My trip through the Pecos League was very interesting. First two general comments: 1. Do not plan your trip during the closing weeks of the season; 2. Do not buy your tickets in advance. The reasons for these comments will be answered below. I scheduled my trip for the last two weeks of the season. There was no problem at my first stop at Raton, though I think the game may have started earlier than what was advertised on the website. I didn't have to pay as they thought there might be a rainout, which didn't happen. This happened at a couple of locations in that the starting time was different than what was listed on the website. Next stop was Trinidad, now there had been a number of rainouts during the season across the league. At Trinidad the weather looked threatening. I had driven over from Raton in a horrible thunderstorm. Trinidad did play, but I was exhausted and didn't stay to see the game. Be aware that if you are coming from sea level as I had, that many of the locations are above 5,000 feet and you will be affected. Next to Santa Fe, nice stadium and good game. Luckily I talked with a man in the ticket booth about my continuing trip. I was supposed to go to Las Vegas, NM two nights later. He told me that Las Vegas was not playing at home any more, that they had become a road team. This wasn't shown on the website. I went to Taos for the third night. At about 6 pm a large storm passed through, flooded the field and the game was cancelled. When I arrived no one was there to tell us this. I met 3 guys who were following the league and had bought tickets in advance with no way to get a refund. For my 4th planned location Las Vegas wasn't there, so on advice of the Santa Fe man I went to Alamogordo. This location was not on my original schedule, but this worked out even with the long 5 hour drive across pretty much desolate central NM. Start time on the website was 6:00 pm, but really the game began at 6:30 pm. On to Bisbee and Douglas. Game 5 at Bisbee was on time and a good game, even though the Bisbee fans pushed the beer envelope and a few harassed the Douglas players a little beyond what was necessary. Game 6 was at Douglas vs Bisbee. When I arrived at the ballpark I was informed that the game was cancelled for two reasons, the main one being that the game would not affect the Southern Division standings and therefore both teams were disbanding. The weather was threatening and it did rain, so it really didn't matter that the game was cancelled. Next to El Paso for a AAA game with the Chihuahaus. Last Pecos League game on my schedule was Roswell with a 6 pm start. I arrived on time and found the Invaders practicing, not playing a game. Hmmmm, oh yeah they were supposed to play Douglas 4 games, but Douglas had disbanded the previous Friday. Nothing showing on the league website about this. Well, I did get to see the field, which wouldn't have happened if they hadn't been practicing as there is an 8 foot solid fence around the field. By disbanding Douglas and Bisbee the league saved paying the players for one week.

The Pecos League is the lowest level of Independent baseball. The players receive $50 a week. Some players live with host families and others rent apartments with several other players. They provide their own transportation to the games. Some teams, Trinidad I know, provide gas money. The league pays for the lodging when the teams are on the road. These players support themselves with savings from jobs in the off-season or parents helping out. I'm aware of one player who hadn't been paid his $50 a week all season. The website information is marginal at the least, some information is good and some is not correct. I couldn't find league standings at any time for the current year. I looked on July 31st and the final standings were on the front page of the website.

It will be interesting to see how many of the 10 teams/locations in 2014 will be back in 2015. I heard rumors of cutting at least 2 teams. Those teams were announced at the end of the season as the Raton Osos and Douglas Diablos, both town just couldn't generate enough interest. The numbers of fans attending game varied from 50 to 150, so they aren't making money on ticket sales at $6 a ticket,which isn't collected some evenings. I'm not sure how they can expect sponsors to continue in 2015 when the league cancels games at the end of the season.

I did see some enthusiatic baseball as these players really want to move up to higher levels of Independent baseball or Major League affiliated baseball. I'm glad that I was able to add the Pecos League to my baseball roadtrip. I saw several excellent museums and White Sands National Monument. I drove over 2,200 miles in 10 days and suffered : ) through rain and heat up over 100 degrees. What a trip!