West Coast League adds Kamloops Northpaws

The Kamloops Northpaws will be the 14th team in the quickly expanding collegiate summer level West Coast League in 2021. The team was introduced this week in the town of Kamloops, British Columbia, about 350 kilometers northeast of Vancouver.

The nickname is a play off the baseball term “southpaw,” a nickname for lefthanded pitchers. That nickname derives from the fact that baseball fields traditionally face east so that the setting sun does not interfere with the batter’s vision. That field orientation results in pitchers facing west, which puts their left hand south and their right hand north.

Being that they’re one of four Canadian teams in the West Coast League, the franchise in Kamloops felt a different take on the term was appropriate.

“The Northpaw — we like the name,” said team co-owner Jon Pankuch, quoted in CFJC Today. “Originally was a take on a righthhanded versus a southpaw (left-hander), and being a little play on a team north of the border that plays in a league primarily with United States teams.”

The Northpaws will debut in 2021 with a 54-game schedule in June, July, and August.