Klamath Falls Gems to join West Coast League in 2011

Klamath Falls, Oregon will join the West Coast League for the 2011 season, becoming the 10th active franchise. Klamath Falls Gems Baseball, LLC, will operate the professional, minor league-like team, according to WCL president Ken Wilson, who made the announcement.

Five Klamath Falls residents make up the operating group, led by Oregon Tech basketball coach Danny Miles. Other members of Klamath Falls Gems Baseball are former Oregon Tech athletic director Howard Morris, and area businessmen Eric Baker, Don Gresdel, and Brian Smith.

“We’re really excited about bringing minor league-like baseball back to Klamath Falls,” said Miles. “This is affordable family entertainment, and we believe the community will embrace the Gems.”

Going with the nickname Gems is a salute to Klamath Falls three seasons in the Far West League (1949 – 1951). The Gems will play in Kiger Stadium, which was constructed in 1948, and served as home for the original Gems.

“This is something we’ve needed for a long time,” added Don Ambers, head of the volunteer Kiger Stadium Association. “Having a team in a league of this stature really puts Klamath Falls on the baseball map.”

There’ll be a limited number of season tickets available, and fans can make a $25 refundable deposit for season tickets by visiting www.klamathfallsgems.com and completing the ticket form and mailing it along with $25 to Klamath Falls Gems, 2001 Crest Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603. Fans will be allowed to select season ticket locations based on the order of receipt of the deposits.

“This team belongs to the people of Klamath Falls,” added Baker. “We’ve got it going, now it’s up to everyone in town to realize this is our town and our team.”

The team is conducting a nationwide search for a general manager and a coach.

This Thursday at 7:05 pm Kiger Stadium plays host to a West Coast League game between the Corvallis Knights and the Bend Elks. All tickets are only $6. Tickets for the game may be purchased at Western Tool, 3225 S. 6th Street, at BRD Printing, 830 Main Street in Klamath Falls or at the gate the night of the game.