The Martinez Clippers (independent; Pacific Association) will fold after just one season amidst ownership issues, but Pacific Association officials are not ruling out a return to the market down the road.
Backed by Jeff and Paulette Carpoff, the Clippers began play in the Pacific Association last season as an expansion team at a ballpark in Martinez, CA’s Waterfront Park. Legal troubles have hit the club’s ownership, however, as the Carpoffs’ Martinez home was raided in December by the FBI as part of an investigation into their businesses, including DC Solar.
The Carpoffs filed for bankruptcy after the raid, and Martinez officials announced in February that the corporate license agreement with the Clippers had been terminated, citing nonpayment of fees related to the team’s facility. It has been confirmed that the Clippers will not be part of the Pacific Association’s lineup in 2019, but the league indicates there is interest from other prospective ownership groups in placing a team in Martinez in 2020. More from the Mercury News:
After one season, the city’s professional baseball team named after the legendary Joe DiMaggio has struck out on one heck of a curveball: The FBI raided the home of the team’s owners while investigating their business ventures, described by federal agents in court records as a “Ponzi scheme.”
The death of the Clippers — made official earlier this month — creates a new headache for the independent Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. The short-season summer league is a small group of Northern California semi-pro teams that expanded from four to six last year. Now that they’re down to an odd number, league officials are searching for a traveling team to fill the gap.
But pro baseball in Martinez might not be gone forever, said Pacific Association Commissioner Theo Fightmaster.
“There is some strong interest from a handful of parties to help bring baseball back to Martinez in 2020,” Fightmaster said. “We will be traveling parallel paths to ensure this season is affected minimally as possible by the Clippers’ absence, while also planning for 2020.”
The Clippers were one of two teams to join the Pacific Association last season, along with the Napa Silverados. The Silverados will return under new ownership in 2019.