Saturday, July 9, 2016

Appalachian League Trip

There are two rookie leagues in minor league baseball, namely the Pioneer League with eight teams in and around Montana and Utah and the Appalachian League with ten teams mostly in Tennessee and Virginia. These are considered to be slightly below short-season A ball (Northwest and New York Penn Leagues) but all four circuits play abbreviated seasons that start in mid-June after the draft. I haven't seen many of these ballparks because their seasons are so short and the towns relatively remote. Last year, I added three Appy League parks to my total, leaving seven to go. I've decided to visit them all later this month to complete the league, as I'll make a stop in nearby Charleston to see the West Virginia Power of the South Atlantic League, who play in Appalachian Power Park thus keeping with the theme of the trip. The full schedule for the trip is below:
Wed, Jul 13 Bristol Pirates at Kingsport Mets 7:00 
Thu, Jul 14 Augusta GreenJackets at West Virginia Power 7:05
Fri, Jul 15 Princeton Rays at Bluefield Blue Jays 7:05
Sat, Jul 16 Elizabethton Twins at Princeton Rays 7:00
Sun, Jul 17 Danville Braves at Bristol Pirates 6:00
Mon, Jul 18 Bluefield Blue Jays at Greeneville Astros 7:00
Tue, Jul 19 Greeneville Astros at Johnson City Cardinals 7:00
Wed, Jul 20 Kingsport Mets at Elizabethton Twins 7:00 
Note that the pronunciation of Appalachian differs depending on who you ask. Some (mostly locals as I understand) use the short a (rhymes with fashion), while others use the long a (rhymes with nation). I'd be interested if anybody can tell me which is correct, or if both are accepted. Anyway, recaps of each ballpark and game will be posted here, so keep checking back.



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