The Pittsburgh Pirates bid to get a Single-A team in Bradenton, FL has been approved by the Florida State League’s upper echelon.
Approved is the purchase of the Cincinnati Reds Class A team in Sarasota, FL. Pittsburgh already has their Spring Training facility and Gulf Coast League team in Bradenton as part of Pirate City.
“We are excited about this opportunity to bring the Cincinnati Reds organization to Lynchburg,” said Hillcats General Manager Paul Sunwall. “We look forward to forming a relationship with the Reds and bringing our fans baseball from a first class organization.”
In the agreement between both clubs, the Reds are now moving their Single-A affiliate to Lynchburg ,VA. The transition of the Hillcats can already be seen on the club’s minor league website.
“While the benefits to the Pirates and our partner, the city of Bradenton, were compelling,” said Pirates president Frank Coonelly, “we will be sad to leave the Lynchburg Hillcats, with whom we have had a tremendously productive relationship for the last 15 years.”
The Lynchburg Hillcats, who have been in the Pirates organization since 1995, has seen tremendous success in the Carolina League, winning League Championships in 1997, 2002, 2009.
What you can call great sportsmanship between clubs, the Hillcats’ approved the move; despite the fact one year remained on the contract.
The new Pirates club name, and logo have yet to introduced, though one can speculate that an announcement is to be made very shortly. According to the clubs website, there is no schedule at present date but it has been confirmed that opening night will be April 8, 2010 in a night game at McKechnie Field.
Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is also available for hire or freelance opportunities.
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I wonder if Sarasota’s going to get a team to fill the void in the renovations at Ed Smith Field in Sarasota? With the Pirates announcing opening night in McKechnie Field, that means the team’s moving a few miles up Tamiami Trail to Bradenton. The Orioles are taking the Reds place in Spring Training in Sarasota, but they like to keep their minor league teams close to Baltimore. Who knows? Perhaps the Ripkens will want to put a team in the Spring Training site in Sarasota.
Im not too sure if a team will reside there, but it does look like the Orioles will be holding Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium.
Check out this link about the Orioles recent purchase of the stadium.