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Bluefield Blue Jays

The Bluefield Blue Jays are a minor league baseball team of the Rookie Appalachian League representing the twin cities of Bluefield, West Virginia, and Bluefield, Virginia, affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays.[1] The team plays their home games at Bowen Field at Peters Park, a historic stadium (opened in 1939) in Bluefield's city park. The park, which straddles the West Virginia–Virginia state line, is operated by the West Virginia city; however, Bowen Field lies entirely within Virginia.

Bluefield Blue Jays
Founded in 1937
Bluefield, Virginia
BluefieldBlueJays.PNG BluefieldBlueJayscap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Advanced Rookie (1963–present)
Previous
  • Class D- (1957–1962)
  • Class D (1946–1955)
  • Class C (1942)
  • Class D (1937–1940)
Minor league affiliations
League Appalachian League (1946–1955, 1957–present)
Division East Division
Previous leagues
Mountain State League (1937–1942)
Major league affiliations
Current Toronto Blue Jays (2011–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (14)
  • 1949
  • 1950
  • 1954
  • 1957
  • 1962
  • 1963
  • 1967
  • 1970
  • 1971
  • 1982
  • 1992
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 2001
Division titles (12)
  • 1971
  • 1974
  • 1976
  • 1982
  • 1992
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2011
  • 2017
Team data
Nickname Bluefield Blue Jays (2011–present)
Previous names
  • Bluefield Orioles (1958–2010)
  • Bluefield Dodgers (1957)
  • Bluefield Blue-Grays (1937–1942, 1946–1955)
Colors Blue, White
Ballpark Bowen Field at Peters Park (1946–1955, 1957–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Bluefield Baseball Club, Inc.
Manager Dennis Holmberg
General Manager Jeff Gray

Contents

HistoryEdit

On August 28, 2010, Andy MacPhail, then-president of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles announced that Baltimore was ending their affiliation with Bluefield and the Appalachian League, effective at the end of the 2010 Appalachian League season.[2][3] Bluefield's 53 season affiliation with the Orioles, which lasted from 1958 to 2010, had been the oldest continuous affiliation with the same major league franchise in Minor League Baseball.[3]

The Orioles were sometimes known as the "Baby Birds" or the "Baby O's", a reference to their major league parent club. One of the best known players to have played in Bluefield is Cal Ripken, Jr., who played with Bluefield in 1978 when he was 17 years old. Another famous former Baby Bird is Boog Powell, who played there in 1959, also as a 17-year-old.

Bluefield became an affiliate organization with Toronto for the 2011 season.

Outfielder Kevin Pillar played for the Bluefield Blue Jays in 2011, and batted .347, winning the Appalachian League batting title and leading the organization in batting average.[4][5] He holds the team's all-time records for batting average, on-base percentage (.377), and slugging percentage (.534).[6] In August 2013, Pillar became the first Bluefield Blue Jays alumnus to play in the major leagues for Toronto.[7]

PlayoffsEdit

Hall of Fame alumniEdit

Notable alumniEdit

  • Don Baylor (1967) MLB All-Star; 1979 AL Most Valuable Player
  • Dean Chance (1959) 2 x MLB All-Star; 1964 AL Cy Young Award
  • Jim Frey (1964–1965, MGR) 1984 NL Manager of the Year
  • Jim Johnson (2002–2003) MLB All-Star; 2012, 2013 MLB Saves Leader
  • Sparky Lyle (1964) 3 x MLB All-Star; 1977 AL Cy Young Award

RosterEdit

Bluefield Blue Jays roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 17 Jordan Barrett
  •  1 Maximo Castillo
  •  5 Jonathan Cheshire
  • 16 Joel Espinal
  • 31 Alvaro Galindo
  • -- Luke Gillingham (Military leave)
  • -- Travis Hosterman
  • 25 Kelyn Jose
  • 45 Turner Larkins
  • 29 Connor Law
  • 34 Mitch McKown
  • -- Elieser Medrano
  • 27 Jose Nova
  • 20 Tyler Olander
  •  4 Randy Pondler
  • 28 Elio Silva
  • 14 Ty Tice
  • 15 Josh Winckowski

Catchers

  • -- Garrett Custons (Military leave)
  • 22 Ryan Gold
  • 26 Reilly Johnson
  • 13 Yorman Rodriguez

Infielders

  • 38 Brandon Grudzielanek
  •  2 Sterling Guzman
  •  7 Jesus Navarro
  • 19 Ryan Noda
  • 37 Francisco Rodriguez
  • 33 Jesus Severino
  •  3 Kevin Smith

Outfielders

  • -- Alex Azor (Military leave)
  • 21 Mc Gregory Contreras
  • 24 Antony Fuentes
  • -- Jesus Gonzalez ‡
  •  9 Tanner Kirwer
  •  8 Freddy Rodriguez


Manager

Coaches

  • 11 Antonio Caceres (pitching)
  • -- Carlos Villalobos (hitting)


  7-day disabled list
* On Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated October 9, 2017
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Toronto Blue Jays minor league players

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Blue Jays fly into Bluefield to replace the Orioles". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. September 7, 2010. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Orioles leaving Bluefield". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. August 28, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Orioles out of Bluefield". Orioles Insider: Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ Eric Sondheimer (November 9, 2011). "Baseball: Ex-Chaminade player Kevin Pillar to receive honor". latimes.com. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ "2013 Prospect Watch". mlb.com. May 24, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ "2012 Bluefield Blue Jays Media Guide". Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ http://backinblue.kc-media.net/?p=7488

External linksEdit