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March 27, 2010

O-Tigers officially gone

Staff Report

Everything's official at Damaschke Field.

The Oneonta Tigers' move to Norwich, Conn., was approved by the New York-Penn League and Minor League Baseball on Friday. The website reported the approvals, which were confirmed by a media release from the Oneonta Outlaws.

The Outlaws, formerly the Saratoga Phillies of the New York Collegiate Baseball League, began operating at Damaschke Field shortly after the O-Tigers left for Dodd Stadium. The Outlaws' release said their move from Saratoga to Oneonta also became official as a result of the Tigers' approvals.

The Outlaws have taken over the remaining year on the lease to use Damaschke Field. The lease had been between the City of Oneonta and the Oneonta Athletic Corporation, which owned the Tigers.

Part of the 14-team NYCBL, the Outlaws will play their inaugural season at Damaschke Field this summer. They open at 7:05 p.m. June 4 at Watertown and will play their first home game at 5 p.m. June 6 against Amsterdam.

The Tigers are a Single-A, short-season team that has been part of the NY-Penn since 1966. The franchise spent each of the last 44 years in Oneonta.

Former co-owners Sam Nader and Sid Levine, two of the original buyers, sold the team to a group headed by New York City attorney E. Miles Prentice III following the 2008 season. At the time, Prentice promised to keep the team in Oneonta through at least the 2010 season.

The Tigers then drew a NY-Penn low 23,521 fans in 2009, their lowest home attendance since the 1976 Oneonta Yankees drew 21,082. On Jan. 28, the Tigers announced their pending move to Dodd Stadium, which became available after the Double-A Connecticut Defenders went to Richmond, Va., after last season.

The Tigers will hold a media conference at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Dodd Stadium to officially announce their arrival in Connecticut and present their new logos and uniforms. They will play as the Connecticut Tigers.

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