(Courtesy/Salem-Keizer Volcanoes)

The elimination of Class A Short-Season baseball in Salem-Keizer became official on Wednesday, Dec. 9 as Major League Baseball (MLB) and its 30 MLB teams announced a significant realignment of baseball’s Minor League system, contracting from 160 teams to 120 teams across the country.

The partnership between the San Francisco Giants and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes came to an end Wednesday when the Giants announced that the Eugene Emeralds would become their new Single-A affiliate.

Part of the realignment included changing the Northwest League from eight teams to a six-team full season Class A league. Vancouver, Everett, Tri-City, Spokane, Hillsboro and Eugene will field teams in the revamped Northwest League in 2021. Major League Baseball has publicly stated that it will ensure baseball will be played in all 160 communities, including Boise and Salem-Keizer.

Those exact details are still being finalized and should be announced soon.

The local Minor League Baseball relationship started in Bellingham, Washington, in 1995, as the Bellingham Giants. That team moved to Salem-Keizer in 1997 when a new stadium was built for the San Francisco Giants and the Volcanoes were born.

"It’s been a great run," said team owner Jerry Walker.

The Volcanoes' time as a Giants affiliate was highlighted by five Northwest League Championships and seven division titles, while 112 players made it to the big leagues.

“The success is unmatched," said Walker. "Let’s don’t forget being a part of the Giants’ three World Series Championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014."

“We are very excited for what the future holds,” said Mickey Walker, the Volcanoes' CEO. “The best may be yet to come – we are looking at an extended season that will bring even more Volcanoes games to Volcanoes Stadium. The stadium will become the hub for baseball at all levels. We can’t wait to finalize the details and let everyone know. What a great Christmas present for the fans of the Willamette Valley."

Inquiries should be directed to Mickey Walker at [email protected] or 503-390-2225.

This story is published with permission as part of a statewide collaboration of news organizations to share stories. Salem Reporter is part of the collaboration. 

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