The startup independent Diamond League won’t launch until the 2015 season, as finding six open ballparks for next season proved to be a difficult task for founder Frank Boulton.
Here’s the statement issued by Boulton today:
The Diamond League of Professional Baseball will not start in 2014 with the contemplated 60-game schedule. Although I am disappointed that we will not start Diamond League play in 2014, I feel it is more important to start a new project based on a solid foundation. I was unable to be completely satisfied that there were six available facilities that measured up to our professional playing standards. We do, however, believe in the economic model and the need based in the game of baseball for a circuit like the Diamond League to exist. We will work towards an 8-team 84-game schedule to start play in 2015.
There certainly are open markets with available ballparks in the Northeast: Worcester, Sussex County and Atlantic City, to name a few. But of all these open markets and ballparks, only Worcester and Sussex County were baseball-ready: the Sandcastle in Atlantic City needs some serious work, for instance. The original plan was to go with six teams for 2014 and eight teams for 2015.
Boulton, of course, is founder of the independent Atlantic League. His vision of the Diamond League targeted players coming right out of college in a developmental setting.
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