Special to KRTN Sports
Osos Will Not Be Back Next Year7/25/2014- The Road for the Raton Osos likely will end after the 2014 season The Raton Osos were formed after the Trinidad Triggers had a disagreement over field usage in 2012 with Trinidad State Junior College. The Triggers were originally slated to move into Raton. That never happened but the Osos would up getting an expansion team. “The Osos were great for Raton, we enjoyed them and wished they could stay.” says Randy Rubin owner of Sports Arena in Raton.
The Osos provided opportunity for their players, coaches and fans to have baseball. Although the Osos never had a player promoted to a higher league in the two year history of the team The two years the Osos were in the Pecos League were enjoyable for visiting teams, umpires and players. The ballpark at Raton was perfect for a Pecos League Team. In 2008 the City Manager of Raton built the Park with custom Musco lighting, sunken dugouts and a great playing surface in hopes of attracting baseball. The Million Dollar Field met its match when the Osos landed. It was plug and play with no upgrades needed except for seating. In 2014 when the Pecos League moved to Microtel, Raton had the best host hotel in the league.The City of Raton provided all the resources they could for the Osos.
Ray Hancock was the only manager of the Raton Osos says the following: “If the town had money they would keep us here, there just is no money. We are behind the 8 ball in every aspect to be able to compete in this league. This league is getting better ever year and the Santa Fe’s, White Sands and Roswells have some much more to offer than we do. We have the best fans in the league and there is no question about that. Jared doesn’t want to run this team anymore and he has been clear about that. There is no one else here that is capable he was the only option. Players that are recruited to play in Pecos League want to play in Santa Fe or Trinidad because of better travel money, meals after the games and mainly because they pass the hat. The biggest issue is not having the ability to pass the hat. Some of Santa Fe and Trinidad players make an extra hundred dollars a week on hat money. We can’t pass the hat here, the fans don’t have the money. Raton has some of the greatest people in the world and they give their all. When it comes to money they don’t have it. I am happy that we made it as long as we did. I also think we are leaving just in time. The City is honest they don’t have the money to support a team, they have many other issues to take care of other than a baseball team. The City did a great job while we were here.”
Andrew Dunn of the Pecos League says the following: “We are glad we were able to play the last two years in Raton. The City of Raton did a great job in the two years the Pecos League played in Raton. I believe it is best to quit while we are ahead. Raton has told us they don’t have money for a baseball team. There are no sponsors and the team was funded with Lodgers Tax and that was cut in half for the 2014 season. There would be no lodgers tax for 2015 season and Jared would not be involved, with Jared I don’t see it working. People forget Raton has a population of 6600 people. It is going to be difficult to have a professional baseball team when the newspaper went out of business. People don’t have $6 to watch a baseball game in Raton. That has been biggest problem when they can get in free crowds always have been big. Jared Chatterley did a great job in coordination of the Osos. He needed help from others to keep things going that help never came and relying on lodgers tax to keep a team is no longer an option. They were honest with us and said after this year it is not a good idea to keep this going. I think people started to look around at the other teams and realize there were major financial discrepancies between Trinidad, Santa Fe and Raton. The one negative about Raton is that they never were able to sell beer, obviously that hurt attendence. But they did a good job and I think they are happy with the two years they had just as we are. Eight teams will be best of the Pecos League for a lot of reasons. “
JD Droddy of the Trinidad Triggers says the following: “I enjoyed playing in Raton the ballpark is great and it was great to have a team so close we could play. The team was much better this year than last. I will be sad to see them not in the league but I understand how it works. Players need travel money and support and the level of support is not there.”