BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Baseball fans are counting down the hours until the sport returns to Sam Lynn Ballpark, where the Bakersfield Train Robbers will have their first game tonight.
Last summer, Bakersfield lost The Blaze after 75 years.
Following the news, representatives from Bakersfield reached out to the Pecos League about possibly hosting a team in 2017. In December of 2016, the Pecos League agreed, moving the Train Robbers from Topeka to Bakersfield.
The Pecos League is an independent professional baseball league that doesn’t play in cities that have major or minor league teams. They are not affiliated with either league.
The Train Robbers have players with diverse experience on their team. One player, Willie Ethington, played in the minor league for the Boston Red Sox and in Kansas with manager Bill Moore for Garden City Wind.
He said it’s different playing in the Pecos League. According to Ethington, “minor league baseball is a lot more organized and it's a bigger thing. There are a lot more politics in it all. So here it's more just going out there and having fun and playing baseball."
Ethington says there is less pressure playing in the Pecos League. But, he still works to get better each day and rise up in his baseball career.
The Train Robbers are taking on the Monterey Amberjacks tonight as a part of a four-game series, lasting until Sunday. The game starts at 7:45 p.m. at Sam Lynn Ballpark.