Piney Woods refers to an East Texas region that is primarily a thick forest of pines and is part of a larger forest that extends into Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
“We are thrilled to have a franchise in White Oak that represents the entire East Texas region,” said Matt Perry, President of the Mid America League, via press statement. “The East Texas region has produced some of the best baseball players in the State of Texas and we are excited to bring baseball back to East Texas after a long absence.”
The Piney Woods franchise will be led by David Upchurch. Upchurch, a former 19th-round draft pick in 1994 for the Kansas City Royals, will be president and part owner of the Piney Woods franchise.
“I am thrilled and humbled at the opportunity to bring premier development baseball back to the East Texas region,” Upchurch said via press release.
After his playing career in the Royals system, David parlayed his experience in professional sports to the amateur sports of baseball, football, basketball and cross-country track for the past 24 years. David is the co-owner and president of Red Dirt Baseball, which teaches and trains young athletes to prepare for the next step in their career whether it be in college or the professional ranks.
Mid America League teams will play 68 regular season games (34 games on the road and 34 games at home) from late May through early August, followed by playoffs to determine a league champion. Teams will be comprised of the best college players in the country alongside select, non-college players who are pursuing their dream to play for a Major League organization. Further, the league will institute a Name, Image and Likeness program for players to earn income for approved services while playing in White Oak.
The Piney Woods team will play its home games at White Oak Baseball Stadium. The Stadium went through an impressive renovation in 2014 including upgraded seating options, concessions, playing surface and locker rooms.
Fans interested in participating in the “Name the Team” contest can check out http://midamericaleague.com/pineywoods.
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