Texas Collegiate League Mission Statement
The Texas Collegiate League exists to provide the best summer league experience for the best professional prospects from colleges throughout the country. The league will allow those players with eligibility remaining to showcase and improve their skills in a wholesome, minor league-type atmosphere using wooden bats. The league is committed to providing quality, inexpensive entertainment in a small-town, intimate atmosphere that is distinctively Texan, while helping promote the game of baseball in the communities involved.
About the Texas Collegiate League
The formation of the Texas Collegiate League, Texas' first major collegiate summer wooden bat league, was announced at a press conference on September 24, 2003. The league is owned and operated by the Haddock Foundation, a section 501(c)3 organization. Gerald Haddock, a minority owner and General Counsel of the Texas Rangers from 1989-98 and a passionate baseball fan, became the league's Chair and CEO.
Teams, owners, and playing facilities in eight north Texas cities were secured. With the assistance of former Major League pitcher and then-TCL Vice President of Baseball Operations Darren Hall, some of the nation's top collegiate players from more than 75 schools were secured. Sponsors providing items such as equipment and transportation were acquired. Coaches and umpires were hired. A 54-game schedule for each team was drafted. The inaugural eight league members were Colleyville-Grapevine, Graham, Granbury, Coppell, Highland Park, McKinney, Mineral Wells, and Weatherford.
Host families, with whom the players live in each community, were secured and jobs were provided for players who requested them. League officials also worked with FSN Southwest on the creation of a weekly television program on the Texas Collegiate League: Baseball: TCL Style (later the TCL Magazine Show on FSN). By early June 2004 everything was in place.
Since the league was established, 88 alumni with ties to the Texas Collegiate League have been drafted by Major League teams or signed by professional independent baseball squads. Mark Lowe of the Highland Park Blue Sox and University of Texas-Arlington became the first TCL competitor to make it to the majors in June 2006 and captured his first win as a member of the Seattle Mariners in a relief role.
The TCL is currently represented by 250-plus players from 91 different colleges and universities. Some of the more nationally-recognized schools sending their standouts to the TCL include Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal State Fullerton, Dallas Baptist, Houston, Long Beach State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, Pacific, Rice, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas-Arlington, Texas State, Texas Tech, and Wichita State, among others.
The league plans future expansion in the upcoming years as it continues its quest to become one of the premier summer collegiate leagues in the United States.