Expedition League

The Expedition League was a collegiate summer baseball league in the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada. The league was founded in 2015 in Rapid City, South Dakota, by Steve Wagner, who also served as president. The league's inaugural season was 2018 with eight teams.

Expedition League
SportBaseball
Founded2015; 9 years ago (2015)
Ceased2022; 2 years ago (2022)
PresidentSteve Wagner (2015–2022)
MottoWhere Tomorrow's Stars Play...Today
No. of teams4
Country United States
HeadquartersRapid City, South Dakota, United States
Last
champion(s)
Souris Valley Sabre Dogs
(2022)
Most titlesSouris Valley Sabre Dogs (2)
Official websiteExpedition League

Teams played a 64-game season from late May through the beginning of August. Playoffs took place in the second week of August with teams seeded for the playoffs, with each team making the playoffs. The first round of the playoffs and the League Championship Series were best-of-three series.

History

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The league was founded in 2015 and featured eight teams in its inaugural season that began in May 2018.[1] It added the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks and the Fremont Moo for the 2019 season.[2]

The Rapid City Jackalopes, originally announced for the 2020 season,[3] were described in early 2020 as being "at least one more year away" due to the lack of a suitable stadium.[4] The Hub City Hotshots suspended operations for the 2020 season and the city of Aberdeen, South Dakota terminated their contract for use of Fossum Field.[5] In December 2019, the Sioux Falls Sunfish announced that the team would begin play in the 2020 season,[6] playing at Karras Park Home of Ronken Field in Sioux Falls, South Dakota;[7] due to COVID, they started playing in 2021.[8][9] The Canyon County Spuds and the Mining City Tommyknockers joined the league for the 2021 season in Caldwell, Idaho and Butte, Montana, respectively.[10][11] In February 2021, the league announced plans for a new team in Grand Forks, North Dakota, later named the Red River Pilots,[12] to debut in 2022.[13] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing the US-Canada border, the Wheat City Whiskey Jacks played their 2021 home games at Kraft Field in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Pierre Trappers chose not to seek renewal of their ballpark lease after the 2022 season.

During the 2022 season, the Expedition League was forced to end its season early after the Red River Pilots and North Iowa Ragin Roosters both folded by July 4, causing a best of three series between the Pierre Trappers and Souris Valley Sabre Dogs.[14] The Sabre Dogs collected their second straight championship after defeating the Trappers by three games to one.[15] The Trappers[16][17] and Sabre Dogs[18] folded soon after, alongside the league, in 2022.[18]

Teams

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Membership timeline

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Spearfish SasquatchHub City Hotshots

Champions

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Notable Expedition League alumni

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References

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  1. ^ Spedden, Zach (May 30, 2017). "Expedition League to Launch in 2018". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Bergson, Perry (October 3, 2018). "Expedition League bringing team to Brandon". Brandon Sun. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Jackalopes coming to Rapid City, Expedition League in 2020". Rapid City Journal. May 15, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Jackalopes won't be ready for Expedition League 2020 season". Rapid City Journal. January 15, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  5. ^ Sand, Elisa (September 5, 2019). "Hotshots suspend 2020 season, city terminates Fossum Field contract". AberdeenNews.com. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Palleschi, Jerry (December 18, 2019). "Expedition League Set to Announce New Sioux Falls Affiliate". ESPN 99.1. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "New for 2020: Sioux Falls Sunfish". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. February 20, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  8. ^ Bower, Sean (May 29, 2020). "As start of inaugural season approaches, Sioux Falls Sunfish searching for host families". KELO-TV. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  9. ^ Bower, Sean (May 5, 2021). "Sioux Falls Sunfish set to make Expedition League debut". KELO-TV. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  10. ^ "Treasure Valley adds a new baseball team: the Canyon County Spuds". KIVI-TV. July 13, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  11. ^ "Expedition League expands to Butte". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. October 9, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Expedition League announces Grand Forks baseball team will be named Red River Pilots". Grand Forks Herald. January 31, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  13. ^ "Grand Forks tabbed for 2022 Expedition League slot". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. February 11, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  14. ^ Sweeney, Pat (July 7, 2022). "Expedition League is down to 2 teams". KNOX (AM). Retrieved June 1, 2023.
  15. ^ Vierzba, Neil (July 11, 2022). "Back-to-Back! Sabre Dogs capture 2nd straight Expedition League title". KFYR-TV. Bismarck, North Dakota. Archived from the original on July 11, 2022. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  16. ^ Albers, Gwen (July 30, 2022). "Trappers leaving, local group forming new team". Capital Journal. Pierre, South Dakota. Archived from the original on July 31, 2022. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  17. ^ Albers, Gwen (September 14, 2022). "New collegiate baseball team signs deal with city". Capital Journal. Pierre, South Dakota. Archived from the original on September 15, 2022. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  18. ^ a b Fundingsland, Kim (July 18, 2022). "Sabre Dogs Done". The Dakotan. Archived from the original on November 29, 2022. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
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