(Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

It’s onto the big leagues for two local baseball teams!

On Monday, the West Coast League—which both the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls are a part of—announced a formal partnership with Major League Baseball.

Both teams will benefit from the agreement made between the two leagues, says a media release from the WCL.

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Major League Baseball (MLB) has entered into a partnership with the WCL to share resources as well as collaborate on players and coaches development.

The agreement the two leagues reached will be to work together on initiatives that will be mutually beneficial for both partners.

The WCL is made up of 16 teams across BC, Alberta, Oregon and Washington including Vancouver Island’s Victoria HarbourCats and the Nanaimo NightOwls.

“We continue to be impressed by Major League Baseball’s enthusiastic support of amateur baseball,” said West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer in a media release. 

“We take pride in the West Coast League’s status as the premier collegiate summer league in the western half of North America, so we imagine many potential fruits of this relationship and we’re eager to get started.”

The MLB recognized the developmental success the WCL has, given that last year more than 60 WCL alumni were actively playing in MLB. In the last MLB draft, WCL alumni Gabriel Hughes and Brooks Lee were two of the top 10 players picked. 

“Major League Baseball is excited to enhance our relationship with the West Coast League,” said Senior Vice President of Amateur Baseball Operations, John D’Angelo. 

“The West Coast League is an important partner in the development cycle for amateur players and in representing our game in West Coast League communities. This agreement builds on an already solid foundation, and provides a framework for our work together.”

The specifics of the partnerships have yet to be announced but as the relationship between the WCL and MLB develops they will continually work on mutually beneficial initiatives.

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