YAKIMA, Wash. — With preparations well underway for the Yakima Valley Pippins to return to a full summer of play at The Orchard this year, the team now is looking for host families around the greater Yakima area to provide room and board for the college-age players joining the team.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is looking for more host families than usual with the goal of not having to place multiple players in too many local households.
“Our hosts generally love having more than one player each summer, and we’re certainly hoping to do that again this year, but we also want to ensure our host family households and the players are as safe as possible as we continue to navigate changes necessitated by COVID,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said.
The Pippins have around 40 players signed to play this summer, though not all of them are likely to show up for various reasons, such as injury or summer school, Garretson said.
“Still, we need to make sure we have beds for everyone who does come to Yakima, or we can’t fulfill our agreement with the players,” he said.
The West Coast League and member teams will abide by local and state guidelines to keep players, coaches, host families and fans as safe as possible during the pandemic, Garretson said.
Families interested in hosting a player can apply here.
Host families provide free room and board during the West Coast League season, a family environment to help players adjust to a new community away from their own families, and, in some cases, transportation to and from the ballpark. Players will begin arriving around Memorial Day and leave about the middle of August.
In return, host families receive a season ticket for each member of the immediate household, a full-season parking pass, 20 percent off team merchandise during the season, special recognition and gifts at the end of the season, a souvenir team hat for each member of the immediate household and a limited number of ballpark concessions vouchers.
For more information about the program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-575-4487.