PRESS RELEASE – In the first three years the off season has been a huge shuffle of potential cities to host Pecos League Teams. For the 2014 season don’t expect there to be much of a shuffle. There are seven returning teams with only eight spots.
The following seven teams are returners to the Pecos League for the 2014 season and beyond. White Sands Pupfish, Roswell Invaders, Alpine Cowboys, Santa Fe Fuego, Trinidad Triggers, Raton Osos and Las Vegas Train Robbers.
That leaves Taos as the question mark from the 2013 season. Will lights be installed for the 2014 season or the 2015 season? Will Taos be able to provide housing for visiting teams? These are key questions.
If Taos isn’t ready for the 2014 season then who will be the final team?
There are close to fifteen cities that have been suggested or even contacted the Pecos League. The Pecos League has had the most requests to land a team in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Alamosa Co, Los Alamos NM would be logical geographical choices. Pueblo, Del Rio and Durango could have been three of the best Pecos League Markets due to their ballparks and community support. Both have one stadium in town that is handcuffed by youth teams. The Pecos League has tried to play in both Durango and Pueblo for three years in a row.
The biggest question is Farmington, which supposedly turned down the Kansas Royals for a Pioneer League Team in 1980′s. With that it is next to impossible to think the Pecos League could crack into Ricketts Field. City Leaders have clearly supported the idea of Pecos League but AABC Brass think otherwise.
The El Paso Diablos name continues to get brought up, but their proposed buy out would eliminate this possiblity. The Pecos League has ended any hopes of Texas expansion including Lubbock, Del Rio, Odessa, Pecos Tx and Monahans. The League came up completely dry in the oil patch of West Texas/Southeastern New Mexico (Artesia, Hobbs, Carlsbad, Monahans, Odessa, Pecos). This despite making numerous trips through the patch every year to get to Alpine.
Las Cruces and Ruidoso often get mentioned to bring teams back due to the need of a Southern Division Team.
Las Cruces City Leaders are leaving their options open for their beautiful ballpark that is sitting vacant and don’t want the Vaqueros back. Earlier this summer they quickly ended talks of bringing back the Vaqueros after dealings with the Continental League that essentially failed. The Continental League made promises that never happened both to Andrew Dunn as the owner of the team and to the City of Las Cruces. In 2010 Las Cruces first taste of pro baseball was a pieced together league with two travel teams that played four days a week. They were the only Pecos League Team left from the CBL. In 2011 the city renovated their stadium leaving seating for 50 people which didn’t work. Many of their fans never got into it with a sub par league and sub par product. In 2012 they had their best year ever making it the finals and drawing a decent amount of fans. In 2013 they were told they were going to get a higher level independent team from a league that never existed.
Ultimately one of the best ballparks in the entire Pecos League Region sits empty with No High School Games no Pro Games. There have been rumors of the Diablos parking their American Association Team there. Pretty hard rumors to believe when Las Cruces finished dead last in Pecos League Attendence and the Diablos drew 20 fans when they played the Vaqueros in Apodoca Park in 2011.
Ruidoso has no lights and has a huge government scandal that involves water testing. They aren’t getting lights and they can’t sell beer. Combine that with one of the hardest ballparks to find in New Mexico and you have an attendence problems. They had some of the best fans in the history of the Pecos League in 2011.
From the numerous failed attempts in Farmington, Clovis, Del Rio and Durango the Pecos League has always attempted to find the best markets possible. An eight team league is very hard to put together and to keep together and the future is unknown except there will be baseball in the seven cities shown above.