The six time champions Pacifics t-shirts
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: Parsing Out the Pecos League

The Pecos League is, well, hard to keep track of for lack of a better phrase. You combine a ridiculous streaming price point of $6/game with a website that is straight out of your “I’m firing up America Online in 1998 and ready to surf the net” nightmares and you get a league that isn’t easy to follow along with. That’s how for a solid 15 minutes the other day I thought PECO had started calling their Championship Series the Bay Series and that the San Rafael Pacifics were the 2021 PECO champions.

I was perusing a rather large independent baseball Facebook group looking for news I may have missed through other avenues when I stumbled across a post proclaiming that the Pacifics had won the 2021 PECO Pacific Division title. As I read the post being shared I saw that it was from the Pacifics’ own Facebook page and that while there was no mention of the Pacific Division it did say they had just beaten the Martinez Sturgeon to become the 2021 PECO Bay Series champions. A quick peek at the Pacifics’ Facebook page revealed a banner that listed their various titles throughout the years and now included a spot for their 2021 Bay Series crown. They were even selling t-shirts that listed them as six-time champions with the Bay Series title being their sixth entry on said t-shirt.

From the Pacifics’ Facebook, I made the trek to the PECO website. It’s kind of like going from a place where you’re not sure what’s the truth to a barren wasteland of useless information. The 2021 standings were front and very off-center and um, well, that’s kind of weird. The Pacifics and Sturgeon both had fairly mediocre regular season records. Stranger things have happened though, maybe both teams got hot at the same time and surged to the finals of the PECO playoffs? Wait a minute, there are two images next to one another showing different brackets. Let’s investigate that further, shall we.

The first image, the tinier of the two on the left, is simply a bracket that says updated 08/09 (later inspection revealed they do update this picture and change the date accordingly). There are team graphics that show various matchups taking place and a finals section that has no teams in it yet. Neither the Pacifics nor Sturgeon are listed anywhere in this image. There’s no information within the actual picture itself to let anyone know what this bracket is for or why this image is even on the website.

The much larger picture on the right is also a bracket but this one has big bold graphics that say “2021 Pecos League The Bay Series California.” The Pacifics and Sturgeon are represented in this graphic via their logos, they do meet in the finals, and the bottom clearly lists the Pacifics as the champions. Okay, at the very least this is a start, I’m sure some digging around the rest of the website will shed some light on what these two images show.

There are game summaries, though most of them are blank and the ones that aren’t don’t say anything helpful. The headlines section would seem like a logical place to check, only it hasn’t been updated since the end of July and not a single one of the headlines is about the playoffs. The team news section is just a redundant area for more game summaries. Link after link takes our intrepid little investigation to nowhere helpful and in lieu of better info maybe the Pacifics are the 2021 PECO champions?

I take one last shot and fire up the Google search engine. There’s a lot of links that don’t really say anything, it’s not like many folks are reporting on PECO after all. Then, I come across this article from the Marin Independent Journal. In it, the author clearly states that yes, the Pacifics did win the 2021 PECO Bay Series title. It also states that the Bay Series was a consolation tournament for the four California-based PECO Teams who didn’t qualify for the 2021 PECO playoffs.

After all our research the conclusion we’ve reached is that the Pacifics are selling t-shirts and claiming a title for a consolation tournament, the PECO playoffs are still ongoing, the tiny image on the left of the PECO website with no distinct identifiers is the actual PECO playoff bracket, and the large image on the right that is clearly labeled is for a tournament for losing teams. An easy-to-navigate website, as opposed to a hellscape of misinformation and useless links, would have cleared all of this up. That’s not the PECO way though and that’s why they remain an absolute gem of unaffiliated baseball.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown San Rafael Pacifics Facebook

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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