Travel Into Walla Walla
FLYING INTO WALLA WALLA IS SURPRISINGLY EASY
The Walla Walla Regional Airport is located about 10 minutes outside of town, and welcomes three flights in and out of Walla Walla per day.
In addition, the Tri-Cities Airport (in Pasco) is a 30-45 minute drive and has daily service to and from Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix/Mesa, Denver, San Francisco, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
From Seattle (about 4 1/2 hours)
- Take 90 East out of Seattle.
- Just past Ellensburg, bear right and follow signs for 82 East/97 South.
- Take exit 102 on to 182 East/ 12 East.
- Once through the Tri-Cities, continue to follow 12 East to Walla Walla.
From Spokane (about 2 1/2 hours)
- Take 90 West/395 South out of Spokane.
- Just after Ritzville, continue on 395 South.
- As you get into Pasco, take Exit 14A, 12 East.
- Follow 12 East to Walla Walla.
From Spokane (about 3 hours)
- Take 90 West/395 South out of Spokane.
- Take Exit 270, 904 East towards Cheney.
- In Cheney, turn left onto F Street.
- F Street becomes S Cheney Spangle Road.
- Bear left onto W Cheney Spangle Road (if the road becomes S Wells Road, you have gone too far).
- W Cheney Spangle Road becomes W Bradshaw Road, which turns into E Bradshaw Road.
- Turn Right onto 195 South.
- In Colfax, bear right onto 26 West/Walla Walla Hwy.
- Turn left onto 127 South
- 127 meets up with 12 West, take 12 West to Walla Walla.
From Portland (about 4 hours)
- Take 84 East/Columbia River Hwy out of Portland.
- Just passed Boardman, OR, take Exit 168 (730 East).
- Follow 730 East (2 lane road for most of it) until it becomes 12 East.
- Follow 12 East to Walla Walla.
The West Coast League is an international league. It encompasses the entire Pacific Northwest, including the stunning beauty of British Columbia. As such, your son will need a valid passport for travel purposes (you may need one as well, if you wish to travel to Kelowna to watch the club play).
For players, If you do not already have the proper documentation, you would be wise to begin securing that now. It takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks to get that paperwork done properly, and as winter progresses to spring, those times usually get longer (as people look to travel). Here are some links that will help you secure your travel documents/passports:
Please call our office if you have any questions – if your son does not have his passport, he will not be able to join us on our road trips to Canada, and since we have a talented roster, we want to make sure every member of the team is there and able to contribute.
The Walla Walla Sweets Culture
We welcome you to what has become one of the top collegiate wood-bat baseball destinations in the country. Some of you that are returning players were a big part of maintaining that standard last year; we are excited to have you back. For new players, you represent some of the best collegiate talent in the country and we are thrilled that you will be joining us this season.
Our organizational goals include creating a positive environment for players to develop their talents on the field, allowing you to gain insight as to what life would be like as part of a professional organization, and to compete each season for a WCL Championship. We will provide you the tools and resources to be successful on the field and to be role models in our community.
This community is incredibly passionate about the team – many nights playing in front of large crowds – and you are seen as celebrities (you’ll sign a fair share of autographs). That is a lot of fun – but bears a certain amount of responsibility to represent our franchise, your family and your university with honor.
Our baseball staff and their contact information is included in this FAQ – please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns. We will also be in regular contact via phone and email as we finalize details in preparation for the season. We anxiously await the season!
About Walla Walla, Washington
Walla Walla is a town located in the heart of the Blue Mountains, in the southeastern corner of the state of Washington.
It is the cultural, educational, and agricultural center of the region, and has approximately 55,000 people in the general region. It is home to three institutions of higher education – Whitman College, Walla Walla University (in adjacent city College Place, WA), and Walla Walla Community College.
In addition to its place at a cultural center, Walla Walla is famous for its agriculture – specifically Walla Walla Sweet Onions (shortened to “Sweets” – one of the inspirations for the team name) and grapes for wine. Walla Walla wine has become world renowned and celebrated among the best the world has to offer, and the Walla Walla Sweet Onion is the official vegetable of the State of Washington. Wheat, corn and cattle are also important agricultural products from the region.
While a small town, Walla Walla has all the “trappings” of big towns – plenty of grocery, retail, and restaurants – and a vibrant historic Main Street (“Downtown Walla Walla”) that provides fantastic shops and places to eat and hang out. The majority of the city population is less than 5 miles from Main Street, making it easy to get around town.
In addition to these attractions, Walla Walla has two fantastic public golf courses, as well as a private country club, and is only a few miles from award-winning fishing and recreational hiking. The rugged Columbia River is only a 30 minute drive away. Walla Walla is a road-cycling mecca with miles and miles of rolling hills to challenge all levels of cyclists. It plays host to the Tour of Walla Walla, a three-day cycling event where riders from across the country come to compete every April. We even have a movie theatre.
The summertime is warm and dry, with nights comfortable and breezy – a great place to play baseball. Summer temperatures range from 70˚ – 77˚ at night to 85˚ – 92˚ during the day.
Walla Walla has enjoyed athletic success as well. Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Ozzie Smith both began their careers in baseball in Walla Walla when the Padres had a minor affiliate here (the Sweets play in the same stadium). All-Pro quarterback Drew Bledsoe attended high school in Walla Walla. Even Batman has his roots in Walla Walla as Adam West is a native Walla Wallan. And yes, it is the town so nice, they named it twice.
Venerable Borleske Stadium is a former minor league baseball stadium that has seen approximately $900K in upgrades and improvements since 2010. In 2016, we partnered with Whitman College (DIII) to construct a state-of-the-art indoor hitting and training facility.
Tim Duncan is the facilities manager who keeps the playing field in pristine condition. It is also the home field for Whitman College baseball. Play in the ballpark dates back to the late 1920s. There is even ivy surrounding the walls of the stadium.
Opening in 1926, Borleske Stadium is now in it’s 91st year of operation. See the pictures of the stadium at the end of this packet.
Where will I live while I'm in Walla Walla?
Sweets players will be living with host families, members of the communities who will open up their homes for players to live in. We will be assigning host families during the spring of 2017. Please see the form that we ask players to fill out so that we may do our best to match you with an appropriate family.
A note about host families: Without question, we have the best host families in the West Coast League. Families in our community provide room, board, many meals and often transportation when needed, at no cost to you and no payment the families. This model works when players are respectful and communicate with their families.
In order to make sure that we continue the tradition started in 2010, Rosanna Morgan volunteers her time to coordinate host family placement. In order to assist her, you’ve received a packet with your contract offer that includes a host family information sheet.
Please take (5) minutes and fill out the information when returning your contract. This insures that we can ensure you have the best host family situation. We will communicate host family placement around mid-April (if not before then). Please email Zachary if you have any concerns.
How do I get to Walla Walla
Per West Coast League policy, teams are not to pay for players to come to their host cities. Players are responsible for securing their travel to Walla Walla. Players can fly into Tri-Cities or Walla Walla, or drive their own vehicles.
What are player accommodations on road trips?
The team will pay for hotel rooms and charter bus while on the road, and in addition provide players with a per diem for food. Accommodations will be at hotels such as Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn and Suites, and Best Western Inn & Suites. Players will share hotel rooms with teammates.
What equipment does the team provide?
The team will provide the following:
- Home, Road, and Alternate jerseys and Home and Road pants
- Primary and Alternate caps (players keep)
- Black belt
- Navy stirrups/sanitary socks
- Batting helmets (position players only)
- Custom wood bats (position players only)
- Catchers gear (catchers only)
- Pine Tar, Rosin, etc
- Bats and balls
- Sweets athletic t-shirt and Sweets long-sleeve shirt (for cool weather)
- Sweets BP shorts
- Sweets hooded sweatshirt
- Sweets Team travel bag
- Through our relationship with Under Armour, players can also purchase UA baseball equipment (shirts, jackets, accessories, etc) for a significant savings off retail cost. You will receive an online order form in early spring 2018 so you can select what you want to buy (if you so choose).
What equipment do players need to be responsible for bringing?
The team will provide the following:
- Shoes – WE WEAR BLACK SHOES…NO EXCEPTIONS
- Specific bat brands – If you choose not to use the bats we provide to you, you will be responsible for providing your own.
- Accessories (glasses, batting gloves, etc) – as we mentioned, you will have the chance to order Under Armour baseball accessories for a price far lower than what you will pay retail – so keep that in mind if you want anything specific
When do players return home?
We expect that our players will fulfill the contract they sign, meaning that you should plan to be returning home on or around August 20th of the summer, pending post-season. If you are not able to honor this, for any reason, please contact the manager immediately (no later than March 31st). We will discuss, with the team president and your college coach, the potential that you will be replaced on the roster with a player who is able to commit for the entire season.
Who owns the Sweets?
The team is owned and operated by Pacific Baseball Ventures, Holdco. The group, which is comprised of both local and regional investors, founded the Sweets franchise in 2009 for the express purpose of returning professionally-managed baseball to historic Borleske Stadium—beginning with the team’s inaugural 2010 season. The member partners of Pacific Baseball Ventures hold ownership positions in a number of other baseball properties—including full ownership of the Yakima Valley Pippins (WCL). Additionally, group members hold managing interests in the Tacoma Rainiers (PCL, AAA) and the Seattle Mariners (AL West, MLB). Having a positive impact on communities through the fan experience of professionally-managed baseball is of primary importance to the group. Click here to see the full group