The Pecos League Exposed

The Pecos League is:  an independent baseball league with teams in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, a show on Fox Sports 1, and about to get exposed.

Hopefully by now, you’ve seen the show or at least read my blog posts concerning the league… You can find those here:

https://indyballisland.com/2014/10/15/the-shit-show-the-pecos-league-and-reality-tv/

https://indyballisland.com/2014/12/10/the-rookie-experience-pecos-vs-frontier/

Even though the league was featured in a six-episode “reality” show earlier this year, you are about to read the REAL stories from the Pecos League. For the last few weeks, I have interviewed over a dozen former players and staff from nine different teams who reached out to me in order to have their voices heard.  The stories you are about to read are not being told in an attempt to “shut down the league” but to expose the harsh realities that go on within the Pecos League.

The Pecos League is often called the “Wild West” of professional baseball. Teams play 70 games in 72 days while battling rough conditions on and off the field for little (if any) pay.

The reality is that some players didn’t get paid at all. They actually PAID to play in the Pecos League. “Taxi players” pay the league to put them on a team in hopes that they actually get to play and gain some experience and exposure.

“I signed on as a taxi player with Alpine in 2011 straight out of college.  It sucked, but I really had no other offers and knew that I wanted to keep playing” one player explained. “I paid the $2,200 just to be on the team the whole season. Pretty much the only thing worse than being in the Pecos, is literally having to pay to be in the league.

“I look back on the Pecos and realize how bad things were. I see how the only way the league runs financially is through the taxi players. A lot of times, I had to have my parents or friends send me money.”

Becoming a taxi player is basically a last ditch effort to keep the baseball dream alive.  In addition to paying the league a fee, the player must pay for every expense out of his own pocket: food, housing and travel. Even after all of this, taxi players aren’t guaranteed to play.

“We wouldn’t even get to showcase our talents. As taxi players, we spent more time watching and practicing than actually playing in games… When the team left for away games, the taxis stayed where we trained. We went to the gym two times a day, did field work for two to three hours and ran all around the place trying to keep our sanity. On my journey, I was given about six games worth of appearances in a season that lasted from April to August.

“We as taxi players put in a lot of work, effort, and money to try and make a dream a reality.  When players didn’t get paid on time or enough, we didn’t feel for them because we never saw a dime.  We truly did this for the love of the game.”

It takes a very determined (some might say crazy) player to join a team on the taxi squad in the Pecos League.

But actually getting paid to play isn’t so great either.  The salary of a non-Taxi squad Pecos League player comes to around $50 a week, but only if the player is paid in full that week. Players often found their paychecks to be cut short or completely missing. One player who played with the Ruidosos in 2011 went over two weeks without being paid while the team was on the road.

“The GM of the Osos said he would pay us when we got back into town, but our manager disagreed with that and told him that the players needed to be paid first. An hour later, I received a text from the GM. I was the only one out of a group of four players in our room to get the text.  The message said that whoever wants to play can meet at a gas station down the road and get fuel to drive their cars two hours to the ballpark.

“I felt like my job was to listen to my manager, so I forwarded him the text… Our manager drove to the gas station to stick up for us. Then he called the league’s front office.  [The league] told our manager if we don’t show up at the ballpark, he would release the whole team, all of the players.”

Other players have also experienced issues surrounding their pay, especially towards the end of their playing time in the Pecos.  These players ended up with only half of the money they should have been given.  “My first professional paycheck was $55. I only got two of them when I think I was supposed to have gotten four.”

Another player noticed that his pay was short half of the money and tried to find out why.  “When I asked my coach about it he said ‘remember when I told you a few games that you weren’t active? That means you didn’t get paid for that game.’ We had 50 players for, I think, 22 spots, so most of us didn’t get paid.”

One player who attempted to expose the team and the poor conditions to the town and to the league ended up never being paid and had his stats taken away from him.

All of this could be because of the lack of contracts within the Pecos League.  One player claims that he and his teammates never had a physical contract in front of them to sign.

When players were given paychecks, the money often had to go to housing, travel, and food.

Most independent baseball leagues rely on the generosity of host families to take in players and let them live rent free while they play.  The concept is great, however, it is hard to find families willing to open their homes to players in the Pecos League.  While the teams search for host families, the majority of the players are stuck paying for their own hotel rooms. One player had to pay for his own hotel stay for the entire first half of the season because no host families were available. Another bounced around between hotels, his coach’s floor, or crowded in with other players.

Most players who found host families talked very highly of the people they stayed with during the season.  These families took them in as adopted sons, cooked for them and gave them a safe place to live without having to worry about anything other than playing baseball. Sadly, everyone’s experience wasn’t that great.

“After being in an hotel for two to three weeks, I was finally placed with a host dad and mom.  There I experienced walking to the ballpark on game days.  I had to leave an hour before warm-ups just so I wouldn’t be late.  My host family lived two miles from the field, and they would sometimes just leave me at the house without a spare car while they both went to the casino or out of town.”

Some teams did manage to provide their players with housing, but even that was less than ideal.  One team rented only two houses for the 50 players they had on their roster, and another team placed players in, what one player called, a “haunted hotel.”

He described what happened when his new team sent him to their “team house.”

“The team didn’t have a host family for me, so they gave me this address to go to.  When I arrived, I was kinda scared.  It wasn’t a good neighborhood, and there was just this small building that looked run down.  Sure enough, it was a run down mental/drug hospital.  I walked in there and saw seven guys already there. I just laughed to myself and thought ‘holy shit.'”

Finding housing isn’t the only questionable thing the players have to go through.  Traveling to away games can be an adventure too.  While a couple of teams have small vans or a bus to transport players, most players have to provide their own transportation and pay for their own gas on road trips.

“Having to pay and provide our own transportation was uncalled for.  The roads in New Mexico are not safe or well lit, and to put the lives of others in the hands of young adults is not right.”

Another player described the rough travel conditions they faced: “We stuck five people in cars and drove sometimes ten hours on game day. Imagine sitting in a car going to Alpine, Texas for ten hours then playing a game; Absolutely brutal.”

Sleeping on the road was just as cramped. Players stayed at Motel 6 hotels sometimes with six guys to a room to save the team money. Money is always a factor, and sometimes there just isn’t enough to cover all the players.

“When I was traded to Raton, I pitched 2/3 of an inning and was released that night because they couldn’t afford to put me up in the motel they were staying at.”

What money the players had left had to be spent on food.  The teams rarely provided food before or after games for the players.  If the players didn’t have host families to help them out with meals, they were forced to put their money together to buy groceries and cook meals for themselves after games. Even then, it was still hard to gather up money for a healthy meal large enough to fully feed all of the guys.

“The only reason I was able to feed myself in Santa Fe was because we had a little boy take a hat around the bleachers to collect money from fans when we hit home runs.”

Complaining did help one team… for a night.

“We complained about the living situation and no meals on the road, so the GM traded one of our starting pitchers to Alpine for two extra rooms and PB&J sandwiches before the game.”

Just like everything else in the Pecos League, most of the facilities and fields are also inadequate for professional baseball.   The amenities are worse than normal American high schools.

“We had a shed for a locker room, metal chairs, no showers, and were forced to wash our own uniforms.”

The actual playing fields aren’t much better. One team played on a high school field that had gopher holes scattered throughout the outfield. Another team wouldn’t allow the players to cut the grass because “they didn’t want the grass to die.”

Other fields were so small that players could stand at home plate and throw balls over the outfield wall.  Pitchers had to constantly chase down home runs that flew over the small field and landed in the desert behind the fence during batting practice.

The poor conditions and small dimensions of the parks caused problems to players’ statistics as well.

“The only reason I have an ERA from there is because two runs scored on a fly ball to first base that went over the lights and dropped in.”

Since every park in the Pecos League is a hitter’s park, numbers are extremely inflated and hard to be taken seriously. It makes getting noticed and promoted to a higher league that much harder.

“It’s known as a hitters league, so hitters need to put up huge numbers to have a shot. Pitchers can get away with a 4-4.5 ERA and still get promoted.  Based on my experience, coaches do try hard and fight for their players, but sometimes it is hard for coaches from other leagues to respect the Pecos League stats.  Higher level coaches look down upon the league, and although it gives you an opportunity in pro ball, it is difficult to advance.”

Poor fields aren’t the only thing messing up players’ statistics.  One player saw his ERA skyrocket after a perfect inning. When he looked for the scorekeeper to ask what had happened, he found an 18 year old girl who didn’t really know how to keep score and “made a mistake.”

Please note that the following statements represented in bold are denied by the Pecos League commissioner, Andrew Dunn.

The league knows exactly what they are doing to these players. They make promises to players that never come true. They stretch the truth about pay and promotion opportunities. As one player put it, “they like to twist stories to trick kids into going into the league.  Many had been given false promises. It was just a mess.”

They try to take advantage of players and their dreams, especially with the taxi squad players.  Making players pay to play isn’t what “professional” baseball is all about.  The league also started taking advantage of players by putting new rules into effect regarding other leagues.

“The league takes advantage of players because they know most guys won’t quit.  They have nowhere else to go.  They also make them ONLY go to winter or spring leagues run by the Pecos.  If they go to the California Winter League, for example, those players cannot be signed.  They want all those guys to spend money on THEIR league and nowhere else.”

They also do a good job of stacking some teams with better players and resources.  One team was managed by a guy who only had coaching experience in little league.

“He knew nothing on how to coach young and some older men.  During spring training, he would leave to watch little league games because he was ‘bored.’  And he was the only one that was a ‘coach’ and supposed to evaluate players.”

Another team’s manager was flat out told not to expect to win more than 13 games all year.  Their budget was well below any other teams’ in the league.  They had no baseball operations, no marketing and no staff to help the team compete fairly against other teams.  The manager compared the Pecos League to the WWE where everything is predetermined in the league’s mind, and if you go against it, you’re gone.  The team went on to win 20 games over their “projected” total. The manager and team are both no longer a part of the Pecos League.

Player promotions also seem to be controlled and delayed by the league as they see fit.  Players were not traded when they wanted, and some players could guess why.

“Our goal there was to get picked up by better leagues, and rumors circled around that the ownership was dodging calls from teams in other leagues trying to buy our contracts.  I was trying to get released so that I could play in the NBC World Series in Wichita, but [the owner] wouldn’t release me from my contract since he had a team playing there too. The team I was going to play with ended up taking his team down, and the next day I had a contract in the Frontier League.”*

(*Note: The Pecos League commissioner, Andrew Dunn, has said that all of these statements printed in bold “are outright false.”)

Most of the players agreed that the competition level isn’t too horrible.

“The level of play was definitely better than most people think.  A lot of people think that the competition is poor, but it looks that way because of the league and how they carry themselves.”

However, there are guys who obviously have no business being there. As one player explained, “it’s hard to get people to play for $50 a week while providing their own pants, bats, transportation, and sometimes housing.”

Despite everything: the poor pay, the cost of living, traveling and food, the terrible fields and the unprofessional ownership, there is a silver lining.  The players get to play baseball and have a chance to hold onto their dreams just a little while longer.  90% of the players I talked to did find something positive to say about their time in the Pecos League.

One word heard throughout the reality show and throughout my interviews is “brotherhood.”  These players became a band of brothers; all playing and fighting for the same goal. To play in the Pecos League, you must truly love the game. They shared each other’s struggles and bonded in ways that others will never understand. Friendships were formed and memories were made that will last a life time.

The players also grew to love the fans as much as the fans loved them.  Cities adopted these guys and made the experience worth it. They helped them out when needed and were always there for moral support.

The Pecos League isn’t for everyone, but a player can learn a lot about themselves as a ballplayer and a person.

“Guys just have to look at it as an opportunity.  Just a pit stop along the journey.  Put up numbers, meet and greet everyone that you can, build up friendships with players and coaches there, and eventually attempt to move up.  The Pecos was definitely humbling but made me into a stronger person.”

To each player and staff member that helped me with this post, I thank you.  I can only hope that I told your stories well. I have an immense amount of respect for all of you. 

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47 thoughts on “The Pecos League Exposed”

  1. This article is horrible, come interview me I’ll tell you the harsh truth about the pecos league and independent baseball as a whole. Matt Hunt – 2013 Trinidad triggers allstar shortstop

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re more than welcome to tell me your story. I interviewed players who responded to my request about players in the Pecos. This whole article is based off of over a dozen interviews and is written solely around direct quotes. I’m sorry that you feel as if the article is horrible just because it wasn’t your experience. I asked for different stories from players for over a month. These are the players that responded.
      Shoot me an email if you want me to tell yours. kaymthompson52@gmail.com

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope that Matt Hunt reconsiders, and realized that you are simply telling a story based on about with whom you’ve spoken. His story will only enrich!

        I appreciate YOU covering this. As a pure baseball fan, unfolding the myriad of stories around the country about this great game, it is America.

        Matt Hunt’s story is so much like the growing story of folks simply working to survive. Hopefully Pecos League leadership is in business to make a decent profit and help dreams come true. If they expect to make Mint here, then they are knowingly screwing people. Is there a middle ground? Hmmmmmm…

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    2. Being in this league is like buying a lottery ticket every week. If you sign up for it, don’t complain about it! No one is forcing you to put your life on hold for a game. At some point you have to realize it’s time to hang up the cleats! For those “taxi” players: they must be the most delusional athletes in amateur sports! $2200 to play on a team?! You ARE funding the league. You need to move past the denial stage and accept that your baseball career is over. You’re 27-30 years old making 0 dollars! Being a former college baseball player, I understand that you have to know when to fold them. These guys are going “all in” with a pair of 2’s!! Good luck men!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is nothing new to anyone … Everything you are describing is what the pecos league is and has always been…. Either be ready to scrap to chase your dream or go home my friends

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    1. I wrote the article more as a post for people who may not really KNOW indy baseball. To the average baseball fan, they don’t really know what goes on with you guys. There are people that play in the Frontier League that didn’t really know what the Pecos was all about… I found that out when I did my post comparing rookies.

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  3. Regaurdless of what any player says. The Pecos League has given and will continue to give players an opportunity to play at the next level. The league is a very VERY low income league. But players know that coming into it. Having played in the league for multiple seasons, it’s a fact, if you were good enough to be somewhere better then you would be. Plain and simple. The people that complain the most are the people that can’t hang between the lines (but think they can.) As far as “taxi players” go. Multiple Indy leagues do it. And with the exception of a few “taxi players” most of those guys wouldn’t have played on my HS Varsity team. They pay to play because it’s the only option they have. They were cut from every other tryout they went to. Don’t get me wrong, every now and then you there comes a taxi player that can straight up ball but that’s rare.
    Your article was 100% true. Everything you said. But I’m willing to bet that most if not all of the guys you interviewed were guys that only played when their team was up or down by 10 runs. Of course they’re going to talk crap. They always do.
    The Pecos League gave me opportunities and that’s all I wanted. I’m proud to have played there.

    Ernie M.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the stuff I was looking for.. when I asked players for a month through various pages on Facebook and Twitter, however… no one with a good experience wanted to talk for some reason.
      But there are guys I interviewed for this blog that did end up going to higher leagues… they still wanted to talk about the bad experiences more than the good.

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    2. I don’t know who this Ernie guy is but I played in the Pecos league on the ruidoso Osos the only year we were in existence and there was no type of embellishments on this article whatsoever. I didn’t know I would be making 50 a week going into this league or I would have not signed up it. We played at a rec park and had to eat PB & J sandwiches for the whole spring training. I balled out so I didn’t have to stay in a hotel forever but my experience in this league made me hang up my cleats. I made the all star team and had a great season. There are like 6 games that aren’t accounted for on our stats still to this day. One of those games I went 4 for 4 with a walk off granny for that ass. The competition was good though and the brotherhood was forever. But the league does need an intervention ASAP. Good shit for publishing this article and if you want some real stories feel free to email your boy at aphillipsbaseball@gmail.com.

      Cheers,
      Anthony Phillips
      The real MVP

      Like

    3. Being in this league is like buying a lottery ticket every week. If you sign up for it, don’t complain about it! No one is forcing you to put your life on hold for a game. At some point you have to realize it’s time to hang up the cleats! For those “taxi” players: they must be the most delusional athletes in amateur sports! $2200 to play on a team?! You ARE funding the league. You need to move past the denial stage and accept that your baseball career is over. You’re 27-30 years old making 0 dollars! Being a former college baseball player, I understand that you have to know when to fold them. These guys are going “all in” with a pair of 2’s!! Good luck men!

      Like

    4. I disagree with some of your statements. I personally know 3 guys that were under contract with the Pupfish and one of them was an all-star in the league. They cut the other 2 guys but wanted them to stay and play for free and when the all-star was injured they tried to do the same to him. All 3 of them said no thanks and came back home. This was in 2011 or 2012.

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  4. Trinidad Triggers 2012 …. apart of the original triggers team and the things some of us had to do to make money, wow. Theres no doubt the pecos made me a better man and i can say the same to everyone else who had to live life in the pecos. Ran out of money countless times and my brothers on the team always had my back we all had eachothers back. But the stories and memories i have of the conditions… sex, drugs, alcohol, ownership, scandals etc. Theres enough to make a damn movie. Email me

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I played as a taxi in 2011 for the invaders, I only saw 6 ab’s 4 of those were to pinch hit, I played a whopping 1/2 inning at 2b the last road trip of the season and the only trip I got to go on minus the exibition game in Del Rio which I went 2-2 , I didn’t get a host family till mid season and I had no transportation till that time asking for rides after I was the last person to get a host family. I conditions were sub par only having 2 vans to fit all the gear and players , the field was always in poor condition even after we took about 1000lbs of clay off the infield, food was left over from the concession stand after the games, the only positive thing was being around the game and making friends who share your passion

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  6. I was an every day player in the inaugural 2011 season for the Carlsbad Bats ‘travel’ team. I am intrigued by reading this article. I have plenty of input I can add with the 50+ games I experienced that year. I can also tell you how my journey went that landed me on that team. However, I (and I hope others that read) will not label anything I say as negative, positive, a complaint, or a boast. It will simply state what I did and what I experienced. If you’re interested, please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re more than welcome to write it as a comment on here. You can email it to me as well kaymthompson52@gmail.com
      I may put together another post at some point but am still unsure. It seems there are a lot of people bashing my article but when I ask for them to give me a story that is different or more positive than what I’ve posted, they don’t respond.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with Ernie M.

        Indy ball is Indy ball anywhere you go. If you were good enough to play anywhere higher, then you wouldnt be playing in this league. I managed the Coastal Kingfish in 2010, and yea it had its ups and downs, but the experience and working with a group of guys from all over the country made it all worth it. The few that get picked up to higher leagues deserve to be there period. Its tough being a “Taxi Player”, the shit you go through after paying to play is rough no doubt about it, but again, if your a good ball player, your good anywhere you go. This is why they call it “Chasing a Dream”, because you are willing to suck it up, and work hard. As a manager its tough to keep more than 25 guys on a roster, especially when u want to win, and some of the Taxi Players cant play at all. Its a tough game, and a rough league, but one thing that league will make you is a stronger person, and to some players, a chance to say you played some type of pro ball. I was fortunate to gain experience and move on to other levels in baseball. I met coaches, scouts, and player personell from organizations that allowed me a bullpen catching spot for the El Paso Chihuahuas, affiliate of the San Diego Padres. To finish, im greatful for this article, because it makes it a bit easier for guys that just cant play at any professional level, no matter the circumstances, not waste their time trying to fulfill a dream thats just not in their path of life. If you have to pay to play, then you better be one hell of a ball player to make what your paying worth it, if not then just hang them up. Anthony, Earnie was actually a hell of a
        catcher and outfielder, every now and then he would close out game because the guy could throw. His response is pretty valid, and he was actually one of the few that got picked up to play at a higher level of Indy Ball.

        Chris S.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kmthomp29 I’m not sure exactly who you are, but I would like to get the chance to get to know you… Do you have a Facebook page?… I want to commend you for taking your time and effort and investing into finding out what’s really going on in this league. The more players, employees, etc that come forward the better. I know you’re prepared to face some strong scrutiny and some lashing out, but my advice to you is to stick with it. I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing, the truth will get out.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s stories like this throughout all the indy leagues. I feel bad for all the guys that play indy ball because they really do get treated unfairly. And if they try to speak out about it they risk getting released and then possibly banned from the league. And there’s always people that say “you’re living the dream so shut up and play.” No one should be treated that way just to get a chance at their dream job. That’s why as a fan I like to help out my favorite players when I can. They really appreciate a free meal or snacks for the road because it’s one less thing they have to pay for. But it’s a shame that a lot of teams take advantage of the fact that fans will help. The teams are making the money and would rather have a fan pay to feed the guys than do it themselves. It’s just wrong.

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  8. I too played in the league and let me tell you this, Dimatteo was one of the better if not the best hitter/player in the league…he’s right. The league borders on the edge of a bar house brawl and somewhat organized baseball in a low level high school setting that i dont even think the bad news bears would be subjected to. So your playing in the sandlot, you can pay to be there, and your post game meal is going to be the scraps the fans didnt want to pay 1.50$ for at the end of the night, yet were calling it proffessional baseball. Whoever wants to rationalize it can and will be laughed at, there were some legit players that got moved up but for the most part it was people who knew people which will happen in all circles of baseball but usually used in a positive manner to better a career. Players in this league manipulated or screwed over and they were the ones that earned the right to be there, getting sent from stoplight town to stoplight town looking for a shot. However, i question that if they had “paid” the 2500$ to be considered a taxi player they would have stayed with the team and had a place to sleep, instead they put in countless hours of hardwork and were constantly shipping themselves from place to place not knowing where they were going to sleep. And of course I’m sure there’s going to be someone after my post to say that “oh you knew what you were getting into with indy ball”, thats fine and ill accept that but if you’re going to rub that in the faces of players that have been there then why are we calling it proffessional? Cause to me that just continues to show the attitude the league administration has towards its players and proffessionalism it displays to its players as well. I as a player commend this article and will answer any questions this guy has cause he’s doing the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had a great time. Lived with 4 air force girls in alamogordo, had parties every weekend, toga party, good food, good times. If you play for the pupfish try to stay with Angela.

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  10. As we said in Roswell…anyone can play in the show…it takes a real man to play in the Pecos! The league is what it is. Its baseball, period. And it’s pro baseball. If you wanna play and you’ve got no other options, its absolutely worth it. It’s bush, but those were probably the best summers of my life thusfar…

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  11. Kayla you did it again! I loved your article. To all the guys that that disagreed with this article save your opinions for a personal email to Kayla. This article is a blessing to the indy ball players everywhere. I was drafted in 2009 by STL and released in 2011 ST. Played indy ball for 4 years (6 teams) before getting another shot at affiliated with CWS. WE NEED ARTICLES LIKE THIS TO RAISE THE AWARENESS OF WHAT IS GOING ON. Thats how people can learn and help out. Learn and become sponsors or donate busses, vans, food or even become host families. So many people could careless that we play indy ball and never look to try to understand…..but kayla’s efforts are priceless. I never played in the pecos but I did play two seasons in the United League (one step higher) and conditions wasn’t that much better. I still haven’t received a couple checks from a team that is no longer active or remember sleeping in the clubhouse in my locker SMH.

    But in closing, thanks Kayla for stepping out and stepping up to the challenge. It’s not easy trying to share others stories and make them make sense for everyone. In life you will not make EVERYONE see your vision…..you must continue to push for what you believe no matter the costs.

    ***PLEASE SHARE THIS POST TO HELP RAISE THE AWARENESS AND IN HOPES OF ATTRACTING SPONSORS AND SPECIAL PEOPLE FOR THE FUTURE ON INDY BALL***

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My son is playing in the Pecos League this summer and having the best baseball experience of his life (including HS, travel, College, College Summer).

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  13. My boyfriend played in the Pecos league a few summers back. I can remember being so upset when he would discuss the conditions they were dealing with. Everything in this article is exactly what he talked about. Shame on this league for disguising itself as professional ball. There is nothing professional about $50 a week. Lord, that’s not even minimum wage pay! Even if you play because it’s “a chance to still play ball and maybe get promoted” you shouldn’t get taken advantage of. And that’s exactly what this league does. It takes advantage of those with a dream who don’t get drafted right out of school. “HEY! Let’s get all of these guys wth dreams out here. But how? Oh!! Call it professional ball so they think it’s legit. It’s okay though, we won’t provide much. But they can say they play professionally so they’ll still do it!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My ex boyfriend also played in the Pecos League for the 2012 and 2013 season and though he was blessed with having some good host families, he still lacked for nutrition as did his teammates. The stories he would tell every night of the road trips, lack of sleep, lack of substantial food unless they were paying for it at Applebees between driving from Almogordo to Trinidad at 1am, was ridiculous. Having been in Sports Nutrition and Professional Sports Nutrition most of my adult life, I would supply him with some supplements but nothing compared to what his body needed.
      The other reality that Miguel brought up and really needs to be addressed instead of being suppressed and swept under the rug, is the sex and scandalous behavior. In 2014, after my ex went down to play in the Texas Winter League, did I find out about the SCORES of other women he had been “exclusive” with over the years. Shoot in 2013, after he invited me down for the opening game in Raton and the movie crew was there, my room being next to the producer, he said that I couldn’t come back down because the film crew were asking too many questions after seeing he, I, and two of the other players that I had known from the year before in downtown Trinidad and began asking questions. He told me it was too stressful, when the reality was that he had a dozen women, if not more, that he was involved with, if not available to meet him along his road trips, that he didn’t want exposed during the filming being the good “Christian” man he made himself out to be while sleeping with married women and host moms. A few of the guys on the team from both years had contacted me privately on FB to warn me but he denied it and I believed him. So did dozens of other women. This in itself is a travesty. As he and others set themselves up as singles on dating websites like Plenty of Fish, becoming involved with the females in their host families, or ruining marriages while trying to “make a dream come true” and stating over and over the pity party of “it’s stressful babe, it’s bad” while taking so many women for a ride, is unacceptable. Women who believed in them, encouraged them, paid for the hotel rooms, the gas, the supplements…anything to make their “stressful conditions” better.
      For both years, I would make cupcakes, cookies, sangria, margaritas and bring them down to help lighten their spirits. I don’t regret any of it except believing in a player who truly was the epitome of a player in every sense of the word. And I truly don’t believe the majority of the players were without ethics and morals but, some, including my ex, used their baseball trials for their own personal agendas. No wonder they never made the majors. How can you when all your time and energy are going to screwing, using and juggling a dozen women in every state along the way.

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      1. I am loving your entire blog and have read each article, thank you! Thanks for having the courage to say what needs to be said. No, they don’t have any idea, not even a smidgen. I believe everything for a reason and I know the reason that I was part of the sick game he was playing and others were playing on their girlfriends, but each of us have to figure it out on our own terms. On the flip side, I met guys that were totally loyal, in love and dedicated to their girlfriends no matter how far away they were, nothing but honorable, and I commend them for being real. It’s probably the ones that will actually say that even though the league was less than desirable, they came away with something positive out of it!!! 🙂 Keep it up the good work!!! 😉

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  14. The Pecos League is one of the most unprofessional leagues ran in the country. What kind of commissioner enjoys squashing peoples dreams to prove a point? The only thing Dunn continually proves is that his pride is more important than his players. This league is his personal vendetta to live vicariously as the player that he wishes he was. He does not want to promote a professional or challenging environment for his player but rather a league of indentured servitude. These players deserve a fair chance, fair pay, isn’t that fair of you Dunn? A core value of baseball is integrity–which is doing the right thing when no one is looking. Well Mr. Dunn, we’re looking.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I just finished college ball and there is no way in hell I would play in the pecos league. I guess I don’t love the game? Just go to mlb open tryouts, and play softball on weekends. It’s not worth it.

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    1. To be fair… the Pecos is A LITTLE bit better than it was when I wrote this. They’ve had a couple more years to get their act together. Pay still sucks, travel is still rough, stats usually don’t mean much, etc. But… it’s improving…. SLOWLY.

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  16. What are your thoughts of the league expanding into both Bakersfield and High Desert for the 2017 season? Is the league looking at adding former minor league venues, along with Tuscon and Colorado Springs (when that opens up) as a blueprint for its future?

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    1. I do believe that’s what they’re trying to do. I hope everything goes well with the other 2 proposed California teams too and that the scheduling works out. Would hate to see a ton of super long trips for guys who can barely make the “easier” trips in the first place because they drive their own cars etc. I’m really hoping the league continues to do better and starts taking care of their players a little more than they have in the past. I’ll admit it’s nowhere near as bad as just a few years ago, but it’s still not anywhere that’s very respectable.

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    1. Pretty much all of the main ones: Atlantic, American, Can-Am and Frontier. As well as the United Shore League which is in it’s second season. Pacific Association is decent, but really only a small step up from the Pecos. And I’d stay far away from the Empire League.

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  17. Have followed your article and the responses for some time here in Australia. I have had some involvement in the Can Am league and spend several weeks each year in the USA taking in mostly independent games and I have many friends who play in the Atlantic League, Can Am and American Association. It appears in these leagues although conditions are a little tough it is a great place to pursue your passion for the great game but although I have met several players out here in Australia and over there who have played in the Pecos League I am yet to find anyone who speaks highly of the league but I guess it provides an opportunity.

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