The Bluefield Baseball Club of Bluefield, WV, announced their new name, the Bluefield Ridge Runners. They have also rolled out the new logo for this summer’s collegiate wood bat league team of the New Appalachian League. The league is comprised of 10 teams sponsored by USA Baseball and powered by MLB. The players in the league will be the top 320 college, non-draft-eligible college freshmen and sophomores.
The 97-year history of baseball in Bluefield continues with the rebranding effort. More than 125 names were submitted by fans and sponsors to rename the team for the future. After an exhaustive effort of due diligence, the list was pared down to five contenders. The final decision was made after all legal hurdles had been cleared and artwork for the logo was approved.
The new Ridge Runners name of the team is reflective of the rich railroad history of the Bluefield area. Bowen Field at Peters Park straddles the state line of Virginia and West Virginia as did the original namesake of the team. The original Ridge Runner in 1964 circumnavigated a one-mile loop atop East River Mountain, half in Virginia and half in West Virginia. The little train now resides just outside the right field wall of Bowen Field. On warm summer days, you can see and hear the excited passengers as the train makes its loop throughout Lottio Park.