Category Archives: League & Franchise

Prospect League Adds Alton (IL) to 2021 Lineup

PRESS RELEASE – The Prospect League today announces the awarding and selection of Alton, Illinois as its newest member to begin play for the 2021 season. Alton becomes the 13th Prospect League team. Beautiful Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park will be the home of the to-be-named Prospect League team.

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Save Minor League Baseball Task Force Co-Chairs Lead Introduction of Congressional Resolution Supporting Minor League Baseball

Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), David McKinley (R-WV), Max Rose (D-NY), and Mike Simpson (R-ID) – co-chairs of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force — introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of Congress that Major League Baseball (MLB) should maintain the current minor league structure rather than proceed with its plan to eliminate 42 minor league clubs.  Read press release and resolution here.

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Jackalopes Won’t Play in 2020

In May, the Expedition League (Summer Collegiate) announced that a team would be launched in Rapid City (SD), where the league offices are located.  League president Steve Wagner is now saying that team was still at least one more year away.  Securing funding for necessary stadium upgrades is the problem.  Read more here.

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Mayors Berke, Whaley, Benjamin to Announce Mayors’ Task Force to Save Minor League Baseball

PRESS RELEASE – Mayors of Chattanooga, Tenn., Dayton, Ohio, and Columbia, S.C. tomorrow [Wednesday] will announce the official formation of the Mayors’ Task Force to Save Minor League Baseball.  The Task Force will be co-chaired by Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. Continue reading

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Owner Fights to Save SeaWolves

After spending more than 30 years learning the ins and outs of corporate America, Fernando Aguirre was ready to own a business and bought the Erie SeaWolves (Double-A, Eastern League) in 2015.  Late last year, Aguirre learned that the SeaWolves are one of 42 teams that could be axed under a proposal by MLB.  But, he is working to save the team and his investment.  Meanwhile, UPMC Park is in the middle of a $16 million renovation with some parts finished, including a new field that was put in place before the 2019 season and a new scoreboard that was installed during the season.  Read more here.

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Save Our Spikes

Joined by a large group of community leaders and local, state and federal officials on Thursday at the Centre County Visitors Center, the short-season single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals launched the #SaveOurSpikes campaign to fight back against a Major League Baseball proposal that if enacted would eliminate affiliations for State College and 41 other minor league clubs.  Read more here.

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Newnan (GA) Considering New Coastal Plain League Ballpark

The city of Newnan (GA) is soliciting public comments on a proposed 14-acre sports and entertainment complex that could host an Coastal Plain League (Summer Collegiate) baseball team.  Read more and view renderings here.

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Brunswick (GA) Delays Public Meeting to Discuss Ballpark Proposal

Brunswick (GA) Mayor Cornell Harvey said a town hall meeting scheduled for Jan. 15 to explain a proposal to build a $13-million ballpark for a Coastal Plain League (Summer Collegiate) team and get public input will now be held by mid February at the request of the group trying the establish the franchise.  Read more hereRead previous story here.

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MLB Responds to Anti-Contraction Pressure

Major League Baseball said Saturday it is committed to protecting minor league teams, a day after U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal warned of possible congressional action if the organization followed through on minor league contraction plans.  Read more and watch news report here.

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U.S. Sen. Blumenthal (CT) Sends Letter to MLB Commissioner

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has become the latest Connecticut official to urge Major League Baseball to save the minor league team in Norwich (CT), warning congressional action might be taken.  Read more here.

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New Martinez Mackerel Pushed to Change Name, San Rafael Pacifics Depart

The Martinez Mackerel will begin play in 2020 and be operated by the Pecos League (Independent Professional).  However, the city council apparently didn’t like the name because of a definition of “Mackerel” in the Urban Dictionary.  So, the Pecos League is in the process of choosing a new one.  Read more here.  The previous Martinez Clippers played in the Pacific Association (Independent Professional), which has shown some instability, including the departure of the San Rafael Pacifics, arguably the league’s most successful franchise.  Read more here.

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Brunswick (GA) in Discussions with Coastal Plain League

Baseball has always been America’s pastime.  Despite the popularity of other sports, the timeless appeal of baseball still draws millions to ballparks each year.  The question now is how many would come if the coastal town of Brunswick (GA) built a stadium to bring a Coastal Plain League (Summer Collegiate) franchise to town?  Read more here.  Read more details here.

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The Future of Dutchess Stadium

The long-term future of Dutchess Stadium and its tenants, the Hudson Valley Renegades, remains uncertain pending a new agreement between Major League Baseball and its 162 minor league teams.  Read more here.

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County Agrees to Sell Land to A’s

The Alameda County (CA) Board of Supervisors voted Monday to sell its ownership in the Coliseum complex to the Oakland A’s, capping a years-long effort by the county to get out of the sports business and all but securing the baseball team’s future in the East Bay.  Read more here.

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Expedition League Expands to Sioux Falls

The Expedition League (Summer Collegiate) has announced that it is expanding to Sioux Falls (SD). The yet-to-be-named team will play at Augustana’s Karras Park, as did the Sioux Falls Pilots and Gold, summer college league teams that folded after one season. Baseball front-office veteran Bill Larsen will serve as the club’s general manager.  Read more and watch video here.

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Portland Pickles Add Farm Teams

The owners of the Portland Pickles (Summer Collegiate, West Coast League) announced Tuesday they are starting a new farm team called the Portland Gherkins.  Read more here.  View website here.

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Communities, Congress Fighting Back Against MLB’s Minor League Contraction Plan

Norwich (CT) Mayor Peter Nystrom says he plans to fight hard to preserve his town’s little piece of Americana — the soon-to-be-renamed Connecticut Tigers (we’re hoping for Narwhals) (Single-A, New York-Penn League).  Mayor Norstrom stated:

I’m writing to every municipality affected by this.  These are community centers.  Dodd Stadium is a community center.  To me, this is a stab in the back.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents Norwich, said he believes MLB has underestimated the clout these communities have.  He co-authored a letter signed by over 100 colleagues to MLB officials outlining the negative implications of contraction and reminding them Congress has the power to reconsider the league’s antitrust exemption.  MLB respondedRead more here.

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Plans for Shakopee Ballpark Formally Announced, American Association Targeted

Plans were formally announced this week for an 8,500-seat baseball stadium in Shakopee (MN) that a newly formed minor league team will call home.  A goal for the team is to be a part of the American Association (Independent Professional) and revive the old-time rivalry between the Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints.  Read more here.  Read previous news here.

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Details Emerge of MLB’s Master Plan to Contract MiLB Lineup

In recent weeks, details of the plan have been slowly leaking out, the MLB spin being it’s designed to (1) upgrade all the minor league facilities and (2) improve “wellness” for the minor leaguers in terms of travel and living conditions.  In truth, as always, it’s designed to save money, lots of money, and the proprietors of these minor league teams, many of whom have their life savings invested in them, be damned.  Read more hereRead about the Erie SeaWolves and Connecticut Tigers here.  Read concerns in Erie (PA) about the SeaWolves here.  Read about the fight brewing in Daytona (FL) over the Tortugas here.

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Oconomowoc (WI) Next Batter Up for Ballpark Development

Diamond Club Entertainment LLC, which previously proposed a baseball complex in the city of Pewaukee (WI) and the village of Summit (WI), now has its sights set on a new location in the city of Oconomowoc (WI).  The development, which calls for a 2,500-seat ballpark and a 60,000-square-foot training center attached to the field, would be on nearly 22 acres in Pabst Farms, south of Interstate 94 and directly west of Wisconsin Harley-Davidson, which is at 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive.  The project is scheduled to go before he planning commission on Dec. 11.  Read more here.

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Bristol Blues Move from Futures League to NECBL

The New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) announced on Thursday morning that it would be adding a franchise for the second straight year.  The Bristol Blues will apparently replace the New Bedford Bay Sox to keep the league’s lineup at 13 teams.  The Bay Sox logo no longer appears in the header of the NECBL’s website.  Read more hereRead press release here.

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Mesquite Being Targeted by Atlantic League

The Atlantic League (Independent Professional) is reportedly in discussions with Mesquite (TX) about bringing a franchise to North Texas.  The circuit is in need of a travel partner for the successful Sugar Land Skeeters, which have been the lone franchise in the Lone Star State since the team first took the field in 2012 and is over 1,000 miles away from their nearest opponent in High Point (NC).   Read more  and watch news report here.

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New Britain Bees Depart Atlantic League for Futures League

The New Britain Bees (Independent Professional, Atlantic League) will play as a summer collegiate team in the Futures League in 2020.  Read more here.  Read background about team’s departure from the Atlantic League here and here.

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More Ballpark Chatter in San Antonio

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who is the namesake of the San Antonio Missions’ (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) current stadium, told a local news station that San Antonio (TX) will need a new stadium if it wants to keep Triple-A baseball in town.  Read more here.

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An 8,000-Seat Stadium in Shakopee (MN) Proposed for Return of Millers

There was another step forward in plans to bring a minor league baseball team and stadium to the Twin Cities south of the river.  Organizers invited residents of Shakopee (MN) to a community event Thursday night at Canterbury Park, where plans and photos were unveiled.  The league for the “Metro Millers” has not yet been identified.  Read more and watch news report here.  Read more here and hereView website here.

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Petition to Save the Appalachian League

It didn’t take long after Major League Baseball announced a proposal to eliminate 42 teams from the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) line-up for someone to step up to the plate and launch a petition drive to save certain franchises. Click here for a petition to save the Appalachian League.  What?  Didn’t MiLB just announce Pulaski as the winner of the President’s Award?  ‘Thanks for the memories, Pulaski!”

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Beyond Angels, a “Flurry of Interest” in Long Beach Waterfront Site

Should Los Angeles Angels owner Art Moreno decide to keep his Major League Baseball team in Anaheim, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is not too concerned, as he thinks he might be able to induce another sports owner to take a look at the 13-acre waterfront site being offered up to the Angels.  Read more here.  Read the latest about the Angels here.

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Fire Frogs Headed Back to Brevard County?

It appears the homeless Florida Fire Frogs (Single-A, Florida State League) could be headed back to Brevard County (FL), if a deal to sell the team to Cocoa Baseball Group LLC is indeed consummated.  In a motion filed with the Orange County Clerk of Courts on Oct.  7 (“Tennessee Manatee’s Emergency Motion for Order Requiring Sale of the Club Pursuant to Cocoa Baseball Club, LLC Purchase Agreement to Avoid Forfeiture of that Asset”), it includes details of a Management Agreement dated Oct. 3, 2019 (“Exhibit 3”), which provides the following: Continue reading

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MLB Proposes Radical Restructuring of Farm System, Would Eliminate 40 Teams and Cut Draft in Half

The Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season.  But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well.  Read more here, here and here.

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Governor Signs Bills to Help Advance A’s Ballpark Plans

Amid new threats the Oakland Athletics could move to Las Vegas if a lawsuit by the city of Oakland is not dropped, the state capital has signaled its support for a new ballpark in downtown Oakland. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two Oakland-centric ballpark bills last week, each sponsored by local state officials, which will streamline the regulatory process and help fund infrastructure around the proposed site.  Read more here.

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Can-Am League and Frontier League Announce Historic Merger

PRESS RELEASE – Today the Can-Am League and the Frontier League are announcing a historic merger resulting in the creation of the largest league in all of Independent Professional Baseball. The newly formed Frontier League will begin play in 2020 with a soon to be revealed 96-game schedule spanning from mid-May through September.

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St. Croix River Hounds on Track for 2021 Inaugural Season in NWL

PRESS RELEASE – The Northwoods League and the St. Croix River Hounds are excited to announce that the St. Croix Meadows development in Hudson, Wisconsin is under construction and the infrastructure is near completion. Continue reading

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Latest on Plan to Bring MLB Back to Montreal

Stephen Bronfman, the Baseball Montreal group, and the developer Devimco are in talks to buy a 40-acre plot of land near the Bonaventure Highway and convert it into a $2.5-billion complex of condos, commercial properties and an outdoor stadium.  Read more here.

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New Britain Bees to Play in Can-Am League?

The New Britain Bees (Independent Professional, Atlantic League) will be playing baseball in New Britain (CT) for at least one more year, though their league affiliation for 2020 is unclear.  Reports are that the team will play in the Can-Am League (Independent Professional).  Read more here and here.

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Terry Reynolds Named President of the Florida State League

PRESS RELEASE – The Florida State League today announced longtime baseball executive Terry Reynolds will become the league’s new president on Jan. 1, 2020. Reynolds will take over for retiring league president Ken Carson, who ran the league for the past five seasons.

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New Western Association Announces Henderson Hoo

PRESS RELEASE – The Western Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (“WAPB”) is proud to announce that it has accepted an application for membership to place a charter franchise in Henderson, Nevada.
The franchise will be known as the Henderson Hoo, which will begin play in 2020 as part of the planned inaugural season.

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Expedition League’s Hotshots Suspend Operations

After two seasons in Aberdeen (SD), the Hub City Hotshots (Summer Collegiate, Expedition League) have suspended operations for the 2020 season.  As reported, in a letter from Expedition League President Steve Wagner, who took over operation of the Hotshots this summer, he cited neglect by former team owners Chuck and Mayra Heeman.  Read more here.  Read more background here.

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Proposed MLB Team in Nashville Gets a Name

Paying homage to the Negro Leagues, the local group trying to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville (TN), Music City Baseball LLC made up of businessman John Loar, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former MLB pitcher and front office executive Dave Stewart, have announced the name for the group’s proposed MLB team — the Nashville Stars.  Read more here.

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On the Heels of Controversy, Fans Overwhelmingly Pick ‘River Pigs’

A decision that has taken this village through the ringer is closed.  After a vote by the public on Saturday, Empire League (Independent Professional) President Eddie Gonzalez confirmed what almost 73% of the voters wanted — for River Pigs to be the new name of the Tupper Lake (NY) baseball team.  Read more here.  Read about controversy here.  Thanks to John Cerone for the heads up.

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Speculating About MLB in Vegas

It was reported earlier this summer that officials in Henderson (NV) were quietly trying to lure the Arizona Diamondbacks from Phoenix (AZ), where efforts to build a new major league ballpark have stalled. And that was before Las Vegas Ballpark was christened and the Las Vegas Aviators (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) began obliterating attendance records.  Read more here.

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