Johnny Bladel traded to Sox

TRINIDAD— July 10 was the trading deadline for teams in the Pecos League and no team was more affected than the Triggers. In a last minute move, Trinidad lost the best player ever to don a Trigger uniform, and perhaps the best to ever play in the Pecos League, when slugger Johnny Bladel was sent up to the Amarillo Sox of the American Association League. The American Association is considered to be the second highest independent league in the country. Bladel led the league with an incredible .518 batting average and posted a 2.63 earned run average. Bladel was scheduled to be the starting pitcher for the Sox against the Wichita Wingnuts on Saturday, but was moved to right field for the night. The Sox lost 5-4. He had three plate appearances and could not connect with the ball. Bladel joins Kevin McGovern (Lincoln) and Chris Escobar (Sioux City) in jumping two or three levels from the Triggers in the Pecos League to the American Association. Because of the trade coming at the end of the deadline, the Triggers have an exception to go outside of the Pecos league to acquire their final player to fill the 25 player roster. Prior to the Bladel trade, Trinidad acquired a big right handed pitcher named Clint Manzo from the Las Vegas Train Robbers for future considerations. Manzo has been the Robbers’ closer for much of this year and has been effective against the top teams, including the Triggers and the Santa Fe Fuego.