West Virginia Power joins Atlantic League of Professional Baseball
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Power is returning to Charleston and joining the Atlantic League after losing its MLB affiliation last year.
Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin made the announcement Wednesday morning at Appalachian Power Park, along with the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau and the West Virginia Power.
“Baseball has a long history here in the city of Charleston and come May 28th, we will again begin the next chapter of Power Baseball and players will run on this field once again.”
The Power is now an independently-run organization for the first time in franchise history. This will allow for greater scheduling flexibility and other events to be held at Power Park.
“It is an investment in the players that are going to live in this community,” Goodwin said. “Yes, it is going to bring outstanding baseball players and outstanding baseball to watch. With this model we are going to be able to bring in more things. Concerts, exciting events, that atmosphere, that you see in other cities.”
The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) offers an open classification of play, the highest level of professional baseball other than Major League Baseball, according to the league. The Power will now join their former South Atlantic League Rival, the Lexington Legends. The Power and Legends replace the Somerset Patriots and Sugar Land Skeeters, who moved to the Professional Development League landscape as a part of MLB’s new 120-team professional development system.
The WV Power also announced that Andy Shea will take over as managingpartner & CEO of the ballclub. Jesse Scaglion has been named the club’s Chief Operating Officer. Tim Wilcox will stay on as a partner in the Power’s ownership group.
“We are very excited about joining the Atlantic League and bringing a significantly higher level of talent to the field. Off the field, we are delighted to expand on the affordable family fun at Appalachian Power Park,” Power Managing Partner & CEO Andy Shea said. “The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball is the premier MLB Partner League and we are sincerely grateful for the city of Charleston, state of West Virginia and Major League Baseball for helping make this happen. This day is truly great for professional baseball in Charleston.”
Shea said fan favorite events, including Thirsty Thursday and fireworks, will return this season. He is hoping to build on the relationship the team already has with the community to have additional theme nights.
Fans will also see players with a connection to the area, Shea said. Being an independent team allows them to individually recruit players who took the field for Marshall or West Virginia University in college.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Power to the Atlantic League and to play a part in the baseball heritage of a community that has passionately supported baseball,” Atlantic League President Rick White said. “We are privileged to play in West Virginia’s capital city and congratulate the Power organization and all their fans. We look forward to the competitive play the Power will bring to the Atlantic League.”
“We explored many options after we did not receive an affiliate invitation to remain a part of affiliated Minor League Baseball. It was pretty clear from the start that the ALPB was the best choice for us,” Power General Manager Jeremy Taylor said. “We can still provide our fans with incredible baseball on the field, as well as creative and innovative promotions throughout the evening. The 2021 season will be different, but we are excited about this new chapter of Power baseball.”
“I am thrilled that baseball will rightfully be back in Charleston,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said. “America’s pastime is West Virginia’s too, and everyone who played a part in ensuring the team remained a part of our community here should be commended and congratulated. I’m looking forward to taking in some Atlantic League action in person this summer!”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says, “West Virginia Power has given West Virginia families countless hours of entertainment and family time, and I am incredibly pleased that these time honored traditions will continue on in Charleston. Since November 2019, I’ve fought to save our baseball teams across the state and I am pleased that every team has found a league to call home. I am proud of the resiliency of the team and coaches and truly believe that the Atlantic League will give West Virginia Power the opportunity to grow and thrive. I look forward to seeing our team play at the Appalachian Power Park again soon.”
The West Virginia High School Baseball Tournament will also be played at Appalachian Power Park the last week of June. The Atlantic League worked with Power Park to ensure this could happen.
The Power will have its home opener on May 28, and expect to announce its roster in the coming weeks.
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