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Fort Worth Cats jump to North American League

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Fort Worth Cats

After being booted from the independent American Association for a lack of operating capital, the Fort Worth Cats are joining the North American League, in a move led by Mike Stone.

Stone is the former president of the Texas Rangers and the former commissioner of the independent Northern League.

The Cats were once one of the leading franchises in the American Association. But some bad real-estate investments on the part of owner Carl Bell, along with the financial pressures of owning LaGrave Field, led to the team's financial demise in recent years. After the team was unable to post a suitable line of credit before the upcoming 2012 season, the decision was made by the American Association braintrust to exclude the team from the proceedings.

"We are thrilled to have the Fort Worth Cats as a member of the 2012 North American League," said NAL Chief Executive Officer Kevin Outcalt. "It's a first class market and stadium with more than a century of baseball tradition. The new ownership group is very experienced and we look forward to the leadership of Mike Stone to revitalize the brand and the team."
 
The Cats will be the fifth team in the North American League's South Division, totally comprised of the circuit's Texas teams, including the San Angelo Colts, Edinburg Roadrunners, McAllen Thunder (a travel team playing a handful of "home" games in Edinburg) and Rio Grande Valley Whitewings.

RELATED STORIES: Bell: Cats will be back in 2012; Fort Worth booted from American Association; Future of Fort Worth Cats in doubt; big decisions loom; Bell selling Cats, ballpark

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