The new Appalachian League: Community-based with new logos, faces, and teams in traditional cities
Major and Minor League Baseball made it official on Tuesday—the complete overhaul of the Appalachian League scheduled for 2021.
The new format is built with a relationship with USA Baseball will have 320 of the top college freshman and sophomores sent to 10 teams based in Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina for development while keeping the tradition of making baseball a part of that community’s summertime.
The league will have a 14-member steering committee that includes Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin who has led the Commodores to multiple trips to the College World Series and the 2019 national championship.
The teams in each city will have new names and logos that will be comprised of symbols and images important to those communities. The teams will play in a 54-game schedule and an all-star game is planned for the league, according to the MLB report.
Appalachian League President Dan Moushon said the fears shared by cities of potentially losing an economic driver such as minor league baseball were put to rest with the new format.
“It was really refreshing. You’re meeting with the town manager or the city’s mayor and they’re hearing this for the first time and thinking, ‘Uh-oh, we might be losing baseball,’ but in reality, what they heard was something much different and much more exciting. It was very well received by all 10 communities,” he said.