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AWBL expands to Mesa; Albie Lopez will own team

AWBLFormer major leaguer and Arizona Diamondback Albie Lopez is a part-owner of a new Mesa team to be playing under the independent American West Baseball League banner next season.

His partner: local businessman and sports agent Eddie Marin.

Albert Anthony “Albie” Lopez was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 20th round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the second round (48th pick overall) of the expansion draft in 1997, then traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, where he was part of the World Series winning team. Lopez was also with the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners organizations. 

 “I am very excited about our partnership to bring professional minor league baseball to a market with great fans and a history of producing great baseball players,” said AWBL commissioner Sean Smock. “To partner with a local group from Mesa, Arizona with great ties to the community and the game of baseball will make the experience amazing for fans and business partners of their local team.” 

Mesa is the sixth market for the league.

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