New Logos, Playing Sites, Expanded Schedule Highlight Arizona Fall League’s 20th Anniversary Season
“As we complete our second decade of service to Major League Baseball, our league’s re-branding adds a contemporary look to recognize our growth and impact on the baseball industry in addition to capturing the feel of our ideal location in Arizona.”
With that statement, Executive Director Steve Cobb announced changes to the upcoming Arizona Fall League season, changes which includes not only an updated League logo, but new logos for each team as well.
Among other changes announced by Media Director Paul Jensen, the season would extend from six to seven weeks total, thanks to the early ending of the MLB regular season.
Additionally, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, the new Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, will play host for the first time.
With two teams now in Scottsdale, (which leaves just one in Peoria), the two divisions have also been realigned, with Mesa, Salt River and Scottsdale in the East and Peoria, Phoenix and Surprise in the West.
The league plays six days a week (no Sundays), with both day (12:35) and night (6:35) on the schedule.
The annual Rising Stars game is one again scheduled to be played at the Surprise Recreation Campus, on November fifth, with the Championship Game being played at Scottsdale Stadium on November 19th.
The Fall League, founded in 1992 by long time Major League Executive and recent, stands at the top of all Instructional and Developmental Leagues in baseball.
From it’s first season, which produced the likes of Jeromy Burnitz, Rico Brogna, Ryan Klesko, Troy Percival and future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, to the most recent, which gave us Dustin Ackley, Brandon Belt, Eric Hosmer and Josh Collmenter, the league has consistently produced quality major league talent.
Over 1,900 Alumni haver reached the Major Leagues, with 169 combined All-Star game appearances, nine MVP winners, three Cy Young winners, and, most importantly, twenty Rookie of the Year winners.
The League isn’t just a player development league either, as 28 staff members have gone on to manage in the majors, 37 umpires have reached the show, and over 80 front office administrators and interns have found their way to major league employment.
While we’re still early in the game for roster announcements, the respective field staffs and team assignments have been released.
Below is each team, home stadium, major league host, team assignments, manager, hitting and pitching coach.
Mesa Solar Sox: HoHoKam Stadium (Cubs), Orioles, Pirates, Cubs, Twins, White Sox, Joe McEwing, Jeff Branson, Steve Mirtz.
Salt River Rafters: Salt River Fields (Dbacks, Rockies), Tigers, Rockies, Dodgers, Dbacks, Astros, Stu Cole, Chris Cron, Dan Carlson.
Scottsdale Scorpions: Scottsdale Stadium (Giants), Angels, Nationals, Giants, Phillies, Red Sox.
Peoria Javelinas: Peoria Sports Complex (Padres, Mariners), Brewers, Cardinals, Mariners, Padres, Mets, Pedro Lopez, Alonso Powell, Arthur Adams.
Phoenix Desert Dogs: Phoenix Municipal Stadium, (A’s), Blue Jays, Yankees, Indians, A’s, Reds, Todd Steverson, Tom Slater, Jim Czajkowksi.
Surprise Saguaros: Surprise Recreation Campus (Rangers, Royals), Braves, Royals, Marlins, Rangers, Rays, Billy Gardner Jr, Corey Hart, Derrick Lewis.
Opening Day is Monday, October 4th, with day games scheduled in Peoria and Phoenix, and a nightcapper in Scottsdale.