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Interesting post on the minor leagues

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:18 pm
by RonCo

Re: Interesting post on the minor leagues

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:02 am
by shoeless.db
This was a very interesting read. I'll just add my personal anecdote.

When I was in my teens and late teens (early 1990s), professional independent baseball came back to Bismarck in the form of the Dakota Rattlers. The team was poorly run, the field was awful, and the complex had one giant bleacher to sit, but attendance was decent and fans were extremely loyal. I still see a random Rattler hat on some old duffer now and again.

I was lucky enough to be an sports intern at our local paper during this time and was tasked with covering every home Rattler game. I got to know the players, the coaches, even the umpires. We had a couple guys play several summers for us. They became cult heroes. Kids lined the brick dugout after games to get autographs. It definitely felt like ours. When the team went under, there wasn't a huge outcry, but it still felt like we lost something important for our community.

A couple years ago, a new independent team opened shop -- the Bismarck Larks. Now in the Northwoods League, the quality of baseball is pretty good as the league consists of decent college players from around the country. But, I'll be honest, it doesn't feel like our team. The players feel so temporary. They're just on loan to us. It's great to have good baseball back in town, but it feels distant -- everyone involved wants to be somewhere else. And, it's sad as we have a great little ballpark -- cozy and fan friendly with a great backdrop. People show up, but what are we cheering for?

Re: Interesting post on the minor leagues

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:54 am
by GoldenOne
I grew up about a 4 hour drive to Boston, NYC, and Montreal. Sure, I watched baseball on TV but I fell in love with it because I got to go see Ron Kittle when he was tearing up the minors. I remember one day when he was going around town to different places to sign autographs; 1 per person though. I made my Dad take me to all 3 places he was at that day and I still have every item he signed for me that day. In high school, we got to play on that field a couple of times a season - even after the team was gone, I still looked forward to playing there.

Now....there is just an ECHL team there. (I also grew up with an AHL team there.) Sure, people still love baseball, but there are a lot of passionate hockey fans in my hometown. I would definitely be interesting to see what the results of that area would be when asked what people's favorite sport is around there.

Re: Interesting post on the minor leagues

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:12 am
by FuzzyRawley
When the Minor Leagues pulled out of Western Canada in the early 2000's, interest in baseball took a huge hit. It didn't help that the Expos moved and the Blue Jays were mediocre-to-horrible during the same time frame, but losing that link to MLB really pushed the sport to the back burner.