Category Archives: League & Franchise

Bringing Pro Ball Back to Jackson (MS)?

Jackson MetsDespite a team in nearby Pearl (MS), Tim Bennett, president of Jackson (MS)-based Overtime Sports and co-owner of the Double-A Huntsville Stars (Southern League) relocating to Biloxi (MS), is taking another run at bringing minor league baseball back to Jackson.  A site being targeted for a proposed new ballpark is at the corner of Mill and Hamilton streets in the historic Farish Street District.  Read more here.  UPDATED:  In another report, the ballpark would be for Jackson State, not a new pro team, which makes far more sense.  Read more here.

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Shovel City Crawlers Fold, First-Year IBL Limps to Finish, Former Pioneers GM Sounds Off

Independent Baseball League LogoShovel City Crawlers IBLThe Shovel City (Marion, OH) Crawlers from the first-year, four-team Independent Baseball League reportedly folded a month ago, leaving the Tiffin (OH) Saints, Adrian (MI) Pioneers, and the traveling Ohio Travelers to carry the circuit for rest of the 2014 season.  Read more here.  Now a man claiming to be the Pioneers former general manager is sharing his not-so-kind thoughts on a public forum.  Read postings here.

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Pecos League Dumping Osos, Diablos

Riudoso OsosDouglas DiablosAs teams in the indy pro Pecos League begin post-season play, it has been made clear that the Roton Osos and first-year Douglas Diablos will not be returning in 2015.  At this point, the league will operate with eight teams next season.  Read about the demise of the Osos hereRead the Pecos League announcement about the Diablos here.

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Atlantic League Ratifies New Pace of Play Initiatives

Atlantic League LogoPRESS RELEASE – The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) today announced that it has ratified six measures to begin August 1 and continue for the remainder of the 2014 season. The ALPB will test the effectiveness of the new rules and their ability to speed up games and keep fans engaged. All rules will be subject to future evaluation by the Pace of Play Committee and Continue reading

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Part I: Minor League Baseball in Panama Beach City

Panama City Beach FL SealIn Part I of a four-part series, New Herald writer Brad Milner begins exploring the prospects for and potential impact of a proposed $30 million ballpark and minor league franchise in Panama Beach City/Bay County (FL).  Read more here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the link.

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Iranians Take Up America’s Pastime

Flag of IranDown a dirt road in a back corner of a vast Tehran sports complex, several dozen young men recently took part in tryouts for Iran’s national baseball team.  They are a small but growing number of Iranians taking up America’s pastime despite long odds.  Closer to the “Bad News Bears” than the major leagues, organized baseball has been played there since 1991.  Read more and view photo gallery hereView Facebook gallery here.

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Perfect Game League Adds Saugerties Stallions for 2015

Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball LeaguePRESS RELEASE – The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League owners met in Elmira, NY prior to the PGCBL All Star Game on July 14th and named Marty Radford as the owner of the new team that begins play in Saugerties, NY in 2015. Continue reading

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Flashback: The Mid-Missouri Mavericks

Mid-Missouri MavericksThe Wendt brother launched the indy pro Mid-Missouri Mavericks (Frontier League) back in 2003, but the Columbia (MO)-based franchise lasted just three seasons.  The team played at the University of Missouri’s Taylor StadiumRead more here.

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New Pro League on Deck?

East Coast Baseball LeagueWe’re not sure how legitimate this is, but a new independent professional league called the East Coast Baseball League is being proposed.  As usual, we’ll take a wait-and-see approach, but it’s a red flag when information about the founder(s) is non-existent.  It’s also a red flag when a new league is seeking “Player Data” on the front page of their website.  That’s the last thing they should be worrying about at this juncture.  View website here.

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Valley Baseball League to Add Charlottesville in 2015

Valley Baseball League LogoSummer collegiate baseball will return to Charlottesville (VA) for the first time since 1974, when a new Valley Baseball League franchise will begin play there in June of 2015.  The team will play at the baseball facility at Charlottesville High School.  Read more here.  Thanks to Mark Tobin for the news.

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Dayton Dragons Being Sold

Dayton Dragons LogoPRESS RELEASE – Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Dayton Dragons franchise – the Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds – from Mandalay Baseball Properties LLC. Continue reading

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Rollins Takes a Ballpark Pause

Rollings College TarsBrevard County ManateesOrange County (FL) commissioners were set to vote Tuesday on a key funding mechanism needed to build a new stadium at Rollins College for the Tars and the Single-A Brevard County Manatees (Florida State League), but that vote was put off because of concerns by Rollins’ board of trustees.  Read more here.

Rendering of proposed ballpark for Rollins College and affiliated club - ACi Architects Inc.

Rendering of proposed ballpark for Rollins College and affiliated club – ACi Architects Inc.

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Single-A Kernels in Talks to Buy Summer Collegiate Bucks

Cedar Rapids Kernels LogoWaterloo Bucks LogoThe Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels (Midwest League) are in talks to buy the summer collegiate Waterloo Bucks (Northwoods League).  The purchase has already been approved by the Midwest League and the President of Minor League Baseball.  There are still a few other hoops to jump through here, but it looks like a done deal.  Read more and view news report here.

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Chihuahuas Ownership Group Pursuing MLS Expansion Team for El Paso

El Paso Chihuahuas HeadMajor League SoccerPRESS RELEASE – MountainStar Sports Group announced today that it has had preliminary and positive discussions with Major League Soccer (MLS) regarding the possibility of adding El Paso as an expansion market for the League. Continue reading

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Help Name the Proposed Can-Am League Franchise in Welland (Ontario)

Niagara Professional Baseball Club LogoPRESS RELEASE – Pirates, Stompers, AquaDucks, Stars, ???… what will be the name of the next professional baseball team in Niagara Region? Continue reading

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Man Tries Hand at Crowdfunding to Bring Team to Loeb Stadium

Prospect League LogoAaron Parrish is attempting to raise money via online crowdfunding to bring a summer collegiate Prospect League team he’s called the “Conductors” to Loeb Stadium in Lafayette (IN).  The money would be used for start-up costs and covering the circuit’s $175,000 franchise fee.  Parrish is currently working alone but is open to creating an ownership group.  Read more here.

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First-Year Bravehearts Prepare for Inaugural Home Opener Thursday

Worcester Bravehearts LogoThe summer collegiate Worcester Bravehearts, the latest entry in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, will play their first game at Torrington (CT) Wednesday against the Torrington Titans and take on the Pittsfield Suns Thursday in their home opener at Hanover Insurance Park.  Read more here.

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Former Field Manager Blames Owners for Bears Demise

Newark Bears LogoKen Oberkfell, former field manager of the now-defunct indy pro Newark Bears (Can-Am League), paints a depressing picture of bumbling mismanagement of the club by owners Douglas Spiel and his wife, Danielle Dronet.  Oberkfell is now field manager for the indy pro Lincoln SaltDogs (American Association).  Spiel and Dronet are reportedly no longer a couple.  Read more here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the link.

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Bismarck Ballpark Renovation Update

Dakota Rattlers LogoMunicipal Stadium in Bismarck (ND) is undergoing a major renovation, and it looks like the project will be wrapping up soon. Read more and watch news report here.  Now it’s time to start pondering future uses for the new 1,100 seat facility, including bringing a summer collegiate ball club to the former Prairie League city.  Read background here.

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United League Lineup Change: Paisanos Out, Charros In

Mexico Paisanos Logo ULBIn a last minute lineup change, the Brownsville Charros will replace the Mexico Paisanos as the indy pro United League‘s travel team for 2014.   The league is talking with Brownsville (TX) officials about a permanent home in 2015.  Ozzie Canseco, who managed the nixed Edinburg Roadrunners last year, will manage the Charros.  The season begins on Tuesday, May 20, for the four-team circuit.  Read more here.

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Mets Co-Owner Interested in Selling Share of Team?

New York Mets LogoSaul B. Katz, who owns a majority share of the Mets in a partnership with his brother-in-law and business partner, Fred Wilpon, has reportedly expressed a desire to sell his portion of the team.  Read more here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the link.

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Shovel City Crawlers Prepare for Inaugural Season

Shovel City Crawlers IBLThe Shovel City (Marion, OH) Crawlers are preparing for their inaugural 2014 season as a member of the start-up indy pro Independent Baseball League.  They will play their games at Lincoln Park.  The other teams set to begin play this season in the new circuit are the Tiffin (OH) Saints, Adrian (MI) Pioneers, and Ohio Travelers (a traveling team, we presume).  Read more here.

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‘The Pecos League’ Six-Part Series on Fox Sports 1

Pecos League LogoFox Sports 1 LogoPRESS RELEASE – FOX Sports Originals gives viewers a front row seat to the wild, tough, and rewarding life in the lowest level of professional baseball with “The Pecos League.” The series will air for six consecutive Tuesdays starting May 13 at 9:30 PM ET on FOX Sports 1. Continue reading

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Fort Myers Miracle Sold

Ft. Myers Miracle LogoPRESS RELEASE – SJS Beacon, a privately held company, is pleased to announce its purchase of the Fort Myers Miracle from the Goldklang Group. The Fort Myers Miracle are the long time Advanced-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and a member of the Florida State League. The Miracle play their home games at Hammond Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Twins. Continue reading

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Still Trying to Get Revived Northern League Off the Ground, Elkhart Team Delayed Until 2015

Elkhart County Miracle LogoCraig Wallin, owner of the proposed indy pro Elkhart County Miracle (Northern League) baseball team confirmed earlier this month that plans to build a new stadium and launch the franchise this season have been postponed.  Nick Desrosiers, chairman of the revived circuit, said an unpredictable economy has made it difficult to get the league going this year.  Desrosiers said he expected to Continue reading

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Newark Bears Hold Not-So-Successful Liquidation Sale

Newark Bears LogoThe now-defunct indy pro Newark Bears (Can-Am League) held a liquidation sale today at Riverfront Stadium in Newark (NJ).  As one attendee reported to us, owner Doug Spiel apparently stopped the auction after a mere 3 1/2 hours and said the remaining available items (only 10 percent sold, we hear) would be sold in lots for more money.  Attendees apparently weren’t too happy about the Continue reading

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Japan Looking to More Professional Baseball to Stimulate Economy?

Nippon Professional Baseball LogoJapan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling party are apparently open-minded about how to revive Japan’s economy. Sportswriter Seijun Ninomiya told Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers Friday that adding four more teams to Japan’s current 12 could reinvigorate regional economies and keep more Japanese players from signing with U.S. teams.  Read more here.

Nippon Professional Baseball 2014 Poster

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Northwoods League, Collegiate Baseball League Europe Announce Partnership

Northwoods League Logo wo Wordmark Collegiate Baseball League Europe LogoPRESS RELEASE – The Northwoods League announced a unique partnership today with Collegiate Baseball League Europe. The main piece of this partnership will see six of the top European players that play in the CBLE during the 2014 season given the chance to play in the Northwoods League during the 2015 season. Continue reading

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Admirals Get New Owner, Two Hawaii Teams Go Dark

Vallejo Admirals A LogoThe indy pro Vallejo Admirals (Pacific Association) announced last week that Robert J. Young and NorCalSports LLC have purchased the team from the Tito Fuentes Baseball Academy.  Last season, Young owned both the Hawaii Stars and Na Koa Ikaika Maui, the 2013 champions of the Pacific Association.  Those teams are dark for the 2014 season.  Read more here.

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Fort Worth Cats Release 2014 Schedule, United League Will Operate with Four Teams

United League LogoThe indy pro United League will operate with just four teams in 2014.  The Fort Worth Cats have released their schedule, and only the San Angelo Colts, Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings and new-entry Mexico Paisanos will be coming to LaGrave Field this season. The WhiteWings and Paisanos will apparently share Harlingen Field in Harlingen (TX).  View the Cats’ schedule here.

Forth Worth Cats LogoSan Angelo Colts LogoRio Grande Valley WhiteWings LogoMexico Paisanos Logo

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Loudoun Hounds Seek Bonds to Help Finance Stadium

Loudoun Hounds LogoVIP Sports and Entertainment, the company hoping to bring professional baseball and soccer to Loudoun County (VA), wrote to the Economic Development Authority last week asking for a resolution for $55 million in taxable bonds to finance a stadium.  Read more hereView VIP press release here.

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Power Part Owner Launches Summer Collegiate Club

Carolina-Virginia_Collegiate_League LogoJohn Wilcox, part owner of the Single-A West Virginia Power (South Atlantic League), plans to launch the summer collegiate Mooresville Spinners (Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League) in Mooresville (NC), about 30 miles north of Charlotte.  The team will play at Moor Park baseball field after Wilcox spends $75,000 in improving the facility.  Read more here.

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Newark Bears Done?

Newark Bears LogoRumors were already out there that the indy pro Newark Bears would not be returning for the 2014 season.  Beyond the team’s absence from the Can-Am League website header and 2014 schedule, a liquidation sale and auction announcement was posted on the Bears Facebook page this afternoon. Continue reading

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Local Reporter Dismisses Idea of Blaze Departure

Bakersfield Blaze LogoWe don’t know what planet he is living on, but Casey Keirnan from the ABC affiliate in Bakersfield (CA) seems to scoff at the idea that the Single-A Bakersfield Blaze (California League) would leave town.  Below are two of his statements: Continue reading

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Pittsburg (CA) Team on Deck Monday Night

Pacific Association LogoThe Pittsburg (CA) City Council will consider a resolution on Monday, April 7, to approve a lease agreement with Backwards K Group LLC and allocate funds for improvements to a field at City Park to serve as the home for the proposed indy pro “Pittsburg Mettle” (Pacific Association).  Read more and view ballpark photos hereView resolution hereView Pittsburg Mettle job announcement here.

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Holland Millers Join Start-Up Michigan Summer Collegiate League

Holland Michigan SealThe Holland Millers have joined the start-up Michigan Summer Collegiate Baseball League.  The team will play at Boeve Baseball Stadium at Hope College.  The Millers join the Muskegon Clippers, Grand Rapids, and three teams from the Detroit area.  The league will be affiliated with the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League and could eventually become a northern division of the circuit.  Read more here.

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Questioning Campbell’s Field, Future of the Camden Riversharks

Camden Riversharks LogoFreelance scribe Tara Nurin takes a look at the reported financial challenges surrounding Campbell’s Field located in Camden (NJ) and ponders the future of the indy pro Camden Riversharks (Atlantic League).  Read more here.

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New Atlantic League Prez Talks Plans for 2014 and Beyond

Atlantic League LogoGet him talking about his early goals as the new president of the indy pro Atlantic League, and you’ll get a good feel for Rick White‘s deep business background.  Read more here.

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Group Negotiating to Buy Roughriders

Frisco Roughriders Secondary MarkA group led by former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg has reportedly emerged as the front-runner to purchase the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders (Texas League) from Mandalay Sports Entertainment.  Read more here.

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Hearing Tonight on Proposed Ballpark in Milwaukee Suburb (UPDATED)

Frontier League logoA proposed new $7 to $11 million baseball stadium in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin (WI) for an indy pro Frontier League franchise will be vetted during a public hearing on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Franklin City Hall.  Read more here.  UPDATE:  The hearing was held in front of a packed house.  A city task force has been formed to assess the possibility of a private-public partnership.  Read more and watch news clip here.

Frankling WI Frontier League Ballpark Proposal from The Rock Sports Complex

 

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