moves to AA
WICHITA — The return of Class AAA baseball appears to be ending without ever playing a game.
The Wichita Wind Surge announced Wednesday that the team will be moving to Class AA, most likely in the Texas League.
The Wind Surge also will be changing affiliates from the Miami Marlins to the Minnesota Twins.
The Wind Surge moved to Wichita at the end of the 2019 season from New Orleans. The 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It would have been Wichita’s first AAA team since the Wichita Aeros, which played in Wichita from 1970 to 1984 and then moved to Buffalo.
The Class AA Wichita Pilots/Wranglers played in the Texas League from 1987 to 2007, winning league titles in 1987, 1992 and 1999.
“The Wind Surge are excited to receive an invitation to partner with the Minnesota Twins organization, which is recognized in baseball circles for having a great Minor League system,” Jordan Kobritz, Wind Surge Partner and CEO said. “We have among the best player development facilities in all of MiLB and look forward to watching MLB’s soon-to-be stars showing off their skills in Riverfront Stadium.”
The Texas League is expanding to 10 teams for this season.
Joining Wichita in the North Division are the Arkansas Travelers, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (the former Wranger franchise), the Springfield Cardinals and the Tulsa Drillers.
In the South Division are the Amarillo Sod Poodles, Corpus Christi Hooks, Frisco Rough Riders, Midland Rockhounds and the expansion San Antonio Missions.
The Amarillo franchise was the original Missions franchise, as the AAA Colorado Sky Sox moved to San Antonio. The Missions played one season in Class AAA in 2019.
Wichita’s Riverfront Stadium will be the largest in the league at 12,000.
“Our state-of-the-art stadium will provide one of the best fan experiences anywhere in Minor League Baseball,” Kobritz said. “The ballpark features spacious seats, wide concourses, a variety of food and beverage options and multiple seating choices. Fans will be treated to many amenities at the ballpark, including the Emprise Bank Pavilion, Coors Light Party Porch, Fidelity Bank Bravely Onward Club, Dillon’s Picnic Patio and the Left Field Bar. In addition to great baseball, we’re looking forward to hosting a range of non-baseball events that will keep Wichitans and visitors coming to the ballpark year ‘round.
“We look forward to the next steps in this process. The future of affiliated baseball in Wichita is exciting for everyone associated with the Wind Surge organization, our fans, sponsors and the community,” said Kobritz.
Wichita Eagles (Kansas State League) 1887-1898
Wichita Oilers/Aviators/Larks/Izzies/Witches/Jobbers (A, Western League/C, Western Association) 1905-1933
Wichita Indians (A, Western League) 1950-1955
Wichita Braves (AAA, American Association II) 1956-58
Wichita Aeros (AAA, American Association II) 1970-1984
Wichita Pilots/Wranglers (AA, Texas League) 1987-2007
Wichita Wingnuts (independent, American Association III) 2008-2018
Wichita Wind Surge (AAA, Pacific Coast League/AA Texas League) 2020-present
WICHITA — The Wichita Thunder hockey team named its training camp for the 2020-21 season: (TO-tryout contract, PTO-professional tryout contract)
Defensemen — Riley Weselowski, Cam Clarke, Kyle Pouncy, Garrett Schmitz, Dalton Skelly, Jacob Graves, Sean Allen, Mathieu Gagnon, Callum Fryer-TO.
Forwards — Beau Starrett, Matteo Gennaro, Spencer Dorowicz, Alex Berardinelli, Jay Dickman, Austin Albrecht, Peter Crinella, John Curran, Frankie Melton, Stefan Fournier, Lane Bauer, Anthony Beauregard, Chris Gerrie, Brayden Watts, Max McHugh-TO, Taylor Pryce-PTO, Chantz Petruic-TO.
Goaltenders — Mitch Gillam, Daniel Urbani-TO.