By Michael Hicks
The Colorado Eagles are done until October. The Colorado Ice saw its indoor football season end this weekend in Fairbanks, Alaska. At least the Colorado Force women’s soccer season still has at least one game left, even if it is at Western Conference and defending W-League champion Pali.
But most likely, sooner rather than later, the Force’s season will be done — probably by this weekend.
That will leave a dry spell in minor league sports here in northern Colorado until the Eagles hit the ice for training camp in a couple of months. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Next month, a group led by Water Valley developer Martin Lind must present paperwork to the Windsor Town Board, including 600 signatures, that would support the potential of bringing a Pioneer League minor league baseball team to the area. A baseball stadium would be built near the Budweiser Events Center, just off Larimer County Road 5, according to reports in May in The Windsor Beacon and at MyWindsorNow.com.
Now the Pioneer League isn’t at the top of the totem pole. Far from it. The league is a low-Single A rookie league for players just out of high school or recently drafted by major league teams. The short-season league runs from June through August in the Rocky Mountain region with eight teams currently involved.
But, ironically, since its inception in 1939 with six teams, the Pioneer League has never had a team in Colorado. Yet if Windsor officials can get enough signatures and citizens vote for it in November, there’s a good chance the community could fill that summertime need for some minor league athletics by 2011.
It certainly doesn’t lack the support of Colorado Rockies officials.
MyWindsorNow.com reported that Rockies owner Charlie Monfort was on board with the idea. The Web site noted Lind had donated the land near the Budweiser Events Center almost a decade ago but didn’t have the support of Monfort or the Rockies like he does now.
The Rockies have the rights to a geographical region around Denver’s Coors Field to affiliate teams with their major league program, according to The Windsor Beacon article. One possibility is moving the club’s Pioneer League team, the Casper (Wyo.) Ghosts, to the area.
It wouldn’t be the first time that the Ghosts have been on the move. The team originated as the Butte Copper Kings in 1978. The team played in Montana until 2000 before moving to Casper for the start of the 2001 season. Until 2007, the team was known as the Casper Rockies before changing its name to the Ghosts.
Nothing against Casper and the fans who pass through the gates at 2,500-seat Mike Lansing Field, but I, for one, would love to see a minor league team in northern Colorado. The state’s only other minor league team is the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. And, like most minor league sports, minor league baseball is as wholesome as family-fun entertainment gets.
So, that said, let’s play ball here. We deserve it.