More affiliation news. The Arizona Diamondbacks have extended their Player Development Contract with the Visalia Rawhide with two years. The new contract will run through the 2020 season.
Several MLB players have called Visalia home for a while: Paul Goldschmidt, Max Scherzer, Archie Bradley, Trevor Bauer and Mitch Haniger. From 2013 through 2016, the Rawhide reached the California League’s playoffs four straight years and the team is in the midst of a playoff run now.
As usual, several pleasantries were exchanged. We are excited to announce that we have extended our partnership with the Visalia Rawhide for at least the next 2 years,” said Mike Bell, Director of Player Development for the Diamondbacks. “Tom Seidler and Jennifer Reynolds have worked hard along with the city of Visalia to continue to improve the Recreation Park. Visalia is a terrific community, one that we are proud to be a part of.”
Rawhide General Manager Jennifer Reynolds stated: “We’re fortunate to have great working relationships with our partners, the City of Visalia and the Arizona Diamondbacks. We are thankful for our partnership with the Diamondbacks that continues to send some of the top prospects in baseball through Visalia and are proud to have a facility with a charming personality for affordable family entertainment in the greater Visalia community.”
The Rawhide play their home games at Recreation Park, one of the oldest ballparks in the California League. It opened in 1946. In the last decade, the stadium has gotten a major overhaul as it is a modern ballpark nowadays.
Professional baseball in Visalia dates back to 1946. From that year on until 1975, the city had a continuous run in the California League. After the 1975 season, professional baseball left the town but returned in 1977 when the team named itself Visalia Oaks. That name lasted until 1993 when the Rockies came to town and the team was named Central Valley Rockies. After the 1994 season, the Rockies left and the team returned to its Oaks moniker. Eventually, the team changed to the Rawhide moniker as part of the stadium renovations in 2009.
Visalia itself is a sleepy farming town about 30 minutes South of Fresno. The town calls itself the gateway to King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Recreation Park has a capacity of 2,468 (1,888 permanent stadium seats) so the ballpark is really small. On the positive side, it doesn’t need a lot of fans to make it a cozy experience at Recreation Park.