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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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New for 2013: Pacific Association

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Pacific Association

The North American League is no more, as four independent teams from California and Hawaii reboot with the creation of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs.

The four clubs in the new Pacific Association comprised the North Division of the North American League in 2012: the San Rafael Pacifics, Sonoma County Grapes, Hawaii Stars and Na Koa Ikaika Maui. It's been assumed that the Texas teams in the North American League -- Fort Worth Cats, Edinburg Roadrunners, Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings and San Angelo Colts -- would revert back to an separate entity and revert back to the old United League Baseball name.

Things are far from settled. The Grapes were a travel team, but Redwood Sports and Entertainment -- which owns the Pacifics and the Grapes -- is seeking a permanent home for the team. The California teams will play 24 games against the Phoenix-based Freedom Baseball League (which had its own share of drama in 2012), while the two Hawaii teams will play 24 games in the Baseball Challenge League of Japan. The league will officially run 78 games, but it sounds like Maui and San Rafael will play more home games than the Stars and the Grapes. Former major leaguer Mike Marshall is the commissioner.

If indeed the North American League is dead -- and given the lack of an active website or team, we're guessing it is (although someone claiming to represent the circuit out of Green Bay has approached several venues about potential leases) -- it represents a spectacularly failed experiment in creating an indy league from the remnants of three different leagues, with a footprint ranging from Illinois to Texas to Alberta to Hawaii.

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