Minor league baseball coming to Nogales - Tucson News Now

Minor league baseball coming to Nogales

NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's an empty field right now, but historic War Memorial Stadium will feature some of the finest baseball talent in the Southwest in just a few months.

The newly formed American West Baseball League -- which is the equivalent to Single A to Double A minor league competition -- features a brand new team from Nogales, the Nogales Desert Ghosts. 

"Nogales has always been known for baseball from since I can remember," says Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino.

"We have a half million people on both sides of the border," Garino says.  "I mean the market is there for baseball."

Before it was official, several youth baseball teams from Nogales voiced their opposition to the idea fearing they'd lose access to War Memorial Stadium.

But it's being worked out so that all of Nogales' teams will still be able to play here.  Each team has even written letters of support to the city expressing their endorsement of the Desert Ghosts. 

Good news to businesses like Las Vigas Steakhouse located just down the street from the stadium.

"It's gonna bring jobs ... and very good for the town."

Las Vigas owner Hector Martinez has been in business in since 1989.

Just looking at the walls here it's obvious he's a sports fan, with framed pictures of Babe Ruth and Fernando Valenzuela.   

But even more important than that he's a business man.

His restaurant is coming off its two worst years ever in sales.

A new baseball team might just be the shot in the arm his business needs.

"Do you see yourself staying open a little later on game nights with people coming out?" KOLD asks Martinez.

"Yes," he says, smiling. "We're definitely thinking about it."

Desert Ghosts' games are set to begin in June. 

The American West Baseball League was formed in 2012.  Other teams expected to be included in the league include the Fullerton Flyers, Long Beach Splash, Yuma Panthers and a yet to be named team from Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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