The Western Major Baseball League, home of the Edmonton Prospects, will undergo a name change starting with the 2019 season.
It’s just one of many changes the league has made, part of a rebranding effort in hopes of attracting more players and fans.
The name will change to the Western Canadian Baseball League and officials say incorporating ‘Canada’ into the name was an important move.
“We want to keep our country’s growing baseball image,” said Pat Cassidy, Prospects’ team owner. “It enhances our league and our ability to market throughout North America.
“Canada has the same sort of opportunity to attract better quality players to Edmonton, and I think that was definitely an asset that we were missing in our name and it’s something we really want to bring front and centre from a recruitment standpoint. I see players getting excited about that. I see our ability to draw attention to Edmonton to start with and to the league in general as far as scouts are concerned.”
The league’s new logo proudly displays the Maple Leaf.
The competitive summer college baseball league has roots in Alberta and Saskatchewan, dating back to the 1930’s.
The league includes 12 teams in both provinces – in towns and cities like Okotoks, Fort McMurray, Moose Jaw, Regina, Brooks, Yorkton and Melville.
Starting next season, Edmonton will host consecutive All Star games at Re/max Field, the first of which will take place Monday July 8, 2019.
“We’re very excited to be hosting the All Star Game,” Cassidy said. “We’re also excited about the changes coming.”
“We think these are all great steps for our franchise and we think they’re great steps forward for the league as a whole.”
The Edmonton Prospects will move to a 28 game regular season, up from 24, allowing the team to play into August.
Cassidy said the changes were made as a way to bring the league together.
“We’ve got franchises in a lot of different communities. We’ve got some small market franchises that operate as community organizations vs Alberta teams, for the most part, that are private operators that operate out of larger facilities and so they have larger needs– so we had to find a balance to address both sides of that equation.”
Other changes on the horizon for the league include forming a team in Saskatoon.