Laramie Colts Joining Different League in 2014
The Laramie Colts are on hiatus for a year as they prepare to join the Colorado Rocky Mountain Baseball League for the 2014 season. Owners Kent and Nicko Kleppinger made the announcement Friday following the winter owner's meeting for the CRMB League.
"We've played some of the teams from the CRMB league," said Kent. "Good teams... I had an opportunity to talk to some of the owners and it looked like an opportunity that was very appealing to us. In addition, the fact that they play post season tournaments where some of the players can be seen by baseball scouts is a big advantage and makes recruiting better players an advantage for us."
The Laramie Colts were a founding member of the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League, but have struggled in recent years, finishing last out of four teams in 2012. Kent said that when he found out the CRMB had invited the MCBL to fold into their league, but other owners weren't interested, he decided to look further into the league.
"The more interaction we've had with teams from that league, the more it just felt like a good fit," said Kent. "So we've actually been talking with them since about April of 2012, so all through the season when one of their teams played us, we'd chat about how the league was doing and how they like it... and it just sounded like there's more ups than down."
One of the ups, according to Kent, is that the CRMB currently has 14 teams, meaning the Colts will play each team just a few times, "I'd much rather play each league team only three times in a season, and hopefully two of them here in Laramie, than to play a few teams over and over like we've done in the past."
From the CRMB's perspective, Kent says the Laramie Colts bring a very big benefit in the form of Cowboy Field, "Some of the teams have to share fields with so many other teams that they have a lot of trouble scheduling games. The teams that came up and played us last summer all said the same things: they're very impressed with the facility here, they like coming to Laramie, they have no problem coming to Laramie and it's easier to organize games up here."
The Kleppingers told the league they would need to host around 24 games in Laramie in order to break even and the owners agreed that it would be no problem. While there is no opposition to the Colts joining the CRMB, the official vote won't occur until after the 2013 season next fall, due to league rules. Kent reports that they have opted to sit out the summer of 2013 as opposed to hastily putting a team together.
"Even though it creates a short-term problem for us, I certainly think the long term benefits are worth it," said Kent. "With our previous coach, Marty Berson, retiring and re-organizing the staff that helps make the season a reality, there was no way to properly put a respectable team on the field for 2013."