The West Coast Collegiate Baseball League, a leading summer collegiate league based in the Pacific Northwest, hired Ken Wilson as its first full-time president. Wilson will captain the growth-minded four-year-old league in an industry that is exploding with the popularity of college baseball and increasing demand for minor league entertainment.
“The WCCBL is looking to add new teams and establish itself as the top collegiate summer league in North America,” said Wilson.
A long-time baseball broadcaster, Wilson was a member of the original Seattle Mariners broadcast team (1977-1982) with Hall of Famer Dave Niehaus. “I’m familiar with the Pacific Northwest and this gives me a chance to get back to my roots and be involved in baseball.”
Wilson replaces Dan Segel, the president of the Corvallis Knights, as the League’s president and is the WCCBL’s third president, but its first full-time employee and non-member president.
Commissioner Jim Dietz and Segel helped the League build a solid foundation as volunteers. Both Dietz and Segel are stepping down and will continue to support the League as an advisory board member and board member, respectively.
“Hiring Ken Wilson to be the WCCBL’s new leader is a league milestone, plain and simple,” said past president Dan Segel. “With that said, we can’t thank Coach Dietz enough for his efforts, counsel and commitment to the WCCBL. We’re in a great spot thanks to an active board and extraordinary commissioner.”
“There’s no doubt Ken Wilson will take the WCCBL to new heights,” continued Segel. “He’s a baseball guy with an exceptional sense for the business end of the game. We’re thrilled that Ken Wilson is taking over.”
The eight-team league extends from Corvallis, Oregon to Kelowna, British Columbia and plays a 42-game schedule from early June to mid-August.
“This league has top college players and every year features a number of future major leaguers,” said Wilson. “But the best part of the WCCBL is the sensational, inexpensive family entertainment that our clubs provide their communities.”
Wilson announced Mariners’ games for six seasons before moving on to broadcast for another 16 seasons with five other Major League teams including the Angels, Reds, A’s, Cardinals and White Sox. Highlights of Wilson’s broadcast career include announcing Pete Rose’s record breaking 4,192nd hit; Cal Ripken’s 2,130th consecutive game played; Kenny Rogers’ perfect game; Gaylord Perry’s 300th win; and George Brett’s 3,000th hit.
Following a stellar big league broadcasting career, Ken founded and operated two highly successful minor league franchises, the River City (Missouri) Rascals and Gateway (Illinois) Grizzlies, and was instrumental in the development of state-of-the-art ballparks for both clubs.
Ken also spent twenty-two seasons as a broadcaster in the NHL. He was the Voice of the NHL on ESPN and Sportschannel America. For 20 years, Ken was the Voice of the St. Louis Blues. In addition, Wilson broadcast Washington State University basketball, Seattle Pacific University basketball, Big Eight basketball and St. Louis Rams football.
Most recently Wilson was the voice of Hawaii Winter Baseball and hosted a weekly show, Wilson On Baseball, on ESPN Radio in Honolulu.
The WCCBL is dedicated to player development, player exposure and to providing affordable summer entertainment to its member communities.