Missions set to host a team in the Texas Collegiate League

Making alternate plans in the wake of a national health crisis, the San Antonio Missions professional baseball club announced Thursday that it would host a team this summer in the Texas Collegiate League.

The Missions will host a team at Wolff Stadium this summer in the Texas Collegiate League. Reports indicate that a traditional minor league season isn’t likely. — Photo by Jerry Briggs

The Missions, a Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, have yet to play this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But officials said in a news release that local administrators will host a collegiate team that will be known as the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio.

The Chanclas are set to play a 30-game season, including 15 at home at Wolff Stadium. They’ll open June 30 at Amarillo, with the home opener set for July 3 against Acadiana of Lafayette, La.

While the Missions are holding out hope that they could still put together an abbreviated, late-summer schedule with the Brewers’ organization players, such a scenario isn’t viewed as likely, and they’re moving forward with a plan to host an entry made up of collegians in the 10-team, wood-bat TCL.

“We are extremely excited to be hosting live baseball at Wolff Stadium this summer for the San Antonio community,” Flying Chanclas president Burl Yarbrough said.

According to the news release, the Flying Chanclas would play from June 30 through Aug. 2, followed by a postseason.

Fans will be allowed to attend in the wake of new state guidelines allowing for stadiums to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Social distancing protocols will be in effect during all games at the Wolff, according to the Missions.

The Missions, a franchise that has played pro baseball in San Antonio for most years since 1888, are in the second and final year of a two-year Player Development Contract as the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers.

The ball club’s schedule in the Pacific Coast League, originally set for April through August, has been suspended because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 has affected sports around the world. In the United States, most sports have been shut down since March.

Officials in baseball are working on a plan to resume the major league season in July. A deal is contingent on an agreement between the MLB owners and players. In the meantime, what will happen with the minor league season remains to be seen.

Published reports say a traditional minor league season isn’t expected to be played, raising the distinct possibility that city of San Antonio will be without professional baseball for the first time in 53 years.

After the 1964 season, ownership of the parent-club Houston Colt .45s sold its Double-A franchise in the Texas League — then playing at Mission Stadium as the San Antonio Bullets — to a group from Amarillo.

As a result, there was a pro baseball void in the city for three years, from 1965-67.

A new club emerged in 1968 at V.J. Keefe Field, on the campus of St. Mary’s University. The Missions have played since 1994 at Wolff Stadium, on the far west side, at Interstate 90 and Callaghan Road.

In 2019, they linked with the Brewers’ organization and moved up a level to Triple-A, all in hopes of marshaling support for a new stadium.

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