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Western Canadian Baseball League

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

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[citation needed]
Most titlesSwift Current 57's (6 titles)[1]
Official websiteOfficial wesbsite

HistoryEdit

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.[2][3] 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.[4]

Member teamsEdit

Former teamsEdit

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.

ExpansionEdit

Cranbrook, British Columbia was granted a conditional expansion team in 2011 and was to begin play after building a new stadium.[5][6] 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.

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. [7]

Harry Hallis Memorial TrophyEdit

 
Harry Hallis Memorial Trophy

Saskatchewan Territorial (1895–1905) and Provincial (1906–present) champions have been decided by an annual tournament.[3] In 1967 the first major division was added to the tournament,[8] 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 championsEdit

 
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)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Heidenreich, Phil (August 17, 2017). "Edmonton Prospects lose 4-0 to Swift Current in WMBL championship game". Global Edmonton. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "Western Canada Baseball 1975". attheplate.com. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "New for 2019: WCBL". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. July 25, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Eds' Proposed New Home". Ballpark Business (ballparkbiz.com). Alan D. Poff. February 10, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Reichard, Kevin (February 9, 2011). "New ballpark pitched for Cranbrook". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  7. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/ABDugoutStories/status/1194323989411184640
  8. ^ "1967 Southern League Game Reports". attheplate.com. Retrieved March 5, 2012.

External linksEdit