The American Association has added a 10th team to its fold with the
addition of Saint Joseph’s, Mo. The team will play at Phil Welch
Stadium, a park built in 1939 that holds 3,600 with additional room on
a grass berm for another 1,000 fans.
The stadium has been
the host for a college summer wood bat team, the Saint Joseph’s Saints
of the M.I.N.K. League, and is the home of the NCAA Division II
Missouri Western State team.
“We are extremely excited to
have St. Joseph as a member of the American Association,” league
commissioner Miles Wolff said in a statement. “This is a city with a
great baseball history.”
St. Joseph’s, which hasn’t had
minor league baseball since 1954, will play in the American
Association’s Northern Division, joining Lincoln, St. Paul, Sioux City
and Sioux Falls. Another five teams are in the league’s Southern
Division, composed of former Central League clubs: Coastal Bend, El
Paso, Fort Worth, Pensacola and Shreveport.
Also, the Nashua
Pride announced that it is switching from the Atlantic League to the
Can-Am League for the 2006 season. The move eliminated the Can-Am
League’s travel team, the Grays, but also means that the Atlantic
League will probably dust off its Road Warriors uniforms. The league
disbanded its travel team in 2005 when Lancaster joined the league, but
with Nashua’s departure, the league already has made a new schedule
with a traveling team.
Geographically and in market size,
Nashua, located in New Hampshire, makes more sense in the Can-Am
League. The team will have several rivals within an hour drive, while
Nashua’s average attendance (1,270 fans per game), means that it fits
better with the Can-Am League’s lower salary cap and shorter schedule.