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New for 2022: North Platte Plainsmen

Independence LeagueWe have another new team in the summer-collegiate Independent League, as the North Platte Plainsmen will set up shop in that Nebraska city’s Bill Wood Field.

The Plainsmen, the ninth team in the new league made up primarily of teams formerly with the summer-collegiate Expedition League, will share Bill Wood Field with American Legion Baseball Post 163.

The Plainsmen are owned by Advanced Investments, LLC, with Bryan Frew along with Mayra & Chuck Heeman acting as Operating Owners. Frew also owns the Hastings Sodbusters while the Heemans own the Western Nebraska Pioneers and Casper Horseheads. The Sodbusters and Pioneers are entering their fifth year of operation while the Horseheads begin their fourth season in May of 2022, after sitting out the 2020 season due to COVID restrictions in Wyoming.

“With the formation of the Independence League, we immediately identified North Platte and Lincoln County as one of the best locations to expand our footprint,” Chuck Heeman said. “The City of North Platte is on the upswing with new business coming to town and we see this as an opportunity to establish a great quality of life asset to the area as the City grows. The City and Legion Baseball have been great to work with through this process and we can’t wait to get started.”

It’s a small market, to be sure, the entire population of Lincoln County (which is not near Lincoln, NE, despite the name) is around 35,000, and most of that population is in county seat North Platte.