Texas Collegiate League
The Texas Collegiate League (TCL) is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams from the states of Texas and Louisiana.
Texas Collegiate League logo
|No. of teams||7|
|Brazos Valley Bombers|
|Most titles||Brazos Valley Bombers (4) Coppell Copperheads (4)|
TCL is headquartered in Coppell, Texas.
The President of the TCL is Uri Geva, owner of the Brazos Valley Bombers.
The TCL played its inaugural season in the summer of 2004 with eight teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and was co-founded by Wayne Poage, former athletic director at Dallas Baptist University, and a company controlled by Gerald W. Haddock, a minority owner and General Counsel of the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1998.
The TCL would nearly fold in 2007, when seven of the original nine teams (all except the McKinney Marshals and the Coppell Copperheads) allegedly decided to boycott the TCL by collectively terminating their interests in the TCL. TCL ceased operations after the season, filed suit against the seven teams to terminate their franchises, and entered into a written license agreement authorizing the owners of the teams who were not part of the boycott (which included the Brazos Valley Bombers and the East Texas Pump Jacks, two new teams which had joined TCL in 2007) to operate a reorganized TCL beginning in 2008.
The 2008 summer season (the first under the reorganized TCL) set new attendance records for the league with the Brazos Valley Bombers making the top 50 attendance list of all summer collegiate teams.
Teams from the Texas Gulf Coast (Victoria Generals), Louisiana (Acadiana Cane Cutters and Alexandria Aces), and Greater Houston (The Woodlands Strykers) later joined the league. The Aces left TCL after 2012 and the Copperheads ceased operations at that time, while the McKinney Marshals continued to play under the name Texas Marshals.
The Woodlands Strykers, who were owned by the Brazos Valley Bombers, went dormant after one season in 2016.
All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. Players are not paid so as to maintain their college eligibility.
TCL teams are run similar to professional minor league teams, providing players an opportunity to play under the same conditions as the minor leagues. Games are played six days during the week (Monday is the league-wide off-day), in three series of two games each, and wooden bats and major league specification baseballs are used. Season play occurs from late May through early August in a 60-game, split-season format. Each team will visit every other team three times during the season. The first-half winner and runner-up make the post-season, as do the second-half winner and runner-up; should a team be post-season eligible in both halves, the team with the best overall record not already eligible is selected as a wild card. The first half winner and runner-up are given home-field advantage in the playoffs.
|Texas Collegiate League|
|Acadiana Cane Cutters||2011||Lafayette, Louisiana||Fabacher Field||1,400|
|Brazos Valley Bombers||2007||Bryan-College Station, Texas||American Momentum Bank Ballpark||2,121|
|East Texas Pump Jacks||2008 (**)||Tyler, Texas||University of Texas at Tyler||1,000|
|Texas Marshals||2004 (*)||McKinney, Texas||Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas|
|Texarkana Twins||2017||Texarkana, Texas||George Dobson Field||1,600|
|Victoria Generals||2009||Victoria, Texas||Riverside Stadium||4,000|
(**) The East Texas Pumpjacks sat out for the 2016 season due to the owner's family health issues, they were supposed to return in 2017, but as of now they have quoted "we are working to return as soon as possible, but we wont return in 2017."
- Lake Charles was supposed to get a team in 2017, but the ownership group decided to wait until 2018 and so that they will have a whole year of preparation.
- Alexandria Aces
- Colleyville-Grapevine Lonestars – Colleyville-Grapevine (later the Euless LoneStars and Colleyville LoneStars)
- Coppell Copperheads – Coppell (http://www.tclcopperheads.com)
- Denton Outlaws – Denton (http://www.thedentonoutlaws.com/)
- Duncanville Deputies – Duncanville
- Granbury Generals – Granbury (replaced by the Denton Outlaws)
- Highland Park Blue Sox – Highland Park (later the Plano Blue Sox)
- Mineral Wells Steam – Mineral Wells
- Weatherford Wranglers – Weatherford
- Wichita Falls Roughnecks – Wichita Falls; formerly of Graham
- The Woodland Strykers -The Woodlands ^^
- Texas Tomcats -Weimar **
(**) Tomcats played only the 2010 season (^^) Strykers played only in the 2016 season, went dormant for 2017
- 2016 – Brazos Valley Bombers
- 2015 – Brazos Valley Bombers
- 2014 – Brazos Valley Bombers
- 2013 – Brazos Valley Bombers
- 2012 – East Texas Pump Jacks
- 2011 – Coppell Copperheads
- 2010 – Victoria Generals
- 2009 – Coppell Copperheads
- 2008 – McKinney Marshals
- 2007 – Coppell Copperheads
- 2006 – McKinney Marshals
- 2005 – Denton Outlaws
- 2004 – Coppell Copperheads
Notable TCL AlumniEdit
Since the TCL was established, more than 300 TCL players have been drafted by major league teams and no fewer than a dozen have played in the big leagues. Notable TCL alumni include:
- Jake Arrieta – Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs
- Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants
- Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox
- Todd Cunningham – Atlanta Braves
- Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
- Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Adam Moore – Seattle Mariners
- Hunter Pence – Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants
- Tyler Collins- Detroit Tigers