South Coast League
The South Coast League of Professional Baseball, based in Bluffton, SC, was an independent league based in the southeastern United States that began play in 2007. The South Georgia Peanuts won the league title in its inaugural season. After featuring six clubs in its first year, the league planned to operate with four teams in 2008, but announced its suspension on March 31. It hoped to return in 2009 with a slate of six teams, but it never did.
The league was formed in October of 2005. In a press release in October, league CEO Jamie Toole, a former Carolina League executive with a number of teams, cited the desire to field professional baseball teams in municipalities that lacked access to professional baseball. Also running the league is their COO Chris Allen, who previously worked in the upper management group of the Salem Avalanche in the Carolina League.
In the initial years, the league itself will act as owners of the individual teams until local ownership groups can be found. As Allen explained, it was important to "establish our product prior to individual/private ownership taking control of the operation."
The league made an initial public offering in October of 2005.
The South Georgia Peanuts, first half champions, defeated the Macon Music, winners of the second half title, in a best-of-three series to capture the league's inaugural crown. First baseman Scott Robinson of Macon hit .338 with 11 homers and 67 RBIs and was named Most Outstanding Hitter, while Brian Gartley of the Bradenton Juice went 10-3 with 96 strikeouts to win the Most Outstanding Pitcher award. Skipper Wally Backman of the Peanuts was selected as Manager of the Year.
|First Half||Second Half|
|South Georgia Peanuts||33||11||.750||--||Wally Backman||Macon Music||28||16||.636||--||Phil Plantier|
|Macon Music||30||15||.667||3.5||Phil Plantier||South Georgia Peanuts||26||17||.605||1.5||Wally Backman|
|Bradenton Juice||24||20||.545||9||James Frisbie||Anderson Joes||24||20||.545||4||Desi Wilson; Kash Beauchamp|
|Aiken Foxhounds||22||23||.489||11.5||Chris Bando||Bradenton Juice||23||22||.511||5.5||James Frisbie|
|Anderson Joes||13||32||.289||20.5||Desi Wilson||Aiken Foxhounds||19||25||.432||9||Chris Bando|
|Charlotte County Redfish||12||33||.267||21.5||Jackie Hernandez; Cecil Fielder||Charlotte County Redfish||12||32||.273||16||Cecil Fielder|
- South Georgia defeated Macon 2 games to 1
On March 31, 2008, the League office issued an announcement that it was suspending operations as of April 1, citing an inability to "close on a sufficient amount of debt and equity financing to ensure a successful 2008 season". While the statement claimed that it planned to resume operations in 2009, this did not prove possible.