Golden League’s Victoria Seals Shut Down

What's been a bad year for the Golden Baseball League just got worse.

The Victoria Seals announced that they are ceasing operations, citing a poor economy and the unsettled state of the Golden League. The Seals become the fifth Golden League team to either shut down, fold or announce plans to not play in 2011, shrinking what had been a 10-team league to a fraction of its former self.

During the 2010 season, the Tijuana club had to be moved to Yuma and taken over by the league after its ownership failed to pay its players and vendors. The league also had to take over the Yuma club and the St. George club folded its operations as well, leading to the league taking over the team. There is a chance that the Yuma team could return to play in 2011, but the potential owner seems sanguine about his chances.

The league also has to sign a new lease to remain in Chico (where the current lease has expired). Chico State University has said that no new lease will be agreed to until the league catches up on some contractual obligations. The Chico State University president told the Chico Enterprise-Record that he was concerned about the long-term viability of the league.

Recently, the Pacific Coast League announced that it was moving its Portland affiliate at least temporarily to Tucson, which led the Golden League's Tucson Toros to announce that they would not participate in the 2011 season, although the team left open the possibility of returning to play if the PCL team left town.

The league has seen some turnover at the executive level as well. League founder and chief executive officer David Kaval announced after the 2010 season that he was stepping down as CEO to work for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. He was replaced by Kevin Outcalt, who was promoted from league commissioner to the new title.