MORGANTOWN, W.Va (RELEASE)–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 XII 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).