Play ball again in Yakima!

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Take me back out to the Ball Game, but not quite yet.

It's been a long, lonely spiritless summer here at Yakima County Stadium without a baseball team to root for. We absolutely don't want to go through that again.

How sweet it is. The Walla Walla Sweets of the West Coast League - say hello to your new rivals in Yakima. Our team doesn't have a name yet. But, with the signing of this three year stadium lease today with the ownership group of the Walla Walla and Yakima franchises with State Fair Park we officially will have diamond wars again at the local friendly confines next summer.

"We are excited to welcome baseball back to State Fair Park. Back to the Yakima Valley. We think its going to be a win-win for everybody," said Greg Stewart.

We're talking college all star level baseball from northwest universities including WSU, UW and Gonzaga. - playing in a 12 team league which includes Wenatchee, Bend, Bellingham, Victoria, the Sweets.

"It's an exciting caliber of baseball. My way of thinking in many respects. A better caliber of baseball because you've got that corp group of players playing with you all summer long," said John Stanton.

Non-major league affiliate teams, no players going up and down from one class to another. Very reasonable ticket prices around 5 bucks at the gate. But how many local fans will pass through the gates? Yakima was last in attendance in the Northwest League, and we all know that was the killer for a pro team that has moved on to Hillsborough.

The new owners of the Yakima college wood bat league say they'll need around 1,400 in the seats to make it work. That may prove to be a tall order, but with similar promotions as we enjoyed with the Bears expected and a team promising to be community friendly let's hope it works.