GRESHAM, OREGON – The wait is over! Gresham will proudly have its own West Coast League franchise and a chance to win the WCL Pennant in 2016.Mayor Shane Bemis along with West Coast League President, Dennis Koho, made the announcement today. The Gresham team will play an exciting 54-game WCL schedule during the summer with all home games at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
This is a major win for Gresham and area fans as the West Coast League features top teams across the Northwest including Bend and Corvallis in Oregon along with Bellingham, Bremerton, Longview, Wenatchee, Yakima and Walla Walla in Washington. Victoria and Kelowna round out the League with teams in British Columbia.
The owners of the yet to be named Gresham team are Jerry and Lisa Walker of Keizer, Oregon. The Walkers were the driving force behind the building ofVolcanoes Stadium in Keizer 1997, when they moved their Bellingham Giants team to Oregon and began play as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
The Volcanoes have since won five Northwest League Championships and seven Division Championships and 89 of their players have gone on to play in the Major Leagues. The Volcanoes are long-time affiliates of the 2010, 2012, 2014 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants.
“Lisa and I join the entire WCL, City of Gresham, Mt. Hood Community College and areas fans in celebrating this important on-going step to continue to grow established and exciting baseball franchises in the Pacific Northwest,” Jerry Walker said. “Gresham and surrounding communities are hungry for a pennant of their very own. This also gives this wonderful community a chance to literally help build the franchise from the very grass roots and have a team all their very own. We have seen the thrill of what five Northwest League Championships have brought our loyal fans in Salem-Keizer, and three World Championships our Volcanoes alumni helped bring in San Francisco. This will be the next chapter in community-based, family-friendly, championship-caliber baseball.”
The team’s nickname and mascot will be determined through a community-wide ‘name the team contest’. Fans can immediately begin submitting their entries by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, fans who are interested in purchasing season tickets should email email@example.com to get their names on the Ticket Priority List. Seat selection will be determined by fans’ priority number.
Businesses whom are interested in marketing opportunities and/or tickets should also email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a priority number.
About the West Coast League: The West Coast League is a summer wood bat league for top college-eligible student-athletes, based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, dedicated to accelerating prospect development, increasing player exposure and bettering its member communities; by providing best-of-industry leadership, best-in-class competition, best-in-West Coast ballparks, memorable life experiences, and affordable entertainment in an environment that fosters organization, professionalism, promotion, competition, fun and innovation with the utmost integrity and respect for its players and the game.
About the City of Gresham: Gresham, Oregon – itself having a long and important part in Oregon sports history - is the fourth largest city in Oregon with more than 105,000 residents. The city has many accessible roots including I-84 and Highway 26, as well as, the TriMet line. Gresham has three international sister cities: Ebetsu, Japan; Sokcho, South Korea; and Owerri, Nigeria.
Mayor Shane Bemis made local history in 2006, becoming the youngest elected major in Gresham’s history, and has continued, with fellow city leaders, to grow Gresham into one of the premier Oregon cities to live and work in.
About Mt. Hood Community College: Since opening in 1966, Mt. Hood Community has been a cornerstone of quality education, and has grown to serve more than 26,000 students today. Under the leadership of Dr. Deborah Derr since 2013, MHCC continue to grow its strong academic and student-life offerings.