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Sunday, December 13, 2020

What’s lost when minor league baseball leaves

For 25 summers from a perch in the press box high above Dunn Field, Marty Chalk served as the public address announcer and official scorer for his hometown Elmira Pioneers. They were a short-season Class A team in the New York-Penn League — which, as of this week, we should call the defunct New York-Penn League. Wade Boggs and Curt Schilling played their first professional seasons there. Earl Weaver managed four summers there. Don Zimmer was married at home plate there. There’s baseball history there.

Elmira, N.Y., is an old manufacturing town by the Chemung River, where Dunn Field sits on its banks. What does minor league baseball mean to a town like that?

“Quite frankly, it means everything,” Chalk said. “When a team leaves, you lose some of your identity as a community, and you never get it back.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2020 at 09:53 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues

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   1. puck Posted: December 14, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5994211)
What did the affiliated teams receive from the MLB club--all the players and all their salaries?

Just trying to get a sense of what the ex-Pioneer league clubs are facing as they try to make it on their own. The announcement said there'd be some money this season but made it sound like eventually the clubs will be on their own.
   2. HowardMegdal Posted: December 15, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5994327)
The part I'll never get over is how MLB is withdrawing from communities at the very moment other leagues are trying to figure out how to reach beyond their major markets to reach more fans. It's cold, it's terribly cruel, but it is also as short-sighted as anything I can imagine MLB doing.
   3. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: December 16, 2020 at 08:55 AM (#5994442)
To be fair, MLB has withdrawn from these communities for decades, including from larger towns (A-C Yanks, anyone?), and relocating in greener pastures. What's changed is the number of venues being impacted at once. And of course, this decision from Park Avenue was mapped out long before COVID struck, while the lack of effort to come up with a plan, even a superficial one, to keep the impacted communities engaged is bewildering.
   4. The Duke Posted: December 16, 2020 at 06:26 PM (#5994568)
It’s never been clear how the economics worked or didn’t work for either side in the old model or for that matter in the new model. As to the loss of minor league teams, MLB is committing to 120 teams. How many are being jettisoned ?
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2020 at 08:06 PM (#5994581)
42 teams were either in leagues made unaffiliated "partner leagues" or were left out entirely.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 16, 2020 at 09:28 PM (#5994588)
What about the Baseball Annies? Won’t anyone think of them?
   7. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 16, 2020 at 09:40 PM (#5994590)
They've still got Sam Clemens.

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