Western Canadian Baseball League

Saskatchewan Alberta Swift Current 57's

Western Canadian Baseball League
Western Canadian Baseball League logo.png
Western Canadian Baseball League logo
SportBaseball
Founded1931
No. of teams12
Country Canada
HeadquartersLethbridge, Alberta
Most recent
champion(s)
Okotoks Dawgs[1]
Most titlesSwift Current 57's (6 titles)[2]
Official websiteOfficial wesbsite

The Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) is a collegiate summer baseball league based in Saskatchewan and Alberta that descends from leagues dating to 1931.

History

The league can trace its roots back to 1931, via its predecessors. The Southern Baseball League existed from 1931 to 1974. The Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League existed from 1959 to 1974. The Saskatchewan Major Baseball League (SMBL) was formed in 1975 as a combination of the two predecessors. Three teams from each former league entered the new loop — the Eston Ramblers, Saskatoon Royals, and Unity Cardinals from the north and Moose Jaw Devons, Regina Red Sox, and Swift Current Indians from the south.[3][4] The name was changed to the Western Major Baseball League in 2000 to reflect more teams playing in Alberta, as well as future expansion to British Columbia. In June 2018 it was announced that the league would adopt its current name for 2019 and beyond.[5]

Member teams

As of 2018, WCBL Membership consists of 12 teams in two divisions. The top four teams in each division qualify for the post-season.

The Yorkton and Melville franchises took a leave of absence for the 2020 season.[6] However, like other leagues worldwide, the 2020 season was not played due to coronavirus.

Team City Stadium 2019 Record Finish
East Division
Melville Millionaires Melville, Saskatchewan Pirie Field 17-39 5th
Moose Jaw Miller Express Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Ross Wells Park 26–30 4th
Regina Red Sox Regina, Saskatchewan Currie Field 41-15 1st
Swift Current 57's Swift Current, Saskatchewan Mitchell Field 38–18 2nd
Weyburn Beavers Weyburn, Saskatchewan Tom Laing Park 33-22 3rd
Yorkton Cardinals Yorkton, Saskatchewan Jubilee Park 6–50 6th
West Division
Brooks Bombers Brooks, Alberta Elks Stadium 16–40 6th
Edmonton Prospects Edmonton, Alberta RE/MAX Field 29–27 4th
Fort McMurray Giants Fort McMurray, Alberta Legacy Dodge Field 28–28 5th
Lethbridge Bulls Lethbridge, Alberta Spitz Stadium 31–25 2nd
Medicine Hat Mavericks Medicine Hat, Alberta Athletic Park 30–26 3rd
Okotoks Dawgs Okotoks, Alberta Seaman Stadium 40–15 1st

Former teams

Former teams include the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets (2014), Sherwood Park Dukes (2008), St. Albert Prospects (2007), Red Deer Generals (2005), Moose Jaw Devons, Oyen Pronghorns, Kindersley Royals, Eston Ramblers (1993), Saskatoon Liners, Saskatoon Nationals, Hazlet Elks (1993), and Unity Cardinals.

Expansion

Cranbrook, British Columbia was granted a conditional expansion team in 2011 and was to begin play after building a new stadium.[7][8] As of 2018, these plans appear to have stalled.

Sylvan Lake was working towards a WCBL team in September, 2019. Under the current concept, a 2,200-seat ballpark would be built as part of Sylvan Lake’s Pogadl Park development and house a WCBL expansion team backed by the ownership group Hard 4 Sports and Entertainment. The earliest that the ballpark would be completed is 2021, with the WCBL squad potentially beginning play that season as part of a 25-year lease agreement.[9] Plans for a 2021 launch were officially announced November 1, 2019.[10] Branding as the Sylvan Lake Gulls was announced in March 2020.[11]

Spruce Grove is also in preliminary stages of ballpark construction. The city could be the site of a new team, or the relocation of the Edmonton Prospects.[12] In May 2020, Prospects ownership confirmed that the team would be leaving Edmonton for Spruce Grove by 2022.[13]

Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy

Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy

Saskatchewan Territorial (1895–1905) and Provincial (1906–present) champions have been decided by an annual tournament.[4] In 1967 the first major division was added to the tournament,[14] and the award was named in memory of Harry Hallis. From 1967 until 1974 the name of this provincial champion was added to the trophy. In 1975 when the Saskatchewan Major Baseball League was formed, this trophy continued to be awarded to the SMBL champions, and now the WCBL champions.

League champions

Former logo as the Western Major Baseball League

Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) Champions: (Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy)

Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) Champions: (Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy)

Saskatchewan Major Baseball League (SMBL) Champions:

SMBL Logo

Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League Champions:

The Southern Baseball League (SBL) Champions: (J.T.M. Anderson Trophy)

References

  1. ^ Saracini, Dustin. "Dawgs Ride Leadership to 2019 Championship". Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Club. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  2. ^ Heidenreich, Phil (August 17, 2017). "Edmonton Prospects lose 4-0 to Swift Current in WMBL championship game". Global Edmonton. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Western Canada Baseball 1975". attheplate.com. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Hack, Paul; Shury, David William; Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (1997). Wheat Province Diamonds: a Story of Saskatchewan Baseball. Regina: Saskatchewan Baseball Association. ISBN 9780968196502.
  5. ^ "New for 2019: WCBL". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  6. ^ James, Eric (October 29, 2019). "Yorkton, Melville Not Fielding Teams for 2020 WCBL Season". Swift Current Online. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Eds' Proposed New Home". Ballpark Business (ballparkbiz.com). Alan D. Poff. February 10, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Reichard, Kevin (February 9, 2011). "New ballpark pitched for Cranbrook". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Spedden, Zach (September 13, 2019). "Sylvan Lake WCBL Team in the Works". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  10. ^ "Sylvan Lake WCBL Team to Launch in 2021". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. November 1, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  11. ^ Spedden, Zach (March 16, 2020). "New for 2021: Sylvan Lake Gulls". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  12. ^ ABDugoutStories [@ABDugoutStories] (November 12, 2019). "ABDugoutStories on Twitter: "Spruce Grove is being eyed as a potential landing spot for a @wcbleague franchise by @EdmProspects owner @capacity23, according to a press release from Gold Sports & Entertainment Group ..." / Twitter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Moddejonge, Gerry (May 23, 2020). "Edmonton Prospects heading west to Spruce Grove after losing lease on ball park". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  14. ^ "1967 Southern League Game Reports". attheplate.com. Retrieved March 5, 2012.