We will indeed have a rookie-level Appalachian League team in Pulaski next season, as the New York Yankees are taking over the affiliation for the former Seattle Mariners farm team.
No final name has been chosen, though it’s possible the team will end up as the Pulaski Yankees in proud Appy League tradition. Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on hand today to make the announcement. As you’ll recall, the owners of the Pulaski Mariners decided to retire and sell the team, while the city was looking to sell WPA-era Calfee Park — two actions that triggered a decision by the Seattle Mariners to pull from the circuit.
Interestingly, things could actually be a whole lot better for Pulaski baseball fan next season; they went from an unsure future to a situation where the Yankees — and former greats lile Reggie Jackson — are in town, playing at a renovated ballpark. 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. From the Roanoke Times:
The switch in teams is part of near-total overhaul of Pulaski baseball. Earlier this year, David Hagan and Larry Shelor, heads of the Christiansburg-based Shelor Automotive Group, bought the Appalachian League affiliation associated with Calfee Park. Last week, town council approved the sale of Calfee Park itself to Hagan and Shelor, although a final vote – moved up from Sept. 16 to tonight – is needed to OK a final contract.
“Pulaski Yankees has a nice ring to it,” Hagan said this afternoon.
Seattle has been Pulaski’s parent since the 2007 season.
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