PALM SPRINGS, CA—The excitement felt all season at Palm Springs Stadium carried through to the last out, as the lowest-seeded Coachella Valley Snowbirds upset the Canada A’s to become the first champions in California Winter League history.
The adrenaline continued to flow well after the Snowbirds captured the title, when Commissioner Darrell Evans announced the names of 24 players offered contracts to play professional baseball.
“This high number of contracts is a testament to the high-caliber baseball brought to Palm Springs by our players, and the resources and contacts held by our coaching staff,” League President Andrew Starke said. “It’s a great way to end the season.”
The contracts account for 60 percent of the players who made the journey to Palm Springs this February. Signees will participate in professional leagues in the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe.
Although this signifies a positive end to the first season, Starke insists the front office work will continue as he and Evans promote the players who may have been overlooked.
“We’ve had 24 guys get signed so far, and that’s great,” Starke said. “But we’re still in the office promoting other players from the CWL to professional leagues worldwide. I honestly believe another 5 to 15 players will be signed before the summer seasons begin.”
Throughout February, the California Winter League showcased the talents of players from North America and abroad. The high volume of player signings was a fitting way to close an inaugural season that has rewarded the dedication and hard work put in by both players and coaches.
“We are very happy with how this first season unfolded,” Commissioner Evans said. “The players were really committed to improving just a little bit every day, and the coaches did a great job of helping them along the way.”