Rumor has it that the indy pro Na Koa Ikaika Maui (North American League) franchise has or will be calling it quits. Read more here. While not the cause, it certainly didn’t help Maui’s bottom line when the league’s Lake County Fielders, which are also in financial dire straits, stiffed the home team by failing to show up in Hawaii last week for a four-game series.
Well, paybacks are a bit*h! To stay in business (assuming they are not booted from the NAL), Lake County now has to replace Maui on the schedule for the next eight consecutive home dates starting tomorrow, which they will reportedly do by forming the Kenosha County Fielders visiting (not traveling) team. To save money, we assume the Kenosha team will simply sport Lake County’s away jerseys. Read more here. Thanks to Andy May for the Fielders story.
PRESS RELEASE – The Lake County Fielders, a minor league baseball team in Zion, IL, and the North American League have vowed to stay together — with a twist for the remaining 2011 games. The League and its member teams, recognizing the high costs of air travel this summer coupled with a distressed economy, will adjust the current schedule for the remainder of the season, and provide all 10 League markets with the same professional baseball experience at an affordable cost for fans in each community. For the Lake County Fielders, the plan includes a Monday announcement by the Fielders that the team will play many of its remaining home games against the newly formed Kenosha County Fielders, a team of professional minor leaguers that will challenge their Lake County counterparts when other League teams are not traveling into town. Further details on the Kenosha County Fielders will be announced over the next two days.
“The Fielders and the North American League are taking every creative measure necessary to support this market and stadium project, and keep professional baseball alive for Zion and the surrounding communities,” said team spokesman Bernie DiMeo of DiMeo Communications. “We”ll continue what we started — professional baseball in a family friendly environment at an affordable price. This little minor league team has made more comebacks this season than Rocky Balboa, and we’re going to finish this marathon!” The “marathon” referred to by DiMeo started with a 38-day road trip necessitated by the City of Zion’s stadium construction delays. The Fielders season started on May 25th, but the City didn’t begin construction on the temporary facilty until early June.
“We hope the City can quickly fix whatever internal issues at City Hall have caused the delays, so that in 2012 the Fielders, their fans, and the community can finally have their stadium.” said Dimeo.