WCL is set to come to Medford

The burgeoning West Coast League, a summer baseball loop for college-level players, is headed for Medford.

Gary Miller, president of the Medford Youth Baseball Society, confirmed Tuesday that an announcement scheduled for noon today at Harry & David Field is to explain details for the park's soon-to-be tenant.

Fans are invited to the announcement, and there will be refreshments, he said.

In addition to Miller, other attendees will be Steve Jensen, president of the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs, the college-age team that now occupies Harry & David; Gary Gelinas, president of Consolidated Sports Holdings, International; and Ken Wilson, president of the WCL.

Medford has been discussed as a likely place for expansion of the league for the past couple years, and it will become reality in 2013.

The new team will replace the RiverDawgs, a Far West League team, and a contest will be held to come up with the new team's name.

Baseball in Medford could benefit from the WCL team's presence, said Miller, because the league's owners, Consolidated Sports Holdings, has offered a significant challenge gift. If it's matched, the money will go toward completion of seating at Harry & David, said Miller.

The WCL is in its eighth year, has nine teams and features annual attendance of more than 225,000, according to the league website.

There are two WCL divisions: In the West, it's the Corvallis Knights, Bend Elks, Cowlitz Black Bears, Kitsap BlueJackets and Klamath Falls Gems; in the East, it's the Wenatchee AppleSox, Kelowna Falcons, Bellingham Bells and Walla Walla Sweets.

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