After months of tryouts and planning, the season will soon be underway for Ozarks Pro Baseball, a developmental, barnstorming minor league. A deal to purchase Price Cutter Park is now on the table, but let’s not have any Art Wilkinson delusions that this will somehow turn minor league baseball on its head. It is what it is. Read more here.
Category Archives: League & Franchise
CNBC’s Sarah Whitten takes a look at the business of independent professional baseball and the Rockland Boulders (Indy Pro, Can-Am League) operating out of Provident Bank Park in Pomona (NY) — just an hour’s drive from the Big Apple. Read more here. Thanks to John Cerone for the link.
A summer collegiate Coastal Plain League franchise will take up residence at Grayson Stadium when the Savannah Sand Gnats (Single-A, South Atlantic League) depart for a new ballpark in Columbia (SC) after the 2015 season. The team will be owned by Jesse Cole and Fans First Entertainment, who will continue to own the Gastonia Grizzlies and manage the Martinsville Mustangs in the CPL. Read more here. Watch news reports here and here.
For those who didn’t hear this earlier, MKE Sports & Entertainment was forced to terminate its managed service contract with the Rockford Aviators (Indy Pro, Frontier League), after Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee ruled that the contract violated the league bylaws because the owner of MKE, Michael Zimmerman, owns two teams in the summer collegiate Prospect League. Read more here.
Tony Hutchinson, one of the founders of Ozarks Pro Baseball, says tryouts have been held, and the teams in the new league — named the Black Bears, Copperheads, Cottonmouths, Mountaineers, Ridgerunners and Whitetails — should begin play around July 5. At this point, the circuit will not play at Price Cutter Park. Read more here and here. Below is a comment from Hutchinson about the split with coach and administrator Art Wilkinson:
“[T]he skepticism about what we’re trying to do because of Art has made it difficult. It’s been tough on us to get things done that we thought were taken care of because of Art. But we’re hopeful.”
Read two statements from Mr. Wilkinson and some of the “skepticism” in our comments section here.
Officials from Macomb County, Utica, the state and General Sports and Entertainment broke ground today on the $12-million baseball stadium that will serve as the home of the three-team United Shore Professional Baseball League. Sandwich chain Jimmy John’s and mortgage lending company United Shore are the official naming rights partners of the ballpark and league. Read more here. Watch news report here.
Opening day is just weeks away for the start-up Ozarks Pro Baseball and now-competing Heartland of America Baseball League, but as of this afternoon, neither organization had purchased Price Cutter Park, but both still plan to play. Read more here. Funny thing, until today, coach and league(s) founder Phil Wilson was still pictured on both league websites. See here and here. He no longer appears on the Heartland site. An internal spat?