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New for 2012: Yuma Panthers

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North American League

The Yuma Scorpions are no more, as owners of the independent North American League team are rebranding the franchise as the Yuma Panthers.

The announcement came when team ownership in the form of Godfather Media executives met with the local press and outlined their plans to take the team public. Godfather Media already trades over the counter, and CEO CEO Michael Cummings announced plans to sell shares in the Panthers: $1 per share, with a minimum purchase of 1,000 shares. When the purchase of the Scorpions was announced the stock price was $.04; it's now down to $.02. Depending on whether the NAL has sold any of its 5 million shares (and it doesn't look like any have been sold; it's thinly traded), the purchase price of the team is now closer to $100,000.

There are some familiar faces here: Will Joyce, who once owned the St. George Roadrunners as part of Hot Corner Baseball before the league took over the franchise after it ran out of money, is involved as president of the new team and is a co-owner. Garry Templeton, former MLB shortstop, was also introduced as a co-owner.

In the early days of the Golden Baseball League -- a predecessor to the North American League -- Yuma was a successful franchise and among the league's top draws. But the atmosphere at Desert Sun Stadium generally declined in recent years; in 2010 the team missed payroll and was on the move. Last season the league retooled the team and brought in Jose Canseco as player-coach. a deal that failed to translate to box-office goodness: the Scorpions announced only 1,432 fans per game.

The old Yuma Panthers played in the Class C Sunset League in 1950 and the Class C Sunset International League in 1951-1952.

RELATED STORIES: NAL sells Yuma Scorpions

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