Minor league baseball is back in Ruidoso. At least on a limited basis.
Seven years after the Ruidoso Osos made their debut in the first-ever season of the Pecos League, the boys in brown will be back at White Mountain Athletic Complex for the 2018 season.
“The Pecos League is glad to return to Ruidoso and The Village of Ruidoso welcomes the Osos back,” said league commissioner Andrew Dunn via the Oso’s website. “Ruidoso is and always has been in the perfect geographic location for the Pecos League.”
The Osos were runners up to the Roswell Invaders for the inaugural Pecos League crown before leaving to become the Raton Osos in 2012.
While they had a successful season on the field, the Osos were plagued by numerous off-the-field problems, going through two general managers and three field managers in the short season.
The big problem, according to Dunn, is that he made the mistake of leasing the team to outside parties, rather than the league retaining full control.
“In 2011, the Pecos League didn’t own all the teams,” Dunn wrote. “In 2018, the league will own and operate the Osos. We will sell tickets, concessions and team sponsorships.”
Also, according to Dunn, the team will have only a few weekend games – Saturdays and Sundays only – at White Mountain Athletic complex, with the hope that attendance can be maximized on limited home dates.
A lack of lights and alcohol sales at White Mountain hampered attendance at Oso home games, and those are still things that are absent now.
But now Dunn understands those challenges and is developing a plan to better promote the team with a lot more time to do so.
Dunn is also searching for host families willing to put up players in their homes over the summer.
The 2018 Pecos League schedule is set to be released in December, with spring training to take place in Ruidoso.
When available, tickets and merchandise can be purchased at www.ruidosoosos.com.