By Mae Lee Sun, Inside Tucson Business
Published on Friday, June 12, 2009
Already a month into their new season, the Tucson Toros have exceeded expectations.
The independent league baseball team has split their first 10 home games with an average attendance of 4,000 fans and has sold their first player to a major league team.
Earlier this month, the Toros sold right-handed pitcher Andrew Romo to the San Francisco Giants.
Jay Zucker. Mae Lee Sun photo
The Toros began their season in mid-May and will play home games at Hi Cortbett Field in Reid Park through Aug. 27. The team is due back in town Friday (June 19) for a three-game home stand against the Yuma Scorpians.
It was 1997, the final season for the Toros at Hi Corbett Field. The team had been a Triple-A minor league baseball franchise since 1969. The next year, after affiliating with Major League Baseball’s new Arizona Diamondbacks, Tucson’s minor league team became the Sidewinders and started playing at Tucson Electric Park. That ended last year, after owner and native Tucsonan, Jay Zucker, sold the team because it was an ‘underperforming’ market Pacific Coast League standards and new owners wanted to take it Reno.
Technically, though, when the Toros moved out of Hi Corbett, the team went to Fresno, Calif., where the team is now known as the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A team for the San Francisco Giants. The Sidewinders were actually birthed from the Phoenix Firebirds, who had been the Giants’ minor league team.