Yuma Desert Rats Withdraw from American West Baseball League

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IndependentBaseball.net just talked to Tim Ferguson, owner of the Yuma Desert Rats, and he sent over the following press release:

YUMA, ARIZONA – Tim Ferguson, owner of the Yuma Desert Rats announced today that the team has elected to immediately remove themselves from the American West Baseball league. The Desert Rats were set to be part of the inaugural season of the AWBL a four-team independent minor league with teams in Fullerton, San Diego, Orange County, and Yuma. Desert Rats Owner and President Tim Ferguson said, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the Yuma Desert Rats will not be playing in the AWBL this season. We believe it is in the best interest of our fans, the City of Yuma, our corporate partners and sponsors to take some time to explore the best way that we can add value to the Yuma community through the game of baseball.”
While minor league baseball is at an all time high in attendance across the nation, hopes are high that the team will be able to continue to grow its fan base, build its corporate partnerships and community outreach programs while continuing to rebuild a foundation for professional baseball in Yuma. “There have been tremendous strides made towards bringing professional baseball back to Yuma. With more time to prepare, we feel that we will be able to sell a significant number of season tickets which will in turn attract even more community partners and sponsors. It also allows us to solidify our position within the local youth and amateur baseball programs in Yuma. We also think it will give us the proper time to find a suitable successor league which will provide the stability to create several much-needed business and support functions at the team level” added Ferguson. Because of a non-disclosure agreement, Ferguson is not able to release any other details regarding his decision to withdraw from the AWBL.
The team ownership went on to state “we would like to thank the community for welcoming myself and my family to Yuma. We remain committed to bringing baseball back in the very near future. We thank our staff, city officials and player participants in the AWBL league tryout for their hard work and dedication. I would also like to thank the many individuals who have helped me navigate this very difficult decision. We look to continue with you all as we look towards a strong and prosperous future within the game of baseball”. Said Ferguson.
Contact Information:
Tim Ferguson
President/General Manager

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1 Comment

  1. Hmmmm…what a joke this league has become…and this was the leading team, no? That has to scuttle it, but are there any options?

    They could suddenly go east and join the highly “flexible” Pecos, causing a disruption for possible the flimsy Carlsbad experiment. But I doubt that the commish there will bite for a team he has little control over…as in owning half the teams that will likely WIN it all. Not good for the travel savings either, unless they make it a travel team that hardly plays in Yuma. Probably has a shot.

    Now do the other three go into the Pacific Association? If they are no longer led by the lousy leadership of the old Golden and NAL leagues, that may be possible. The Pacifics could suddenly drop the idea of playing the United League teams, and play the southern CA teams instead, along with the Maui and Japan independants. But is there a place to play in ANY of those places yet? maybe not.

    Frankly I want the Scorpions back. Great logos and uniform colors.

    Well, the hot stove is warm, but there isn’t that much cooking. All the other leagues east of the Mississippi are hibernating until March. And everybody but the Atlantic has a basically unbalanced schedule. Anything for a buck, I guess. Yuma could join the Freedom quickly as well, forcing them to expand to at least six teams.

    Totally weird that Pecos wants to carry two parttime travel teams. Taos and Carlsbad deserve more than that, and some “home” games are even going to be played out of town! They’re crazy!

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