Texas Collegiate League
Texas Collegiate League logo
|No. of teams||7|
|Most recent champion(s)||Brazos Valley Bombers|
|Most titles||Coppell Copperheads (4)|
The Texas Collegiate League (TCL or league) is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of the top college players from North America and beyond.
All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. Players are not paid so as to maintain their college eligibility.
Teams are run similar to a professional minor league team, providing players an opportunity to play under the same conditions as the minor leagues. Games are played most days during the week (as opposed to college teams which often play on weekends only), and wooden bats and major league specification baseballs are used (as opposed to college spec balls and the metal bats used at the college level). Season play occurs in early June through late July, culminating in a best-of-three series featuring the top two teams from each division. The winners of the division series advance to a best-of-three championship series in early August.
The TCL, which played its inaugural season in the summer of 2004 with eight teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, was co-founded by Wayne Poage, former Athletic Director at Dallas Baptist University, and a company controlled by Gerald W. Haddock, a minority owner and General Counsel of the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1998. Currently, the Haddock Foundation serves as general partner of the Texas Collegiate Baseball League, Ltd. (the former TCL), which licensed the operating rights for the baseball league to the reorganized Texas Collegiate League. The present league President of the TCL is Uri Geva, Owner of the Brazos Valley Bombers.
In 2007, seven of the original nine teams allegedly collectively decided to boycott the TCL by collectively terminating their interests in the TCL. To protect its interests, the TCL filed a lawsuit against those teams and their owners and principals for breach of contract, conspiracy, and other claims, in order to recover the substantial damages it allegedly sustained as a result of their concerted wrongful conduct. Further, in 2007, the TCL ceased its operations and mitigated its damages by entering into a written license agreement authorizing the owners of the remaining teams who did not participate in the wrongful conduct to operate the reorganized TCL and play collegiate summer baseball in 2008 and beyond.
The TCL recruited an additional team, the East Texas Pump Jacks, to play in the 2008 summer season. That season set new attendance records for the league with the Brazos Valley Bombers making the top 50 attendance list of all summer collegiate teams. In 2012, the Woodlands Stryker’s joined the league and the McKinney Marshals rejoined after a 1-year hiatus, which increased the league to seven teams. The TCL also anticipates the arrival of at least one expansion team for the 2014 season.
The TCL is currently represented by more than 250 players from over 90 different colleges and universities. Some of the more nationally-recognized schools sending their standouts to the TCL include the University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, Baylor University, Cal State Fullerton, Dallas Baptist University, University of Houston, Long Beach State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, Pacific, Rice, University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas-Arlington, Texas State, Texas Tech, and Wichita State, among others.
Since the TCL was established, more than 300 TCL players have been drafted by major league teams and no fewer than a dozen have played in the big leagues. Notable league alumni include outfielder Hunter Pence and first baseman Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox all-star pitcher Clay Buchholz, Chris Davies of the Baltimore Orioles and Adam Moore of the Seattle Mariners. The league plans future expansion in the upcoming years as it continues to operate as one of the premier summer collegiate wooden bat leagues in the United States.
|Texas Collegiate League|
|Acadiana Cane Cutters||2011||Lafayette, Louisiana||Fabacher Field||1,400|
|Alexandria Aces||1994 (*)||Alexandria, Louisiana||Bringhurst Field||3,500|
|Brazos Valley Bombers||2007||Bryan-College Station, Texas||American Momentum Bank Ballpark||2,121|
|East Texas Pump Jacks||2008||Kilgore, Texas||Driller Park||3,000|
|Texas Marshals||2004 (**)||McKinney, Texas||Jesuit Preparatory School of Dallas|
|The Woodlands Strykers||2012||The Woodlands, Texas||The Woodlands Christian Academy Stadium||600|
|Victoria Generals||2009||Victoria, Texas||River Side Stadium||4,000|
(*) The Aces were formed in 1994 as a member of the Continental Baseball League, and moved to the TCL in 2009.
(**) The Marshals reformed in 2012 after previously disbanding at the end of the 2010 season.
- Colleyville-Grapevine Lonestars - Colleyville-Grapevine (later the Euless LoneStars and Colleyville LoneStars)
- Coppell Copperheads - Coppell (http://www.tclcopperheads.com)
- Denton Outlaws - Denton (http://www.thedentonoutlaws.com/)
- Duncanville Deputies - Duncanville
- Granbury Generals - Granbury (replaced by the Denton Outlaws)
- Highland Park Blue Sox - Highland Park (later the Plano Blue Sox)
- Mineral Wells Steam - Mineral Wells
- Weatherford Wranglers - Weatherford
- Wichita Falls Roughnecks - Wichita Falls; formerly of Graham
- Texas Tomcats -Weimar **
(**) Tomcats played only the 2010 season
- 2013 - Brazos Valley Bombers
- 2012 - East Texas Pump Jacks
- 2011 - Coppell Copperheads
- 2010 - Victoria Generals
- 2009 - Coppell Copperheads
- 2008 - McKinney Marshals
- 2007 - Coppell Copperheads
- 2006 - McKinney Marshals
- 2005 - Denton Outlaws
- 2004 - Coppell Copperheads
- Hunter Pence - Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants
- Clay Buchholz - Boston Red Sox
- Chris Davis - Baltimore Orioles
- Adam Moore - Seattle Mariners
- Brandon Belt - San Francisco Giants
- Paul Goldschmidt - Arizona Diamondbacks
- Todd Cunningham - Atlanta Braves