Santa Fe’s roller coaster relationship with professional baseball is on the upswing for at least one full season.
Andrew Dunn, the president and commissioner of the independent Pecos League, said Thursday that his league has committed to six teams in 2012 that includes an expansion club in Santa Fe.
The team will go by the name Fuego and the primary colors will be black and teal.
Pending final city approval, all home games will be played at Fort Marcy Park.
The league also hired veteran skipper Bill Moore, 66, to manage the team Thursday.
Moore had entertained previous offers from other teams in the Pecos League before accepting the post in Santa Fe.
“It’s brand new, a fresh start,” said Moore in a telephone interview from his Arizona home. “I’m used to playing baseball in 110 degrees. It will be nice to be on the field when it’s 86 in June.”
“He makes Santa Fe an immediate contender,” Dunn said. “He brings credibility and a ton of experience with him. We’re lucky to have him, but he probably wouldn’t have come to us if Santa Fe didn’t have a team.”
Dunn and Moore will be in Santa Fe for the Nov. 9 City Council meeting in which the league will seek permission to sell beer at home games.
Regardless of the vote, Dunn said, the Pecos League is coming to The City Different.
“We’re ready and we’re going to play baseball,” Dunn said. “We’re making a commitment to that city and we’re going to be there.”
Moore’s first priorities are promoting the team and finding players willing to give Santa Fe’s
7,000-foot climate a try.
The latter won’t be too hard given a laundry list of contacts Moore made during his years coaching and managing in the Phoenix area. He also served as a scout for the Montreal Expos.
“I’m a pitching and defense guy, so finding a pitcher who will keep the ball down is a requirement, I think,” Moore said. “No matter what kind of players we find, I guarantee you they’ll be respectful to the fans, they’ll sign autographs every night and they’ll represent Santa Fe the best they can.”
The other five teams in the league will be the Alpine (Texas) Cowboys, Las Cruces Vaqueros, Roswell Invaders, White Sands (Alamogordo) Pupfish and the Trinidad (Colo.) Triggers.