BallparkDigest.com this week posted a quick article about the Trinidad Triggers of the Pecos League:
The article touches on the relatively low attendance and low pay for the players, but how the team is somewhere in the neighborhood of breakeven. The article at least mentions that this is not necessarily a bad thing since the players are getting a chance to prove what they are worth.
The Pecos League has moved dozens of players onto higher-level independent leagues as well as some of their previous players have then moved onto affiliated leagues. While the attendance numbers are relatively low, there are some upsides to the League’s second season:
- The league had a travel team last year (Carlsbad Bats) and a facility which forced only day games (Ruidoso Osos). Both of those were replaced with the two new teams: Trinidad and the Santa Fe Fuego
- With the folding of the Continental League in 2010, many thought that the Pecos League’s two flagship teams (Alpine Cowboys and Las Cruces Vaqueros) were just “extending the damage” and that the Pecos League would be a “one season wonder”
- The fact that so many players have moved onto higher levels of independent and affiliated baseball gives the league credibility in the eyes of players and coaches, despite the low pay (which is not hidden)
- The league started a winter/spring developmental league which is the pay-for-play business model. This revenue can help a struggling team during the season
- The commissioner, Andrew Dunn, secured contracts for team-specific baseballs with unique stitches in order to help his league stand out
- The league has attempted to run fantasy baseball for the independent leagues with some degree of success. Obviously, much more has to be done for this but it helps give fans a reason to care
More has to be done to raise the Pecos League to the success levels of the other independent leagues. Looking back on the history of independent baseball (since 1993), however, gives the league hope as it’s current year-and-a-half of operating has put it in the top half of independent leagues.
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