Members of the Old Orchard beach community came to a meet and greet at Jimmy the Greaks restaurant in town to discuss the possibility of bringing a professional baseball team in. From left to right, Guy Fontaine, Lori Gramlich, Kevin Winn, Greg Lockard, Larry Mead (SAM BONSEY/Journal Tribune)

 

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – A professional baseball league is considering Old Orchard Beach as a location for a new team. 

Representatives from the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball addressed community members of their interest in bringing a team to the town at a meeting at Jimmy the Greek’s in Old Orchard Beach on Thursday evening. 

“I have to say the people of this community could not have been supportive or more nicer to us in the last 24 hours that we’ve been in town,” said Can-Am Director of Operations Kevin Winn. “I’m glad to see there’s still communities like this.”

The league is in the “early stages” of expansion and has 30 days to decide if they want to bring a team to town due to the release of next year’s schedule. If the league doesn’t come to a decision in the next month, Old Orchard’s bid rolls over into 2021, which gives additional time to find an ownership group.  Winn and Lockard believe The Ballpark, a former Triple-A facility that seats about 6,000 people, has the potential to be an ideal location for elite baseball players to showcase their skills on the diamond.

“We were very comfortable with what we saw at the stadium,” Winn said. “The grounds crew has done a tremendous job, and it’s got everything we need.”

The Can-Am league currently consists of six teams, but is considering expanding to eight. A group located in Japan has expressed interest, said Winn, but the league prefers that a local group owns the expansion team. 

Old Orchard Beach Town Manager Larry Mead and Maine House of Representative Lori Gramlich, who lives in Old Orchard, were among about 35 people who attended the first of two events. 

Winn and Lockard ended the meeting by saying how much they appreciated the support they received during their short trip to Old Orchard Beach.

 

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