Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 9, 2014

Bluefield has sent players to the majors — with mixed success

BLUEFIELD — Literally thousands of athletes have arrived as prospects since professional baseball began in Bluefield in 1937, but only a select few have ever reached the major leagues.

Some became immortals (Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr.), while others were perennial All-Stars (Don Baylor, Bobby Grich). At least one manager won a World Series, while another became a highly successful general manager.

There were also several lesser known Bluefield Orioles who at least tasted the major leagues, including Napoleon Calzado, who was 1-for-5 in four games with Baltimore in 2005, Drungo Hazewood, who was 0-for-5 in six games in 1980 and Mike Darr, who pitched one game during Toronto’s inaugural season, posting a 33.75 ERA in a losing effort.

Professional baseball has been played in Bluefield since 1937, with the exception of 1956. That is 86 years of baseball, and counting.

The 2014 Appalachian League season will begin for the Bluefield Blue Jays on Thursday, June 19, against the Johnson City Cardinals at Bowen Field.

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