Yuma Panthers baseball to skip summer in Yuma
Baseball in Yuma will be a little harder to find this summer.
The Yuma Panthers announced Friday that they will not play the 2012 season.
An uncertain future involving other teams and the league in its current form led to the team deciding to pull the plug on the upcoming season, which was slated to begin in June.
“We just thought it would be best to not mirror ourselves after the Yuma Scorpions and be in a season and then all of a sudden find out the other team can’t make it,” said Godfather Media Inc. CEO Michael Cummings, owner of the Yuma Panthers. “Things just seemed unstable, so the best decision was to go dark and we’ll have a new league after a couple months here. It will be stronger with more teams that have nothing to do with Diamond Sports. It will allow us to build it to be stronger.”
A series of events this year led to the instability, Cummings said, beginning with the Edmonton Capitals deciding to suspend their season.
The Capitals pulled out of the season and then withdrew from the North American Baseball League in February. In March, Diamond Sports and Entertainment Inc. dropped ownership of the NABL.
Diamond Sports and Entertainment Inc. were the previous owners of the Yuma Scorpions, who played here for the past seven years. The Scorpions were bought by Godfather Media Inc. in January of this year and were immediately renamed the Yuma Panthers.
Although the Panthers’ season will not be played this year, Cummings said, there are plans to bring baseball back to Yuma soon.
“The plan is hopefully do a fall season, a fall league here and also to do a winter league,” Cummings said. “We want to come in and do it right ourselves.”
Cummings is hoping the fall and winter league will help rebuild the trust of Yuma baseball fans and the image of minor league baseball in this city.
“We want to show everybody, ‘See we pay our bills. Everything happens the way it’s supposed to with us,’” Cummings said. “When the season starts for the summer we want everyone to know who we are and what we’re about, and we do what we say we’re going to do and we can move forward.”
Erin Redmond can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6880. Find her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSErinRedmond.