The Pulaski Yankees (rookie; Appalachian League) unveiled a logo and plans for upgrades to historic Calfee Park for the 2015 season.
As you’ll recall, there was some concern in the city about the possible loss of pro baseball when the owners of the Pulaski Mariners announced they were retiring and the Mariners pulled out of the Appy League. But the situation changed dramatically: we have new owners (David Hagan and Larry Shelor), a new parent (New York Yankees), a new team name and a new lease on life for WPA-era Calfee Park. That momentum carried over to a press event yesterday where new team owners announced renovation plans for the historic ballpark as well as unveiling Yankees-related marks. From the Roanoke Times:
When completed on May 1, the ballpark’s seating will be increased by 300 seats to approximately 2,500. Reserve seating featuring chairbacks and cupholders will run down the first-base line where bleachers once were, and those bleachers will be reinstalled along the third-base line, where bare concrete steps used to be. Eight additional boxes will rise above the boxes currently behind home plate, and above those boxes will be a new VIP area and multi-tiered press box.
New clubhouses for the home team and the visitors, a permanent concession stand and more restrooms are on the way as well. Parking will be vastly increased as well with four new lots, including a park and ride lot about a quarter-mile from the park.
But the stadium’s best feature came to fruition after a bet Hagan made with his son Matt in November. As they flew out to Pomona, California, for the final event of Matt ’s NHRA season, the younger Hagan made a deal with his father that should he win the Mello Yello Series championship, the his dad would have to spring for a new Jumbotron for Calfee Park.
He won … and he did.