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Grant Wilson Named Black Bears' GM

Longview-Kelso, Washington: Monday, July 6, 2009: Press Release: Veteran minor league baseball executive Grant Wilson is the first General Manager of the Longview-Kelso team in the West Coast League. Team owner Tony Bonacci made the announcement Monday. “Grant has been around baseball his entire life,” said Bonacci. “He is passionate about the game, and his experience puts us in a position as a franchise to hit the ground running. He is a great addition to our team and to the West Coast League.”

Wilson joins the new Cowlitz County team from the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Northwest League, where he was a senior executive. Prior to working with the Volcanoes, Wilson was assistant general manager of the Long Beach Armada and Mesa Miners of the Golden League. He began his front office career with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League, where he handled corporate sponsorship sales and group ticket sales. He was also the hitting coach for the Rascals.

The 30-year-old was an Arizona All-State High School player and played collegiate baseball at powerhouse Cal-State Fullerton. Wilson played summer collegiate wood-bat baseball in the Alaska League. After his playing career was cut short by a back injury, he moved into baseball management.

“I’m excited to be making Longview-Kelso my home, and I’m dedicated to making our brand of affordable family entertainment a major piece of the summer social landscape in Cowlitz County,” said Wilson. “I believe it won’t take long for everyone to see how much fun a trip to the ball park is.”

Wilson said ticket deposits for the 2010 season are now being taken. “This is a great baseball town, and our venue will be the place to be. It’s cozy and that means tickets will be at a premium, so we urge fans to get their deposits in early,” added Wilson. A $20 refundable per seat deposit puts fans in line to select season ticket seat locations. Ticket deposit forms are available on line at www.westcoastleague.com/cowlitz.

The new WCL club will play 30 home games throughout the summer, starting next June. Wilson said a Name the Team contest is in the planning stages and should be announced later this month.

The first West Coast League game at Story Field is coming up Sunday, July 19 at 5:05 pm. The Corvallis Knights are playing the Kitsap BlueJackets. Tickets are $6 and are available at The Red Lion Hotel, Athletes Corner, The Daily News, and Lower Columbia College. Proceeds from the game will benefit the LCC baseball program.

The West Coast League is an eight-team, professional-like wood-bat summer college league. The WCL features pro prospects from the Pac-10, Big West and other major conferences across the country. The WCL is committed to player development and enriching its member communities. More than 100 WCL alums are playing affiliated professional baseball this season, with 9 players in the big leagues. For more information on the league, visit www.westcoastleague.com.