Pioneer Baseball League (PBL)

Pioneer League's Yolo High Wheelers: What To Know

Pioneer League's Yolo High Wheelers: What To Know

Here’s a breakdown of what to know about the Yolo High Wheelers including how they were formed, and where they will play ahead of the Pioneer League season.

Apr 17, 2024 by Leanza Pieroni

In the Pioneer Baseball League this upcoming season, a new team is cycling in.

As part of the league’s expansion into the West Coast this offseason, the Yolo High Wheelers will play their first season in the independent Pioneer League this year and will try and get cozy in the always-competitive league, featuring multiple clubs who have been around for multiple decades.

The High Wheelers this summer will have a Californian rival and will take on some of the best independent baseball teams west of the Mississippi River in the process, too. And with a manager who coached in last season’s PBL Championship Series, they’ll be hoping to quickly bring a league title to Yolo County, as well.

Here’s a breakdown of what to know about the Yolo High Wheelers— including how they were formed, where they will play and who has signed for the team — ahead of the 2024 Pioneer League season, which will be streamed live and exclusively on FloBaseball all summer long:

What Year Were the Yolo High Wheelers Founded?

Joining the Oakland Ballers as one of two Pioneer League expansion teams for this upcoming season, the High Wheelers (along with the Ballers) will be the Pioneer League’s first Californian team to play in its existence, being based in Davis, California. 

Announced in January, the club said in its announcement news release that they are “committed to delivering a fun, innovative and community-focused baseball experience for all fans in Yolo and Solano County,” which will additionally involve opportunities for community members and students at nearby UC Davis to explore professional baseball careers at the club through a “learning laboratory” for students.

Who Owns the Yolo High Wheelers?

Oakland Ballers owners Paul Freedman and Bryan Carmel, two northern California businessmen and entrepreneurs, also own the High Wheelers. In terms of other future partnerships with other collaborators, the club’s opening news release stated that Freedman and Carmel “look forward to identifying future stewards of the team, in line with their belief that community teams should have community stakeholders at all levels of the organization including the ownership group.”

What is the History of the Yolo High Wheelers Team Name and Mascot?

The “Yolo” in the Yolo High Wheelers’ name refers to Yolo County, California, where the city of Davis is based, and per the club’s announcement news release, the High Wheelers are the first professional sports team ever to be based in Yolo County. 

As for the “High Wheelers” part, the nickname pays homage to Davis’ history with bicycling — being home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame — as the high wheeler (with its trademark large front wheel) is an early iteration of the bicycle that was most popular in the late 1800s. 

The team’s colors are black, yellow, and orange, and a mascot has not been announced by the club as of this writing.

Have the Yolo High Wheelers Ever Won a Pioneer League Championship?

No, the High Wheelers have never won a Pioneer League championship, due to the fact that 2024 will be the club’s first season of existence.

Where Do the Yolo High Wheelers Play?

The High Wheelers will play at Dobbins Stadium, the home field of the UC Davis baseball team, and their first home game will be May 21 against the visiting Rocky Mountain Vibes. Holding a capacity of 3,500 fans, the facility was opened in 1986 (having been uniquely constructed almost entirely with volunteer work) and has dimensions of 310 feet down each line, 385 in the alleys, and 410 in the dead center.

Yolo High Wheelers Notable Alumni

No player is an alum of the High Wheelers yet for obvious reasons, as the team still hasn’t played its first professional game. But the club is making its share of intriguing signings ahead of its inaugural season of play. 

Right-handed pitcher Ben Ferrer is one of them, having been an All-Pac 12 Conference First Team selection during his first of two seasons with powerhouse Oregon State in 2022; he threw 17 innings with the Glacier Range Riders in the Pioneer League last summer and could be poised for a breakout year with Yolo. 

A pair of NCAA Division II All-Americans in outfielder DeShawn Johnson (Cal State San Bernardino) and catcher Sam Kuchinski (Montevallo) should bring forth plenty of production on the offensive front, as well, for distinguished manager Billy Horton, who was named the Pioneer League’s Manager of the Year last season as he led the Billings Mustangs to the PBL Championship Series. 

How to Watch the Yolo High Wheelers

Atlantic, Frontier, Pioneer, and the Coastal Summer Plain League, as well as the Florida Collegiate Summer League, all are streaming on FloBaseball and the FloSports app. 

Replays, highlights, and more news can be found on the site.

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