Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Northern League 1993’ Category

1999-2010 Schaumburg Flyers

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Schaumburg Flyers ProgramNorthern League (1999-2010)

Born: 1999 – The Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks relocate to Schaumburg, IL.
Died: March 2011 – The Flyers cease operations.

Stadium: Alexian Field

Team Colors:

Owners: Richard Ehrenreich, et al.

 

The Schaumburg Flyers were a minor league baseball team that played in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illinois from 1999 until 2010.  The Flyers competed in the Northern League, an “independent” circuit whose members had no affiliation with Major League Baseball parent clubs.

7,600-seat Alexian Field was constructed at a cost of approximately $20 million to lure the club from Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1999.  Popular former White Sox slugger Ron Kittle was the Flyers’ field manager for the first three seasons of the team’s existence from 1999 through 2001.

Team owner Rich Ehrenreich began to fall behind on lease payments for Alexian Field in 2007.  By the end of the 2010 Northern League season, the team’s accumulated debt and penalties exceeded $900,000.  Efforts to sell the team to poorly vetted buyers fell through in 2010 and led to litigation.  Meanwhile, the Northern League folded after the 2010 season, but the Flyers announced plans to play on in a dubious sounding enterprise known as the North American League.  Before the Flyers could join the new league, they were evicted from Alexian Field in March 2011 over their unpaid bills and went out of business.

After a summer without baseball in 2011, the Flyers were replaced by the Schaumburg Boomers of the independent Frontier League in 2012.

 

==Links==

Northern League Media Guides

Northern League Programs

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Written by AC

November 21st, 2014 at 8:57 pm

1993-2002 Duluth-Superior Dukes

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Duluth-Superior DukesNorthern League (1993-2002)

Born: 1993 – Northern League founding franchise.
Died: September 2002 – The Dukes relocate to Kansas City, MO.

Stadium: Wade Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

This long-running indy ball club lasted for ten seasons but never had a winning record.  Nevertheless, the Duluth-Superior Dukes won one Northern League crown in 1997 and played for another in 2000.

The Dukes were a brand revival of the original D-S Dukes, who played from 1960 to 1970 as a Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox farm club.  Like the Dukes of the 1960’s, the modern day Dukes made their home at historic Wade Stadium, a Depression era Works Progress Administration ballpark erected in 1940-1941.

Notable players included former Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Randy Tomlin (1997), female pitcher Ila Borders (1997-1998) and Jose Canseco’s twin brother Ozzie Canseco (1998).

After years of poor attendance to match their losing records, owner John Ehlert moved the club in September 2002 to take advantage of a new minor league ballpark on offer in Kansas City.  The franchise has been known as the Kansas City T-Bones since the 2003 season and has now played more seasons in Kansas City than it did in Duluth-Superior.

 

==Links==

Northern League Media Guides

Northern League Programs

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1996-2000 Madison Black Wolf

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Northern League (1996-2000)

Born: 1995 – Northern League expansion franchise.
Moved:
2001 (Lincoln Saltdogs)

Stadium: Warner Park (3,200)

Team Colors:

Owners: Patrick Sweeney, Jimmy Buffett, et al.

 

Madison, Wisconsin lost minor league baseball in 1994 when the Madison Hatters of the Midwest League moved to Battle Creek, Michigan.  Warner Park sat empty during the summer of 1995 before a group led by local attorney Patrick Sweeney brought pro baseball back to town in 1996.  The new ball club was the Madison Black Wolf, an expansion team in the independent Northern League.  Sweeney and his partners – who included singer Jimmy Buffett – paid a $500,000 entry fee to join the four-year old league.

Unlike the Midwest League, where Madison hosted farm clubs of the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals from 1982 to 1994, the Northern League was “independent”.  This meant that none of the clubs had an affiliation with a Major League Baseball parent club.  The quality of play in the Northern League was considered equivalent to a Class A farm club in the affiliated minor leagues, but the indy circuit occasionally made headlines during the 1990’s by attracting ex-Major League All-Stars looking to pro long their careers, such as Darryl Strawberry, Jack Morris, Pedro Guerrero and Leon Durham.

The biggest name on the Black Wolf was former Major League center fielder Alex Cole, who stole 40 bases for the Cleveland Indians as a rookie phenom in 1990 and (briefly) inspired Indians management to move back the fences at Municipal Stadium.  Cole’s Major League career faded by 1996 and he played a couple of dozen games for the Black Wolf in 1997.  (Cole’s pro career would end four years later when he was arrested by federal agents on heroin trafficking charges while getting dressed for a ballgame in Bridgeport, Connecticut).

The Black Wolf lasted five summers in Madison.  They made the playoffs during their debut season in 1996, losing to the St. Paul Saints in thefirst round.  From 1997 to 2000, the team endured four straight losing campaigns under managers Wayne Krenchicki and “Dirty” Al Gallagher.  The franchise was sold and relocate to Lincoln, Nebraska in 2001, where it continues to operate today as the Lincoln Saltdogs.

Professional baseball has never returned to Madison since the demise of the Black Wolf after the 2000 season.  However, Warner Park now hosts the Madison Mallards amateur team in the Northwoods League, which is one of the most popular and successful collegiate wooden bat franchises in the country.

 

==Links==

Northern League Media Guides

Northern League Programs

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Written by AC

November 9th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

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