Baseball’s back!

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – After being cut from Minor League Baseball in December 2020, the West Virginia Power says baseball is coming back to the Capital City.

“The sun is going to shine here at Power Park, because the West Virginia Power officially today will join the Atlantic League, an innovative, professional parnter league. We’re thrilled to have you, thrilled,” Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said. “When the Power was in question, this is what we know because we saw this happen in our community – we saw people rally around each other, rally around this stadium.”

The team will join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball for the 2021 season, which will begin Friday, May 28. With the new league comes a new face. The team says Mark Minicozzi will now take over as the team’s manager, Andy Shea will take over as Managing Partner & CEO and Jesse Scaglion will be the club’s Chief Operating Officer. Officials say Tim Wilcox will stay on as a partner in the Power’s ownership group.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Power to the Atlantic League and to play a part in the baseball heritage of a community that has passionately supported baseball,” Atlantic League President Rick White said. “We are privileged to play in West Virginia’s capital city and congratulate the Power organization and all their fans. We look forward to the competitive play the Power will bring to the Atlantic League.”

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball was established in 1998 and focuses on presenting family-friendly entertainment in state-of-the-art facilities. The organization has seen nearly 1,000 players sign Major League Baseball contracts and more than 70 former coaches and players are now managers or coaches for the MLB.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the decision. The senator has been involved in working to protect the state’s teams since the MiLB restructuring was announced in November 2019. In December 2020, the team was officially cut as an affiliate.

“West Virginia Power has given West Virginia families countless hours of entertainment and family time, and I am incredibly pleased that these time-honored traditions will continue on in Charleston. Since November 2019 I’ve fought to save our baseball teams across the state and I am pleased that every team has found a league to call home. I am proud of the resiliency of the team and coaches and truly believe that the Atlantic League will give West Virginia Power the opportunity to grow and thrive. I look forward to seeing our team play at the Appalachian Power Park again soon,” Manchin said.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito also congratulated the team on its return to playing ball. When the announcement the team had been cut as an MiLB affiliate was made, she said she hoped families would be able “to hear ‘Play Ball’ again at Power Park.”

“I am thrilled that baseball will rightfully be back in Charleston,” Capito said. “America’s pastime is West Virginia’s too, and everyone who played a part in ensuring the team remained a part of our community here should be commended and congratulated. I’m looking forward to taking in some Atlantic League action in person this summer!”

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