Mahoning Valley May Lose Its Minor League Baseball Team

Clinton Lumber Kings pitcher Alberto Guerrero is congratulated by his teammates after being pulled during a baseball game at Veteran's Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Monday Sep. 9 2019

"The Scrappers provide the Mahoning Valley with affordable, family-friendly entertainment, support many local businesses, employ hundreds of individuals, donate hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable funds and connect the community to the game of baseball and Major League Baseball".

That's the question Orlando Magic cofounder Pat Williams hopes to answer.

Williams, standing at a podium set up inside a golf course's bar, unveiled the name and logo for his Orlando baseball franchise that essentially doubled as a declaration to the minimal effort invested in this whole process. Williams says the Major League Baseball has already expressed an interest in adding two expansion teams, but Orlando was left off their initial list.

Williams said he recently heard that the league was considering expanding to 32 teams, with considerations for Nashville, Las Vegas, Portland, Montreal, and others, but he wondered why not Orlando?

The two existing MLB teams in Florida, the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays, have struggled to fill their stadiums and have some of the worst attendance figures in the league.

Williams revealed the team would be named the Dreamers, according to the team's website. The Rays have eight years remaining on their Tropicana Field lease, but as Tolentino and Robbins note, owner Stuart Sternberg has to get the ball rolling in one direction or another much sooner than that.

Ideally, Williams says, the Orlando Dreamers could be throwing out the first pitch at a new Central Florida ballpark in 2027.



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