Congressman Ryan Introduces Resolution Supporting Mahoning Valley Scrappers
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today was joined by 66 members of Congress to introduce a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of Congress that Major League Baseball (MLB) should maintain the current minor league structure rather than proceed with its plan to eliminate 42 minor league clubs. Ryan is a member of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force.
“The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are a pillar of our community and provide an affordable and fun way for families to spend time together. These Minor League teams are an integral part of American baseball. Not only do they offer a pipeline to the MLB, they stand as a cultural cornerstone in communities like mine,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “I’m 100% with the Scrappers because I know that in the Mahoning Valley, the best days for America’s pastime are yet to come.”
“We greatly appreciate Congressman Ryan’s support as we fight to keep the Mahoning Valley Scrappers an affiliated Minor League Baseball team past the 2020 season. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers have been an important part of the community for over twenty years and the potential loss would have significant economic and cultural impact on our community,” said Jordan Taylor, General Manager and Vice President of HWS Baseball.
“Minor League Baseball is most appreciative of the bipartisan support we have received from so many members of Congress. The resolution introduced today shows the widespread support for Minor League Baseball and we thank representatives McKinley, Rose, Simpson and Trahan for leading the charge in support of Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, President, MiLB.
MLB’s plan was offered in spite of the fact that Minor League Baseball (MiLB) just completed its 15th consecutive season with an attendance above 40 million; and it was the ninth-largest single season total in MiLB’s 100-plus year history. Many of the Minor League clubs would fail without a PDC—leaving as many as 1,200 players out of work. The plan is a betrayal of the fans, players, municipalities, stadium vendors and employees who have supported these clubs for decades.
On November 19, 2019, more than 100 members of Congress joined together on a letter to MLB expressing their unified opposition to the MLB plan. This resolution is a further demonstration that minor league clubs – and the communities for which they play – are not without support in Congress. Furthermore, it reflects Congress’s legitimate interest in ensuring fair negotiations between MLB and MiLB.
Text of the resolution can be found HERE and below:
Supporting Minor League Baseball, and for other purposes.
Whereas 40 million plus fans have attended Minor League Baseball games each season for 15 consecutive years;
Whereas Minor League Baseball provides wholesome affordable entertainment in 160 communities throughout the country;
Whereas, in 2018, Minor League Baseball clubs donated over $45 million in cash and in-kind gifts to their local communities and completed over 15,000 volunteer hours;
Whereas the economic stimulus and development provided by Minor League Baseball clubs extends beyond the cities and towns where it is played, to wide and diverse geographic
areas comprising 80 percent of the population in the Nation;
Whereas Minor League Baseball is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion through its Copa de la Diversio´n, MiLB Pride, FIELD Program, and Women in Baseball Leadership initiatives;
Whereas Minor League Baseball is the first touchpoint of the national pastime for millions of youth and the only touchpoint for those located in communities far from Major League cities;
Whereas Congress has enacted numerous statutory exemptions and immunities to preserve and sustain a system for Minor League Baseball and its relationship with Major League Baseball;
Whereas abandonment of 42 Minor League Baseball clubs by Major League Baseball would devastate communities, bond purchasers, and other stakeholders that rely on the economic stimulus these clubs provide;
Whereas Minor League Baseball clubs enrich the lives of millions of Americans each year through special economic, social, cultural, and charitable contributions; and
Whereas preservation of Minor League Baseball in 160 communities is in the public interest, as it will continue to provide affordable, family friendly entertainment to those communities:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved,
That the House of Representatives—
(1) supports the preservation of Minor League Baseball in 160 American communities;
(2) recognizes the unique social, economic, and historic contributions that Minor League Baseball has made to American life and culture; and
(3) encourages continuation of the 117-year foundation of the Minor Leagues in 160 communities through continued affiliations with Major League Baseball.
Original co-sponsors (co-leads bolded): Representatives Axne, Banks, Barr, Bishop, Blunt Rochester, Bonamici, Brindisi, Brown, Budd, Burchett, Cisneros, Cline, Comer, Courtney, Cunningham, DeFazio, Escobar, Finkenauer, Fitzpatrick, Fleischmann, Fudge, Gianforte, Griffith, Guthrie, Haaland, Higgins, Horsford, Joyce (OH), Kaptur, Katko, Keating, Keller, Kelly, Kennedy, Lamborn, Larsen, Loebsack, Lynch, Matsui, McCollum, McKinley, Miller, Moolenaar, Morelle, Moulton, Newhouse, Pocan, Price, Raskin, Riggleman, Roe, Rogers, Rose, Ryan, Schrader, Serrano, Simpson, Slotkin, Thompson, Tipton, Trahan, Trone, Turner, Underwood, Wasserman Schultz, and Welch.