COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WWBT) - A Coastal Plains League baseball team will call the Tri-Cities home beginning in 2020. The deal between the city of Colonial Heights and the team’s ownership group, the Collegiate Baseball Experience, was officially announced during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at Shepherd Stadium.
The team will begin play in the spring of 2020 and will play home games at Shepherd Stadium for three years. A 52-game schedule will grace the squad’s calendar during each season, with 26 of those contest on its home field.
The Coastal Plains League is a wooden bat collegiate summer league that features 16 teams from Virginia to Georgia. It has seen players such as Justin Verlander and Ryan Zimmerman take the field for its clubs. Fans will be able to get a look at some of the best up and coming baseball players throughout the country.
“You’re going to see some of the best players in the country,” said the Collegiate Baseball Experience’s founder, Chris Martin. “We’ve already agreed to contracts with players from Virginia Tech, Coastal Carolina, local teams like VCU, JMU, William and Mary, Radford, U of R, all those schools locally and a lot of them are local players, so you’re going to get some of the best players in the country some of who have played out of Colonial Heights or Prince George and the local surrounding counties. You’re going to see the best of the best out here”
Martin and city officials also stressed that the team would identify with the community.
“We plan on hopefully participating in the hospitals, hopefully going up there with our mascots, being a real big part of the community. It’s important to us.”
Shepherd Stadium will undergo a few changes to prepare for its new tenants. The outfield walls will be padded, safety netting will be extended and the fences down the lines in the outfield will be brought in to decrease the amount of foul territory.
As for a team name, ownership is looking to the public to help with that. Fans can take part in a name competition and the winner will be selected from public suggestions. You can take part and learn more at http://www.tricitiesbaseball2020.com.
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