WCL Grows to 15 Teams for 2021 Season

Edmonton Riverhawks, Nanaimo NightOwls and Kamloops NorthPaws added to collegiate summer league

YAKIMA, Wash. — Despite not playing a single game this summer, the West Coast League has had a busy 2020.

On Tuesday, the collegiate baseball summer league announced the Edmonton, Alberta, Riverhawks will join its ranks for the 2021 season, bringing the total number of teams in the WCL to 15.

The Riverhawks are one of three new Canadian teams, including the Nanaimo NightOwls and the Kamloops NorthPaws, both in British Columbia, to join the formerly 12-team WCL this year.

“Obviously, we were very disappointed we couldn’t play baseball this summer, for our fans and for the players,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “But, as a league, we also were working on big things coming for 2021, and that helped to keep the spark of excitement alive during this unprecedented year.”

Nanaimo’s announcement to join the WCL was made public this spring, and formally unveiled in July. Kamloops was announced Sept. 9.

Edmonton, the fifth Canadian franchise, becomes the northernmost team in the league and the first WCL team in Alberta. Victoria and Kelowna are the other two British Columbia franchises.

“That will present some scheduling and traveling challenges that the WCL board has been looking at for several weeks,” Garretson said. “But expansion always allows the opportunity to think about things differently, and to create more regional rivalries and excitement for fans.”

Division alignments and scheduling will be addressed at the WCL’s fall meetings later this month. A 2021 league schedule is expected this fall.

The Pippins will open their seventh WCL season at Yakima County Stadium in June 2021. Season tickets, mini season ticket plans and ticket vouchers are already on sale.

By Yakima Valley Pippins

September 15, 2020