A new independent baseball league in the Pacific Northwest is adding a team in Whitefish.
The Glacier Grizzlies will play home games at Memorial Field in Whitefish starting in May and will be the sixth team in the upstart Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League. The team joins the Grays Harbor Gulls, Ellensburg Bulls, Skagit Valley Lumberjacks, Moses Lake Rattlesnakes and Oregon City Mud Turtles in the MRPBL.
Whitefish will compete in the East Division with Ellensburg and Moses Lake.
Similar to other independent leagues, such as the Pecos League and Frontier League, the MRPBL is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or its minor league teams. Players are generally college-aged or older and receive weekly salaries throughout the season. Teams play 68-game schedules between late May and early August.
The Grizzlies will open the season May 21 with four home games against Skagit Valley. The club will have a roster of 24 players. The Grizzlies will play 36 home games and the regular season ends Aug. 2. The top two teams from each division will then play in a series determining who advances to the league championship, Aug. 7-11.
The new league, founded by Mike Greene of Shoreline, Washington, was established in the summer with six teams in Washington and Oregon. A franchise was originally planned for Vancouver but ultimately a deal for a stadium lease fell through, leading Greene to seek out a replacement.
Earlier this month, he negotiated with the Glacier Twins organization for leasing rights for Memorial Field, where the legion baseball clubs play.
“We had a good meeting and we came away from that meeting all for it. The Twins are 100 percent behind it,” said Bob Lockman, a member of the Twins board.
Lockman was named the general manager of the Grizzlies and Mike Goss, a former minor league player for the Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, has been named manager.
“I think we got a good manager in place. It should be exciting,” said Lockman. “Our Twins players are excited to share a field with a pro team.”
For more information about the MRPBL and Glacier Grizzlies, visit here.
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