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TX, OK MiLB teams to host summer-collegiate play at unused ballparks

Texas Collegiate LeagueWe’ve heard from a few Minor League Baseball owners offering their venues to summer-collegiate teams, but this is the first such announcement, and it’s a big one: Five MiLB organizations will be fielding six teams in the Texas Collegiate League.

Four current TCL teams– the Acadiana Cane Cutters (Lafayette, LA), Brazos Valley Bombers (Bryan-College Station, TX), Texarkana (TX) Twins and Victoria (TX) Generals–will be joined by five MiLB organizations, including the Amarillo Sod Poodles (two teams), Frisco RoughRiders, Tulsa Drillers, Round Rock Express and San Antonio Missions, whose TCL team will play as the Flying Chanclas.

“We are extremely excited to be hosting live baseball at Wolff Stadium this summer for the San Antonio community,” said Flying Chanclas President Burl Yarbrough. “We take great pride in bringing the best entertainment to our fans. The TCL allows our community to return to watching the game they love as well as gives college players the chance, they might not have had otherwise, to play baseball and showcase their skills.”

The Round Rock team will be playing as the Round Rock Hairy Men. The TCL moniker for 2020 is a nod to the area’s infamous “Hairy Man” urban legend in which a young boy became separated from his parents as early settlers headed west through Round Rock, eventually growing into a rather hairy hermit. The Hairy Man would frequently chase away strangers and hide in trees to scare passersby, sometimes sitting in a tree canopy that grew over the road while dragging his feet on the top of the stagecoaches. One day, he fell in front of a stagecoach and was unfortunately trampled to death, doomed to haunt the shady road that bears his name to this day.

Round Rock Hairy Men logos, uniforms and hats were originally designed by Brandiose to be used for the annual Round Rock Express “What Could Have Been Night” in which the club explores alternate worlds where “Express” was not chosen as the team’s nickname in 2000.

The teams will be divided into two divisions (North and South). The North Division will include Amarillo’s two teams, Frisco, Tulsa and Texarkana. San Antonio, Round Rock, Acadiana, Brazos Valley and Victoria will make up the South.

Each team will have a roster of about 30 players and play a total of 30 regular season games (15/15 home/road split) from June 30 to August 2 followed by a postseason. The postseason format will begin with a best-of-three divisional series played by the top two seeds from each division. The winner of each division will then face off in a winner-take-all championship game for the Gerald Haddock Trophy.

“As we all cope with the changing landscape in sports in 2020, it is a true honor for all of our ownership groups to team up with these great operators from Triple & Double-A minor league baseball to help propel the TCL forward as one of the best summer wood-bat leagues in the country,” said Uri Geva, Texas Collegiate League President.

“As we await baseball’s decision to restart professional, affiliated baseball throughout the country, today’s announcement gives us the chance to create positive news and excitement in our community,” said Tony Ensor, Sod Poodles President and General Manager.

The Texas Collegiate League joins the Northwoods League, Coastal Plain League, Expedition LeagueFlorida Collegiate Summer League and Midwest Collegiate League in launching play this season. The West Coast LeagueProspect LeagueWestern Canadian Baseball LeagueMINK LeagueGreat Lakes Summer Collegiate LeaguePerfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, New York Collegiate Baseball League, Ohio Valley LeagueNew England Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League have canceled the 2020 season. The Futures Collegiate Baseball League has announced delays to the 2020 summer-collegiate season.

With daily news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we launched a Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge to industry professionals. Sign up here.

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