The other day, the Western Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (“WAPB”) announced it would add a club to its lineup: The Henderson Hoo. This made me realize it is a new independent league that is about to start. I realize this is old news but it is always interesting to read about a new league.
The new league hopes to play a 78-game schedule with eight teams in California, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada that would begin in June and end in September. And this in a time in which independent leagues are struggling to stay afloat.
During the announcement of the upstart league, organizers said they expect the WAPB to launch with eight teams controlled by individual ownership groups, located throughout Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada. Plans for teams in specific markets were not announced back then.
According to an interview with indyballisland.com, Evan Greusel, the Director of Baseball Operations, stated the following on the question about financial problems startup leagues face: “We have some great people involved that have been part of successful Indy teams and leagues and some that have watched certain teams and leagues fail. I think we have a wealth of knowledge at all levels from guys that played and coached to front office GMs and owners. We already have a league sponsor that had committed to multiple years so we are excited about that.”
The news about the addition of the Henderson Hoo made me look at the website for other teams. But when looking there it becomes clear, the Hoo is the first team that is added to the league. The Henderson Hoo will play its home games at Morse Field on the campus of the College of Southern Nevada where it has come to terms on a multi-year lease agreement.
The WAPB bills itself as a circuit for a wide range of players, from those looking for a shot in professional baseball to players with past major-league experience. Additional details about the league are expected to be announced at a later date.
The question remains at what level will this league play? Will it be at the level of the CanAm League, Frontier League or American Association, it may have a chance of survival, especially as the aforementioned leagues are situated in the Midwest and Northeast of the United States. Will the level be the same as the obscure Pecos League, which operates in parts of the same territory the WAPB wants to operate, the chances of survival may be questionable as one can wonder if there is a need for another league like that.