The future of the Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League is in jeopardy.
Mike Greene, the league owner/commissioner, put an urgent press release on the league’s website Saturday saying if financial help is not available within 24 hours, “the league will be done.”
The new professional league has six teams, including the Glacier Outlaws. The other teams are the Skagit Valley Lumberjacks, Grays Harbor Gulls, Oregon City Mud Turtles, Ellensburg Bulls and Moses Lake Rattlesnakes.
Glacier is 6-2 to date and is currently in Ellensburg, Washington, for its first road-trip of the season.
Lindsay Fansler, assistant general manager of the Outlaws, calls the current situation a “huge mess.”
Fansler had to borrow a bus and drive the team to Ellensburg for its four-game series, which started Friday night.
The league is supposed to provide transportation, lodging and meals for traveling teams, but money was not available for the Outlaws in Ellensburg.
“They (players) were standing outside the hotel (after the game),” Fansler said.
“We got the rooms taken care of.”
A player’s parent paid for the lodging one night. The Outlaws paid for another evening from their home gate receipts.
“This has been a difficult attempt to bring professional baseball to Whitefish,” a disappointed Fansler said.
“We bought into this guy (Greene) all along. We thought he had the financial backing, that this thing would be a go, but it’s really snowballed into something nobody could ever have imagined happening.”
Fansler said the sad side of this is “people worked very hard around here (to make it work). People who cared a lot about baseball and the players.”
Fansler said Greene stated he would provide transportation back to Whitefish if the league folds.
“We showed that there is a desire for this (professional baseball) in the community and that we created a viable product at the ballpark,” Fansler said.
“We hope this can continue.
“If we can get a few new owners to come into this, the infrastructure is in place and we could keep it going.”