Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 7, 2010

MORNING UPDATE: Blue Jays fly into Bluefield to replace the Orioles

BLUEFIELD — A bird of a different feather has flown into Bluefield.

The Bluefield Baseball Club made it official on Tuesday morning, introducing the Toronto Blue Jays as the newest affiliate for Bluefield’s Appalachian League baseball team.

Toronto, which was in Pulaski from 2005-06, will replace the Baltimore Orioles as the newest tenant at Bowen Field, and will begin play in June of 2011.

Baltimore, which had been in Bluefield for 53 years, played its final game on Aug. 31.

The Blue Jays, led by Charlie Wilson — Toronto’s director of minor league operations — have committed more resources to scouting and development since Alex Anthopoulos was hired as general manager last October.

Among those change, according to Wilson, was working to get back into the Appalachian League, and the Blue Jays wasted little time inquiring about the opening in Bluefield when it became available.

In addition to Wilson, other Toronto representatives in Bluefield on Tuesday for a early morning press conference at Bowen Field were manager Dennis Holmberg, field coordinator Doug Davis, and Pat Hentgen, a former Cy Young Award winner with the Blue Jays, who is now a pitching instructor with the organization.

For more on the Blue Jays, see Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph.

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