Today a group of friends and I announced that we are proud new owners of an expansion franchise – Walla Walla, Washington -- in the West Coast League (WCL). Like the Cape Cod Baseball League, the WCL is a summer collegiate wood bat league that consists of 10 teams in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. The league counts Nike founder Phil Knight and Hall of Famer George Brett as owners. Andrew, Dave and I will continue to bring you CodBall. Plus I will now blog occasionally on my experiences out west – sort of a CodBall West. I posted on CodBall about the WCL a few seasons ago.
To players and player families, please consider beautiful Walla Walla as a destination for playing the summer season of 2010. You won’t find a more beautiful location. The workout facilities at Whitman College are on par with any health club in the nation and we’ll help you line up housing and work if you need it.
To Northwest area scouts (and others), please come to see our West Coast League talent. With the ownership groups that have sprouted out here we will draw talent you don’t want to miss.
First pitch is July 14, 2010.
October 1, 2009
JOHN STANTON, JEFF CIRILLO AMONG GROUP TO BRING SUMMER BASEBALL BACK TO WALLA WALLA
Group awarded an expansion franchise to compete in the West Coast League
Walla Walla, Washington (October 1, 2009) – After nearly 30 years, summer baseball in picturesque Walla Walla will be back at Borleske Stadium in 2010.
Pacific Baseball Ventures, LLC (PBV), a group of investors with strong ties to the Walla Walla community, announces today that they have been granted an expansion franchise in the West Coast League (WCL). The team will begin administrative operations in Walla Walla in November of 2009, and will play a full WCL schedule starting in June 2010. They will play home games at historic Borleske Stadium, bringing minor-league style baseball back to the park for the first time since 1983, when it last hosted the likes of Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Tony Gwynn.
The club is welcoming community feedback in preparation for the official team name and colors. Starting October 7, fans can go to www.wallawallabaseball.com to provide their ideas, with the chance for one local family to win season tickets for 2010. The official team name, brand, website, ticket prices, and leadership staff will be announced at a date to be determined in the fall.
PBV is led by wireless communications pioneers John Stanton and Theresa Gillespie. Partners of the group include former Major League Baseball All-Star Jeff Cirillo, former Microsoft executive Greg Shaw, Peter Van Oppen and Mikal Thomsen. Both Van Oppen and Thomsen are partners in the investment firm Trilogy Partnership of Bellevue, WA.
Our GM, Zachary Fraser, is the former GM of the Orem OwlZ of the Anaheim Angels franchise.
In addition to playing their home games at Borleske, PBV is partnering with the Borleske Stadium Association, the entity that oversees management of the field, to make capital improvements to the facility that will enhance the baseball atmosphere. Improvements for 2010 will include new grandstand seats behind home plate, new dugouts, and improved fan amenities. Additional improvements will be announced in the spring of 2010.
“I remember going to Borleske as a student at Whitman College, watching future major leaguers,” said Stanton, the managing director of PBV and a Whitman graduate. “I can’t wait to see who the next big league prospect to play there will be. We look forward to fielding a competitive and aggressive ball club, offering unique and fun promotions, and making Borleske an exciting place to once again bring your family.”
“We are excited to see minor league-style baseball returning to Walla Walla and to have a terrific ownership group with ties to the local community,” said WCL president Ken Wilson. “Many in southeast Washington and northern Oregon remember the likes of Smith and Gwynn, and we look forward to creating new memories.”
About the West Coast League
The West Coast League is quickly developing into one of the best collegiate wood-bat leagues in the country, as the nation’s top collegiate baseball players are drawn to the beauty and strong communities of the Pacific Northwest. Collegiate wood-bat leagues allow college players develop their skills in professional settings and stadiums without sacrificing their college athletic eligibility. Players such as Jacoby Ellsbury (centerfielder for the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox) and Jeff Francis (pitcher for the 2007 National League Champion Colorado Rockies) began their careers in the West Coast League. For more information, please visit www.westcoastleague.com.
About Pacific Baseball Ventures, LLC
Pacific Baseball Ventures, LLC is a group of civic-minded individuals with strong ties to the Walla Walla region and to the game of baseball. PBV will strive to provide their fans, sponsors, business partners, and investors with the very best in competitive baseball and entertainment, including atmosphere, comfort, food & beverage, safety, competition, fun and value. For more information, please visit www.wallawallabaseball.com.