WVPA Sharing

U.S. Sen. Manchin applauds Morgantown Black Bears inclusion MLB Draft League

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, today applauded the Major League Baseball (MLB), USA Baseball and MLB Draft League decision to transition the Morgantown Black Bears into the MLB Draft League.

This follows a September announcement that Bluefield and Princeton will be joining the rest of the Appalachian League in the MLB Prospect Development Pipeline.

“Today’s announcement is wonderful news for the Morgantown Black Bears who provide so many West Virginians with entertainment, family time and foster a love of the American pastime. Supporting our baseball teams has been a priority of mine and I’m pleased to hear we’ll have another MLB affiliated team here in the Mountain State. As the Black Bears transition to the new MLB Draft League, I will continue to stay committed to ensuring that baseball stays in Morgantown. I look forward to seeing the Black Bears thrive in the years to come,” said Manchin.

“Today’s announcement is wonderful news for the Morgantown Black Bears who provide so many West Virginians with entertainment, family time and foster a love of the American pastime. Supporting our baseball teams has been a priority of mine and I’m pleased to hear we’ll have another MLB affiliated team here in the Mountain State. As the Black Bears transition to the new MLB Draft League, I will continue to stay committed to ensuring that baseball stays in Morgantown. I look forward to seeing the Black Bears thrive in the years to come,” said Manchin.

In September, Manchin praised the Major League Baseball (MLB), USA Baseball, and Appalachian League decision to reformat the Appalachian League to become part of the Prospect Development Pipeline.

In November 2019, Manchin vowed to find a solution to save West Virginia’s minor league teams after Major League Baseball considered eliminating teams in West Virginia.

“After months of conversations with Major League Baseball, USA Baseball, and the Appalachian League, I am pleased by this agreement to bring the Appalachian League into the Prospect Development Pipeline. This collaboration will directly benefit our two Appalachian League teams in Bluefield and Princeton, which provide many West Virginians with entertainment and family time and foster a love of the American pastime,” said Manchin. “Through this new arrangement, our communities will host the premier baseball players in the country, giving West Virginians a chance to see baseball’s future stars before they reach the big leagues. I am committed to ensuring the future of all of West Virginia’s minor league teams, and I will work with everyone involved to ensure these teams receive the support they need to succeed during this transition and look forward to seeing top talent play in the Mountain State for many years to come.”

The Prospect Development Pipeline (“PDP”), the collaborative effort between MLB and USA Baseball that establishes a player development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States, will be an integral part of the identification and development process for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and other future national teams. Appalachian League participants will receive extensive visibility to MLB Club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology. Players will receive instruction from former MLB players and educational programming designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes.

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