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Dreams of team all but gone

Talks of independent minor-league level baseball team drop off for the foreseeable future

Posted: January 19, 2009 9:22 p.m.
Updated: January 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.
It has been four years since the Golden Baseball League awarded Santa Clarita its own baseball team.

It's been a year since the man who helped get that franchise has spoken to anyone who could help finalize it.

Now, chances of the independent minor-league level baseball organization coming to the area are, at least in the near future, zero.

"I haven't heard from (the city), they haven't heard from me," said Craig Duswalt, a local businessman who spearheaded the movement to get a GBL team in 2005. "It's not that it's dead in the water, but we can't do anything until we find a place to play."

Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry said that based on the state of the economy, the city isn't looking at the project.

"I think realistically, the issue's going to be one of land cost," Ferry said. "In this economy, the city as a whole is not looking for new collaborations.

"It's something definitely people would like to see, but right now, it's not the right timing based on economics."

Duswalt approached the ownership team of the Golden Baseball League in early 2005 and convinced the organization to award Santa Clarita a team.

Hopes were for the team to join the league as early as 2007, but finding a place for that team to play was the major snag.

Duswalt said the closest the GBL came to having a team in Santa Clarita was 2006 when there was talk of renovating the baseball field at College of the Canyons. Lawyers from the GBL met with College of the Canyons, but the sale of alcohol at the venue became the issue that halted the process.

Since then, the Golden Baseball League decided to franchise the team in hopes that selling the squad would help facilitate a stadium. But that never came to fruition.

Duswalt said he still holds on to hope that something will happen down the line, but it's very unlikely.

He still would be the point man between the Golden Baseball League and Santa Clarita.

Instead, though, it appears that both sides have moved on.

Duswalt, a former manager of rock star Axl Rose, is a motivational speaker and is holding a seminar called "The Rock Star System for Success" at the Hyatt Valencia in February.

The Golden Baseball League, meanwhile, has expanded to Tijuana.

The league now has 10 teams.


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