In what was announced last year, the San Antonio Missions are in the process of completing their transition to becoming a AAA franchise and have now taken on a new Player Development Contract with a new team: the Milwaukee Brewers.
The San Antonio Missions, long under contract as the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres announced last year that they would be “promoting” to AAA. While that might have been confusing to some fans (does that mean everyone gets promoted?), in all actuality the promotion is the result of a reshuffling of franchises all owned by the Elmore Sports Group. Here’s how it shakes out:
- The San Antonio Missions are becoming a AAA franchise by virtue of the Colorado Sky Sox losing their AAA designation. The team will continue playing as the San Antonio Missions under the Milwaukee Brewers.
- The Sky Sox in turn are dropping down all the way from AAA to a short-season rookie team. As of now their name has been unannounced; the Sky Sox moniker looks to be all but defunct.
- That rookie team is being plucked from Helena, Montana (formerly the Helena Brewers). Helena will no longer have a MiLB franchise.
So what does that mean for the future of the Padres AA franchise? The AA team will be moving to Amarillo, Texas and will bring professional baseball back to a city that hasn’t had a pro franchise since 1983.
The new name of the future AA Padres team hasn’t been announced yet, but there had been a contest to name the team and it was whittled down to five names (voting closed on the 13th of June). Let’s take a look at what made the cut:
- Amarillo Boot Scooters
- Amarillo Bronc Busters
- Amarillo Jerky
- Amarillo Long Haulers
- Amarillo Sod Poodles
Plenty of Amarillo natives and even national outlets have weighed in on these monikers. Even this hat collector agrees: these all sound like fun, kitschy alternate team names at best. The former AA Padres team in Amarillo was known as the Gold Sox and featured such players as Tony Gwynn and Dave Dravecky until that franchise folded in...1983.
Whatever the name may be, look forward to seeing names such as Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon, and Buddy Reed don a new uniform and reestablish North Texas baseball for the Padres in the 2019 season. I’m gonna have to wait for the new hat...