Appalachian League changes mean new team names

The first domino in the long-anticipated changes to affiliated Minor League Baseball has fallen, and the result will be 10 new team brands. The Appalachian League, whose teams have been affiliated with Major League Baseball parent clubs since 1911, will become an independent collegiate summer wood bat league.

All 10 of the Appy League’s 10 teams were an increasingly rare phenomenon in minor league ball, farm teams name for their parent clubs. With that affiliation now severed, the former rookie-level Bluefield Blue Jays, Bristol Pirates, Burlington Royals, Danville Braves, Elizabethton Twins, Greeneville Reds, Johnson City Cardinals, Kingsport Mets, Princeton Rays, and Pulaski Yankees will need new, unique names.

Per the league, “Each of the 10 teams in the Appalachian League have decided to undertake a process for changing their names and logos to incorporate symbols and images important to their respective local communities, to be adopted before the 2021 season.”

Today’s announcement about the new format was made jointly by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.