Wooden's World of Baseball

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Update To The CanAm League Saga

Though I no longer have a dog in the Can-Am League "fight," I still am a big fan of the independent game and keep tabs on the league that I followed very closely for five years.

Last month, it was officially announced that the team formerly known as the Nashua Pride would relocate to Pittsfield. Earlier this month, the team name was announced.

Without further ado, it's the Pittsfield Colonials.

While I would have preferred a revival of the Berkshire Black Bears*, the Colonials ain't so bad. It appears that they've hired the same marketing folks that launched the Worcester Tornadoes, and from what we can see from the "coming soon" website, it looks like yet another red-white-and-blue team. How novel.
* Contrast that with the new tenants of Dodd Stadium in Norwich who are renaming their team the Connecticut Tigers instead keeping the old name of the Connecticut Defenders. I'm sure it's probably a case of not owning the rights, but it still smacks of greed. I strongly suspect the name could have been negotiated for something simple; something is better than nothing.

Overall, though, this is good news for the folks in Pittsfield. Wahconah Park is one of my favorites, probably because it's one of the few remaining wooden-grandstand ballparks still standing. It's also one of the first places I went to see a minor-league ballgame as an adult, as I used to drive out to Pittsfield once or twice a summer in the late '80s and early '90s. Somehow, I suspect it's not changed much, as these shots taken in 2001 (link1, link2*) demonstrate.
* Yes, that's the sun setting and yes, there are sun delays.

Time will tell if these folks can hit the ground running as successfully as the Tornadoes did. The last time a team got such a late start — the New Haven County Cutters in 2004 — attendance, etc. suffered greatly. It's also not going to help that the NECBL may have adjusted folks' expectations/tolerance for pricing, as these outfits are run much more cheaply than professionals because, well, they're not.


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