the second season, the NJIBL had increased its membership from 42 teams to 54 teams in the summer season and a 25 team Fall League. Additionally the NJIBL had its inaugural Mid-Week League of 8 teams as well as sponsoring a team in the Rancocas Valley League. All in total the NJIBL grew to 85 teams by the end of 2010.The third season saw even greater growth with a total of 66 teams for the summer season, and 34 teams in the Fall League, and we continued our relationship with the Rancocas Valley League. The total teams for the 2011 season was 101.
In 2012 the NJIBL will begin the summer season with 92 teams and by the end of the year will send over 150 teams out onto the fields across the region. It has expanded its reach in the semi-pro leagues in the area by sponsoring a team in the Atlantic County Baseball League (ACBL) and the Tri-County League. We will also be hosting 2 regional tournaments on Memorial Day weekend as during the Columbus Day Weekend. All proceeds from these tournaments will go to charity.
2013 marks the five year anniversary of the league, and we continue to grow. The NJIBL is now a founding member of the Alliance of Independent Baseball Leagues (AIBL). The AIBL seeks to promote and organize men's amateur baseball across the United States. In the first year, the AIBL plans to have regional championships and allstar games amongst its members, along with tournaments and team rankings in the future.
One of the aspects of the NJIBL that makes it truly unique is that it was initially formed as a non-profit organization whose aim was to raise money for charities that supported cancer research organizations. In its first season the league fundraised close to $3,000 with its primary donation going to the Salt Shaker Foundation. By the end of the third season the NJIBL had fundraised over $13,000 to charitable causes. With the help and support of the leagues sponsor, PJ Whelihan’s, the NJIBL is not only a community of good baseball players they are good players in the community as well.
The NJIBL has proven that the best local baseball is in this league. Our focus on the best interest of the regions baseball players. We are about New Jersey baseball and created for baseball players, by baseball players.