Semi Professional Baseball Driving Back To Abilene Texas in 2024
With the Texas Rangers winning the World Series, baseball is even more hype than usual in the Lone Star State. So, news of Abilene getting a semi-professional baseball team has gotten folks in the Key City even more excited about the Great American Game. Yep, baseball is back in Abilene.
The new Mid-America League is launching its inaugural season starting in May 2024. The summer collegiate league will have a 68-game season and is described as a "premium baseball development league" that will have an emphasis on existing collegiate players.
“We’re really excited to develop this new league with attractive markets that are devoid of a summer team in their region, many of which haven’t had a local baseball franchise in decades,” said Matt Perry, President of National Sports Services, via press release. “We expect the Mid-America League to fast become one of the premier leagues in the nation for fan attendance, player development, and franchise values and we’ll be scheduling announcements of the markets in the weeks ahead.”
According to Big Country Homepage, Scott Kirk is the man responsible for bringing baseball back to Abilene. Kirk originally wanted to launch it in 2023 with aspirations to hold games at Rose Park, as well as sell beer.
Unfortunately that didn't happen, but Kirk kept going and finally announced Abilene baseball would arrive in May 2024 with games being played at McMurry University's Walt Driggers Field. However, it appears beer will not be sold at games.
Full schedules should be announced in the coming weeks. It is also unknown what the team name will be for Abilene.
Sports Franchises in Abilene
Abilene is no stranger to having sports franchises. We had the Abilene Blue Sox in the late 40s and early 50s. More recently, Abilene had a professional hockey team - Abilene Aviators - and football teams Abilene Bombers and Abilene Ruff Riders.
We had a baseball team too, on two different occasions. In fact, does anybody remember the time that Johnny Johnson (aka Dave Andrews) was the announcer for the Abilene Prairie Dogs and got kicked out of the game? Ah yes, memories.
Of course, those franchises are no longer in Abilene because of various reasons. Some folks in town feel that one of the primary reasons for that is because of lack of beer sales. Others state there simply was not enough interest.
Personally, I think Abilene has been itching for something like this for a while. I hope it takes off, and I hope it will be supported by the community, even if beer is not sold. Although, in my opinion, I think that would help.
It's too soon to tell if this league will have longevity based off the history of sports in Abilene. But for now, we can look forward to some summer nights of baseball in 2024 and I'm down with that.
LOOK: Texas Rangers Celebrate World Series Win
Gallery Credit: Chaz