The Texas Collegiate is expanding yet again, this time adding the Alexandria Aces to its growing stable of franchises. The move is effective immediately, and the Aces will play in the TCL in 2010.
“We couldn’t be happier that the Aces are joining the TCL,” said league president Uri Geva. “Alexandria is excellent market and the Aces bring a great reputation, making the franchise a strong addition to the Texas Collegiate League.”
“We are excited to be a part of the TCL,” said Eric Moran, president of the Aces. “Our fans will get to enjoy a new, vibrant brand of baseball in the fun and familiar confines of Bringhurst Field.
“We’re looking forward to this new chapter in Aces history,” added Moran.
The Aces continue a rich baseball heritage in Alexandria that dates back to 1907 and includes spring training visits from the Cincinnati Reds. Bringhurst Field, the venerable home of the Aces, was built in 1933, and the first Alexandria Aces squad debuted a year later.
The modern Aces were re-born in 1994, bringing with them extensive renovations to Bringhurst. The organization has fielded teams in several independent professional leagues since then, but this will mark the city’s first foray into summer collegiate baseball.
Alexandria is the first TCL franchise based outside of the Lone Star state, but it’s the second team to join the TCL this off-season. The Texas Tomcats announced earlier this week they would call Weimar, Texas, home for their inaugural season this summer.
The TCL, launched in 2004, has enjoyed resurgent expansion after undergoing a transition several years ago. Alexandria becomes the league’s seventh franchise, five of which have joined the circuit in the last four years. The TCL welcomed the Victoria Generals in 2009 and the East Texas (Kilgore) Pump Jacks a year earlier. The Brazos Valley (Bryan) Bombers kicked off league expansion in 2007.
The North Texas Copperheads and McKinney Marshals, both original TCL franchises, round out the league lineup.
The Copperheads, who moved this off-season from Coppell to McKinney, are the defending TCL champions.
The TCL has quickly established itself as one of the most respected summer collegiate leagues in the nation. Attracting top college players from across the country, the TCL has seen more than 230 alumni drafted by major league teams in just six years.
A new 2010 season schedule is being developed to accommodate the Aces and should be released shortly. The season will open in early June and conclude in mid-August. , and it is expected to expand on the 48-game schedule the league has employed since 2005. The season will conclude with two rounds of playoffs: a best-of-three divisional round, followed by the three-game TCL Championship Series.
For the first time in league history, the league will utilize a split-season schedule. At the midpoint of the season, the league will crown a first-half division champion. All win-loss records will then be reset to 0-0 for the second half of the season. The team with the league’s best record in the second half will be named the TCL’s second-half division champion. The two clubs with the next-best overall records will qualify for the postseason as wild cards.
When it is completed, the full season schedule will be available for download from the league’s official web site, www.tclbaseball.com.