The owner of Aguilas de Veracruz (Class AAA; Mexican League) is proposing a lease of Nueces County’s Fairgrounds Field for use as a training facility and home field for an independent-league team.
Jose “Pepe” Mansur has pitched Nueces County on a lease of the ballpark from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The proposal has already been preliminarily discussed by the Nueces County Commissioners and is in negotiations (you can see a tape of the proceeds here). According to papers we’ve been provided, Aguilas de Veracruz would lease the ballpark for $60,800 annually ($5,066.67/mo), and the team would be responsible for field maintenance, janitorial services inside facilities, cleanup of grounds and parking. The commissioners also talked of the team taking part in an independent league.
The ballpark formerly hosted teams in United League Baseball, the American Association and the Continental Baseball League.
No word on what independent league would be involved or under what circumstances: there are two indy leagues — the American Association and United League Baseball — with teams within a two-hour drive (Laredo, Harlingen, Edinburg). And, of course, the Robstown ballpark is about 15 minutes from Corpus Christi, where the Corpus Christi Hooks (Class AA; Texas League) are located. The Hooks are now owned by the Houston Astros, who are set to host Aguilas de Veracruz in exhibition games the next three years. The Hooks were formerly owned by Ryan-Sanders Baseball, who reportedly once discussed placing a summer-collegiate team in Fairgrounds Field; Reid Ryan is now president of the Astros. So let’s just say it’s a small world all coalescing in Robstown. Not sure how happy MiLB officials would be with the owner of a Mexican League team setting up full shop in an indy league (though we’ve not seen any indication United League Baseball is actually operating in 2014), and it could be the goal is more to develop a training facility for Latin American players playing exhibitions against other regional teams, especially during winter months, than to field a full independent-league team.
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.