The Visalia Rawhide will continue as the Single-A affiliate with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the next 10 years
VISALIA – Minor League Baseball underwent major changes in 2020 as 40 cities around the country were dropped as affiliates for Major League Baseball teams. However as of last Friday, professional baseball will be staying in Visalia as the Rawhide has officially accepted their invitation to remain an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Visalia Rawhide signed Major League Baseball’s Professional Development License (PDL), which will be a 10-year agreement to keep the Diamondbacks’ Single-A baseball team in Visalia through the 2030 season.
“We could not be more excited to sign the PDL and officially accept the Arizona Diamondbacks invitation to continue our partnership with the organization for years to come,” said Sam Sigal, Vice President of First Pitch Entertainment, owners of the Visalia Rawhide. “Continuing our relationship with the D-Backs franchise going forward makes the return to baseball at Recreation Ballpark in the 2021 season even sweeter.”
The relationship between Visalia and Arizona dates back to the 2007 season, and has seen stars like Trevor Bauer, Max Scherzer, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, Archie Bradley and many more make their way from Visalia to the Major Leagues. The relationship also produced the 2019 California League Champions, giving Visalia its first league title since the 1978 season.
“Visalia is the longest-tenured D-backs’ affiliate and we are proud that will continue for many years to come,” said Josh Barfield, Director of Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We know the new ownership group, front office and Rawhide fans are looking forward to this upcoming season, and we are excited for our players and staff to return to Recreation Ballpark.”
Over the last five years, three different California League teams have been disbanded due to major downsizing happening within minor league baseball. Back in December, Sigal told The Sun-Gazette that 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.
“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,” Sigal said.