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Posted Dec 18, 2010, 3:45 pm
The latest incarnation of minor league baseball in town will be called the Tucson Padres, the team confirmed Saturday.
The team is working to finalize a deal to play at the former Tucson Electric Park, said Mike Feder, the general manager of the San Diego Padre's top minor league affiliate.
“We felt it was important to stay with the name of our major league affiliate to reiterate the return of organized professional baseball to Tucson," Feder said in a news release.
"The word Padres is also synonymous with Tucson’s long history of having some of the oldest missions in the United States, specifically the San Xavier Mission," Feder said.
Five teams in AAA baseball use the same name as their major league partner, Feder said. The others are the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Pawtucket Red Sox, Gwinnett Braves, and Iowa Cubs.
The team's logo and website are undergoing approval by Minor League Baseball, Feder said. The Tucson Padres already have a Facebook page up.
The team, previously the Portland Beavers, is in the process of moving from Oregon to Escondido, Calif., but a new stadium for them is not yet built there.
Negotiations with the city to play at Hi Corbett Field fell apart on Friday.
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County officials announced early Friday that talks to have the team play at Kino Stadium (formerly known as Tucson Electric Park) had also fallen through.
That deal is back on. The Tucson Padres have scheduled a press conference Monday "to discuss the anticipated finalization of the lease agreement with Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority," Feder said.
The Padres' minor league team is looking to play in Tucson for one year, with an option for another.
The Tucson Padres' home opener is April 15. The team begins play April 7 at Colorado Springs.