Joliet city officials feel so strongly about the Joliet JackHammers entering the Frontier League that they plan to attend league meetings next Monday to make their case, throwing an another roadblock to all four Northern League teams entering en masse into a new indy league effort.
It was assumed that Joliet would be part of the move to the North American League, but city officials — participating in the sale of the JackHammers because of back rent owed for Silver Cross Field — are adamantly against the move and instead see the best bet for baseball succeeding in Joliet in the Frontier League. (Closed-circuit to NAL folks: should have checked about domain availability before settling on the North American League name.) There are some obvious issues with a Joliet move — the lack of a track record, the proximity of Joliet to Crestwood, the home of the Windy City ThunderBolts — but there are some obvious pluses: with the right management, Joliet can be a very profitable enterprise, and keeping the team as an ally is probably better than launching it as a competitor.
In any case, both sides clearly want a deal — Commissioner Bill Lee and Thomas Giarrante, a key player on the Joliet side, were both quoted here as saying they wanted the JackHammers in the Frontier League — and where there’s a will there’s a way.
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