Bluefield Blue Jays

  (Redirected from Bluefield Orioles)

The Bluefield Blue Jays were a minor league baseball team of the Rookie Appalachian League representing the twin cities of Bluefield, West Virginia, and Bluefield, Virginia.[1] The team played 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, was operated by the West Virginia city; however, Bowen Field lies entirely within Virginia.

Bluefield Blue Jays
19372020
Bluefield, Virginia
BluefieldBlueJays.PNGBluefieldBlueJayscap.PNG
Team logoCap insignia
Minor league affiliations
Class
  • Advanced Rookie (1963–2020)
  • Class D- (1957–1962)
  • Class D (1946–1955)
  • Class C (1942)
  • Class D (1937–1940)
League
Major league affiliations
Team
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 (2011–2020)
  • Bluefield Orioles (1958–2010)
  • Bluefield Dodgers (1957)
  • Bluefield Blue-Grays (1937–1942, 1946–1955)
ColorsBlue, White
BallparkBowen Field at Peters Park (1946–1955, 1957–2020)

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.[4]

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.[5][6] He holds the team's all-time records for batting average, on-base percentage (.377), and slugging percentage (.534).[7] In August 2013, Pillar became the first Bluefield Blue Jays alumnus to play in the major leagues for Toronto.[8]

The start of the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before ultimately being cancelled on June 30.[9][10] In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball beginning with the 2021 season, the Appalachian League was reorganized as a collegiate summer baseball league, and the Blue Jays were replaced by a new franchise in the revamped league designed rising college freshman and sophomores.[11]

PlayoffsEdit

Notable alumniEdit

Hall of Fame alumni

Notable alumni

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. ^ "MORNING UPDATE: Blue Jays fly into Bluefield to replace the Orioles". bdtonline.com. September 7, 2010. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Eric Sondheimer (November 9, 2011). "Baseball: Ex-Chaminade player Kevin Pillar to receive honor". latimes.com. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "2013 Prospect Watch". mlb.com. May 24, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "2012 Bluefield Blue Jays Media Guide". Retrieved August 19, 2013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2013-08-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "A Message From Pat O'Conner". Minor League Baseball. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  10. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  11. ^ "MLB, USA Baseball Announce New Format for Appalachian League". Major League Baseball. September 29, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.

External linksEdit