They’re sending up an SOS: Save Our Salem(-Keizer Volcanoes).
Salem-Keizer, the Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Giants since 1997, a club that has housed future stars like Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, is already fighting for its survival after a report placed it on MLB’s chopping block.
The New York Times reported Saturday the identity of the 42 clubs that Major League Baseball has homed in on for elimination, as MLB seeks to realign the minor-league system, ostensibly to ensure better facilities throughout and save money while it’s at it. Salem-Keizer is the lone Giants affiliate listed.
The plan — just theoretical for now — has been met by anger from communities that lack access to professional baseball and the clubs that would lose their affiliation. In response, Salem-Keizer has launched a “Save Our Salem-Keizer Volcanoes” petition.
“Your Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, one of the most decorated and storied affiliated Professional Baseball franchises in Pacific Northwest history is facing an unprecedented threat to be eliminated by Major League Baseball,” longtime front-office member Justin Lacche wrote. “The Volcanoes have been nationally recognized for its support of Veterans, those affected by cancer, women in leadership and cultural diversity. Volcanoes Nation stands together to Save Our Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (SOS).”
MLB’s proposal would do away with much of the short-season leagues and convert the Northwest League — which Salem-Keizer plays in — into a full-season Low-A league, and Salem-Keizer wouldn’t make the cut. The Times report said newly independent teams could form a “Dream League” consisting of players trying to crack into affiliated ball.
Lacche, emeritus president of Salem-Keizer business and creative design, did not immediately respond for request for comment.