The Visalia Rawhide may continue as the Single-A affiliate with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the next 10 years
VISALIA – Forty cities around the country were recently dropped as affiliates for Major League Baseball teams, but Visalia was not one of them. Last Wednesday, the Visalia Rawhide Baseball club received an invitation from the Arizona Diamondbacks to sign a Player Development License as their Single-A affiliate. The license, not yet distributed by Major League Baseball, is expected to cover a ten-year term.
The Rawhide were crowned California League champions in 2019 and had to postpone their title defense as the 2020 season was canceled. Over the last five years, three different California League teams have been disbanded due to major downsizing happening within minor league baseball. According to Sam Sigal, Vice President of First Pitch Entertainment, owners of the Visalia Rawhide, the Diamondbacks invitation to the Rawhide is a result of the relationship the two organizations have built together, but most importantly the work and support that the Visalia community has had for baseball.
“We are very pleased and honored to receive this invitation from the Diamondbacks,” Sigal said. “Affiliated baseball has been in Visalia dating back to 1946. Since 2007, the ballclub and the Diamondbacks have truly had a great partnership, highlighted by the Rawhide’s 2019 California League Championship. We are excited about the potential opportunity to continue such a great relationship, and carry on the tradition of minor league baseball in our community.”
The Player Development Licenses are expected to be completed and sent out by Major League Baseball in the coming weeks. “Once we receive the full details of the license, we will evaluate the proposal carefully to assure that it works for the team, the fans, and the community,” Sigal said.