Idaho Summer Baseball Team Moving to Casper
The Horseheads are gone, but the Spuds are coming.
The Canyon County Spuds team -- a collegiate summer baseball team -- based in Caldwell, Idaho, announced Friday it will relocate to Casper as the Wyoming Spuds for the start of the 2023 season.
"Casper is a fantastic city, rich in baseball history, and it will be the right place to carry the legacy of TATERTOWN! We will have local ownership, local management and promise to deliver affordable family fun to Casper," team owner Jeff Dobish said in the announcement posted on its Facebook page.
Besides the Great American Pastime itself, the move will generate up to 30 full- and part-time jobs for marketing, tickets, concessions and a food trailer, Dobish told K2Radio News.
The deal with the City of Casper to use the Mike Lansing Field on North Poplar Street will allow the Casper Spuds to host American Legion baseball games, concerts and fireworks shows, he said.
"The city has been incredible to work with," Dobish said.
The team will have local co-owners, too, he said.
The Spuds are part of Independence League Baseball with seven other teams:
- The Gem City Bison in Laramie, Wyoming.
- The Badlands Big Sticks in Dickinson, North Dakota.
- The Spearfish Sasquatch in Spearfish, South Dakota.
- The Fremont Moo in Fremont, Nebraska.
- The Hastings Sodbusters in Hastings, Nebraska.
- The Oahe Zap in Pierre, South Dakota.
- The Nebraska Prospects in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Spuds will play 60 games during its season beginning in late May and ending in mid-August, with 30 of those games played in Casper, Dobish said.
Thursday, Horseheads owner Chuck Heeman announced financial burdens and family health forced the decision to shut down the minor league team.
Likewise, Dobish said financial issues also persuaded the Spuds to move to from Caldwell, Idaho, to Casper because of the distance the team had to travel to play other teams in the league.
The cost of buses, fuel, hotels, and rising insurance rates left the Spuds no choice but to relocate closer to the other teams in the league, Dobish said.
"This is heartbreaking, to have to leave our home in Caldwell, our fans, our employees," he said. "but it just did not make financial sense to be 14 hours away from our closest team in Spearfish, South Dakota."