Hihgline Bears open new season
By Keiona Trimmer - Staff Reporter
College baseball comes back to the Northwest this summer.
The Highline Bears baseball team will be continuing their season this summer in the Pacific International League.
The team will be hosting 18 different colleges from around the area this season.
The Bears are a summer collegiate baseball team in the PIL league, a league founded in 1992. This league allows former professionals and college baseball players to participate.
Most of the players in the PIL are NCAA eligible, and have to be unpaid to be eligible to participate. The league's season starts in May and ends in July.
Since this league was created by the Northwest Amateur Western International League in 1992, there have been more than 40 players from the PIL that have played in a major league baseball game.
One thing different about the Highline Bears compared to some of the other teams in the PIL is that the whole team managing board is made up of local community members.
General Manager Justin Moser, who is also Highline alumni, said he wanted to bring baseball back to the White Center Stadium. The stadium was remodeled in 2008.
The stadium has been used for multiple college teams, little league games, and select baseball programs. The Bears had brought back life to the semi-pro baseball community in 2015 at the White Center Stadium.
The team averages about 250-400 fans in the stadium every night they have a game, sometimes even getting about 600 fans a night.
"This year on top of our normal between inning games, we plan on having give-a-ways as we reach milestones towards 10,000 fans," said Moser.
He said they will have surprise giveaways at 2,500 fans, 5,000, 7,500 and of course 10,000 fans.
"We have quite a few promotional nights on top of that as well, including Military Appreciation Night, kicking off National Ice Cream Month with an Ice Cream Eating contest," Moser said.
The team has been working with local community groups through the years. Some are The Yes Foundation, West Seattle Little Leagues, White Center Food Bank, and Highline Schools Foundation.
The Bears have recently hired Josh Evans as their new manager. Evans was a special assistant for the team last year.
"I'm looking forward to bringing a very talented group of ballplayers together in the Pacific Northwest," said Team Manager Evans.
Evans said that the team wants to give the community something to be excited about over the summer.
"We have planned out many community events such as food banks, local parades, summer school programs, a partnership with local businesses in the community, and much more," Evans said.
He said he's more excited about the positive impact the team will be having off the field, in the community over the summer.
'The coaching staff and I have prepared this team with the mindset that we've got to find some good talent," said Evans. "Most importantly they've got to have a great head on their shoulders."
Season tickets are $70 online, and $5 per person if you pay at the field.
"It's a high level of baseball for a cheap family friendly price," said Evans.
The Bears opening night is Friday, June 2 at the Mel Olsen Stadium in Seattle at 7 p.m. They will be playing against the Northwest Emeralds from Seattle.