An attorney for a group trying to bring professional baseball back to Wilmington, Del., after a 40-year hiatus says the odds are good the effort will succeed.
"The chances are seven in 10 right now that it will be built and we'll be playing next season," David I. Walsh said Friday. "We're making progress every day."
A group headed by Pennsylvania developer Joseph Grace Jr. and Jay Acton, owner of the Class A Peninsula Pilots in Hampton, Va., are trying to bring the Pilots north to Wilmington. If they're successful, the Carolina League team would become the Blue Rocks. The team would remain part of the Seattle Mariners farm system.
The group also is trying to complete financing for a 5,000-seat, $7.5 million, multipurpose stadium.
Construction could begin in October with a scheduled opening date in late April 1992.
* ANGELS: Fernando Valenzuela's fastball escaped him for an inning and his comeback attempt hit a snag, as Class AAA Portland beat the former Cy Young Award winner and Edmonton, 7-3, Sunday night.
Valenzuela went four innings. He allowed six runs in the second and walked three in his second appearance for the Trappers.
"Really, I think I didn't do that bad," Valenzuela said. "I didn't have very good control. Lately, that's been my problem."
The Angels have until Aug. 19 to recall Valenzuela to the majors before he becomes a free agent.