Though the Joliet Slammers (independent; Frontier League) have worked hard on a quality product, some locals say baseball won’t be successful until affiliated ball arrives — which will probably be never.
The Slammers were a smash in the first season, then saw things level off in 2012. That’s led to some talk about affiliated ball being the savior of baseball at Silver Cross Field: “I think everyone’s talked about getting affiliated baseball in Joliet since there was baseball in Joliet,” Joliet City Manager Thomas Thanas when asked about the topic this week.
The Herald-Times is a little inaccurate about how MiLB and MLB territories work — there are two levels of territorial play here, not just one — but it doesn’t matter, because there’s very little chance of affiliated ball landing in Joliet any time soon. For starters, we don’t know of any Low Class A Midwest League teams looking to move; can’t have an affiliated team if none is available.
But, more importantly, we don’t see the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox or the Kane County Cougars (Low Class A: Midwest League) signing off on a Joliet affiliated team (and yes, they all have territorial claims here): the three have been pretty resolute in dissuading other cities from seeking an affiliated team, and we don’t see that changing any time soon.
So for those Joliet fans shunning the Slammers because they’re waiting for affiliated ball to arrive: give up the ghost.
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