La Grande (OR) to Enter SSL North Division

The new Southwestern States League has announced that La Grande (OR) will join the league as a member of the North Division.  The “Wilcats” will play their games at Optimist Memorial Field, which is billed as the only lighted baseball field in Union County.  We will hold fire for now as we see how the league evolves over the next few months, but the decision to place an indy pro team in a horribly amateur ballpark, in a town of under 13,000, and nearly 2,000 miles from Texas, inspires little confidence in the future of this league.


Filed under League & Franchise, Market & Location

27 responses to “La Grande (OR) to Enter SSL North Division

  1. JustAFan

    ooops I fed the troll.

  2. baseballfanz2011

    actually most of your articles are speculation top2bottom marketing works with the SSL and has done 3 of the logos on the site.

  3. Indy baller

    AMEN brothers, keep preaching. Doing this hurts credibility of the other stronger indy leagues and it waist valuable money from people that need it.

  4. BSU Bronco

    Living in South Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon, and being involved with the surrounding communities, there is NO WAY the facilities in Meridian are going to be updated enough to host a successful franchise/League member. There is no money set aside for the expansion of the facility or the city owned park. Plus there won’t be any beer sales inside the park. It’s an American Legion field, and not even a good one. As for the TVCC Complex in Ontario…..basically the same deal. I don’t see this as an successful attempt at all. The admin knows of what he speaks. You are gonna try it with LaGrande? Are you kidding me? I didn’t think Cowboys liked to sit and watch baseball during rodeo season, and where are you gonna pull from Baker City? Joseph? Come on get real, what a disappointment.

  5. baseballfanz2011

    you want something to talk about? how about the fact that Las Cruces logo is a little league logo from the Ocala Outlaws? same with the Rudioso Oso, a little league team logo
    Pecos steals there logos

    • ballparkbiz


      The SSBL, Pecos, and CBL use or used very amateur logos (and websites) that are unworthy of professional teams. These logos demonstrate that the operators of these leagues and teams do not understand marketing and the value of a strong brand, or they simply don’t have the money to spend hiring a professional sports logo designer.

      There is also plenty of copyright infringement going on within the industry as a whole. I have pointed this out on many occassions on this site and behind the scenes in conversations. Thanks for the links.

      Regarding the Pecos and CBL, do a search on this site. There have been plenty of posts about them. Click here for an example.


  6. JustAFan

    Bashing a league that hasn’t even played one game is childish! How do you know that the ballparks aren’t going to be renovated for these teams? You can look at graveyard leagues, but that doesn’t guarantee this new league will follow in their footsteps. Let this new league play some games and see what happens.

    • ballparkbiz

      I know far more about what is going on in the North Division than you think I do. That said, nothing I have said here is “childish.” These are facts. And it’s the failed “see what happens” mentality that a league needs to absolutely avoid. This isn’t play money here, and innocent people get hurt. If you are going to do it, you need to do it right. I love indy ball and want it to succeed. This is why these comments are made.


  7. baseballfanz2011

    that is all small stuff. Once the season starts then the real metric is if your fan base loves you in each market ,And hopefully keeps growing, If your truly a baseball fan attacking other leagues and trying to downsize them to cover up your own faults or dead markets is childish

    • ballparkbiz

      Look, forget about loving baseball. The reality is that only 20-30 percent of fans who attend minor league games are real baseball fans. The rest are just folks looking for a cheap, fun night out with their family and friends, just like bowling or going to the movies. If you don’t reach these fans, you will lose.

      You also must have basic ballpark amenities for fans to take you seriously as a professional operation, including adequate seating capacity, concessions, and restrooms. If not, fans will not show up. And, without fans, you can’t capture the three primary revenue streams of tickets sales, concessions, and advertising/sponsorships.

      So far, the “ballparks” for the new teams in the SSBL North Division, including the La Grande (OR) Wildcats, Meridian (ID) Buccaneers, and Ontario (OR) are wholly inadequate to host professional baseball, or summer collegiate ball for that matter.

      Take a look at Storey Park in Meridian and the facility at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario. Now, compare these to the summer collegiate ballparks of Driller Park in Kilgore and Riverside Stadium in Victoria (TX), home of the East Texas Pump Jacks and Victoria Generals, respectively.

      Folks, please consult experts in the business before launching these teams. Again, unless players are required to pay to play or the teams are heavily subsidized by owners with deep pockets, you will lose a lot of money and leave a trail of financial destruction that will pollute markets, harm fans, and anger sponsors left holding the bag. History is not on your side, as there is a graveyard of indy pro leagues and teams that followed the same naïve path of “I’ll just put a baseball team on the field, and people will flock to watch them.” It’s not reality.


      • A-bro

        At best the treasure valley facility could host a semi-pro senior team of non-draftees college amateurs and has-been single a rookie league pros, and even that will be tough to accomplish.

  8. Hawk87

    I was afraid my snarky reply would ignite some mudslingin’.

    Bottom-line, as fans of baseball, we’re looking for financial solvency when we’re judging a league’s credibility. Any new league has to expect to absorb $1million dollars to operate.

    I’m not sensing a collective of franchise owners in the SSL has those resources. Heck, there are teams in the established independent loops that aren’t financially secure.

    The SSL, or anyone for that matter, can target smaller cities, smaller facilities and try to minimize their expenses and increase their chance for success.

    Having a feasible geographic loop, with six owners with $500k each to operate, is the baseline. Beginning North and South divisions w/o one operating franchise to begin with…?? I don’t suspect it’ll happen.

  9. Indy baller
    here you go Admin the story you want, the SWSL Comish and his team wanting out, you should have a chat with him he can tell you the reason he chose not to be part of this fraud, his name is Richard Kemp. Good dude, get the full story out of him and write an article on it
    lets see how the SWSL spins this

    • Pro Scout

      I did not know that Indy fans and administators were in the business of tatel tale! I know Indy Baller and he was involved in a League (if you could call it that) with absoulutely no baseball creditability. There werent even franchises in place in April of 2010 plus a amatuer travel team. Also most people that comment on these blogs don’t know the behind the scenes dealings. If I had to guess Indy Baller is probably going to part of the Pecos Mens Adult League, a runoff from the folded Continental Baseball League ” A Complete disgrace” At least the new Southwestern States League will have some experienced baseball people in place, which counts for something and sounds like a good start. When your starting something new your going to have Peaks and Valleys, let’s wait and see how this is going to end up!

  10. baseballfanz2011

    you should probably learn to spell before you attack anyone or give an opinion how can you be taken seriously if you don’t proof read your work?

    • Indy baller

      wow thats the best you got, grammar. Come on this isn’t school or a article, its word-press, your prob same kind of dork who would correct people on a message board. Usually when you do stuff like that you have no good info or knowledge to bring to the table and your product isn’t very good.
      Bottom line this league is a joke and I feel bad for the players, coaches and other good people that buy into it.
      Maybe model yourself after the Frontier or the AA instead of a fantasy league, more advertisements on that page then facts

      • Indy baller

        Must know what we are talking about, as after my comments today, they took off the Commish and the Abilene team. Hence I was right that has been up there for a week with a team saying they had nothing to do with this league and they just took it down now, must be run by some real on top of the game lads huh?

  11. Indy baller

    I totally agree Admin,
    Meridian will not work, especially if Andy Swenson is involved, look at his track record, even Ron Baron wouldn’t work with him should tell you something.
    Not only has league changed its name and logo a few times, they have a commissioner who wants nothing to do with them and a team on their website that claims no affiliation with them and that the SWSL is using their image under false pretenses.
    I also think it was funny how they try and use a bunch of cities that other leagues got out of becuase they couldn’t make it work, and Pueblo good luck paying that lease. 4 team leagues don’t work look at CBL last yr, min have to have 6 teams that play against each other.

    • Indy baller

      And still trying to add teams in Feb, March etc of the season you plan on playing, come on man

    • Swens13

      Indy Baller: You may want to check your facts before throwing somebody under the bus! Ron Baron is a great guy and he tried his best to make the CBL work on his own dime, but the league failed miserably due to poor franchise owners who bailed out on the league leaving Ron with running the teams out of his own pocket. The fact that Mr. Swenson did not place a team in the CBL speaks volumes about his due diligence and making a sound business decision to not enter the CBL.
      The SWSL has top notch baseball folks behind it and it will be just fine once the dust settles. They are working hard with each city to renovate the stadiums to the point that they are respectable places for fans to come watch Indy baseball at a cheap price. The model the SWSL has in place is for cheap entertainment that a small community can call their own and high priced ball parks are not needed to succeed under this model.
      For the naysayers out there, please hold your opinions in check until the SWSL gets operational and has a season under its belt. At that point, it will be time to evaluate their future as the communities develop their fan base for support and sponsorships.

  12. ballparkbiz


    Even if you remove the distance factor with North Division teams playing only North Division teams, there is no way you can operate at high school/American League-type ballparks (fields) and expect to succeed, unless you are requiring players to pay to play or the teams are heavily subsidized. That’s a fact! This goes for the ballparks in Meridian (ID) and Ontario (OR) too. I lived there. I know.


  13. lamearmjr

    All South teams will be from markets thats have not had pro baseball in many years, and one has never has pro ball. Judgement should be reserved tell all pieces are in place. The SSL does not release locations until it has a finalized contract, unlike other leagues that chage their teams on an almost daily basis. BTW, North Texas does not appear on the radar in 2011..

  14. puka

    My guess is the south teams will come from north Texas, an area that has failed in previous leagues. This league appears bogus and has no chance in succeeding.

  15. Indy baller

    These dudes are a fraud, quit wasting peoples time with a joke of a league. Their are no teams, no money and its being run by goons lol

  16. Hawk87

    Does La Grande win the North by way of being the only team?

  17. I dont see why the 2k miles from Texas matters?? It has been stated that North Division teams will not play South Division teams until the championship..

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