Also new in the league lineup: the Marysville Gold Sox, which had played a largely independent schedule against California summer-collegiate teams.
The 60-game regular season opens Friday, June 3 and concludes Thursday, August 11. Marysville, Medford and Sacramento will open their home seasons on June 3, while Chico and Lodi will open at home the following night. Portland’s home opener will be June 10. The schedule is balanced, with each club playing the other five teams twelve times, with six games at home and six games on the road.
The league will be concentrated in northern California and western Oregon for the initial 2016 campaign.
“We feel 60-games is the perfect number for each club,” said GWL President Ken Wilson. “We’ll be putting on an All-Star Game Extravaganza in July and an exciting Post-Season Play-Off in August.”
Wilson is a past president of the West Coast League and helped bring Medford into that circuit.
“We are excited about the move to the GWL, we feel this is best for our business model, less travel for the players, and markets closer to Medford so we can establish closer rivals for our fans. This is a league that has superb ownership groups and baseball people running franchises which makes the Great West League very attractive for Medford,” said Gary Gelinas, president of the Rogues.
The Sacramento club is led by Leon Lee, a one-time baseball star in Japan, a veteran scout and long-time proponent of amateur baseball in the Sacramento area. Lee is partnering with local real estate developer Vujadin Jovic.
“The Great West League is a terrific fit for what we’re doing in Sacramento,” said Lee. “We’re always promoting baseball and working with kids in this area, and having a GWL team is the icing on the cake.” Lee, who played in Japan from 1978 – 1987 and eventually coached and managed in Japan, is a key member of Baseball 360, which encourages youngsters to play baseball. “We’re excited to be able to promote baseball to the kids and provide affordable family entertainment.”
A home for the team will be announced in the next few weeks.
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