BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The Bristol State Liners was announced as the name of Bristol’s entry in the newly-formatted Appalachian League earlier today.
The team will be operated by Bristol Baseball, Inc. (BBI). BBI is the non-profit all-volunteer charitable organization which has operated the team’s entry in the Appalachian League since 1969.
“We are proud to announce the identity of this new team and this newly-restructured league,” said BBI president Mahlon Luttrell.
“We are confident that our fans in Bristol and beyond will be pleased with the high caliber of play the State Liners will bring to the field this summer. We will have some of the top college players in the country, who as part of Major League Baseball and USA Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline, will be headed for the big leagues in a few years.”
“We are looking forward to sharing this new identity in the team name and logos with all of our fans and others in the community and region, and look forward to being able to share more information about the team’s operations in the coming weeks,” Luttrell continued.
The team’s name celebrates the unique nature of the Twin Cities and celebrates the 100th anniversary of Bristol’s return to the Appalachian League.
“After Bristol’s initial foray into the Appalachian League ended after the 1913 season, the city reentered the league in 1921 - exactly 100 years ago - as the then-newly renamed State Liners,” explained BBI’s General Counsel, Lucas Hobbs.
“The decision to return to the use of the State Liners as the team’s name celebrates not only the centennial of that return of baseball to Bristol, but also the uniqueness of our city, joining Tennessee and Virginia along the state line,” Hobbs continued.
Luttrell added that to further celebrate that historical connection, the team’s logos will use the same blue and red coloring that appear in the American flag, and will incorporate a cream which harkens back to a color found in many old-time baseball jerseys.
Beginning on June 3, hundreds of the nation’s top rising college freshman and sophomores will compete in the country’s premier collegiate wood bat league.
The State Liners will open the season in Johnson City on June 3 and will host their first home game the next evening.
The league will host an All-Star Game on July 27, with the regular season concluding on Aug. 7. A league championship game will follow on Aug. 9.