Start-Up Pecos League Yardbirds To Replace Mavericks In Adelanto

Less than four months after the demise of the High Desert Mavericks and the exodus of that team from Stater Bros. Stadium, the City of Adelanto has forged a deal with another professional team, ensuring the stadium will not go dormant in the upcoming baseball season.
This year, the Mavericks were the 2016 champions in the California League, with a record of 82 wins and 58 losses. They swept the Visalia Rawhide in the first three games in the five game league championship series, arguably the team’s best performance in its 25 year history. As impressive was that the team carried all of this off against a backdrop of the ownership’s dispute with the City of Adelanto that had nearly resulted in the team not being allowed to play at Stater Bros. Stadium in 2016 at all.
The Mavericks came into existence in 1991, when city officials were intent on using whatever means or gimmicks available to draw people into the city. Perhaps for that reason, the terms of the Mavericks’ lease on the stadium lacked a certain definitude on many points. That contract was entered into well before the Stater Bros. sponsorship that gave the stadium its subsequent name,
Subsequent redraftings of the contract were little better. Almost a quarter century later, a new set of elected Adelanto leaders would come to the conclusion the team’s owners – Main Street California, LLC – were exploiting the city and its taxpayers. They would make the claim that the city had subsidized the High Desert Mavericks by roughly $600,000 per year totaling more than $1.8 million between 2012 and 2015, covering an estimated $675,938 of the team’s rent costs, $486,635 for city personnel in support of the stadium operation, $157,500 in
janitorial fees, $46,521 for insurance, $14,000 in parking fees, $229,688 for utilities and another $200,000 in miscellaneous costs including catering.
For its part, however, Main Street California asserted the city was actually costing the ball club money. Without fanfare, four months prior to the start of the season, on December 18, 2015, the city served Main Street California with a notice to vacate the stadium. When Main Street resisted, the city in January went to court in Barstow, filing an unlawful detainer action against the High Desert Mavericks, essentially seeking to evict the ball club from the stadium. Simultaneously, the city went public with what was referred to as a “subsidization” report, cataloging the city’s costs in allowing the Mavericks to play at the stadium. Current city officials no longer valued the prestige of hosting a minor league ballclub, having become more focused on the contention that the facility use contract with the team did not serve a public purpose and that it was harming taxpayers.
On January 29, the Mavericks went to court, filing suit to force arbitration with the city. Two-and-a-half weeks later, on February 16, Main Street California filed another suit against Adelanto for breach of contract.
In its suits, Main Street alleged the city’s action was damaging to the Mavericks’ fans, players, charitable organizations, the Adelanto economy and the California League.
In its suit, Main Street maintained, “The city is actively taking steps to disrupt the team’s upcoming season in a blatant attempt to force the team out of the ballpark. The team will be irreparably harmed if the city is permitted to continue sabotaging the upcoming baseball season” and that the team, its employees and players had been locked out of the ballpark. Judge Brian McCarville turned down the city’s request for an expedited eviction of the team from the stadium, granting Main Street California LLC’s motion to quash a five-day summons in the city’s unlawful detainer civil suit. McCarville directed the city to instead proceed with the serving of a 30-day summons and by the time everything was in order to proceed against the team legally, the season had begun. Once under way, the season played out to what was for the Maverick’s on the field a winning conclusion.
Despite the Mavericks’ winning ways, the city was no more favorably disposed toward the team than before. In Bakersfileld, the California League team there was likewise in disagreement with the city over the use of its stadium. In August, the California League, fazed at the uncertainty over the playing venues, eliminated both teams from the league as of the beginning of the 2017 season, drawing down from ten teams to eight.
It has now been announced that the independent Pecos League, which has been in existence only since 2011, having been launched after the Continental Baseball League folded, will now include the Adelanto Yardbirds as it expands to twelve teams. The league, which is technically not considered a minor league since its teams do not have an affiliation with any major league teams, has been steadily growing, from six teams in the 2011 and 2012, to eight teams in or 2013, to 10 teams in 2014.
The season is highly condensed, with teams playing 70 games in 72 days. Players make $50 per week. The other current teams are the Garden City Wind and the Salina Stockade, both in Kansas; the Santa Fe Fuego, the Roswell Invaders, the Las Cruces Vaqueros and the White Sands Pupfish in New Mexico; the Trinidad Triggers in Colorado, the Bakersfield Train Robbers, the California City Whiptails and the Monterey Amberjacks in California; and the Alpine Cowboys in Texas.
The team uniforms for the Yardbirds will be orange, red, yellow and black.
“The new team, the High Desert Yardbirds, will be playing at Adelanto Stadium, formerly Heritage Field and formerly Maverick Stadium,” Michael Stevens, Adelanto’s officials spokesman told the Sentinel. “The city’s plans are to rely upon the expertise of the 28 District Agricultural Association, the staff for the San Bernardino County Fair, to manage and coordinate re-use of the stadium.”

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