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History of The Pecos League

In the Summer of 2010 Ryan Stevens, Donnie Randal, JR Smith, Andrew Dunn and Chris Schmidt met in Van Horn, Texas to discuss options on how to start an Independent League that would continue the Big Bend Cowboys and the Las Cruces Vaqueros of the Continental League. The Continental Baseball League announced it would cease operations after the 2010 season. The Continental Baseball League played from 2007-2010 in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Houston and East Texas.
The new league was formed and the league was called the Pecos League. Named after the Pecos River which Ran from Clovis to Del Rio. Andrew Dunn was the sole owner of the Las Cruces Vaqueros and was the commisioner of the Pecos League. Roswell New Mexico finally got professional baseball. Bob Ward of Alpine was the league advisor. The Big Bend Cowboys were disbanded and resurfaced as the Alpine Cowboys and had a completely new ownership under Ward. Matt McNeile agreed to allow the Coastal Kingfish to be a full time team in Alamogordo and named the team the White Sands Pupfish.

The League was originally set to have six teams and originally slated in: Alpine, Las Cruces, Roswell, Alamogordo, Clovis and Bisbee.

Andrew Dunn agreed to own all New Mexico Teams and the Non-New Mexico Teams would have private ownership. Tom Mosher from Bisbee refused to play road games and Clovis New Mexico wanted $50,000 for their ballpark. Carlsbad would not allow a team to play in any of the city fields. Their team the Carlsbad Bats would strictly be a travel team. Despite their ideal location in between Alpine and the rest of the league, they did not want outsiders in their town. Dunn then moved Clovis to Ruidoso and Bisbee to Carlsbad. Ruidoso and Carlsbad replaced the two cities and the Pecos League played the 2011 season.

The first ever Pecos League Game occured in Cohen Stadium when the Roswell Invaders defeated the El Paso Diablos from the American Association 10-7. This game was an exhibition game but showed fans and players that the Pecos League wasn't the Continental League. The Invaders would play an exhibition game against the San Angelo Colts of the United League two weeks later in which they lost.

Two days later the Invaders played the first regular season game in Ruidoso and lost 18-13 The teams took the field and realized this was going to be altitude league. The league had big success in Alpine, Alamogordo and Roswell. Las Cruces failed miserably. The 2011 season had some good times. The level of play was a vast improvement from the Continental League. The league footprint was from Roswell to Las Cruces with Carlsbad being a travel team. Alpine was the lone team that required travel.

The League used local umpires which was an outright disaster in Ruidoso, Alpine, Roswell and White Sands. Lolly Zamora was removed from the field in Roswell. One of the Ruidoso Umpires was a policeman who threatened to arrest a coach for cursing at him.

Ruidoso had a private owner that leased the team from the league. He absconded with all sponsorship money and did not pay his league debts on May 29th. The Team had no housing and struggled to meet payroll. The team rallied and community supported them. The Osos made it all the way to the Championship Series before losing to Roswell. The Roswell Invaders were the inaugural Pecos League Champions, defeating Ruidoso in a tight three game series. The All Star Game was hosted in Alamogordo. Roswell lead the league in attendence
The Pecos League took a major step forward in many areas. Andrew Dunn decided to own all teams but Alpine bringing in the Santa Fe Fuego and the Trinidad Triggers. Pueblo Colorado and Del Rio did not allow the Pecos League to play in their stadiums due to youth conflicts. Private ownership just would not work at this level. Alpine was granted a permanant membership with their 501 c.3 board and Kristin Cavness took the team over. She was grand daughter of Kokernot, who built Kokernot Field. The DH was added for this season. The Pecos League hired league umpires. The Pecos Spring League was formed as a source for players. The White Sands Pupfish shut out the El Paso Diablos in Cohen Stadium 6-0 behind a gem from Curtis Camili. The Vaqueros lost 16-9 to the Vaqueros in Apodoca Park. The game marked the only time in league history an American Association team played in a Pecos League Stadium. Apodoca Park's surface was 10 times better than multi purpose Cohen Stadium.

The Pecos League signed a contract with Rawlings to have its own baseball created. The Trinidad Triggers had a great season bringing Pro Baseball to Southern Colorado for the first time. Charley Short signed with the New York Yankees from the Roswell Invaders. Numerous players were traded to Frontier League or American Association Teams. Gone were the Ruidoso Osos and Carlsbad Bats. Several players were signed with affliated teams in the 2012 season. The league footprint expanded massively with the addition of Santa Fe and Trinidad. The Alpine Cowboys beat the Las Cruces Vaqueros in the Championship Series. The All Star Game was hosted in Alamogordo. Santa Fe lead the league in attendence.
The 2013 Season had a great step forward in many ways. The League began to offer full website stories for all of its games. In 2013 the Pecos League left Las Cruces with El Paso bringing affliated AAA baseball the Vaqueros stood no chance. The Pecos League expanded to eight teams. The Trinidad Triggers beat the Amarillo Sox in the American Association 17-10. Roswell Invaders lost to the Diablos 16-9. The Amarillo Sox beat the Raton Osos 5-4
The DH was removed for good from the Pecos League. The Taos Blizzard were added as a travel team. The Raton Osos and Las Vegas Train Robbers joined the league. All of the teams in the Northern Division were within 3 hours of each other. The Roswell Invaders had the best season in Pecos League History with 50 regular season wins they did not lose a playoff game to win the Pecos League Title. The Invaders set new standards and redefined the structure of teams. Chris Ebright brought in a team of entire rookies and dominated the older slower Pecos League Teams. It was because of the success of the Invaders and the popularity of their players in the Community that an age limited was implemented for the 2014 season.

The Trinidad Triggers were filmed on a reality TV Show. Cameras followed them 24 hours a day and at every game. The show aired in May of 2014 and very popular on Fox Sports 1. The All Star Game was hosted in Santa Fe. Santa Fe lead the league in attendence. Santa Fe lead the league in attendence.
The El Paso Diablos were gone so the only American Assoication game was between Raton and Amarillo in which Amarillo won. The Pecos League returned all eight teams from 2013 and expanded into Arizona adding Bisbee and Douglas. The Pecos League TV Show aired on Fox Sports 1. Jon Edwards made his major league debut with the Rangers. He was the first player in Pecos League history to play in Major League Baseball. Arizona didn't work well for the Pecos League. Douglas turned out to be the worst market in the history of the league. Bisbee didn't do much better until the 2nd half of the season. Santa Fe beat Alpine in tough three game series. The All Star Game was hosted in Santa Fe. Santa Fe lead the league in attendence.
In 2015 the Pecos League really began to turn the corner. The league strictly enforced a 22 man paid roster. The League implemented a 25 and under age limit. The league dropped Raton, Bisbee and Douglas immediately when the season ended. The City of Raton no longer wanted a losing team in Trinidad's shadown. Having gone 1-24 against the hated Triggers in two years was enough. Raton was the best market the Pecos League had ever left. On the train line with a great ballpark and some great fans. Bisbee had no business support and Douglas should have never had a team to begin with.

The American Association teams were fully taking the Pecos League Series and thus swept the Pecos League 3 games to 0. The Wichita Wingnuts replaced the El Paso Diablos on the American Association Exhibition Schedule Slate. The Wichita Wingnuts beat the Garden City Wind 7-4 in Lawrence Dumont Stadium. The Amarillo Sox beat Garden City 5-1. The Amarillo Sox beat the Las Vegas Train Robbers 5-4.

At the advise of Norm Cutliff the Pecos League made a major turn. Norm was the founder and biggest supporter of the Taos Blizzard. Norm advised Andrew Dunn of the Pecos League to leave Taos for Garden City Kansas. Norm believed the economic climate in Taos would never support a team the way that Trinidad or Santa Fe did. He was a huge Pecos League Supporter and believed the League would do better elsewhere. The Pecos League added Garden City Kansas and for the first time in thirty years players were transported by train to games. Garden City was the only team in history to play on artifical turf infield. Also they played at the lowest elevation in league history. The Wind established a great fan base and the move to Garden City turned out to be a great one for all involved. The Pecos League brought back Las Cruces and had a great level of play from top to bottom. The Southern Division had a playoff race that went down to the last day. The Roswell Invaders made the playoffs beat Alpine in the first round and beat Santa Fe in the finals to win their 3rd championship in five years in the league. The White Sands Pupfish worn MJM on their jersey the entire season while Matt McNeile was alive. McNeile had no known illness but suddenly died on August 1, 2015 in his Alamogordo home. His legecy will not be forgotten. 2015 was the best year in Pupfish History. The Fish were in the playoff race until the last day. Las Cruces returned to the league. Their attendence improved slightly from 2012. The All Star Game was hosted in Santa Fe. Santa Fe lead the league in attendence.
In 2016 the Pecos League will continue to improve. The level of play in the league is defined as rookies or players with one year of Professional Experience. The Pecos League will move the Las Vegas Train Robbers to Topeka Kansas. Topeka is also on the train line and has an artifical surface.

About the Pecos League

The Pecos League is an independent professional baseball league which operates in cities in desert mountain regions throughout New Mexico, Western Kansas, West Texas and Southern Colorado. Pecos Teams play in cities that do not have Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The Pecos League is where the Land of Enchantment meets the Lone Star State. The league's high power offenses are fueled by high altitudes and smaller ballparks. The Pecos League is home to high altitude baseball where our average elevation is 4870. Our players come from all over the US and all over the world and are a combination of rising stars, falling stars, shooting stars and athletes with stars in their eyes. Our communities take tremendous pride in their teams. The Pecos League has promoted 282 players to higher independent and affiliated teams from 2010-2015. Players are signed from Pecos Spring League, Pecos League Tryout Camps, and Major League Baseball Scout Referrals.
Pecos League players are 25 years old and younger. The Pecos League Regular Season is nestled in the middle of the summer from May 20-July 27. This timing leads for increased fan participation and support.
In the 2013 season 44 Blue Productions followed and filmed the Trinidad Colorado Triggers. In May 2014, Fox Sports 1 started airing a six-part documentary about life in the Pecos League, mostly based on Trinidad Triggers.
Teams/Cities The Pecos League will have the following teams for 2016 season: (Alpine Cowboys, Garden City Wind, Las Cruces Vaqueros, Roswell Invaders, Santa Fe Fuego, Topeka Robbers, Trinidad Triggers, Woodward Westerners, and White Sands Pupfish).
  • In 2015 The Pecos League operated 8 teams with the Roswell Invaders winning the post season title and the Trinidad Triggers winning the regular season title.
  • In 2014 The Pecos League operated 10 teams with the Santa Fe Fuego winning the post season title and the Alpine Cowboys winning the regular season title.
  • In 2013 The Pecos League operated 8 teams with the Roswell Invaders winning both the regular season and post season title.
  • In 2012 The Pecos League operated 6 teams with the Alpine Cowboys winning both the regular season and post season title.
  • In 2011 The Pecos League operated 6 teams with the Roswell Invaders winning both the regular season and post season title.