BLUEFIELD, VA (WVNS)– Back in November of 2019, Major League Baseball announced it was considering eliminating more than 40 of the 160 minor league teams. That would include the Princeton Rays and the Bluefield Blue Jays in southern West Virginia.
On Friday, Feb. 22, 2020, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito took a tour of the Blue Jays facilities. She said since the announcement, lawmakers have been fighting to keep all the teams in the cities they call home.
“To try and say wait a minute this is a great enhancement to life, to the sport, to the business community here. $25 million a year to these communities,” Captio said. “And I want to have Major League kind of stop and really assess what they are doing here and look at the impacts.”
Capito said she, along with the other Senators, are working on a resolution to have in front of the Senate within the next 10 days. She said along with economic impacts, having two teams in Mercer County and one in Charleston allows tourist to visit and see the beauty of the mountain state.
“Exposure to baseball, exposure to America’s past time,” Capito said. “Summer league play is so much fun for families to come and watch a great sport in a place you love. It’s cut right in here into the mountains.”
Bluefield Blue Jays General Manager Rocky Malamisura said having the support from not only the community, but by the Senators is amazing.
“She understands the value to family life, culture of life, affordability and the economic value of the minor league system, especially in Mercer County where we have two minor league teams,” Malamisura said.
Capito said she talked to the MLB and she discussed the concerns of the community.