From STAFF REPORTS
Johnson City Baseball unveiled their new team identity as the Johnson City Doughboys in their first rebrand since 1975. This opportunity comes as the Appalachian League’s format changed into a Collegiate Wooden Bat League.
“We are pleased to announce the Johnson City Doughboys as our new brand within the Boyd Sports Family,” Boyd Sports President Chris Allen said.
The Doughboys are nicknamed after World War I soldiers, the original name of the Johnson City Baseball.
“Bringing back a part of our history will resonate with our fans and the community which is an exciting journey that we are all able to share,” Zac Clark, Johnson City Doughboys General Manager announced.
Johnson City Doughboys will begin their season on Thursday, June 3, 2021, against the Bristol State Liners inside TVA Credit Union Ballpark.
In September 2020, the Appalachian League announced it would become a part of the Prospect Development Pipeline, the collaborative effort between MLB and USA Baseball that establishes a player development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States, and will be an integral part of the identification and development process for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
Appalachian League participants will receive extensive visibility to MLB Club scouts. Players will receive instruction from former MLB players to help prepare them for careers as professional athletes. Plans include a 54-game regular season and an annual All-Star Game.
MLB and USA Baseball will provide support for the league’s staffing, player participation and administrative functions. MLB and USA Baseball have already begun the process of identifying and inviting the top 320 players to participate in the 2021 Appalachian League.
“We are thrilled to partner with USA Baseball and the Appalachian League communities to create a one-of-a-kind summer league that will attract the nation’s top collegiate players and allow local fans to see top prospects and future big-league stars in their hometowns,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations, said. “This announcement continues MLB’s commitment to preserving and growing baseball in communities around the United States. The road to the big leagues now runs through Appalachia.”
To herald the start of the new format, each of the 10 teams in the Appalachian League decided to change their names and logos to incorporate symbols and images important to their respective local communities, to be adopted before the 2021 season.
The Blueridge team has become the Ridge Runners, Bristol has become the Bristol State Liners, the Burlington, North Carolina team has become the Burlington Sock Puppets, Elizabethton is now the River Riders, Greeneville is now the Flyboys, Kingsport is now the Axmen and Pulaski is the River Turtles. The Danville and Princeton teams are yet to announce its new names.
For more information and updates, go to https://www.mlb.com/appalachian-league.