Bears baseball starts tomorrow
By Eddie Mabanglo - Staff Reporter
Highline's team is here for another summer of college baseball.
No, not the Thunderbirds. Say hello to the Highline Bears. The Bears are a summer col-
legiate team. This means that baseball players of the NCAA and junior college level will have an opportunity to play over the summer. This will be their fifth season of play.
Home games are played at White Center's Steve Cox Me- morial Park, which was orig- inally built in 1940 as White Center Stadium.
In 2008, the county parks department in cooperation with other local agencies along with the Seattle Mariners remodeled the venue. It is also home for South West Little League and Seattle Prep High School's base- ball team.
The Bears play in the Pacif- ic International League, which uses bats made of wood instead of the collegiate-level conven- tional aluminum. Wood has been most commonly used at the MLB/MiLB level since the game's genesis in the 1800's.
The PIL is made up of six teams: the Everett Merchants, Highline Bears, Northwest Honkers, Seattle Studs, Red- mond Dudes, and the North Sound Emeralds.
The team is typically made up of players that reside in the western Washington area, but attend colleges across the Unit- ed States.
In a press release from the Highline Bears website, General Manager Justin Moser said that one of the priorities of the team is development in both skill and maturity to help aid them as they pursue a professional ca- reer.
"Our job as a summer colle- giate team is to give these guys an opportunity to get better, and go back to their school in
the fall ready to win a starting job," said Moser. "Most of the teams we play are older and much more experienced, which is great for our guys to compete against."
In compliance with colligate
athletic eligibility rules, most of the players in the PIL are unpaid, thus they do not have profession- al status and are NCAA eligible.
Some players, however, are graduates and former semi-pro/ minor leaguers.
This creates a dynamic where college athletes end up playing alongside and against professional players.
Players are usually recruit- ed by team staff in cooperation with college coaches, however players interested in joining the team are able to contact Head Coach Josh Evans directly.
"We're excited to bring back Josh Evans for another season and I'm excited to see what he can do with a full off season to build his team," Moser said via press release.
Bears players are signed to a single season contract. Once the player has completed their cur- rent college season they are able to play in the PIL.
Local players are some- times signed to short-term temporary contracts to fill spaces in the lineup while other players are finishing classes for the academic quar- ter or semester.
The Highline Bears will start PIL play against the Everett Merchants tomorrow, June 7 at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.