BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – When the 2021 Appalachian League season begins in June, it will be the Bluefield Ridge Runners playing at Bowen Field.
After many decades as a Minor League Baseball affiliate league, the league’s 10 teams will now operate for college players in a partnership also involving USA Baseball & Major League Baseball. It’s only the second time that Bluefield’s team name has not been determined by a parent club.
The new logo and team name is inspired by the “Ridge Runner” train that used to be located on top of East River Mountain, situated in both West Virginia & Virginia. The train is now located at Lotito City Park, just beyond the outfield in Bowen Field. General Manager Rocky Malamisura says there will be a “Name the Mascot” contest beginning in a few weeks.
Club managers are making plans in anticipation of fans being allowed to attend games, and merchandise sales are expected to begin soon.
The Ridge Runners are scheduled to open the 2021 season June 3 at the Kingsport Axmen, with the home opener slated for June 5 against the Greeneville Flyboys. As of Tuesday, Princeton and Danville are the only remaining teams yet to announce their new identities and logos.