The city of Edinburg Texas decided to stay with the Edinburg Roadrunners instead of going with a bid for the rights to the stadium by the Ventura Group, which has owned independent baseball teams in the past and currently owns the Laredo Lemurs (American Association). This is an interesting story as it has ties to previous years.
In 2005 Edinburg had the Coyotes team as part of the Central League, which grew out of the old Texas-Louisiana League and the All-American Association (2001). When the “American Association” name came available and brought in some of the Northern League teams, the AA was able to combine many of the Central League’s Southern teams including the Fort Worth Cats, Shreveport Captains, Pensacola Pelicans, El Paso Diablos and the Coastal Bend Aviators. The San Angelo Colts went to the new United Baseball League, and Edinburg’s lease went to the United League and the team was renamed the Roadrunners. The United League founders, and who later assumed control back of the United League in 2009, were the founders of the Texas-Louisiana League back in 1994.
New fans to independent baseball leagues may not be familiar with the “jockeying” which has taken place in the Southern markets, especially in Texas. Fort Worth, formerly in the AA, is now in the United League (presumed renaming since the Pacific Association was announced a few days ago). San Angelo basically stayed with the same league founders (Texas-Louisiana League in 2000, Central League and the United League/North American League). Edinburg became a part of the ULB in 2006 after being in the Central League in 2005. Laredo used to have a ULB team (the Laredo Broncos), and the market was taken by the new Laredo Lemurs (joining the AA in 2012). El Paso joined the AA after the Central League disbanded. Amarillo used to have the Dillas, but the ULB lost the rights and the team was renamed the Amarillo Sox and play in the same stadium but this time in the American Association. The Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings (Harlingen, TX) have always been in the Texas-Louisiana League or ULB. Grand Prairie has always been in the AA. After the Coastal Bend Aviators (AA) left Robstown, TX after 2007 the ULB played there in 2009 and part of 2010. The Alexandria Aces were in multiple leagues, the last two as a part of the ULB and then switching to the Continental Baseball League in 2009 after the ULB bankruptcy case was resolved. The Aces later dropped to the summer collegiate baseball level.
Other independent leagues which have a presence in Texas in recent years include:
- Atlantic League: Sugar Land Skeeters (started 2012-presenet)
- Pecos League: Alpine Cowboys (formerly Big Bend Cowboys 2009-present) and the new Pecos Bills (2013)
- Continental Baseball League: operated from 2007-2010 (North Richland Hills TX, McKinney TX, Lewisville TX, Texas City TX, Alexandria LA, Texarkana AR, Robstown TX, New Iberia LA, Alpine TX, Las Cruces NM, and neutral sites for travel teams)
Whenever IndependentBaseball.net can offer some history and perspective to news stories regarding independent baseball leagus we will, especially if you are not familiar with some of the history of how teams have moved, been brought back, or were contested in court. Feel free to leave your comments on this topic especially if you have more information to contribute.
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