West Coast League Baseball Finding Success in Walla Walla & Yaki - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Coast League Baseball Finding Success in Walla Walla & Yakima

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YAKIMA, WA -  "In the food world, they talk about foodies being hyper local. Well our baseball team is hyper local. And I think that that is what is attractive to most customers," says Zach Fraser, the chief operating officer of Pacific Baseball Ventures.


It's a tale of two cities.  Walla Walla and Yakima.  When the Walla Walla Sweets  joined the West Coast League in 2010, they saw enormous success and sustained it.  When the Yakima Bears left town in 2012, Pacific Baseball Ventures, which owns the Sweets franchise, saw a chance to expand. 


"We looked for a similar type of environment. Yakima may not be as isolated as Walla Walla is.  We thought we'd be able to maybe have a similar type of success here," Fraser says.


Even though these two cities are very different, the same philosophy has carried over.

 

"That this feels like an actual town team, not some affiliated team that's assigned from some big league city 3,000 miles away that's going to change every two days. That we actually create a town team that the town can rally around. I wouldn't say copy what we did in Walla Walla. We want these teams to have their own identities. Yakima is not Walla Walla and Walla Walla is not Yakima. They have different strengths and weaknesses," Fraser says.


About a month into their first season, the Pippins are still growing and the Sweets are still operating smoothly.  And that was the goal all along. 


"What's been great is we're starting to see the same 800 to 1,000 fans every night which means we're starting to develop that kind of passion for the team," Fraser added.

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