With the sale of Calfee Park and the Seattle Mariners ending their affiliation with the Pulaski Mariners (rookie; Appalachian League), the immediate future of pro baseball in the city is in doubt.
David Hagan and Larry Shelor of the Christiansburg-based Shelor Automotive Group are buying the ballpark for $1 million and plan on spending $2 million more on ballpark improvements, as well as another million or more on an extended-stay facility for ballplayers in downtown Pulaski. The pair has a history of restoring older facilities in the area and are working with an architect with expertise in older buildings to restore the WPA-era ballpark.
Still, Hagan and Shelor want to see Appalachian League baseball return to Pulaski (technically, the sale of the ballpark won’t close until a final purchase agreement is completed_, and they’ve been talking to several Major League Baseball teams about a new affiliation. But the work may not be done in time to entice a new parent for the Appy League team, which means it could be 2016 until pro baseball returns to Calfee Park. From the Roanoke Times:
Hagan said he is confident that a new team will come to Calfee Park – but an agreement might not be struck in time for next year’s season, he warned.
“It’s like anything … There’s always a possibility there won’t be baseball next year,” Hagan said….
The park’s press box is slated to be torn down and replaced, locker rooms are to be upgraded, and parking and concessions are to be improved, he said. Some of the park’s seating also will be upgraded, he said.
Seattle has been Pulaski’s parent since the 2007 season.
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