We have personnel news to report from the Greeneville Reds (Rookie; Appalachian League) and the West Virginia Power (Low A; Sally League).
In Greeneville, Boyd Sports has announced the appointment of Robert Willis as the Reds new Assistant General Manager.
Willis is entering his first year as Assistant General Manager with the Greeneville Reds as he has spent the previous three seasons with the Hickory Crawdads (Low A; Sally League). Willis served as a Group Sales Executive for one season and two as the Director of Group Sales in Hickory.
“I am extremely excited to join the Greeneville Reds as the Assistant General Manager,” added Willis. “I want to thank Boyd Sports and most importantly the Greeneville Reds General Manager, Kristen Atwell, for giving me this opportunity. Having experience with three previous minor league teams I am eager to jump on board and bring ideas and tactics to help make the Greeneville Reds the best team in the Appalachian League.”
Willis attended Clemson University where he received his B.A. with a degree in History from Clemson University, and received his Master’s in Sport and Entertainment Management from the University of South Carolina. Willis is a native of New York.
“I am very excited to welcome Robby aboard as our Assistant General Manager here at Pioneer Park,” stated Greeneville Reds General Manager, Kristen Atwell. “His personality and sales experience will be a great asset to our organization here in Greeneville. We foresee a very successful season this year.”
The Power have announced that Rod Blackstone, best known in the baseball world as The Toastman, has been named the new Director of Fun. Blackstone recently completed his responsibilities as the Deputy Mayor of Charleston under Mayor Danny Jones.
“The All-Star Game and our new affiliation with the Seattle Mariners mean that 2019 will be a season of tremendous promise and some important transitions,” Power Managing Partner Tim Wilcox said. “With Rod’s unlimited enthusiasm for Power baseball, his connections throughout our community and understanding about how fun minor league baseball can be, his experience and positive attitude will make a difference for us.”
Blackstone became a free agent earlier this month when Mayor Jones retired after four terms. He will serve as a consultant for the front office staff to work on plans for the SAL All-Star Game, help build the team’s sponsorship base, improve connections with fans, businesses and organizations and try to make the ballpark experience more fun and memorable for anyone who comes to Appalachian Power Park. On game days, he will still be found leading cheers, making toast, plotting other ways to distract opponents and joining the fun with fans in and around the Toast Section and Rowdy Alley.
“Rod was a tremendous asset to the City of Charleston during his tenure in local government,” added General Manager Tim Mueller. “And certainly, he has been invaluable to our franchise. No one engages fans in the fun of the ballpark better or shares a more contagious joy for minor league baseball in the stands and beyond. We are excited to see that enthusiasm excel and thrive within our front office.”
“I’ve always been very serious about how much fun it is to be at a Power game with family and friends,” Blackstone said, “I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to make the future of Power baseball more fun, more vibrant and more financially secure. This is a great opportunity for me to help write a new chapter in the history of the West Virginia Power and build a bright future for professional baseball in my city.”