Big Step For Escondido

The city of Escondido, California council voted late Wednesday night in favor of building a new $50 million ballpark to house the former Portland Beavers. The plan is to open the stadium in April 2013, and the team will temporarily play in Tucson in 2011 and 2012.

Escondido is located within easy driving range of San Diego. The team will be a Padres affiliate, and the reports are that the team’s prospective owner, Jeff Moorad, would sign a 30-year lease. Moorad’s purchase of the Beavers is not yet complete, but is anticipated.

Here’s the story from San Diego. Ballpark Digest also weighed in with some of the details in easy bullet points.

Escondido will be one of a growing number of Triple-A teams playing in the same market as its major league affiliate – just like the Rainiers. In fact, one reporter interviewed Rainiers president Aaron Artman for insight.

Meanwhile, it looks like the interim Tucson franchise will be called the Tucson Padres – but I think they should be called the Tucson Temps. They could be sponsored by Kelly Services, and their uniforms could be designed to look like casual business attire, and the logo would involve a time-card…

More links, different subjects:

  • Bob Feller, one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, died on Wednesday at age 92. That’s a long life – a person would need to be about 70 years old today just to have seen Feller pitch at the end of his career. Feller was a very public person and there are some great columns written about him. I like Joe Posnanski’s remembrance, and here is one from John Sickels, who wrote a Feller biography.
  • At the Seattle Times, Larry Stone decided to entertain us all by floating the idea of offering to trade Felix Hernandez to the Yankees, just to see if the Yankees would ridiculously overpay. His orignal post is here, and then his one-day-later summary of the firestorm is here.
  • The list kings at Baseball America put out their Top 10 Baseball Books of 2010. I’ve read #2 and enjoyed it, and I have #3 and #7 sitting here, ready to go, but my spot in the library queue came up (after waiting nearly three months!) so I’m reading this right now.
  • The Reno Aces will still have Brett Butler as manager in 2011.
  • The Iowa Cubs will have a new skipper: Bill Dancy, who has managed in the minor leagues for 22 years.
  • A shift in the Carolina League for 2012: Class-A Kinston (NC) is moving out-of-town, to Pensacola, Florida. That’s the end result, although the actual deal is far more confusing.

Yesterday I completed my research for an upcoming blog post on the last (pre-2010) true PCL champions from Tacoma, the 1969 Tacoma Cubs. I had to look through microfilm of old newspaper stories at the library. It’s so easy to get sidetracked – some of the non-sports stories can really suck you in. My advice to you: newspaper stories from 1969 that have the word “hippies” in the headline are always good for a laugh.

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