The California Winter League and Frontier League are proud to announce a 2-year agreement for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The agreement will make the California Winter League the Official Winter League of the Frontier League. The Frontier League will have a presence in the California Winter League reserving a minimum of 31 Spring Training spots specifically for players who participate in the California Winter League. Frontier League managers and coaches will participate in the California Winter League as instructors during the month-long season that runs from January 19, 2015 through February 15, 2015 in Palm Springs, CA.
Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee says, “The Frontier League is proud to sign this affiliation with the California Winter League. The Frontier League is the oldest Independent League and the CWL is the most established Instructional Showcase League. Both leagues have the ultimate goal of giving players a good opportunity to play professional baseball. We believe this relationship will prove to be beneficial to everyone involved.”
The California Winter League’s General Manager, Pete Wagoner had this to say about the agreement, “The California Winter League (CWL) is excited to enter into this agreement with the Frontier League. The Frontier League is the longest operating independent league in baseball, and their stability, professionalism, and ability to offer so many opportunities to players made them an easy choice for the CWL to partner with. This affiliation further proves that the CWL is the premier winter league for any player that is interested in bettering themselves and furthering their careers.”
The California Winter League will enter its sixth season in 2015, and the league has seenexponential growth every year since its inception in 2010. The league had over 220 players in 2014 and those numbers are sure to grow with the Frontier League on board.
Through five seasons, the CWL has helped over 300 players get signed to professional contracts. Many of those players ended up playing professionally for Frontier League teams. Additionally, 15 Major League Baseball teams have picked up players from the California Winter League.
The Frontier League, entering its 23rd season in 2015, is an independent minor league baseballorganization consisting of 14 teams. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, including 43 players since the beginning of the 2014 season. 26 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues. The Frontier League’s history dates back to 1993 when the league began operations. The league was started in an effort to bring professional baseball to the regions of West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southern Ohio. Since then, the league has expanded to 14 professional franchises spanning across the Midwest. The Frontier League draws in excess of 1.5 million fans on an annual basis.
Prior to the agreement being signed, the California Winter League and the Frontier League had ties with players experiencing success with both affiliations. Marquis Riley was signed by the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League after participating in the 2013 CWL season. After putting together a stellar campaign with the Slammers in 2013, Riley was named in Baseball America’s Top-10 Independent League Prospects of 2013 and this caught the attention of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, who signed the 23-year-old. Stories like Riley’s are what the CWL and the Frontier League aim to continue to accomplish with professional free agent players.
The agreement between the California Winter League and the Frontier League will strengthen both brands and provide more opportunities for players and fans to both participate in and enjoy professional baseball. The agreement also makes the California Winter League the only instructional showcase league with this level of professional affiliation.
Players interesting in participating in the California Winter League can contact Pete Wagoner at (760)778-4487 or e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.