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Encyclopedia > Western Baseball League

The Western Baseball League was an independent minor league, whose member teams were not associated with any Major League Baseball teams. It operated from 1995 to 2002.

The league was founded in 1994 by Portland businessman Bruce L. Engel. It began play in 1995, with the following teams:

  • Bend Bandits (Bend, Oregon)
  • Grays Harbor Gulls (Grays Harbor, Washington)
  • Surrey Glaciers (Surrey, British Columbia)
  • Tri-City Posse (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland)
  • Long Beach Barracuda (Long Beach, California)
  • Palm Springs Suns (Palm Springs, California)
  • Salinas Peppers (Salinas, California)
  • Sonoma County Crushers (Rohnert Park, Sonoma County, California).

Long Beach won the initial league championship.

In 1996, Surrey left the league, and the Reno, Nevada Chukars were added. Long Beach won its second consecutive title.

In 1997, the Palm Springs team decided to move to Oxnard, California, but sat out the year while they made their move. The team added the Chico, California Heat. Chico won the league championship in their first season in the league.

In 1998, the Salinas team disbanded, and the Oxnard team rejoined the league. The Sonoma County team won the league championship. The Grays Harbor team had suspended operations halfway through the season, and the league took over management of the team, which went on an extended 68-game road trip with no home stadium.

In 1999, the team disbanded the former Grays Harbor team, and operated six teams for the season. Tri-City won the league championship for the year.

In 2000, the league expanded to include Yuma, Arizona and Scottsdale, Arizona, which called itself the Valley Vipers. The Zion Pioneerzz won the league championship.

In its final year of 2002, the Western Baseball League operated six teams. In the Northern Division were the Chico Heat, Sonoma County Crushers, and the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox. In the Southern Division were the Long Beach Breakers, Solano Steelheads, Yuma Bullfrogs. The Chico Heat won the league championship in the league's final season.

External links

  • More information about WBL's teams (http://www.indyleaguesgraveyard.com/leagues/western/)

  Results from FactBites:
Western Baseball League - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (461 words)
The league was founded in 1994 by Portland businessman Bruce L. Engel.
The WBL added two teams for the late 1990's in the Pacific Northwest: the Coos Bay Seals in western Oregon, and the Western Warriors of Olympia, Washington, but both folded in 2000.
The WBL added a team, the Feather River Mudcats in Marysville, California (a city in the Yuba-Sutter Area north of Sacramento) but folded in two years.
BallParkWatch - Your Guide to Baseball Ballparks! (584 words)
This book is really a history of four Western Leagues: the original Western League that became today's American League in 1900; the Class A minor league centered in Nebraska, Iowa, and Oklahoma; the short-lived Class D Western League that grabbed the moniker when the Class A league went under, and today's independent Western Baseball League.
The original Western League (1888-1899) was populated by teams in larger Midwestern cities: the original Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Blues were part of this league (as were the Davenport Onion Weeders, Des Moines Prohibitionists, St. Joseph Clay Eaters, and Omaha Omahogs).
When the independent Western Baseball League began operations in 1994, it didn't even pretend to have any historical ties to the Class A Western League: the WBL was purely a West Coast phenomenon.
  More results at FactBites »



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