League Staff



Tim Gross

League Owner

Tim is the majority owner of the Freedom Pro Baseball League. 


Joe Sperle

League President

Joe is the President and  minority owner and league founder of the Freedom Pro Baseball League.  Joe has over 20 years playing and coaching  experience and  also owns and operates  Joe Sperle's Baseball School.


                                               Michael King

                                                  Executive Vice President / General Manager


                                               Dick Smith

                                                 Director of Sponsorships


                                               Darin Martin

                                                 Director of Community Relations



                                               Andrew Hays

                                                 Account Executive


                                               Jennifer Smith

                                                 Account Executive


                                               Linda Lown




Team Managers


Ryan Henderson

Manager, Copper State Prospectors

Ryan was drafted out of the University of Southern California to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1992 draft and spent ten seasons with a number of MLB organizations. He served as the Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for Phoenix Community College.



Dave Hilton

Manager, Sonoran Explorers

Dave was drafted in 1971 out of Rice University and played four seasons for the San Diego Padres. He also played three seasons in Japan for the Yakult Swallows and Hanshin Tigers. Since 1984, Hilton has worked in professional baseball as a field manager, hitting instructor, pitching coach, and infield and baserunning coordinator. 



Ben Johsnon

Manager, Arizona Centennials

Ben was drafted in 1999 by the St. Louis Cardinals and traded to the San Diego Padres the following year. He was the Padres Minor League Player of the Year in 2005.  He also had stops with the New York Mets and Detroit Tigers during his professional career. 






Coaching Staff


Jason Conti

Assistant Coach, Copper State Prospectors

Jason was drafted out of the University of Pittsburgh in the 1996 amateur draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. After five years in the D-backs organization, including parts of two seasons at the Major League level, he spent time with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. His first coaching experience was with the Chandler National Little League. 



Rob Deer

Bench Coach, Arizona Centennials

Rob was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1978. He played for five clubs during his 11-year big league career including the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres.   Rob  was the San Diego Padres Minor League Roving Hitting Instructor before accepting the Bench Coach positions for the Centennials.



Lino Garcia

Hitting Coach, Montezuma Federals

Lino has 11 seasons of professional baseball experience including stops with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies organizations. 






Ken Huckaby

Assistant Coach, Copper State Prospectors

Ken was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1991 and played six years at the Major League level with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox.



Lou Klimchock

Hitting Coach, Sonoran Explorers

Lou has nearly two decades of professional baseball experience, playing 12 seasons with the Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves, New York Mets, Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians. Klimchock was a two time Minor League Batting Champion. He is President of the Arizona Major League Alumni and Arizona Youth Baseball.



Rafael Melchione

Hitting Coach, Arizona Centennials

Rafael played  from 1995 to 2002 with stops in the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organizations.  He served as a hitting instructor with many organizations before becoming an associate scout with the Angels. 



Tom Novak

Pitching Coach, Sonoran Explorers

Tom was drafted in 1986 by the Cincinnati Reds and played three seasons with the Reds and Houston Astros organizations. 



Larry See

Assistant Coach, Copper State Prospectors

Larry is a former first baseman who played two seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers.



Jim Shields

Infield Coach, Arizona Centennials

Jim played at Lyon College. He has spent the last five years as varsity baseball coach at Verrado High School in Buckeye, AZ. 



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