How is this for an interesting venture by the North American League?
The league, made up of franchises from the Golden, Northern and United Leagues, has yet to play a game and still must deal with issues such as the economic mess involving the Schaumburg (IL) Flyers, but it is stepping up promotional activities by sponsoring a car in this weekend's Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race. Photos show a huge NAL logo on the hood of a car owned by TRG/Nadeau Motorsports so it presumably is not exactly a nickel and dime sponsorship.
Bob Doyle, Jim Michaelian and Coulter Mulligan will take turns behind the wheel of the Porsche, and race/baseball fans can follow the action that starts at 3:30 p.m. EST Saturday via Speed Channel or www.DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Village of Schaumburg seem to have agreed the Flyers will be evicted from Alexian Field if the team is not sold and its sizeable debt repaid by February 24. The clock keeps ticking on this issue.
THREE MORE GET NON-ROSTER INVITATIONS
The Continental League is no more, but it has its first former player with an invitation to a major league spring training camp. Left-hander Brandon Sisk, who started his pro career in the Houston region with the Bay Area Toros in 2007-08, is an invitee of the Kansas City Royals after two full seasons of averaging well over a strikeout per inning.
Another who started his career in Independent Baseball, Greg Burke, is back for another shot at making the San Diego Padres bullpen corps. Burke was with the Padres for much of 2009. He started out with Atlantic City, NJ in the Atlantic League. The other new non-roster invitee is infielder-outfielder Erick Almonte (Long Island, NY, Atlantic League), who will get another look from Milwaukee after hitting .320 with two homers and 38 runs batted in during 110 games for Triple-A Nashville last season.
Our count of former Indy players with major league non-roster invitations is up to 22with a few more expected.
Friday, January 28, 2011
NEW NORTH AMERICAN LEAGUE STEPS OUT TO SPONSOR CAR IN 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA THIS WEEKEND
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.