West Virginia Power Brings Baseball Back to Charleston; Become 8th Team in Atlantic League in 2021

In December, MLB did not extend an invitation to the West Virginia Power to continue its minor league affiliation; the franchise previously served as the Class-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in the South Atlantic League (SAL) in 2019.

But the Power organization did not panic, vowing to bring a team to the good people of Charleston. Today, the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced it has welcomed the Power to the association. The addition of the Charleston, West Virginia, club brings the league’s membership to eight teams for the 2021 Championship Season.

Managing Partner and CEO Andy Shea leads an ownership group that brought Power baseball back to Charleston. He said he could not be happier to join the Atlantic League and keep the Charleston pro baseball tradition alive. The franchise started in 1987 as the Charleston Wheelers and served as an affiliate of seven MLB teams. 

“We are very excited about joining the Atlantic League and bringing a significantly higher level of talent to the field,” Shea said in a press release. “Off the field, we are delighted to expand on the affordable family fun at Appalachian Power Park. The Atlantic League is the premier MLB Partner League, and we are sincerely grateful (to) the City of Charleston, State of West Virginia, and Major League Baseball for helping (to) make this happen. This is a truly great day for professional baseball in Charleston.”

Atlantic League President Rick White has worked tirelessly to place a quality product on the field and believes the Power will be part of the high-caliber of play and professionalism for which the ALPB has developed a reputation.  

“We are thrilled to welcome the Power to the Atlantic League and to play a part in the baseball heritage of a community that has passionately supported baseball,” White said. “We are privileged to play in West Virginia’s capital city and congratulate the Power organization and all their fans. We look forward to the competitive play the Power will bring to the Atlantic League.”

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin made it a top priority to keep pro baseball in the city, knowing how important baseball is to the community. 

“I am thrilled to say that we will continue to have baseball in the City of Charleston,” Shuler Goodwin said. “The West Virginia Power is a vibrant part of Charleston, and we’ve worked for a year to make sure they stayed in our Capital City.”

The Atlantic League is composed of eight teams in two divisions. West Virginia will play in the South Division alongside the Lexington Legends, High Point Rockers, and Gastonia Honey Hunters

On Friday, May 28, The Power will host the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in its first-ever ALPB home game. For more information, visit www.milb.com/west-virginia-power.

— Jerry Del Priore

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