MISSOULA, Mont. -- The Missoula Osprey and Arizona Diamondbacks have announced today that the two have agreed upon a four-year extension of their current Player Development Contract (PDC), which will keep the two teams affiliated until at least through the 2020 season. The current agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2016 season.
This affiliation relationship is the second longest current consecutive tenure in the Pioneer League behind only the Billings Mustangs and Cincinnati Reds affiliation agreement. The Osprey franchise, which moved to Missoula from Lethbridge, Alberta in 1999, has been affiliated with the D-backs since the 1996 season -- one year before Arizona began to play Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise.
"The Osprey and Diamondbacks have a very strong partnership. We share philosophies of developing quality players on and off the field and the importance of community involvement through our players and franchises," explained Matt Ellis, Osprey Executive Vice President. "We feel that given the entirety of the relationship, that we have the best Major League affiliate partner in baseball for our franchise, our fans, and our community. Knowing and believing that fact makes extending early not only ideal but a priority for our franchise. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the Diamondbacks and look forward to continuing this relationship through the rest of the decade."
Over the years, the Missoula Osprey and Arizona Diamondbacks have combined to develop 45 former Osprey players into Major League ballplayers. Some the of the current stars playing in the Major Leagues that wore an Osprey uniform include: Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona), Chris Owings (Arizona), Miguel Montero (Arizona), Gerardo Parra (Arizona), Chase Anderson (Arizona), Ender Inciarte (Arizona), Eury De La Rosa (Arizona), Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado), Jorge De La Rosa (Colorado), Emilio Bonifacio (Cubs), Lyle Overbay (Milwaukee), Bryan Shaw (Cleveland), Adam Eaton (White Sox), Sergio Santos (Toronto), Scott Hairston (Washington) and Jarrod Parker (Oakland).
"The Arizona Diamondbacks are thrilled to extend our PDC with the Missoula Osprey," said Mike Bell, Director of Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks. "It is important for us to partner with affiliates that understand development and care about our players. The Ellis family understands the game and knows how to create a perfect development environment. Furthermore, the fans in Missoula are knowledgeable and supportive of our young players and are a major reason we were quick to extend our PDC. Osprey alumni speak of their experience in Missoula for the rest of their careers. We would like to thank the community for making us feel so welcome."
On the field, the Missoula Osprey have won the Pioneer League Championship three times (1999, 2006, & 2012) and have made the playoffs six times, including three of the last five seasons.
The Osprey return home today, Wednesday July 16 to open a seven game homestand -- three games against the Grand Junction Rockies followed by four games against the Orem Owlz. There are lots of hot promotions remaining this season. For more on promotions please visit MissoulaOsprey.com. Tickets are available at the MSO Hub Box Office, located at 140 North Higgins in Downtown Missoula, online at MissoulaOsprey.com and by phone (406) 543-3300.