The West Coast League was a corporate sponsor of the very well attended Northwest Baseball Convention that was held this past weekend (January 22-24) at the Sheraton Portland Airport. The WCL was also a title sponsor of the event’s Walk of Champions where the league’s 2015 champ the Bend Elks were honored.
Bend general manager Casey Powell accepted the Elks award and league marketing committee chair Dan Segel of the Corvallis Knights spoke on behalf of the WCL; thanking the packed house of coaches for their efforts and for molding kids.
The West Coast League connected with many of its partner coaches at its booth which was manned by representatives from the Bellingham Bells, Bend Elks, Corvallis Knights and Cowlitz Black Bears.
After settling in, the booth was coined The WCL Fan Cave for its welcoming space and regular activity. Many coaches visited, lounged and chatted with members of the West Coast League.
Visitors included University of Portland pitching coach Gregg Swenson, legendary former WCL head coach Ed Knaggs of Wenatchee, Hall of Fame former college baseball coach Jack Dunn, Mt. Hood CC head coach and future Kelowna Falcons skipper Bryan Donohue, University of Washington assistant coach Donegal Fergus, former Clark College head coach Don Freeman, Madison High School head coach Eric Bennett, Canby High School head coach JJ Stolsig, Lewis-Clark State head coach Jeremiah Robbins, Miami Marlins scout Gabe Sandy, Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie and players from the Northwest’s Little League World Series team (Barrett Bevacqua, Huck Stuhr and Sam Stuhr).
The WCL Fan Cave stayed active from beginning to end with high school and college coaches stopping by to learn more about the league and meet league reps.
Friday night’s first four speakers featured WCL alums as Todd Naskedov of Forest Grove High (Cowlitz), Bryan Donohue of Mt. Hood CC (Corvallis), Elliott Cribby of Seattle University (Wenatchee) and Matt Kosderka of Willamette University (Corvallis) started things off for NW Star Productions annual coaches convention.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The twelve-year-old, eleven-team, professionally-operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences – not to mention the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and over 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the big leagues such as MLB home run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay) and James Paxton (Seattle). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 last season. The 2016 54-game campaign opens Friday, June 3.