GWL decision leaves Rogues in limbo
The Medford Rogues and other Great West League baseball teams are looking for options after the league announced Thursday it is suspending operations for the 2019 season.
Rogues owner CSH International said in a release the Medford franchise will “pursue competitive playing options” in either a similar collegiate wood-bat league or potentially as an independent summer collegiate team.
The team’s general manager, Dave May, declined comment and referred to the team’s and league’s press missives.
The Rogues’ announcement was made in conjunction with a GWL announcement.
“This was not an easy decision, but after deep consideration, evaluation and introspection, we have elected to suspend operations for the upcoming season,” said GWL Commissioner Ken Wilson.
“While it is unfortunate that the GWL will not return in 2019, we are extremely grateful to everyone who has invested their time, support, and made significant financial and emotional commitments to the league over the past three seasons,” he continued in the release. “We are also grateful to the hundreds outstanding student athletes and dedicated coaches who have competed in the league, many of whom have gone on to professional careers and completed their degrees.”
The most likely league to absorb GWL teams is the West Coast League, of which the Rogues were a member before they changed allegiances in 2016.
The WCL has 12 teams, with six each in North and South divisions. The South Division includes Oregon franchises in Portland, Corvallis and Bend.
The Great West League — like the West Coast League — was designed as a place for college players to compete in the summer.
The league’s other Oregon franchises are in Klamath Falls and Portland. California teams are in Chico, Lincoln, Lodi, Marysville, Sacramento and San Francisco/Alameda.
The league has drawn nearly 540,000 fans the past three seasons.
The Rogues were founded in 2013 and competed in the WCL for three seasons.
Medford hosted the first GWL All-Star Game in 2016 and captured the regular season championship the first two seasons.
They had the league’s third-best record in 2018.