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Davis now has its own professional baseball team: the Yolo High Wheelers

New professional baseball team Yolo High Wheelers comes to Davis
New professional baseball team Yolo High Wheelers comes to Davis 02:26

DAVIS – A lot of exciting baseball news has come out of Yolo County this year: the Oakland A's will temporarily relocate to West Sacramento next season, the Sacramento River Cats just marked their 25th anniversary and now a new professional team has come to town. 

On Tuesday, the Yolo High Wheelers, based in Davis, took the field for the first time to mark the opening day of its inaugural season against the Rocky Mountain Vibes.   

The High Wheelers are the first and only professional sports team in the city of Davis.

"We are excited to bring baseball here," said the team's co-founder Paul Freedman. "Yolo County in a year is going to have three professional teams, it might be baseball capitol USA. More is more. We are just a different kind of baseball."

The High Wheelers are joining the historic Pioneer Baseball League, running since 1939. 

"Major league baseball used to have 60 rounds of drafts. Recently they cut down to only 20. Which means all the players who used to be drafted 20 to 60 need a home. And they come and play in this league," said Freedman. 

It's a love of baseball and Davis that brought many community members out to check out the new team Tuesday night. 

"We're really excited. This is a professional league right here in our hometown," said Andy Faletti, Davis resident. "We bought season tickets. We don't even spend that much money on tickets but we had to do it for these guys."

Those not from Davis might be asking what a high wheeler is.

"In the late 1870s, 1880s it was the most popular way to get around in America," said Bob Bowen, president of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis. 

Bowen says the team could not have picked a better name. 

"Over the years, the city of Davis has established the high wheel bike as our logo. It represents healthful living in a town where people can bike to everything; to school, to work and to play," said Bowen. 

From the team name to the up-and-coming names, pitching coach Jerome Williams says to watch out. 

"There's a lot of young players, a lot of hidden talent that nobody has ever seen," said Williams. 

"They can get called up to any of the major league teams. We already had a player called up to the Red Sox. If you come out here you're going to see players who are going to be household names in the major league someday," said Freedman. 

The team brings a new sense of community pride to Davis: that's now not just a bike town, but a baseball town, too. 

Tickets are around $20 or less and the team plays at Dobbins Stadium on UC Davis' campus. 

The season runs now through September. 

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