He won’t be elected, of course, but I’d say it’s an honor to even be on the ballot. There are only 18 new entrants on the ballot, out of 211 players who played their last game in 2014. Of that group, Roberts ranks 9th in rWAR, 7th among position players. Ahead of him: Jeter, Abreu, Giambi, C. Lee, Furcal, E. Chavez, Beckett and M. Ellis. Not too shabby.
In theory I think you could have a business model where independent teams get a strong following. It's the community's team. It's not the impersonal group of millionaires in the $billion taxpayer funded stadium in the city. They're signing players to try to win the league. They're not selling off or promoting players at the drop of a hat. They might have players who stick around for 3-4 years or longer. Teams could have an identity, a personality. It could be like college sports where half the fans have nothing to do with the college, it's just their local team.
But I don't know how well that would work in today's entertainment climate. It's not 1920 or 1950, there are a million things to do, baseball isn't everyone's favorite thing, and community ties might not be as strong as they once were. And it's hard to establish that kind of tradition. People are used to minor leagues being fake baseball where the Orioles prospects hang out for a while. It would be a steep curve to get a foothold and build on it.