Pro baseball might have a use for Salem after all

Oakland is joining the independent Pioneer League and Salem still has a stadium and fans

Pro baseball got a whiff of how people in Oakland, Calif., are feeling about the A's leaving for Las Vegas sometime in the next few years.

The A's have the approval of Major League Baseball to pack up and head there now, but they don't have a stadium - possibly 'til the 2028 season. They're likely to just play in Oakland until then before small crowds, which they already have.

But, pro baseball loyal to Oakland will still be played in summer through the Oakland Ballers, who are joining the independent Pioneer League. The league has 10 teams in Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Montana, with California jumping in. The teams is being funded by community business leaders and motivated fans.

Oregon? In the Pioneer League? Seems a great opportunity for Salem with the Volcanoes, who were dropped from the MLB minor league system two years ago when it tossed aside 40 teams to cut costs. The Boise Hawks were also one of the teams cut by MLB, and moved to the Pioneer League.

Teams played 96 games during the summer.

Salem would give the Pioneer League 12 teams, although the closest teams would be hours and hours away in Boise or Oakland.

Currently, the league has two divisions:

NORTH

Billings, Mont. Mustangs

Glacier Range Riders, Kalispell, Mont.

Great Falls, Mont. Voyagers

Idaho Falls Chukars

Missoula, Mont. PaddleHeads

SOUTH

Boise Hawks

Grand Junction, Colo. Jackalopes

Northern Colorado Owlz, Windsor, Colo.

Odgen Utah Raptors

Rocky Mountain Vibes, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Cliff Pfenning

Cliff is a lifelong resident of Oregon and has four decades of experience as a writer, photographer, videographer, broadcaster and now producer. He's a grad of Benson and the University of Oregon, and publishes Oregonsports.com as well as OSPN, which is scheduled for delivery as a streaming Mobile App in December.

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