Kevin Costner’s Minor League Team Literally Runs out of Balls, Cancels Game

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If you want to know who the laughing stock of professional sports happens to be right now, look to Zion. Yes, the Wisconsin border town of Zion Illinois, home to the Lake County Fielders has seen lots of drama this year. The North American Baseball League team had one of its announcers quit on the air several weeks ago; mostly because he didn’t get the pay he was promised.

Now they had to cancel a game this weekend because they didn’t have enough baseballs.

From “The Outside Corner”

Chad Ehrnsberger, an infielder for the Calgary Vipers, took to a popular independent baseball message board to explain to fans what happened.

“They had a great crowd there tonight but yes the baseballs were a joke,” Ehrnsberger said in a post. “They were like little league practice balls purchased at Dick’s.  I’ll put it like this…when I give lessons or throw BP to my travel team, if I come across these balls I throw them out.  And we were using them as game balls!”

In another message board thread on the same site, Ehrnsberger went on to describe the balls as being “the kind teams use as giveaways or sell in the team shop.  They had the real slippery cover and would lose their shape just by playing catch.”

Because of that, the Vipers wound up protesting the game after just an inning and a half. The umpires apparently agreed with their assessment and decided to postpone the game.

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To call this organization a pathetic joke, is a serious insult to pathetic jokes. They’ve had players and coaches walk out over not getting the paychecks they were promised, their plans for a future permanent stadium have no serious direction or potential. Their current facilities make some little league parks look like New Yankee Stadium. They play in an un-MLB affiliated, independent league, but that’s no excuse for the fact that this team is unorganized chaos on all levels.

It is a very realistic possibility that the team could fold within the season.

Costner, for obvious reasons, has distanced himself from the team that he is reportedly a part owner of. Costner chose to attend Sunday’s Cubs game rather than “his” Fielders’ doubleheader. Many of the Fielders personnel claim that Costner’s level of involvement with the franchise is somewhere between minimal and non-existent.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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