Pecos League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2024 Pecos League season
SportBaseball
Founded2010
FounderBob Ward, Andrew Dunn
First season2011
Owner(s)Andrew Dunn
CEOAndrew Dunn
CommissionerAndrew Dunn
Divisions2
No. of teams16
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersHouston, Texas
ContinentNorth America
Most recent
champion(s)
San Rafael Pacifics
(2023)
Most titlesRoswell Invaders (4)
Streaming partner(s)Meridix
Official websitepecosleague.com

The Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs is an independent professional baseball league headquartered in Houston, which operates in cities in desert mountain regions throughout California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The league plays in cities that do not have Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either.

The Pecos League season is a highly condensed one. Schedules vary, but teams have played as many as 70 games in 72 days, or 80 games in three months.[1][2]

History

The Pecos League operated six teams in the 2011[3] and 2012 seasons and expanded to eight teams for 2013. Continued growth saw the league reach a high of 10 teams for 2014.

The Pecos League also operates a spring developmental league, which is a one-month showcase beginning in March for recent college graduates and free agents looking to catch on to a full season league.

In May 2014, Fox Sports 1 aired a six-part documentary about life in the Pecos League, mostly based on the Trinidad Triggers.

In August 2014, Jon Edwards made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers becoming the first player in Pecos League history to play in Major League Baseball.

In September 2016, Chris Smith was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays becoming the second player from the Pecos League to make a major league roster, though he did not appear in a game that season. Smith would eventually make his debut for the Blue Jays on June 27, 2017, against the Baltimore Orioles.

For 2016, the Las Vegas Train Robbers moved to Topeka, Kansas. Expansion teams were added in Great Bend, Kansas[4] and Tucson, Arizona.[5][6][7]

On February 25, 2016 it was announced that the Las Cruces Vaqueros would sit out the 2016 season due to severe damage to their home stadium.[8] Expansion team Salina Stockade[9] was added to the league and played a limited 11-game home schedule in 2016.

Following the 2016 season, a drastic shift in the Pecos League landscape occurred as two Kansas teams, the Salina Stockade and Great Bend Boom, both folded, while a third, the Topeka Train Robbers, moved to Bakersfield, California, taking the place of the former Bakersfield Blaze, who folded following the 2016 California League season.

The Train Robbers were joined in California for 2017 by three expansion teams: the High Desert Yardbirds (replacing the California League's High Desert Mavericks), the Monterey Amberjacks, and California City Whiptails. The league also announced a travel team, the Hollywood Stars, who played a handful of home games in Los Angeles.

For 2019, the Ruidoso Osos were replaced by the Wasco Reserves, and the league reduced the number of divisions from three to two.

For 2020, the Martinez Sturgeon and Santa Cruz Seaweed were announced as expansion teams, and the San Rafael Pacifics were added from the Pacific Association. They joined the all-California Pacific Division, and replaced the California City Whiptails and High Desert Yardbirds in the circuit. The Tucson Saguaros moved to the Mountain Division, taking the place of the White Sands Pupfish. Interdivisional games would not be played to cut down on travel and other expenses.[10] Later, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league announced that the Mountain Division teams would not play at their home stadiums, and that 4 of the 6 teams would play a condensed 36-game season beginning on July 1, 2020.[11] All games were played at Coastal Baseball Park in Houston, Texas. The Pacific Division originally planned on enacting a similar format, but due to the ongoing pandemic, were unable to compete in 2020.

For the 2021 season, the Salina Stockade returned and the league announced the addition of the Colorado Springs Snow Sox as an expansion team. On April 4, the league announced its final division alignment for the season, which did not include California City and High Desert after previously indicating each would return.[12] On August 3, the league announced the Bay Series between the San Rafael Pacifics, Monterey Amberjacks, Martinez Sturgeon, and Santa Cruz Seaweed after the Bakersfield Train Robbers tested positive for COVID-19 and had to cancel their final home series.[13] The Pecos League operated the Houston Apollos in the American Association as a travel team.

In April 2021, Yermín Mercedes was called up to the Chicago White Sox where he set a major league record as the first baseball player in modern MLB history to begin a season with eight consecutive hits.

For the 2022 season, the league announced three expansion franchises: the Santa Rosa Scuba Divers, Austin Weirdos, and Weimar Hormigas.[14] After competing in 2021, Salina was not included as a member club in 2022.

Before 2023, the league introduced 4 new teams; the Lancaster Sound Breakers, Marysville Drakes, Blackwell Fly Catchers, and Dublin Leprechauns. The Weimar Hormigas, Colorado Springs Snow Sox, Wasco Reserve, and Santa Rosa Scuba Divers folded. Tucson moved back to the Mountain Division, while the Santa Cruz Seaweed moved to Vallejo, California.

Current teams

Pecos League
Division Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
Mountain Alpine Cowboys 2009 Alpine, Texas Kokernot Field 1,400[15]
Austin Weirdos 2022 Austin, Texas Parque Zaragoza 500[16]
Blackwell FlyCatchers 2023 Blackwell, Oklahoma Morgan Field 1,500
Garden City Wind 2015 Garden City, Kansas Clint Lightner Field 1,000[17]
North Platte 80s 2023 North Platte, Nebraska Bill Wood Field 1,500
Pecos Bills 2023 Pecos, Texas Cyclone Ballpark Unknown
Roswell Invaders 2011 Roswell, New Mexico Joe Bauman Stadium 500
Santa Fe Fuego 2012 Santa Fe, New Mexico Fort Marcy Ballfield 1,100[18]
Trinidad Triggers 2012 Trinidad, Colorado Central Park 887[15]
Tucson Saguaros 2016 Tucson, Arizona Kino Sports Complex 11,000
Pacific Bakersfield Train Robbers 2013 Bakersfield, California Sam Lynn Ballpark 2,700[15]
Dublin Leprechauns 2023 Dublin, California Fallon Sports Park 250
Martinez Sturgeon 2020 Martinez, California Waterfront Park 200
Marysville Drakes 2023 Marysville, California Bryant Field 4,000
San Rafael Pacifics 2020 San Rafael, California Albert Park 1,200[15]
Vallejo Seaweed 2020 Vallejo, California Wilson Park

On hiatus

Team Founded City Stadium Capacity
Monterey Amberjacks 2016 Monterey, California Frank E. Sollecito Jr. Ballpark 2,500
Pecos League is located in the United States
Bills
Bills
Invaders
Invaders
Fuego
Fuego
Triggers
Triggers
Weirdos
Weirdos
Leprechauns
Leprechauns
80's
80's
Current team locations:
  Mountain Division
  Pacific Division

Former teams

Team Season(s) Location Homefield
Carlsbad Bats 2011 Carlsbad, New Mexico Traveling team
Bisbee Blue 2014 Bisbee, Arizona Warren Ballpark
Douglas Diablos 2014 Douglas, Arizona Copper King Park
Raton Osos 2013–2014 Raton, New Mexico Gabrielle Park
Taos Blizzard 2013–2014 Taos, New Mexico The Tundra
Las Cruces Vaqueros 2010–2012, 2015 Las Cruces, New Mexico Apodaca Park
Las Vegas Train Robbers 2013–2015 Las Vegas, New Mexico Rodriguez Park
Great Bend Boom 2016 Great Bend, Kansas Al Burns Memorial Field
Topeka Train Robbers 2016 Topeka, Kansas Lake Shawnee Park
Ruidoso Osos 2011, 2018 Ruidoso, New Mexico White Mountain Park
California City Whiptails 2017–2019 California City, California Balsitis Park
High Desert Yardbirds 2017–2019 Adelanto, California Adelanto Stadium
White Sands Pupfish 2009–2019 Alamogordo, New Mexico Jim Griggs Park
Houston Apollos 2012–2020 Houston, Texas Traveling team
Salina Stockade 2016, 2020–2021 Salina, Kansas Dean Evans Stadium
Colorado Springs Snow Sox 2021–2022 Colorado Springs, Colorado Spurgeon Field 
Weimar Hormigas 2022 Weimar, Texas Veterans Park
Wasco Reserve 2019, 2021–2022 Wasco, California, Bakersfield, California Wasco Ballpark, Sam Lynn Ballpark
Santa Rosa Scuba Divers 2022 Santa Rosa, California Doyle Park
Lancaster Sound Breakers 2023 Lancaster, California The Hangar

Proposed teams that never played

A high number of Pecos League teams postponed their premiere seasons before they were slated to play, like the Pueblo Diablos (Bighorns) in Colorado, and Douglas Diablos, Maricopa Monsoon in Arizona and Nogales Sonorans or Skeletons.[19]

Team Season Proposed Location Homefield
Pittsburg Anchors[20][21] 2020 Pittsburg, California Central Park Field
Pecos Bills[22][23][24] 2013 Reeves County, Texas Martinez Field
Atascadero 101s[25][26] 2020 Atascadero, California Alvord Field (Proposed)
Clovis Pioneers[27][28] 2012 Clovis, New Mexico Mike Harris Park
Del Rio Aviators/Gunslingers[29][30] 2011 Del Rio, Texas Bank and Trust Rams Field at Roosevelt Park
Lubbock Hubbers[31] 2011 Lubbock, Texas Lubbock City Park
Amarillo Lone Stars[32] 2016 Amarillo, Texas Potter County Memorial Stadium

League timeline

Marrysville DrakesLancaster Sound BreakersBlackwell FlyCatchersWeimar HormigasSanta Rosa Scuba DiversAustin WeirdosColorado Springs Snow SoxVallejo SeaweedSanta Cruz SeaweedSan Rafael PacificsMartinez SturgeonWasco ReserveMonterey AmberjacksHollywood Stars (Pecos League)High Desert YardbirdsCalifornia City WhiptailsTucson SaguarosSalina Stockade (baseball)Salina Stockade (baseball)Great Bend BoomGarden City WindDouglas DiablosBisbee Blue (baseball)Taos BlizzardBakersfield Train RobbersTopeka Train RobbersLas Vegas Train RobbersTrinidad TriggersSanta Fe FuegoWhite Sands Pupfish (baseball)Ruidoso OsosRaton OsosRuidoso OsosRoswell InvadersLas Cruces VaquerosLas Cruces VaquerosCarlsbad BatsAlpine Cowboys

League members Former Team

Champions

Season Winner Runner-up Result
2011 Roswell Invaders Ruidoso Osos 2–1 (best-of-3)
2012 Alpine Cowboys Las Cruces Vaqueros 2–1 (best-of-3)
2013 Roswell Invaders Las Vegas Train Robbers 2–0 (best-of-3)
2014 Santa Fe Fuego Alpine Cowboys 2–1 (best-of-3)
2015 Roswell Invaders[33] Santa Fe Fuego 2–0 (best-of-3)
2016 Tucson Saguaros Trinidad Triggers 2–0 (best-of-3)
2017 High Desert Yardbirds Roswell Invaders 2–0 (best-of-3)
2018 Bakersfield Train Robbers[34] Alpine Cowboys 2–1 (best-of-3)
2019 Alpine Cowboys Bakersfield Train Robbers 2–0 (best-of-3)
2020 Tucson Saguaros Salina Stockade 2–0 (best-of-3)
2021 Tucson Saguaros Roswell Invaders 2–1 (best-of-3)
2022 Roswell Invaders Tucson Saguaros 2–1 (best-of-3)
2023 San Rafael Pacifics Tucson Saguaros 2-1 (best-of-3)

References

  1. ^ Darby, Seyward (April 3, 2013). "The Legends of Last Place". The Atavist Magazine. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  2. ^ IndyBallIsland (October 15, 2014). ""The Shit Show" – The Pecos League and Reality TV". Indy Ball Island. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  3. ^ "Independent Pecos League also will play in Las Cruces, Roswell and Artesia". Albuquerque Journal. August 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Great Bend independent baseball team gets schedule, new name". The Hutchinson News. February 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Martinez signs pro baseball contract with Tucson". Mesabi Daily News. January 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "NJIT's Mike Rampone Signs Professional Contract with Tucson Saguaros". NJIT Athletics. February 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "Ex-JCC player Ramos signs pro contract". Watertown Daily Times. February 10, 2016.
  8. ^ "Vaqueros will not return in 2016". Las Cruces Sun-News. February 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "Introducing the Salina Stockade". Salina Journal. February 14, 2016.
  10. ^ "Pecos League to play with fourteen teams in two divisions for 2020 season" (Press release). Pecos League. February 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Pecos League 2020 Season Update" (Press release). Pecos League. May 7, 2020.
  12. ^ "2021 team map". Pecos League official site. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  13. ^ "The Bay Series is born".
  14. ^ "It is the Weimar Hormigas Baseball in the Pecos League for 2022".
  15. ^ a b c d Knight, Graham. "2017 Professional Baseball Ballparks". BaseballPilgrimages.com. Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  16. ^ Viquez, Marc (June 15, 2022). "Parque Zaragoza – Austin Weirdos". Stadium Journey. Retrieved July 17, 2024.
  17. ^ "Clint Lightner". www.clintlightner.com. Pecos League. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  18. ^ O’Reilly, Charles. "Fort Marcy Park". www.charliesballparks.com. Charlie's Ballparks. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "新人报导,请多多关照!我叫罗伯特-莱万多夫斯基".
  20. ^ "Pittsburg Anchors Announcement" (PDF).
  21. ^ "Pittsburg Team announcement". February 4, 2020.
  22. ^ "Pecos Bills Why Never Played".
  23. ^ "Reeves County Proposal (Pages 18-24)" (PDF).
  24. ^ "Lights, Baseball and Grass all coming to Pecos".
  25. ^ "Get Involved With Atascadero".
  26. ^ "Atascadero Team Announcement".
  27. ^ "Clovis Pioneers Baseball a No-Go".
  28. ^ "Clovis Pioneers Dropped".
  29. ^ "Del Rio Aviators/ Gunslingers".
  30. ^ "Del Rio Aviators/ Gunslingers Announcement".
  31. ^ "Lubbock Hubbers".
  32. ^ "In late 2016, after both the Pecos League and San Jacinto Christian Academy vied for a sublease at Potter County Memorial — the lease that was held by Southern Independent Baseball League Board Chairman Gary Elliston — Potter County commissioners decided to accept San Jacinto and "omit the Pecos League," Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner said during an October Commissioners' Court meeting, according to Globe-News archives".
  33. ^ "Invaders handily end Fuego's wild season, claim 3rd league title". Santa Fe New Mexican. August 4, 2015.
  34. ^ "Bakersfield Train Robbers win Pecos League Championship". 23 ABC News. August 4, 2018.