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Huntsville Stars No More?

Players like Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and Prince Fielder became “stars” while passing through Huntsville, Alabama on their way to the majors. The future of Brewers prospects making stops in Huntsville may be in jeopardy.

If you follow the minor league affiliates, you probably know that there was actually some question as to whether or not the Brewers would renew their affiliation agreement with the Double-A Huntsville Stars this past season. Basically, the parent club has been unhappy about the facilities and the lack of fan support, but a lack of alternatives led the team to extend their relationship with Huntsville through 2012.

Now, it looks like that relationship will come to an end that year, one way or another. The Stars are apparently close to being sold to the owner of the Pensacola Pelicans, an independent team of the American Association. From Ballpark Digest (h/t Brewerfan.net):

Pensacola Pelicans owner Quint Studer says he’s on the verge of buying a Double-A Southern League team to play at his new waterfront ballpark in 2012, with an announcement expected in the next few weeks.

Based on conversions we had at the Winter Meetings, the team in question is most likely the Huntsville Stars, whose ballpark issues do not appear to have any resolution in sight.

Nothing is official yet, but it’s been known that Huntsville owner Miles Prentice wants to buy the Houston Astros. While he would be allowed to keep the Stars, it may be possible that he’s looking to sell them to raise enough money to make an offer.

It’s hard to see the possible move to Pensacola as anything but positive. The players would benefit by playing in a new, state-of-the-art facility, and Brewers fans interested in checking out some of the team’s prospects will probably enjoy going to the Florida panhandle more than they would Huntsville.

By the way, if you’re interested in the minor leagues and don’t visit the Brewerfan.net forums, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’ll find a ton of stuff on this topic there, and there might not be a better place to follow the minors during the season.