From Rich Baseball Operations:
Professional Baseball is coming to Morgantown, WV
Rich Baseball Operations partners with West Virginia University to bring NY-Penn League Baseball to Morgantown in 2015
August 25, 2014 – Professional baseball has found a new home in Morgantown, West Virginia starting in 2015. Rich Baseball Operations today announced the relocation of its short-season Class-A New York-Penn League franchise to the City.
Professional affiliated baseball in Morgantown represents an exciting new partnership between Rich Baseball Operations and West Virginia University. The team, which will serve as the Class-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and compete from mid-June through Labor Day each summer, will play their home games in the new baseball complex currently under construction for West Virginia University’s intercollegiate Big XII baseball program.
“We’re extremely excited to find a state-of-the-art home for our team here in Morgantown, West Virginia and to partner with everyone at West Virginia University,” said Bob Rich, Chairman of Rich Products Corporation and Owner of the Team.
“With the Mountaineers in the Big 12 Conference and the construction of this great new facility, it’s a tremendous opportunity to bring our fun and exciting brand of minor league baseball to the fans of Morgantown and Monongalia County,” said Mindy Rich, President of Rich Entertainment Group.
Rich Products Corporation is a privately-owned multi-national food service and entertainment company based in Buffalo, New York.
“On behalf of West Virginia University, we’re delighted to have Rich Baseball as part of the sports fabric of West Virginia,” said Oliver Luck, Athletic Director of West Virginia University. “We’re looking forward to a long and productive relationship.”
Known throughout the baseball industry for innovation and dedication to the fan experience, Rich Baseball Operations has won three Baseball America Bob Freitas Awards for having minor league baseball’s top operation as well as the 1992 John H. Johnson President’s Trophy for the best managed franchise. Rich Baseball owns and operates the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons and the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals and has owned the NY-Penn league franchise since the 1989 season.
As the Class-A affiliate of the Pirates, Morgantown baseball will give their fans the very first glimpse of Pittsburgh’s future stars. Before the top prospects appear for the Pirates, they’ll play in Morgantown just 70 miles away from PNC Park.
“The Pirates are thrilled to be affiliated with the new partnership between West Virginia University and Bob and Mindy Rich,” said Robert Nutting, Principle Owner and Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Pirates. “The Nutting family has a long history with WVU and we are delighted to continue our relationship with the Rich Family, Jonathan Dandes and their outstanding business team. We look forward to Pirates’ fans having access to the beautiful WVU campus and first class ballpark, as well as having the opportunity to see the Pirates of tomorrow begin their professional careers in Morgantown.”
The team will hold a ‘naming contest’ for fans to help with the selection of the club’s new moniker during the Fall of 2014. Fans interested in finding out more information on the team should visit MorgantownProBaseball.com or follow the team on facebook (/MorgantownBaseball) and twitter (@MorgantownBall). To be added to a mailing list for ticket information when available, fans can email the team at MorgantownBaseball@gmail.com.
From New York-Penn League:
New York-Penn League Baseball Coming to Morgantown in 2015
Existing Jamestown Franchise to Move to New, State-of-the-Art Facility
Morgantown, West Virginia –August 25, 2014 – The New York-Penn League announced that their existing Jamestown, New York franchise will relocate to Morgantown, West Virginia for the 2015 season, subject to review and approval by the NYPL, MiLB and the Commissioner’s Office. The Class A – Short Season professional baseball league plays a 76-game season from mid-June through early-September. This abbreviated schedule allows a New York-Penn League franchise to share a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility with the West Virginia Mountaineers baseball team.
“The New York-Penn League is thrilled to announce that we will be brining a professional baseball franchise to Morgantown, West Virginia for the 2015 season,” said New York-Penn League President Ben Hayes. “The NYPL is already established as one of the premier leagues in all of Minor League Baseball, and by adding the community of Morgantown, and the top-notch facility that will be shared with West Virginia Athletics, we know that our league will reach all-new levels of success. We would also like to thank the community of Jamestown for being such an integral part of the New York-Penn League since its inception in 1939 and for being proving ground for future hall-of-famers like Randy Johnson and for current big league stars like Giancarlo Stanton. ”
The yet-to-be-built ballpark will be located in the University Town Centre development, and will overlook the city of Morgantown and West Virginia University from the bluff above Monongahela River. The facility will also be the home of the WVU Mountaineers’ baseball team, a member of the NCAA Division I – Big 12 Conference, as well as a New York-Penn League franchise affiliated with a Major League Baseball club. Five New York-Penn League clubs currently share facilities with colleges and universities, including the New York-Penn League’s State College franchise. The team is affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals and manages and maintains the facility it shares with the Penn State Nittany Lions’ baseball team, a member of the NCAA Division I – Big 10 Conference.
Ground was officially broken for the new 2,500-seat ballpark on October 17, 2103.