ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Since the late 1960's, the Alaska Baseball League has had an enormous presence at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas. ABL teams have combined to win 16 championships at the tournament, which is in its 78th year. Barring a last minute change in plans, it doesn't look like the ABL will send a team to the event in 2012.
Anchorage Glacier Pilots General Manager Jon Dyson, whose team leads the ABL by four and a half games with six games remaining, says the Pilots have decided not to travel to Wichita if they win the league. The Pilots spent close to $50,000 on their last trip to the series in 2008, when they finished in second place. The double elimination, 32 team format of the NBC World Series stretches the event to about two weeks.
The problem the Pilots face isn't just financial. Dyson says several Pilots are either injured or have orders from their schools not to play any more games this summer. At this point in the season, it's common for collegiate players to have played over 100 games between school and summer ball.