H-SANTA MARIA

Jun 4, 2013 7:20 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News

Santa Maria to consider minor league baseball team proposal

A new professional baseball team may make its home in the Central Coast's largest city.

Santa Maria is considering bringing a minor league baseball team to Elks Field.

Investors from the Pacific Association of Baseball and the Freedom Pro Baseball League approached city leaders a few months ago with this proposal.

Many local players that advanced to major league baseball clubs can trace their baseball roots to games at Elks Field.

The field was the home of the Santa Maria Indians for more than 60 years, but the team left the city about five years ago.

The Indians are an amateur team.

This proposal is to bring in Santa Maria's first minor league professional baseball team.

"Around here, we have a lot of young baseball players that want to make it to the next level of baseball and to get up in competition," said Tommy Carillo, a local baseball fan.

Carillo grew up watching local pro players like Robin Ventura make it to the big leagues, and they started their careers at Elks Field.

"That's one of the best baseball fields around here. I played there for five years of my life. I love that field. I can step on that field and all the memories come back," said Carillo.

"We have a lot of people that are baseball enthusiasts in Santa Maria and this would give them a chance to get out and see some minor league ball and follow some players," said James Davis, Parks Services Manager for the city of Santa Maria.

Davis says Santa Maria is the ideal place for America's favorite past time.

"It's because of its location, its climate and then also because of the rich history of baseball in Santa Maria," said Davis.

Some local fans say a new team could keep this history alive.

"I would hope they would play there so hopefully one day I can play on that field again," said Carillo.

Davis says Elks Field may get some renovations if the city does adopt this minor league team, but he says they aren't sure yet what the cost will be for the city.

It would be a non-affiliated team so it won't be connected with any major league baseball teams.

The Recreation and Parks Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 11 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

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