Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Texas-Louisiana League’ Category

2000 Jackson DiamondKats

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Texas-Louisiana League (2000)

Born: 2000 – Texas-Louisiana League expansion team
Folded: Postseason 2000

Stadium: Smith-Wills Stadium

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For a quarter century, Jackson, Mississippi was the Eastern outpost of the Class AA Texas League.  From 1975 to 1999 the city hosted farm clubs for New York Mets and Houston Astros and saw future superstars such as Darryl Strawberry, Kevin Mitchell, Bobby Abreu, Billy Wagner, Carlos Guillen and Lance Berkman come through Smith-Wills Stadium on the way to the Majors.

But after the 1999 season the Astros and the Texas League pulled out of Jackson in favor of a brand new $25 million palace on offer in the Austin, Texas suburb of Round Rock.  The independent Texas-Louisiana League quickly filled to void, placing the Jackson DiamondKats franchise at Smith-Wills in time for the 2000 season.

The DiamondKats lone player of note – and the only one on the roster ever to play in the Bigs – was 10-year Major League veteran outfielder Mark Carreon.  Carreon was originally a draft pick of the New York Mets and actually spent the 1984 and 1985 seasons playing for the old Jackson Mets in the Texas League.  36 years old by this time, Carreon hit .340 for the DiamondKats, which placed him 9th in the Tex-La league in hitting, and then retired after the season.

Jackson fans weren’t impressed with the caliber of independent baseball after 25 years in the Texas League.  The DiamondKats averaged well under 1,000 fans per night and folded at the end of their first and only season in 2000.

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Written by AC

March 6th, 2014 at 1:38 am

1994 San Antonio Tejanos

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Texas-Louisiana League (1994)

Born: 1994 – Texas-Louisiana League founding franchise.
Died: Postseason 1994

Stadium: V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium

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The San Antonio Tejanos was a failed independent baseball franchise that played for one summer during the debut season of the now-defunct Texas-Louisiana League (1994-2001).  The Tex-La league played mostly in older, outmoded ballparks in small cities left behind over the years by the Class AA Texas League.  Places like Alexandria, Amarillo and Beaumont.

The Tejanos were an exception to this model – sort of – but not in a good way.  San Antonio already had the Missions, the long-standing Texas League farm club where many top prospects of the Los Angeles Dodgers passed through on their way to Dodger Stadium.  And the Missions had just moved into a brand new ballpark for the 1994 season.  The Tejanos took up residence at V.J. Keefe Stadium, an obsolete stadium that the Missions left behind a few months earlier.   Add to that a lineup of anonymous castoffs and undrafted players and there was no obvious reason for local fans to choose a Tejanos’ game over a trip to see the Missions.  And they didn’t.  They independent team took a bath at the box office and left town after one season.

The Tejanos’ best known name was field manager Jose Cruz, the former Houston Astros All-Star outfielder.  The Tejanos did have one player on the roster would went on to make the Big Leagues.  Relief pitcher Todd Rizzo went on to appear in a dozen games for the Chicago White Sox in 1998 and 1999.

 

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Written by AC

March 6th, 2014 at 12:34 am