Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Odds & ends: Skylands Park, Veterans Ticket Foundation

Here are a few items I had saved to share, but hadn’t gotten around to yet.

Skylands Park sold again

Skylands Park, once home to the New York-Penn League New Jersey Cardinals and later the Can-Am League Sussex Skyhawks, but mostly vacant since 2010, has changed hands again.

The Star-Ledger reported last week that a group including the organizer of State Fair Meadowlands paid $850,000 for the ballpark, 28 acres of land and a liquor license. Sussex Community College’s baseball team is likely to be the only one to call the park home in 2014, but Frank Boulton’s proposed Diamond League remains a possibility for 2015, according to the article.

Trenton Thunder changing section numbering

Arm & Hammer Park seating diagram for 2014 (Trenton Thunder graphic)
Arm & Hammer Park seating diagram for 2014 (Trenton Thunder graphic)

I’m still getting used to calling it Arm & Hammer Park, and now the Trenton Thunder are going to make me get used to new section numbering, too.

The ballpark originally identified its field level section by a number from 1-22, and the sections above the walkway were identified by a letter from A-R. Next year, all the sections of the park will be numbered. Following the popular convention, field level seats will be in sections 101-122; upper level seats will be in sections 201-216 and the luxury suites will be numbered from 1-15.

Veterans Ticket Foundation

A friend made me aware of the Veteran’s Ticket Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that allows people to donate event tickets and gift certificates that would otherwise go unused so that military veterans and their families benefit. It’s a good cause for those of you looking for something to do with tickets to games you can’t or don’t want to go to.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Diamond League dead for 2014

Remember that new independent baseball league that Atlantic League CEO Frank Boulton was planning?

Yeah, it kind of slipped my mind too.

Last week, Boulton issued a statement announcing that the Diamond League of Professional Baseball would not begin play in 2014.

I was unable to be completely satisfied that there were six available facilities that measured up to our professional playing standards. We do, however, believe in the economic model and the need based in the game of baseball for a circuit like the Diamond League to exist. We will work towards an 8-team 84-game schedule to start play in 2015.

Carl Barbati of the New Jersey Herald reported that Boulton’s announcement means baseball will not return to Skylands Park next year.

Dave Nordman of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette wrote that the news hurt the chances of professional baseball coming back to Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field on the Holy Cross campus next year, but mentioned the Can-Am League had some interest.

The former home of the Atlantic City Surf hosted baseball games last month, but the players were all 13-15 years old, competing in the Babe Ruth Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament.  And John O’Kane of the Press of Atlantic City reported that the ballpark no longer has lights.

Anybody care to guess what will happen with the Can-Am League’s plans for expansion, which are due to be announced in another month?

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Can-Am League Says It Wants To Add Teams In 2014

The Can-Am League put out a press release today announcing plans to expand for 2014 and beyond. Fans hoping to see baseball return to Atlantic City and Sussex County in New Jersey should be pleased to see those locations mentioned among the potential targets.

It will be very interesting to see how things shake out between the Can-Am League and the newly-announced Diamond League of Professional Baseball Clubs, which are probably looking at many of the same markets.

The text of the Can-Am League press release follows:

CAN-AM LEAGUE LOOKING TO EXPAND FOR 2014

Durham, N.C. – The Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball is expecting to expand for the 2014 season and beyond. League commissioner Miles Wolff has been actively talking to municipalities throughout the Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada, and the league will be ready to announce new members by September. Potential markets include Atlantic City, N.J.; Worcester, Mass.; Sussex County, N.J.; Montreal, and Ottawa.

“We realize that other leagues have been talking to these cities,” said Wolff, “but we believe the Can-Am League, with a strong lineup of existing cities and a nearly 20-year history, is a more logical choice for municipalities than the start-ups that have been proposed. We have been in contact with municipal officials, and have ownership groups ready to go.”

In regards to Ottawa, Wolff commented, “City officials have sent the Can-Am League the RFO (Request for Offers), and have asked us to respond. We understand that the Eastern League is currently the City of Ottawa’s first choice, but we are ready to step in should the Eastern League proposal fall through.”

The league is also looking at two new markets, and could make an announcement within the next 30 days. Currently, the league includes the Newark Bears, New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Capitales, Rockland Boulders, and Trois-RivieresAigles. For the past two seasons, the Can-Am League has played an interlocking schedule with the American Association, North America’s premier independent league. “We have been extremely pleased in the partnership with the American Association, but we are also looking to grow within the Can-Am’s boundaries.”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

New independent baseball league announced

BaseballOfficials announced the formation of the new Diamond League of Professional Baseball yesterday, the Atlantic League “feeder league” that has been rumored since last year.

Atlantic League CEO Frank Boulton is also the new league’s CEO and Long Island Ducks President and General Manager Michael Pfaff is its executive director.

The Diamond League plans to field six teams and play a 60-game schedule next year, with host cities selected by August 15th.

Players must be between 21 and 26 years old and may not have five or more years of professional experience to be eligible to play in the Diamond League, according to the announced roster rules.

What are your thoughts on this new independent league? Which cities would you like to see receive teams?