A League of His Own

Dave Kaval fulfilled a lifelong dream when he and a friend co-founded an independent baseball league. Here's a glimpse of one busy day

After earning my MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, I decided to continue a business plan I had begun developing in school for an independent baseball league, which I co-founded with my friend Amit Patel. We saw a need for a new league in Arizona and California and made a longtime dream come true. Amit was completing his MSE degree from Stanford when we teamed up to write the business plan for The Golden Baseball League (GBL), an independent professional Class A-level league. It isn't affiliated with Minor League Baseball, which provides farm clubs for Major League Baseball teams.

The GBL owns all but one of its teams, which are located in the following cities: Chico, Fullerton, Long Beach, and San Diego in California; Mesa, Surprise, and Yuma in Arizona; and Tijuana, Mexico. The inaugural 2005 season will consist of 90 games per team and will begin in late May and end in early September.

I have always been baseball nut. Growing up in Cleveland, I was a huge time Indians fan. Upon receiving an undergrad degree from Stanford in 1998, I fulfilled a childhood dream when I traveled to all 30 baseball parks in 38 days with my best friend Brad Null. Brad and I subsequently wrote a book, The Summer that Saved Baseball, about the trip and all the memorable experiences we had.


  As CEO of the GBL, I'm currently working to set the company's strategic direction, acquire additional league-wide sponsors, and handle new fund-raising opportunities. Since we're a startup, new initiatives and crises arise daily, so I often get involved with hiring new employees, developing marketing strategies for our teams, and signing up new expansion markets. My ever-changing role is what keeps the job fun and challenges me to make decisions quickly with limited information.

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