Futures League officially adds new Westfield franchise

The Nashua Silver Knights will be spending a little more time on the Massachusetts Turnpike this summer as the Futures Collegiate Baseball League has gone west – as in Westfield, Mass.

The FCBL, in a move rumored for the last month, announced on Wednesday that it is adding a team in Westfield for the 2018 season. Westfield gives the Pittsfield (Mass.) Suns a local rival, just 45 minutes or so away.

The team will be owned by local entrepeneurs Christopher Thompson and Don Moorhouse. Both are involved in marketing, etc. and Moorhouse is the radio voice of Umass-Amherst men’s hockey.

“They’re very well-connected in the community,” outgoing FCBL commissioner Chris Hall, who is staying on for another week or so until a schedule is released. “A sales machine.”

Now the question is, does the addition of Westfield make the Futures League an eight team league or keep it at seven? The reason that is in doubt is the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks are involved in a court dispute with the FCBL over their desire to jump to the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Hall could not comment on the court case but instead said “Right now, we have eight teams in the league. That’s the schedule we’re set to announce shortly (likely next week), that’s the schedule we’re working on. It’s not a perfect situation.”

But the feeling is Westfield could be.

“We identified the Futures League as a league that is aligned with our mission,” Thompson said in a release.

“Westfield is a baseball town with a history that goes back to the very origins of the sport in America,” said Moorhouse, a Westfield resident. “Summer collegiate baseball is a natural fit in Westfield and an extension of that legacy.”

Hall said the league and ownership are closing in on securing a lease for one of two possible venues in the area . All that, as well as the new team’s name, logo,etc.will be announced next month.

Hopefully by then the FCBL will be all set for the 2019 season with a new schedule, a new team, and a new comissioner.