NEW YORK: Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Wednesday that it has named the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) its first “Partner League”.
As a Partner League, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. This designation expands the current agreement between the leagues which permits MLB to test experimental playing rules and equipment during Atlantic League games. The existing agreement has also been extended through the 2023 season.
During the 2019 season, MLB and ALPB partnered to successfully test the Automated Ball-Strike System (ABS), which used radar tracking technology to assist home plate umpires in calling balls and strikes. In addition, the Atlantic League tested rules limiting defensive shifting, mound visits, shortening inning breaks, and larger bases.
“We are excited to extend our relationship with the Atlantic League, which provides us a unique means to push the sport forward,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president, Baseball Economics & Operations. “The Atlantic League clubs and players have been great partners to us as we jointly test ways to make our game even more interesting and engaging to fans.”
“The Atlantic League is inspired by the evolution of its relationship with Major League Baseball and thrilled to be named their first Partner League,” said ALPB president Rick White. “We value MLB’s confidence in ALPB and look forward to advancing our sport together.”