In a predictable move, the State College Spikes (short season A; NY-Penn League) and the Pittsburgh Pirates extended their player-development deal for two more years.
“We are very pleased to continue our affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said Spikes GM Jason Dambach. “We remain firm in our commitment to provide their players, coaches and other player development staff with Major League-quality facilities and a healthy environment in which the young players can develop their skills as professionals both at the ballpark and in the community.”
“We are pleased to be able to extend what has been a highly productive partnership with the Spikes and to have our young players continue to play in front of the passionate baseball fans of Central Pennsylvania,” said Coonelly.
The Spikes played their inaugural 2006 season as an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals before signing a four-year Player Development Contract with Pittsburgh prior to the 2007 campaign. The Spikes immediately adopted the slogan “The Bucs Start Here” representing the fact that State College is the first step in any Pirate minor leaguer’s journey to Pittsburgh. The slogan also serves as a metaphor for a young deer (Spike) who has yet to grow its full set of antlers before becoming a buck.
“The direction in which Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntington, Kyle Stark and the entire scouting and player development staff of the Pirates have the Minor League system going is very encouraging, especially considering the money and other resources they have invested in the amateur Draft and on international free agents the past three years,” Dambach added.
“The Pirates have also been terrific community partners with the Spikes,” Dambach said. “Through their outstanding Community Commitment Program, which has resulted in our players performing over 150 hours of charity work and other community outreach throughout our region this summer, we are better able to give back to the residents of Central Pennsylvania who have been so supportive and contributed to the success of our franchise.”
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