The collegiate wood bat Appalachian League resumed its flurry of new brand announcements this morning with the unveiling of the Bluefield Ridge Runners, named for a historic train. Per the team:
“The new Ridge Runners name of the team is reflective of the rich railroad history of the Bluefield area. Bowen Field at Peters Park straddles the state line of Virginia and West Virginia as did the original namesake of the team. The original Ridge Runner in 1964 circumnavigated a one-mile loop atop East River Mountain, half in Virginia and half in West Virginia. The little train now resides just outside the right field wall of Bowen Field. On warm summer days, you can see and hear the excited passengers as the train makes its loop throughout Lottio Park.”
The Ridge Runners continue a tradition of train-themed baseball brands, following in the tracks of the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Railriders, Round Rock Express, and Hartford Yard Goats, to name a few.
All ten teams in the Appalachian League are rebranding after switching from a rookie-level affiliated league to a collegiate summer wood bat league. The new-look teams will debut June 3.