The Appalachian League will launch later this year as a summer-collegiate league overseen by MLB and USA Baseball. The teams will all undergo rebranding and transition from MLB team ownership to local control. The Danville Braves were the previous Appy League entry, owned and operated by the Atlanta Braves.
A Danville team will be the second Appy League team with Ryan Keur involved; he also controls the Burlington team in the circuit. While leading the Daytona Tortugas (Class A; Florida State League), Keur was our 2017 Executive of the Year. (There is a little symmetry involved here; the Burlington ballpark, Burlington Athletic Park, originally was installed in Danville and was moved to Burlington in 1959 after the minor-league Danville Leafs folded. Mark Cryan tells the story in his Cradle of the Game book; a third edition is scheduled for this spring once the dust settles in the MiLB reorganization.)
“We are thrilled to enhance our investment into the Appalachian League and usher in this new era of baseball within the Danville community,” said Ryan Keur via press release. “Over the past several months, we have had many conversations with local stakeholders, city leaders, business leaders, and the reception has been nothing short of amazing.”
“I’m glad that Danville is going to continue to have high-quality baseball for our citizens and visitors to enjoy,” said City Manager Ken Larking via press release.
The new team’s focus is on preserving the rich history Danville has with baseball and engaging the community with exciting experiences. “We are so proud to be able to not only preserve baseball in Danville but to see it flourish for years. The best is yet to come—the staff that we are going to put in place will ensure an incredible family-friendly and affordable experience for all members of the community to enjoy,” Keur said.
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