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Ask MiLB.com: A new way to search
Fans inquire about souvenirs, field standards, Ottawa, more
03/22/2012 10:00 AM ET
Michael Walker, a 14th-rounder, had 72 RBIs in 2011 for Wisconsin.
Michael Walker, a 14th-rounder, had 72 RBIs in 2011 for Wisconsin. (Paul R. Gierhart/MiLB.com)
Baseball fans have a lot of questions about the Minor Leagues, the players and this website. We at MiLB.com attempt to answer some of those curiosities -- no promises, though.

Have a question? Shoot us an email at webmaster@MiLB.com, drill us on Facebook or Tweet at us #AskMiLB.





I am a high school senior. In my engineering class, I am researching the inconsistencies in swinging techniques. Is this a problem for players in your league? I would really appreciate the input. -- Austen E.

Swings do have inconsistencies. After all, players are required to swing at different types of pitches in different locations. It's not like golf, where the ball is typically in about the same place for every swing. Talking to a batting coach about this topic might make sense.

Where can I find a list of all Minor League teams broken down by Triple-A, Double-A, Class A, Rookie, with contact info and affiliation? -- Mike L.

Believe it or not, we have such a list right here and right here.

I am trying to locate the .ics file for each MiLB team's 2012 schedule. Is this available for each team? -- Amanda

iCal schedules will only be available if those individual teams created the files, so, no, they are not available for every Minor League Baseball club. If a team has created one, it would be linked from the "schedule" tab on the main navigation on their site.

I was wondering if there was a way I could find information on my father. He played in the '30s and '40s as a pitcher. The team he played for was the Lucky Strikes. I do know that he played for the Cleveland Indians farm team. He was a very good pitcher, because he told me that in the Army, he played against Ralph Houk and that Ralph never beat him. Here is my dad's info: Sam Collura, Plainsville Pa., born 1913. -- Sam

What more do you need to know? It sounds like you know more about your dad than we would. Here is a link to your father's statistics on baseball-reference.com.

I use the player search option quite a lot. On a daily basis, at least a dozen times. Quite a few people amongst my circle do the same. I'm sure quite a few others outside my circle, too. Why is this option getting harder and harder to find? -- Devoted MiLB fan!

I can't seem to figure out where to check Minor League players -- trying to find out if Brett Moorhouse or Kenny Smalley are still under contract somewhere in the Minor League system. I used to be able to access from this site -- get a picture of the player and where they were playing. -- Lowell H.

You can search for players on MiLB.com by first or last name to find their pages. Check out our new auto-suggest search feature for 2012, it works quite well; the search bar is located where it's always been, on the top right corner of any page on our site.

If the players you're searching for are no longer active and playing, like the two you mentioned, their pages may not show up in a search. Neither Moorhouse nor Smalley have played since 2010, so their pages are not likely to appear as active player results.

I am looking for some reliable sources that contain stats on Minor League Baseball average pay (Class A, Double-A and Triple-A) for the most recent years. I am also looking for some sources that contain stats on the average number of years a player spends in each respective division of the Minor Leagues and the percentage of Minor League players that make it to MLB. -- Josh S.

Minor League Baseball does not have any statistics regarding the average pay or the average number of years players spend in each MiLB classification. Since players are employees of Major League clubs, their contracts are handled by Major League Baseball. The last figure we received regarding the percentage of MiLB players who make it to the Majors was between 5 and 10 percent.

I'm trying to find a Minor League Baseball league in Michigan for guys my age, 19 and up, and I don't know where to look? Any advice? -- Drey D., via Facebook

It sounds like you're looking for a recreational league or adult league. Players in Minor League Baseball are scouted and drafted by Major League organizations or signed as international free agents -- you can't just sign up for a league in your area. Here's some additional info.

How do you get a tryout for one of these teams? -- Buster B., via Facebook

Although tryouts may be held at a team's facility, it is not possible to try out directly for a particular Minor League team. Google "MLB Tryouts" (see the first three results) or read this.

I live in Ottawa, Canada, where we had a Triple-A team for a number of years, but with the demise of the Montreal Expos, fan interest waned and we have had no Minor League team for approximately 10 years. (Editors' note: The Ottawa Lynx left following the 2007 season.) We have a stadium which seats around 9,000 or so, which has a fairly decent natural grass surface. Recently, there has been talk of bringing a Double-A team to town using the existing stadium. Renovations have been requested of the stadium, including the installation of an artificial playing surface, which I believe would be a shame as the existing natural playing surface seems fine, and I find baseball more pleasurable watching games played on real grass. Media have reported the reason for the artificial surface is "to bring the stadium up to current Minor League standards." I find it hard to believe that there is a Minor League standard requiring artificial turf and would like to clarify if this is the case. -- Mark M.

There are MiLB Facility Standards in place, but there is no standard requiring artificial turf. You can read more about Ottawa's efforts here. Some teams in the Midwest League are using field turf surfaces because of inclement early-season weather, and perhaps that is the reason for the turf change, since spring in Ottawa must be quite cold.

Why do you do such a good job of hiding the cost of subscribing to MiLB.TV? I was going to renew my subscription, but I can't find the monthly or seasonal cost anywhere. That should be information that should be easy to find, not hidden in the small print. I will look for a few more minutes and if I can't find it, you have lost a customer. -- Keith B.

No need to threaten us -- direct sale of MiLB.TV begins on the afternoon of Thursday, March 22. You can find that information here. You'll have plenty of time to subscribe before Opening Day.

I think MiLB needs to get their own game that includes all the teams. I would play it if you brought it to PC or PS2. -- @mlbfan85 via Twitter

PS2? That's so 2004. Actually, we don't have any plans to create a Minor League video game, although some current Major League games do include Minor League players, teams and ballparks.

I am trying to locate some Minor League Baseball teams to go watch that are within 60-90 minutes of Swansboro, N.C. Is there any way you could send me a list of teams close to the area? I'd appreciate it since I am an avid baseball fan and enjoy the sport. -- Rick E.

You can find a map and list of all the teams in North Carolina on our tickets page. (North Carolina clubs: Asheville Tourists, Burlington Royals, Carolina Mudcats, Durham Bulls, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Hickory Crawdads, Kannapolis Intimidators, Winston-Salem Dash).

I'm a student at DePaul University and I am writing a research-based argument paper on baseball and its popularity. I am looking to try to contact a manager to acquire some feedback on how they personally feel and hopefully use them as a source for my writing. My main question is can you disclose email addresses of the managers to the public? And if so, I would greatly appreciate anyone that you know who would get back to me in a fair amount of time. Being a Cubs fan, the ultimate would obviously be hearing Ryne Sandberg's opinion. -- Chris L.

We can't post Ryne Sandberg's email address on the web -- he'd probably get mad at us. Actually, the best way to set up an interview would be to contact the media relations director for the teams whose managers you're interested in. They can best advise you on how to reach their field staff. Contact info for each front-office staff can be found on team websites.

Is there any chance that MiLB.com [will] publish the Mexican League's transactions all year long? -- Bert C.

Yes, the chances are the same as last season -- transactions are always posted on respective league websites. Here are the Mexican League's.

I just wanted to say a little something. My son is playing on a recreation league team called the Mudcats out in Powder Springs, Ga. We love our son and do all that we can to support him and his team. I went on your online shop this morning looking for a hat and a shirt to wear to his games. To my dismay, I found that the shipping cost on these items are indeed more than the items themselves. I do not know who runs your shipping or who is profiting from these, but that is a bit ridiculous for standard shipping. I am not exactly sure how well you do on your online sales, but you won't be receiving any purchase requests from me and I will make sure everyone else on my kid's team is aware of your railroading tactics. -- Chris F.

These are team shops. The teams produce their souvenirs, set the prices, sell the products and ship them out. So we'd recommend you contact the teams if you have any concerns -- they can best explain their shipping policies.

I am a huge fan of Minor League Baseball and I wanted to know how to attend Minor League Spring Training games and where they are held. I assume they are held at the Major League affiliate's Spring Training facilities and, if so, how would I find the schedule for the Minor League Spring Training games? Does it cost anything? -- Julian L.

I have been having a problem coming up with a list of the Minor League Spring Training sites. Is there one? -- Steve

Minor League spring games are held on alternate fields at Major League Spring Training facilities. Most clubs do not publicly announce game schedules for these contests. As far as tickets or dates go, you'd want to call the complex ahead of time to see if it has any details. Here's a page with all of the Grapefruit League Spring Training locations and one with the Cactus League sites.

My nephew just turned 12 and told me his favorite player is Michael Walker. Would you kindly tell me where I can buy a kids' medium T-shirt autographed by Walker? -- Janie R.

That item most likely doesn't exist -- it's rare that a Minor League team would have personalized player T-shirts for sale, especially Class A clubs (unless the player is Bryce Harper). Walker played at Class A Wisconsin last season -- you can find some non-player Timber Rattlers T-shirts here.

How does an 18-year-old pitcher get someone to look at him? -- Carol B., via Facebook

He goes to high school and/or college, gets scouted, pitches for college summer league teams, attends open tryouts, talks to his coaches, etc.

What is the minimum age for starting a professional player? -- @madinahomar, via Twitter

Major League tryout camp rules stipulate that all players must be at least 16 years of age to participate in a tryout. Also, international free agents cannot sign a contract before turning 16.

Have a question? Shoot us an email at webmaster@milb.com or leave a comment below, and please be as specific as possible so that we can accurately respond to your inquiry. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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