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Stuka and Millas Earn WCL’s Moss Adams Weekly Honors

The West Coast League’s Moss Adams Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week, as announced by league commissioner Rob Neyer, are the Wenatchee AppleSox’s Luc Stuka (Cal State Northridge) and the Springfield Drifters’ Theo Millas (uncommitted). Stuka had a monster day at the plate Saturday, collecting five hits and driving in five runs …

Heimueller Brings Lifetime of Baseball Experience to Nanaimo

By Rob Neyer How often do we reduce, in our minds, a baseball life to a line or two in Baseball-Reference.com or one of those old doorstop encyclopedias? In 1983, Gorman Heimueller started 14 games for the Oakland Athletics, all in the second half of the season. He won three of those, and lost five. …

WCL’s Lefties Sign Ex-NFL Wide Receiver Golden Tate

Today the West Coast League’s Port Angeles Lefties announced that ex-NFL wide receiver Golden Tate has signed as a Lefties player for the remainder of the 2022 season. While Jake Locker and Jordan Poyer both played for WCL teams before their NFL careers, Tate will become the first former NFL player in the league. “I …

Official League Offering Limited Edition WCL Hat Collection

Official League, a new lifestyle apparel brand exclusively for passionate fans, yesterday announced a new limited-edition hat collection celebrating Opening Day for the West Coast League, the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Official League has created brand-new, exclusive hat designs for the Bend Elks, Corvallis Knights, Portland Pickles, and Wenatchee AppleSox, with all four …

West Coast League Goes Even Bigger With Tech

In recent seasons, the West Coast League has become the tech-friendliest and -savviest summer collegiate league, establishing partnerships with high-profile, industry-leading companies like TrackMan, Synergy Sports, and Driveline Baseball. As notable and productive as those partnerships have been, though, in 2022 the WCL’s technology partnerships have shifted into hyperdrive, with unprecedented coverage that will include …

#1 MLB Prospect Adley Rutschman Joins Orioles

The West Coast League’s highest-ranked prospect has been called up to the big leagues. Adley Rutschman, the sport’s top prospect according to MLB.com, has been promoted by the Baltimore Orioles and is set to make his MLB debut (Friday night, the Orioles posted video of Rutschman getting the good news). In 2019, Rutschman became the …

WCL Remembers Former Commissioner Jim Dietz

The West Coast League mourns the loss of the former league commissioner Jim Dietz. As the League’s first commissioner, Dietz oversaw the WCL’s launch and laid a strong foundation for the WCL’s continuing growth and success. He served as the WCL commissioner from 2005 through 2007, when he transitioned to a key role on the …

West Coast League Launches New Visual Identity

Today, the West Coast League unveiled a striking rebrand, beginning a transition from the league’s traditional WC logo to a new WCL mark that evokes the league’s sprawling geography, ranging from central Oregon north through Washington state, British Columbia and, beginning this year, well into Alberta, Canada. “The West Coast League’s geography is simply unparalleled,” …

Board of Directors Hold Annual Winter Meetings

Last weekend in Portland, the West Coast League’s board of directors gathered, both in person and via teleconference, for the League’s annual winter meetings. Most notably, the League’s board of directors approved a new postseason format that includes eight of the WCL’s 16 teams, with all eight postseason teams hosting at least one playoff game. …

Jerry Smoot Named Inaugural WCL Grass Roots Award Winner

Saturday night in Portland, the West Coast League tabbed Jerry Smoot as the inaugural winner of the WCL’s first Grass Roots Award. “Our Grass Roots Award celebrates coaches from our communities,” said WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer, “who have spent much of their lives working to promote amateur baseball and help young players achieve their full …

Board of Directors Gather for Fall League Meetings

Earlier this week in Indio, California, the West Coast League’s board of directors met in person for the first time in nearly two years, and reached consensus on a number of matters while renewing the deep, international ties between League members in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alberta. “Our league’s No. 1 asset is our …

305 Alumni of WCL Teams Appear in Affiliated Baseball

In 2021, 305 alumni of West Coast League teams were active in affiliated professional baseball. A number of WCL alumni had impressive MLB seasons, such as former Cy Young Award winner and 2021 American League All-Star Shane Bieber (Cowlitz, 2014). Other notable WCL alumni include pitchers Nick Pivetta (Victoria, 2013), Matt Boyd (Corvallis, 2010) and …

Knights Named Perfect Game Summer Collegiate Team of the Year

Friday, the West Coast League received a bit of tremendous news: for the second straight season, Perfect Game has announced the Corvallis Knights as their Summer Collegiate Team of the Year. “I can’t say I’m completely surprised,” said Rob Neyer, West Coast League Commissioner, “since in their last two seasons, the Knights have won 77 …

WCL Announces Additional Postseason Award Honorees

Tuesday morning, the winners of the West Coast League’s Top Prospect, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year and the Team Sportsmanship Award were announced by West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer. Incoming Oregon State freshman Travis Bazzana of the Corvallis Knights, who was also named the WCL’s MVP, earned the league’s Top Prospect …

All-WCL Teams Unveiled

Wednesday morning, the 2021 All-West Coast League teams were announced by West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer. “It’s my tremendous pleasure every year,” said Neyer, “to announce the WCL’s All-League teams. Considering the WCL’s position as the premier summer collegiate baseball league in the entire western half of the continent, saying our teams represent ‘the best …

WCL MVP and Pitcher of the Year Winners Announced

Monday, West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer announced the winners of the League’s top two individual awards: Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year. “As the West’s top summer collegiate baseball league,” Neyer said, “we obviously featured a great wealth of exciting talent in 2021. Sifting through all that talent and arriving at these two …

Knights Win Fifth Consecutive WCL Title

The historic run is now a five-peat for the Corvallis Knights. On Friday night at Goss Stadium, the Knights topped the Yakima Valley Pippins 13-2 to capture their fifth consecutive West Coast League title. “When I became Commissioner four years ago,” Rob Neyer said after Friday night’s game in Corvallis, “I was well-aware of the …

Pippins and Knights Ready for WCLCS Winner-Take-All Game

With their backs against the wall, the Corvallis Knights were able to respond on Thursday night at Goss Stadium. The Knights beat the Yakima Valley Pippins 2-1 to even the West Coast League Championship Series 1-1 and set up a deciding Game 3. First pitch tonight from Goss Stadium in Corvallis is at 6:35 pm. …

WCL Playoff Pairings Set

With the West Coast League’s final postseason berth secured by the Ridgefield Raptors, both first-round matchups are finally set. Thursday night, the Raptors finished the regular season in a three-way tie with the Portland Pickles and Bend Elks, but Ridgefield owned the tiebreaker by virtue of their combined 9-3 record against Portland and Bend. Ridgefield will …

Hotly Contested Race for Final Playoff Bid

The West Coast League enters the final days of an already unprecedented regular season with not two, or even three, but four teams with highly viable paths to the league’s fourth and final postseason berth. The bracket is set in the WCL’s North Division, as the Yakima Valley Pippins finished atop the first-half standings, and …

Duran Becomes 100th WCL Alumni to Reach the Major Leagues

Saturday night, the West Coast League reached a huge milestone when Jarren Duran batted sixth and started in center field for the first-place Boston Red Sox, becoming the 100th alumnus of a current or past West Coast League team to make his MLB debut. Chronologically, the list of 100 begins with Mike Thurman, who pitched …

18 Former WCL Players Selected on Day Two of MLB Draft

A total of 19 WCL alumni have been taken in the first 10 rounds of this year’s MLB Draft after 18 additional players were selected on Monday, including four among the top 63 picks. Matt McLain, who earned the WCL’s Top Prospect Award in 2018 as a member of the Bellingham Bells, was selected by the …

Seven Former WCL Players Named All-Americans

Seven West Coast League alumni were named to All-America teams by Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, highlighted by first-team selection Aaron Zavala of the University of Oregon. Zavala, who played for the Ridgefield Raptors in 2019, had a .392 batting average with nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 64 runs scored …

WCL Increases Tech and Data Initiatives for 2021

Entering the 2021 season, the West Coast League continues to enhance technology and data Initiatives with the help of new and expanded partnerships. Among our growing partnerships is with TrackMan, which serves as an additional tool to aid player development and performance evaluation. TrackMan Baseball is used by all 30 Major League Baseball teams and …

West Coast League Creates Health & Safety Group

Today the West Coast League, one of North America’s premier summer collegiate baseball leagues, announced the formation of a COVID-19 Health & Safety Group, effective immediately. Meeting weekly from this week through the end of the postseason in August, the Health & Safety Group consists of representatives from five teams based in both Washington and …

WCL Adds Springfield Drifters as Newest Member Team

Thursday, the West Coast League announced the addition of the expansion Springfield Drifters as the league’s 16th member team. The Drifters will join the Bend Elks, Corvallis Knights, and Portland Pickles as the league’s fourth Oregon-based team. “When you look at a map,” said WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer, “adding another team in the Willamette Valley …

WCL’s Canadian Members Withdraw From 2021 Season

Wednesday, the West Coast League announced that all five of the league’s Canadian members have withdrawn from the 2021 season, due to continuing, pandemic-related border and gathering limitations. In addition to the Kelowna Falcons, who previously canceled their season, the Victoria HarbourCats, Edmonton Riverhawks, Kamloops NorthPaws, and Nanaimo NightOwls have also made the difficult decision …

MLB Opening Day Rosters Feature WCL-Record 31 Alumni

This year, a record 31 players with West Coast League experience have earned spots on Major League Baseball Opening Day rosters. What’s more, three of those players—reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber, of the Cleveland Indians; the Seattle Mariners’ Marco Gonzales; and the Detroit Tigers’ Matt Boyd—will serve as their teams’ Opening …

WCL Announces Driveline Partnership

Wednesday, the West Coast League announced that Driveline Baseball is now an Official Development Partner, with a wide range of elements that will provide unprecedented opportunities for WCL teams and Driveline athletes. “I’ve been admiring Driveline for years,” said Commissioner Rob Neyer, “and I’m thrilled that now we’ll be working so closely with them. Our …

WCL Unveils Adjusted 2021 Schedule for U.S. Teams

Tuesday, West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer released a revised 2021 schedule for the League’s 10 U.S.-based teams. The League and four Canadian teams—the Victoria HarbourCats, along with the expansion Edmonton Riverhawks, Kamloops NorthPaws, and Nanaimo NightOwls—continue to work toward a Canadian-only schedule, while closely monitoring the pandemic responses by border officials and provincial health …

WCL Announces 2021 Schedule Changes

Today the West Coast League announced the adoption of a revised 2021 schedule that eliminates all regular-season international travel. The new schedule will consist of the league’s U.S.-based members playing each other, and the league’s Canada-based members doing the same. This revised structure leaves open the possibility of a full league playoff format. “After the …

Kelowna Alumni James Paxton Returns to the Pacific Northwest

The Kelowna Falcons have featured a long list of big leaguers over the years, including slugger Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles and the newest Seattle Mariner – The Big Maple, James Paxton. Paxton is back in the Pacific Northwest and joins former WCLers Mitch Haniger of the Knights and Marco Gonzales of Wenatchee to …

A Team Reborn, a Birthday Anniversary, and Ties Between Two Baseball Cities

It’s often been said by those inside the game that the baseball world is very small. As widespread as the game is across the country on Little League fields, high school and college fields, and in professional stadiums, baseball has maintained a decidedly intimate feel with myriad small-town connections. The sport reaches deep into communities, …

WCL Alumni Mitch Haniger & Marco Gonzales Embody Winning Ways

The Corvallis Knights and Wenatchee AppleSox are a tradition celebrated each summer, one inning at a time. The two baseball clubs partnered from the very beginning as founding West Coast League members in 2005. From that inaugural summer collegiate season forward they have enjoyed extraordinary success on the field and in their respective communities.  In …

Richards Ready to Lead Revived Bushnell Program

By Rob Neyer Tenacious. When asked for a scouting report on Tommy Richards—on Tommy Richards as a player; as a coach; as a person, just living in the world—Scott Anderson kept coming back to the same word: tenacious. If anyone knows, Anderson would. In 2009 and ’10, Anderson was Richards’s head coach with the West …

MLB Vet Greg Swindell Added to HarbourCats Coaching Staff

There are MLB team coaching staffs that don’t have this much big-league playing experience. Count ’em up, 31 years. Greg Swindell, a 17-year MLB pitcher, has been added by Head Coach Todd Haney for the 2021 Victoria HarbourCats season, as Bench Coach. Add that to Haney’s five seasons and the nine seasons of Pitching Coach …

For 2021 Draft, McLain Ranked as No. 3 Prospect

Former Bellingham Bells infielder Matt McLain is one of four West Coast League alumni ranked among the Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects for 2021, according to MLB.com. McLain, a UCLA standout, is listed as the Draft’s No. 3 overall prospect. Other WCL alumni featured on the list include catcher Noah Cardenas (No. 62), right-handed pitcher …

WCL Alumni Shane Bieber Wins AL Cy Young Award

Wednesday, former Cowlitz Black Bears pitcher Shane Bieber was named the winner of the 2020 American League Cy Young Award after a dominating season for the Cleveland Indians. Bieber is the first WCL alumni to win a Cy Young Award. “We couldn’t be more thrilled for Shane Bieber, the Cowlitz Black Bears, and the entire …

Black Bears Hire Van Tol as Next Head Coach

Monday, the West Coast League’s Cowlitz Black Bears unveiled their new Head Coach: Gary Van Tol, who’s been teaching and coaching young players in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. “Gary is the ideal fit for the Black Bears and our community,” Cowlitz GM Gus Farah said. “Coach Van Tol will recruit, organize, and compete …

42 WCL Alumni Appeared in MLB During 2020 Season

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season, 42 alumni of West Coast League teams played in the major leagues. A number of alumni posted outstanding seasons, such as Cleveland’s Cy Young Award candidate Shane Bieber (Cowlitz, 2014) and Seattle Mariners ace Marco Gonzales (Wenatchee, 2010). Other notable WCL alumni include pitchers Detroit’s Matt Boyd …

West Coast League Expands to Edmonton

Western North America’s premier summer collegiate baseball league continues to grow with Tuesday’s announcement from Baseball Edmonton introducing the Edmonton Riverhawks as the West Coast League’s 15th member team. The Riverhawks now join the Nanaimo NightOwls and Kamloops NorthPaws among three WCL expansion teams, all in Canada, set to begin play next June. The newest …

Kamloops NorthPaws Newest WCL Expansion Team

Wednesday, the West Coast League welcomed the Kamloops NorthPaws to western North America’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. “As Canada’s ‘Tournament Capital,’ Kamloops is obviously a hotbed for amateur sports in British Columbia, so collegiate summer ball is a perfect fit,” said WCL commissioner Rob Neyer. “As a new team, the NorthPaws face a stiff …

Nanaimo NightOwls to Take Flight in 2021

The lights, the history, the proud First Nations lore. And the world-famous dessert that helped make the City of Nanaimo a household name, all combined. The ownership group of the expansion team for the 2021 season, set to call historic Serauxmen Stadium home in the West Coast League, along with the team’s Founding Sponsor, Island …

WCL Announces New Merchandise Partnership with Teambrown Apparel

Today the West Coast League, one of North America’s premier summer collegiate baseball leagues, announced a new partnership with Teambrown Apparel to produce WCL-branded merchandise for the league’s fans around the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the baseball world, with items available immediately. “We initially became aware of the WCL because of their unique …

Former WCL Players Sign as Non-Drafted Free Agents

*Updated as of August 16, 2020 More West Coast League alums are gearing up to start their professional careers, signing as free agents with Major League organizations since the conclusion of MLB’s 2020 amateur draft. In addition to the five WCLers selected in this year’s five-round draft, 16 more players have now agreed to terms …

Five WCL Alums Selected in 2020 MLB Draft

Five alums of West Coast League teams were taken in MLB’s 2020 amateur draft, conducted June 10 and 11. With the Milwaukee Brewers’ selection of Garrett Mitchell with the 20th overall pick, 2020 marks the fourth straight year with a WCL standout drafted in the first round. Mitchell, a UCLA outfielder, played for the WCL’s …

WCL Cancels 2020 Season

This week the West Coast League’s board of directors voted to cancel its 2020 summer collegiate season, due to pandemic-related safety guidelines and travel restrictions across Washington and Oregon. Concurrently, league members Cowlitz, Port Angeles, Ridgefield, Walla Walla, and Yakima Valley are cancelling their respective seasons. Also this week, the League set June 4 as …

WCL Alums Named 2020 Collegiate Baseball All-Americans

Seven West Coast League alums were named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-America teams released yesterday including first-team All-Americans Zach Pettway of UCLA, A.J. Lewis of Eastern Kentucky and Kenyon Yovan of Oregon. The teams were selected based on games played prior to the stoppage of the college baseball season due to Covid-19. Pettway shined during his summer …

An Update Regarding COVID-19 and the WCL

On Friday, May 8, the West Coast League and its member teams released the following statement regarding their 2020 season… The West Coast League is closely monitoring the Covid-19 policies and announcements issued by federal, state, provincial, and local authorities in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Considering the latest information at hand, the WCL has …

WCL Urges Fans to #StayHome4Baseball

Wednesday morning, all twelve West Coast League teams launched the #StayHome4Baseball campaign, encouraging fans to stay home and flatten the coronavirus curve. The #StayHome4Baseball campaign challenges not only fans, but also baseball teams everywhere, at all levels, to help limit and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19. “It’s not often,” WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer said, …

An Update Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the WCL

About the West Coast League: The West Coast League (WCL) is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. Situated in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the fifteen-year-old, twelve-team, professionally operated wood-bat league showcases pro prospects from major conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with the best …

Cirillo Ready to Lead Sweets

By Rob Neyer Sure, you already know Jeff Cirillo as an outstanding Major League Baseball player: fourteen seasons in the majors, twice an All-Star, .296 career batting average, Gold Glove-quality defense (even if the voters somehow never quite noticed). You might not know what Cirillo’s been doing since 2007, because he’s kept a relatively low …

WCL Announces Pitch Smart Implementation

A new pact further solidifies the West Coast League’s commitment to safe pitching practices. The WCL has been approved at full compliance level by Pitch Smart for the 2020 season. The Pitch Smart program is a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that provides guidelines and best pitching practices to help reduce …

Victoria Skipper Reflects on Baseball Journey

By Rob Neyer Todd Haney, the ex-major leaguer who just signed a multi-year extension as the Victoria HabourCats’ Head Coach, wasn’t really supposed to play on baseball’s biggest stage. Coming out of high school in Waco, Texas, he was barely recruited and wound up at tiny Panola College. While Haney did finish his college career …

Exploring Baseball History of WCL South Cities

By Rob Neyer In part one of this two-part series, we looked at the rich baseball history of the West Coast League’s six North Division cities. Here in part two, we’ll look at the South’s similarly fascinating baseball legacy… Obviously, the history of summer baseball in Portland, Oregon—now home to the internationally famous Pickles—is far …

Exploring Baseball History of WCL North Cities

By Rob Neyer Baseball abhors a vacuum. Or perhaps it’s baseball fans who abhor a vacuum. Because I’ve noticed over the years that even when “baseball” leaves a town or city, for whatever reasons, “baseball” usually returns before long. And there is perhaps no better example than today’s West Coast League, now playing in a …

Former MLB All-Star Jeff Cirillo to Manage the Sweets

Two-time Major League All-Star Jeff Cirillo has been announced as the new manager for the Walla Walla Sweets. Cirillo, currently a scout for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, had a 14-year playing career in the Major Leagues that included the Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners. …

AppleSox to Host 2020 WCL All-Star Game

For the second time in franchise history, the Wenatchee AppleSox will host the West Coast League All-Star Game. The AppleSox hosted the inaugural WCL All-Star Game in 2006 and will become the league’s second team to host multiple All-Star Games when they welcome the 13th mid-summer classic in WCL history to Wenatchee. “I am very …

WCL Announces 2020 Schedule

The West Coast League released its official 2020 schedule today, as announced by Commissioner Rob Neyer. “Because of the tremendous geographical scope of our league,” Neyer said, “putting together a schedule is more art than science, and there will always be travel challenges. But we’re confident that our 2020 schedule will showcase our league’s great …

WCL Alums Named to Olympic Qualifying Rosters

A number of former West Coast League players could have the opportunity to capture Olympic gold in 2020. WCL alums Spencer Howard, Wyatt Mills and Andrew Vaughn were selected to USA Baseball’s roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12. In addition Brandon Marklund and Will McAffer were chosen to play for Team Canada. …

Perfect Game Unveils WCL Top 25 Prospects List

Perfect Game announced on Tuesday their list of the top prospects in the WCL this summer. The list, which was compiled by former Wenatchee AppleSox player Connor Spencer, named Brooks Lee of the Corvallis Knights as the top prospect. Lee was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 37 overall prospect going into this year’s MLB …

Corvallis Named Perfect Game Summer Collegiate Team of the Year

It was announced this morning that the West Coast League champion Corvallis Knights were selected by Perfect Game USA as the Summer Collegiate Team of the Year. The Knights are the first team in WCL history to be honored by Perfect Game as their Summer College Baseball Team of the Year. Perfect Game is the …

WCL All-Star Game Rosters Announced

West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer announced the league’s all-star selections for its 2019 All-Star Game this morning. This year’s mid-summer classic is being held Tuesday, July 23 in Bend at Vince Genna Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm. “Overseeing the West Coast League’s All-Star selection process is both a blessing and a …

WCL Remembers Former President Dennis Koho

The West Coast League is sorry to report the recent passing of former league president Dennis Koho. From July 2013 until December 2015, Koho oversaw the WCL’s dynamic growth, which included bringing baseball back to Yakima County Stadium in 2014, with the expansion Yakima Valley Pippins, and managing three member transfer sales. “I wasn’t fortunate …

Caulfield and Magrisi Earn WCL’s Moss Adams Weekly Accolades

The West Coast League’s Moss Adams Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week, as announced by league commissioner Rob Neyer, are Santa Barbara City College outfielder Patrick Caulfield of the Walla Walla Sweets and Cal State Fullerton pitcher Joe Magrisi of the Yakima Valley Pippins for the week of June 4-9. This summer’s …

WCL Unveils New Era Caps Partnership

Today the West Coast League announced that New Era will, throughout the 2019 season, serve as the league’s preferred hat. “As our league continues to evolve,” said WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer, “it’s only natural that we’ll enjoy relationships with phenomenal brands like New Era. Beginning this summer, I fully expect to see baseball fans all …

TrackMan Expands to Additional WCL Ballparks

Cutting-edge technology will be implemented at five more West Coast League stadiums this summer with the league’s announcement today of an expanded agreement with TrackMan. The company’s 3D Doppler radar system, which is used by all 30 Major League Baseball teams, precisely measures the location, trajectory and spin rate of hit and pitched baseballs. The …

Future Game Coming to Portland’s Walker Stadium

How will the game of baseball look in 2050? That’s the question the Portland Pickles and Corvallis Knights will tackle on the Fourth of July with a special exhibition matchup at Walker Stadium. The Pickles announced seven major rules changes that will be implemented for the one-night only Future Game. Check it out, as this …