Idaho grows potatoes. But baseball? Most MLB scouts have never set foot in the Gem State with just nine players from Idaho making the big leagues this century. Burke Mitchell is ready to change that.
“One thing Idaho has a problem with is we are on an island,” Mitchell the founder and commissioner of the Competitors Collegiate League said. “We are not a baseball hotspot because of a lack of colleges [with baseball] in Idaho. There are not a lot of opportunities for Idaho kids to be seen and get exposure.”
Three years ago, Mitchell moved to Boise from a baseball hotspot- Southern California. While the Competitors Collegiate League will be the first summer collegiate baseball league in Idaho, Southern California alone has seven leagues.
The Competitors Collegiate League will begin its inaugural season July 4th in Boise, Idaho. Three teams will combine to play a total of three games a week with one nine inning game on Tuesday and two seven inning games on Saturday. Each team will play around 15 to 18 games for the season.
Mitchell had originally planned to start the collegiate league in Boise next year. However, with Covid-19 cancelling collegiate seasons across the country plans changed.
“I heard there had been some guys doing sandlot games [in Boise] and was like shoot let’s just get it up and going this year and give it a trial run,” Mitchell said. “Work out some of the kinks and start growing it towards next season.”
The league will be an opportunity to play for any collegiate players playing or living in the Boise metro area ranging from NCAA Division One players at Boise State to local community college players.
“There are a lot of opportunities out here as baseball goes,” Mitchell said. “I partnered up with Trosky baseball and created a youth organization with teams from 12U to 18U.”
Competitors Baseball is a regional subset of Trosky Baseball a developmental baseball organization with regional teams, showcase camps and developmental bootcamps. Competitors Baseball in Idaho hosted two showcases in the last year attracting college coaches and MLB scouts to Boise.
As Mitchell works to give more opportunities for area players, expanding Competitors Baseball from youth teams to incorporating a collegiate league was the next step.
This year the league’s focus is giving opportunities to collegiate players in Idaho that otherwise would have a summer without competitive baseball. In the future there may be opportunities to grow.
“Boise is a great place to come visit and play some baseball,” Mitchell said. “It would be a great atmosphere to get some college players to come here and play.”
And there’s an appetite for baseball in Idaho. Boise State reinstated their baseball program this Spring. There had not been a NCAA Division One baseball program in the Gem State since both the University of Idaho and Boise State dropped their programs in 1980.
While the league’s games this summer will not allow fans due to Covid-19 precautions they will be live streamed. The Competitors Collegiate League plans to limit practice and encourage all players to stay with their families.
“We are going to make all the right precautions as the guidelines require,” Mitchell said.
Idaho is set to allow gatherings of up to 50 people on May 30th.
“Baseball is growing here tremendously in one of the best growing cities in the United States,” Mitchell said. “There are a lot of baseball players moving in looking for a spot to play.”
With the introduction of its first summer collegiate league Idaho is on the road to being known for growing potatoes and some baseball.
For players interested in joining the Competitors Collegiate League this summer or Competitors Baseball contact Burke Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include College, Hometown, and Poisition(s).