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Q & A with the Western Association of Professional Baseball

Earlier this week (July 18th), the Western Association of Professional Baseball (WAPB) sent out a press release stating their intentions to begin play during the summer of 2020.

Indy Ball Island reached out to the league and was able to get a Q & A with Evan Greusel, the Director of Baseball Operations for the WAPB.

Since the league has yet to officially announce details surrounding their upcoming season, Greusel’s answers are vague in some areas, but hopefully the answers that were provided can help readers have a better understanding of the WAPB.

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The biggest issue with every new start-up league that has folded has been their finances. Are you confident that this league will have the money behind it to complete the first season and beyond? How is the league being funded?


We have some great people involved that have been part of successful Indy teams and leagues and some that have watched certain teams and leagues fail. I think we have a wealth of knowledge at all levels from guys that played and coached to front office GMs and owners. We already have a league sponsor that had committed to multiple years so we are excited about that.

Who are the main people involved with the running of the league?


We will have announcements and introductions shortly with press releases. But on the website, you can find some of the guys with strong roles.

How many teams will the league have? Do you have any specific cities in mind? And are you looking at stadiums that are already built or are you planning on building your own ballparks?

6-8 in year one. Leases have already been negotiated and signed, so we are excited about that. Most will be current stadiums, but some owners have talked and discussed new ball parks as well.
I don’t want to give away locations yet because we will release 1 team at a time.

(Author’s note: The press release did give potential states for the first season – Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada).

What do you expect the attendance and community support to be like in the cities that you do choose to play in?

Obviously we are hoping for strong attendance eventually, but we know that takes time. We are push hard for advertising in each city to start.

How many players will be on each team? What are you expecting the experience level to be? Are there any age restrictions?


23 players, probably rookie level to guys with big league time. We are hoping the easy travel will attract bigger talent in nice areas.

Are your players getting paid? What type of salaries are you expecting to offer?


Yes, players will be paid. And we have a pretty cool surprise on pay structure for younger players.

What is the housing and travel situation going to be like for the players? 

Housing will probably be different from city to city but you can guess the usual – Dorms apartments and host family’s.

What will the schedule be like?

78 game season with 3-4-5 game stands

Will players’ stats be posted on a reputable website (Baseball Reference, PointStreak, etc.)?

Yes, they will.

Do you expect the players to get a fair look from scouts with a chance to move up to affiliated ball?

Yes, I think the locations help that process. We are also going to rely heavily on social media about what players are doing.

Where can interested players or coaches get information on tryouts or available jobs?

We have lots of ties to minor league coaches and coordinators. We will obviously be reaching out to players released during spring training and also be holding a winter camp.

What are your expectations for the league this year and beyond?

To have a successfully run first year and put building blocks in a place for a long run.

Is there anything else you would like to add and let readers know about the league?

Sorry my comments are so vague, but we will have press releases on everything. We are very excited, and I’m putting in a lot of work. This isn’t a one month decision to put on a league. We have been working on this for well over a year to get all the right people in place.

 

I would like to thank Evan Greusel for taking the time to answer my questions.

Stay tuned to Indy Ball Island and Westernprobaseball.com for more information as it is announced.

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Pecos League and Pacific Association Seasons Begin This Week

The Pecos League is set to open their ninth season today (May 30th) while the Pacific Association begins their seventh season of professional baseball on Friday (May 31st).

The Pecos League consists of 12 teams throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas.

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Pecos League Opening Day 2019 games and starters:

  • Alpine Cowboys (Jake Waters) at Santa Fe Fuego (Kyle Atkinson) 6 PM MST Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Trinidad Triggers (Conor Bawiec) at Garden City Wind (Rich Edwards) at 6:30 PM CST Garden City, Kansas
  • White Sands Pupfish (Colin Shaw) at Roswell Invaders (Kyle Herrick) 7 PM MST Roswell, New Mexico
  • Wasco Reserves (Max Williams) at Monterey Amberjacks (George Faue) 6 PM PST Monterey, California
  • High Desert Yardbirds (Colton Draney) at Tucson Saguaros (Will Morris) 7 PM PST Tucson, Arizona
  • California City Whiptails (Scott Bigelow) at Bakersfield Train Robbers (Edilson Alvarez) at 7:45 PM PST Bakersfield, California

 

This year, the Pacific Association will have five teams (including one travel team – the Stockade), all based out of California.

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PACIFIC ASSOCIATION TO OPEN 7TH SEASON OF PROFESSIONAL,
INDEPENDENT BASEBALL IN NORTHER CALIFORNIA
(Official Press Release)

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is set to embark on its seventh season with Opening Day celebrations in San Rafael and Vallejo on Friday night. The Vallejo Admirals play host to the Napa Silverados at Wilson Park in Vallejo with first pitched scheduled for 6:35. A few miles West at Albert Park in San Rafael, the defending champion Pacifics will host newcomers Salina Stockade, also at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Vallejo travels west on Hwy 37 to take on San Rafael at 5 p.m., while the Sonoma Stompers — who boasted a league record with 57 wins in 2018 — will host the Stockade at 7:05 pm at Arnold Field in Sonoma. The Napa Silverados will welcome the Stockade to Napa Valley College at 1 p.m. for their home opener Saturday. The opening weekend winds down Sunday Sonoma hosts Napa at 7:05 p.m. and Vallejo invites San Rafael for a 1 p.m. matinee at Wilson Park.

Tickets and information for all the games all season long can be found at the team websites:

https://silveradosbaseball.com/

http://www.stompersbaseball.com/

http://vallejoadmirals.com/

https://www.pacificsbaseball.com/

Two clubs are under new ownership in 2019 as the Napa Silverados are owned and operated by Tito and Alma Fuentes and their partner Dave Halloran. Additionally, the longtime stalwart of the league and charter member from 2013 season was sold to Gabriel Suarez. The Association also welcomes the Salina Stockade into the fold this season as a travel club.

Founded in 2013, and known for its groundbreaking moments, the Pacific Association remains the only independent professional league west of the Rocky Mountains. Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area — a top-five media market with more than 10 million residents — with reach into the Northern California Wine Country, the boutique baseball league hopes to continue that spirit of innovation and ingenuity in the future.

Our league was the first in the history of baseball to sign an openly gay player. It was the first in generations to integrate multiple women onto a roster, and it was the first to experiment with a computerized strike zone with a “robotic umpire”. The league’s 2015 season was chronicled in the New York Times Bestselling book, The Only Rule Is It Has To Work, when the Sonoma Stompers partnered with former Baseball Prospectus managing editors, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, in an experiment to bring cutting edge analytics into clubhouse as well as the dugout.

We are excited to deliver a product that sets the standard and continues to raise the bar for Independent Baseball on the West Coast.