The McAllen Thunder and Abilene Prairie Dogs were shut down early by the independent North American League, leading many to wonder whether the teams will be around for 2013.
Both teams play in the United Division of the North American League — the six teams playing under the ownership of John Bryant and Byron Pierce, formerly under the United League Baseball banner. The other four teams in the league play under separate ownership, and there’s no play between the two divisions.
McAllen and Abilene were shut down in late August. McAllen was basically a road team playing a partial slate of “home” games at Edinburg Stadium, home of the Edinburg Roadrunners, and sharing a front office with the ‘Runners. Abilene was a startup team, but didn’t make much of an impact on the locals, averaging just 599 fans a game. Neither team was in contention for the playoffs, and the schedule was adjusted accordingly.
With three road teams and the awkward marriage of two divisions hundreds of miles apart, this season was a disjointed one for the North American League. It will be interesting to see how the league is organized for the 2013 season.
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