Now, can you imagine: The I-40/540 series? | Rock Candy

Now, can you imagine: The I-40/540 series?


OK, it's 2007 in the Texas League. Arkansas (North Little Rock) has one the first half of the TL East Division, and Springdale/Fayetteville ("Wranglers"?) are the second-champions. The first-half winner and second-half winner meet in in the first-ever I-40/540 playoff series. Maybe, like the New Yorkers used to call the Yankees and Brooklyn (or like they called the Yankees-Mets in 2000) the "Subway Series," maybe this could be the "Greyhound" series, with the Greyhound station on Washington in North Little Rock being the get-on and get-off point for die-hard baseball fans following this fledgling rivalry.

That dream is a little closer to reality after Springdale voters approved (by 17 mere votes) a 1-cent tax to fund a 6,000-seat baseball stadium. The team they want is the Wichita Wranglers. Wichita city leaders vow they're going to keep their team, but have you noticed the attendance figures there? We have, and if they're reporting 1,200 fans for a game with the Travs there last week, and they're able to count no-show season-ticket holders in that total, that means only a handful of folks were really there. If they are moving, can you imagine the lack of support next year in Wichita? Which is why there is speculation now that the team will be moved next year, a year ahead of the Springdale stadium completion, to play in the absolutely gorgeous Baum Stadium, the University of Arkansas's home field.

The Wranglers' parent team is the Kansas City Royals, who are controlled by David Glass, the one-time Wal-Mart chief. You can connect all the dots, but that's how the Wranglers' franchise got linked with Springdale to begin with, and Springdale Chamber head Perry Webb has specifically mentioned the Wranglers as the team Springdale wants to wrangle for its new field.

Warm the bus. We can't wait for this rivalry to begin.

Our friends at Travelerocity give some thought to this impending matchup as well.


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