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Pro baseball: CBL folding, but Cowboys may play on

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Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:00 am

The Continental Baseball League will dissolve after the best-of-3 championship series between the Big Bend Cowboys and the Las Cruces Vaqueros ends this weekend at Kokernot Field in Alpine.

The league originally was scheduled to play games through August.

“We had a good four-year run,” CBL president and CEO Ron Baron said. “I’ve put my heart and my money and my soul into this league.”

Big Bend general manager JR Smith said financial issues for the league and its two travel teams — the Coastal Kingfish and the Desert Valley Mountain Lions — were a major cause for the league to shut its doors.

“After three months it was just more than (Baron) could handle,” Smith said.

Vaqueros owner Andrew Dunn has spearheaded a push for a new league called the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Players. Dunn has been named commissioner of that league.

According to the Pecos League web site, 12 teams have either submitted proposals to join the league or have been invited. All four Continental Baseball League teams have been invited.

“About five weeks ago we had a meeting with folks from the Pecos League,” Smith said. “It will be a more exciting league. So far, we have six teams ready to join, with a couple other teams interested. Class A minor-league baseball will be alive and well in Alpine next year.”

Smith said teams from Del Rio, Roswell (N.M.), Big Bend and a travel team called the Orlando Dragons have tentatively agreed to join the league. The Coastal Kingfish and the Vaqueros officially have joined.

Other teams who have given proposals are the Bisbee (Ariz.) Copper Kings, the El Paso Suns, Pueblo (Colo.) Wranglers, Abilene Blue Sox and Littlefield Express, according to the Pecos League website.

Smith said the Cowboys will have a board meeting about the subject after the end of the championship series and then a shareholders meeting before officially determining if moving to the Pecos League is in the best interest of the club.

The Continental Baseball League at one point had teams in the Metroplex, along the Texas gulf coast and in Louisiana, but many folded after just one season.

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