The independent Pecos League announced on Friday it will have franchises in Bakersfield and Adelanto, Calif., in 2017, bringing professional baseball back to two markets that lost affiliated minor league teams to relocation after this past season.
The Bakersfield Train Robbers and High Desert YardBirds will begin play on May 26, 2017 against each other for their first contest. Both franchises will play in the existing stadiums in the respective markets, Bakersfield in Sam Lynn Ballpark and High Desert at Adelanto Stadium, formerly known as Mavericks stadium.
The Adelanto franchise will be operated in a partnership between the Pecos League and the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, which is headquartered in nearby Victorville.
"The SBC Fair is excited and proud to partner with the Pecos League to bring the return of quality, professional baseball to the High Desert," San Bernardino County Fair CEO Geoff Hinds said in a statement posted to the league's website. "The High Desert has a long tradition of professional baseball, and the expansion into the Pecos League is the next step in continuing that legacy."
The Pecos League will be the primary year-round tenant of Sam Lynn Ballpark.
High Desert and Bakersfield were previously home to high Class A California League franchises, with High Desert most recently affiliated with the Rangers and Bakersfield with the Mariners. Both were relocated to the Carolina League after the 2016 season, with the Rangers affiliate landing in Kinston, N.C., and the Astros affiliate, which was previously in Lancaster, Calif., going to Buies Creek, N.C. while it awaits completion of a new ballpark in Fayetteville, N.C.