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Mariners announce player development contract with Class A West Virginia

SEATTLE, Wash. - Seattle Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay announced today a new Player Development Contract with the West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League. The agreement is for two years, covering the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

"We are ecstatic to partner with the West Virginia Power," Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay said. "Our conversations with their leadership team immediately revealed that we have similar values and priorities. As with all of our affiliates, we will work to put the best possible product on the field with the goal of winning baseball games and playing meaningful games late in the season. Off of the field, we look forward to our community service responsibilities and will always value the relationships we will build with the fans."

SEATTLE, Wash. - Seattle Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay announced today a new Player Development Contract with the West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League. The agreement is for two years, covering the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

"We are ecstatic to partner with the West Virginia Power," Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay said. "Our conversations with their leadership team immediately revealed that we have similar values and priorities. As with all of our affiliates, we will work to put the best possible product on the field with the goal of winning baseball games and playing meaningful games late in the season. Off of the field, we look forward to our community service responsibilities and will always value the relationships we will build with the fans."

The Mariners enter into a two-year Player Development Contract with the West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League after spending the last 10 seasons in the Midwest League with the Clinton LumberKings. The Mariners had an affiliate in the Midwest League dating back to 1981 and will join the South Atlantic League for the first time in club history. The Mariners become the 7th different parent club that the West Virginia baseball club has had since it joined the South Atlantic League in 1987. Other Major League clubs that have been in West Virginia have been: Pittsburgh (2009-18), Milwaukee (2005-08), Toronto (2001-04), Kansas City (1999-2000), Cincinnati (1990-98) and Chicago-NL (1988-89). The Power plays their home games at Appalachian Power Park, in Charleston, West Virginia.

"Joining the Seattle Mariners family is an exciting moment for our franchise," said Power Executive Vice President Ken Fogel. "The Mariners boast a minor league system filled with talent that we cannot wait to showcase at Appalachian Power Park throughout 2019 and beyond. While we are grateful for the 10 years spent under the Pirates umbrella, we are excited to share this new opportunity with the city of Charleston and the surrounding fan base. We are confident that our partnership with the Mariners will bring unbridled success both on the field and in the community."

The history of professional baseball in Charleston dates back to 1910 with the Charleston Statesmen, though baseball was not always a constant. The city was without its favorite pastime from 1917 through 1930, during and shortly after World War II, 1965 until 1970, and for two years in the mid-1980's. The Charleston baseball club has been known by several names over the years. From its earliest incarnation as the Statesmen to a long run as the Senators (1912-61) to the Indians (1962-64) and the Charlies (1971-83), fans had an array of parent clubs, players and mascots to root for. After a short hiatus, the city saw baseball return as the Wheelers (1987-1994) and the Alley Cats (1995-2004) in the South Atlantic League.

"The opportunity to partner with the West Virginia Power is truly exciting for the entire Mariners organization," said Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jerry Dipoto. "The combination of quality, experienced baseball people and a beautiful ballpark in a capital city provide all of us with something to look forward to for 2019 and beyond."

Former Mariners catcher and current Player Development Special Assistant, Dan Wilson, made his professional debut with the Charleston Wheelers in 1990 after he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 7th round of the 1990 MLB June Draft. He also appeared in 52 games with Charleston in 1991.

The Mariners currently have Player Development contracts for all 7 of their minor league affiliates for the 2019 season: AAA Tacoma Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League, AA Arkansas in the Texas League, High-A Modesto in the California League, A West Virginia in the South Atlantic League, Short-A Everett in the Northwest League, Rookie Arizona League Mariners and Rookie Dominican Summer League Mariners.

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