Is a move to State College, Pa., in the Cards for local baseball team?

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    AUGUSTA— After 12 seasons in Sussex County, the New Jersey Cardinals may be outta here. The current owners have said they would not move the teams themselves, but they have never ruled out selling to a group that would. Recently, reports have begun circulating that a group is thinking of buying the team and moving it to State College, Pa. "Let me put it to this way," said Tony Torre, the Cards' vice-president and general manager. "The owners of the team consider offers to purchase the team. It's a fiduciary responsibility. It does not appear our owners are looking to relocate the team." But, he added, "Our owners have said from day one: our team is for sale at the right price." The Cardinals, a Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have played at Skylands Park since leaving Glens Falls, Pa. after the 1993 season. The team is owned locally by Minor League Heroes, LP, with Barry Gordon and Marc Klee the two general partners. After winning the New York-Penn League championship in their maiden year of 1994, the Cards have endured several seasons of below-.500 play. But they have provided local baseball fans with an alternative to the costs and travel involved in seeing Major League baseball in New York and an opportunity to see young players who may some day be stars in the big leagues, like Cards' alumnus Matt Morris, a top pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. With the main focus concentrated on developing players rather than winning, the Cardinals did finish second in the N.Y.-Penn. League's McNamara division last year with a record of 41-34, two years after finishing third with a 39-37 mark. This year. the Cards finished 37-39 and out of the league playoffs. Past New Jersey Cardinals alumni who went on to reach the big leagues include Morris, second baseman Adam Kennedy of the Los Angeles Angels and Coco Crisp of the Cleveland Indians. When asked whether or not the team might be experiencing financial problems, Torre said money wasn't necessarily always an issue. "It's a difficult question to answer with a yes or a no," Torre explained. "From a profit-loss standpoint, we have not made a profit the last few years, but we are cash-positive. The ownership group is a limited partnership, and they have to entertain offers to sell the team. "That would happen and has happened in the past, whether we've been profitable or not.