BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — Baseball will officially be back in Bluefield this summer, thanks to the Appalachian League teaming up with USA Baseball. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 the Bluefield Blue Jays unveiled their new name, the Bluefield Ridge Runners.
Back in 1964, the train outside Bowen Field crossed the line of East River Mountain in both Virginia and West Virginia. With the rich railroad and coal mining history in the area, General Manager of the Bluefield Ridge Runners, Rocky Malamisura, said this name is the perfect fit for the team.
“The little train just became the symbol of the region. We thought it was going to be a great honor for our heritage to name it the Ridge Runners,” Malamisura said.
Since October 2019, the future of baseball in Bluefield was unknown. Malamisura said if it was not for the congressmen and women fighting to keep teams playing in West Virginia, he does not know if they would still be chugging along.
“Our local legislators or state legislators to make their voices known to MLB that we wanted baseball and we would support baseball. They really went to bat for us pun intended,” Malamisura said.
After the announcement of the return of baseball, City Attorney for Bluefield, Colin Cline, said they are just excited for the summer to arrive and get back to America’s past time.
“Like everybody else, I’m looking forward to human beings gathering together again and especially for baseball games, there is no better way to spend a summer evening than sitting at the ball park watching a ball game, enjoying a beverage and hotdog and just watching some good clean fun,” Cline said.
Malamusira said while the Mercer Cup is now being retired, once the Princeton baseball team announces their new name, they will also announce a new form of the Mercer Cup.