Prior to the season we heard word that the State College Spikes weren’t satisfied as a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate, and were considering looking for a new organization after the 2012 season when the deal expired between the two teams. According to Rob Biertempfel, the Spikes have signed a two year deal with St. Louis, making them a Cardinals affiliate. Earlier today, Biertempfel mentioned that the Pirates broke off talks with State College, and that they could sign with Jamestown or Batavia.
When the news first came out at the start of the season, there was talk that the Pirates could go a temporary location, and eventually move the team to Morgantown. That set up would be more convenient for the transactions between the two low-A affiliates, as Morgantown is less than three hours away from Charleston, WV, where the West Virginia Power play. That distance is three hours less than the distance between State College and Charleston.
In the process, the Pirates are leaving a good set up in State College. The stadium was one of the nicer minor league stadiums I’ve been to, which is notable since it’s a short-season stadium. A lot of the parks in the New York-Penn League are old and worn down, including Batavia and Jamestown. State College had an advantage because the baseball field was shared with Penn State’s baseball team. A team in Morgantown would most likely be shared with WVU’s baseball team, so the same conditions would probably exist. However, State College is set up to match the layout of PNC Park exactly, which made the Spikes a great fit for the Pirates. It will be interesting to see if they take the same approach with Morgantown, assuming that’s the eventual destination.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Do you think the pirates will make a move quickly? I could see them buying a franchise and moving it..thats what they did with bradenton…i have been to jamestown it is the worst baseball facility i have ever seen…
that sounds right up Nutting’s alley.
Washington’s stadium/facilities are not nearly as nice as most of the new NY-Penn League parks, such as State College, Brooklyn, Aberdeen, etc. And they don’t have natural grass. It’s field turf. Look for the Pirates to be in Jamestown, NY for one, maybe two years. The Jamestown franchise will move to Morgantown once WVU completes their baseball facility. Word around the minors is that Erie will move to short season ball within the next two years (NYP League) and that the Erie AA team will end up in Ottawa.
I’m sure the Washington, Pa. team could be had for cheap.
So who do you think is going to be the replacement?
Tim, Why don’t the bucs ever consider the Washington WildThings as an affiliate? Has that ever been discussed or is the Wildthings independant more lucrative than being a minor league club. If it’s not would they consider such an offer? It would be awesome to see some of the younger players playing in the Pirates backyard for a year.
The Wild Things are not doing well financially, as they have very poor attendance numbers. The Wild Things ownership group has plans to build a new ballpark in Bridgeport, WV in 2014. Whether they will move the Wash WT to there or have a 2nd team is still unknown. Probably depends on the next year or two financially for the WT.
And the attendance is terrible because the games are incredibly boring. It feels like you’re there for days just to watch a few innings. Unless they have fireworks on the weekends, most people leave around the 7th or 8th inning.
They’re an independent team. I believe they’d have to sell their franchise to the Pirates for that to happen.
I wonder if this will affect attendance at all. I probably won’t go to any games next year after this news.
I will attend a game or two but have not renewed my season tickets……
At least St. College has a choice LOL, no matter how much I whine about the Pirates they will always be my team.
I always wanted to get up there for a game….oh well. I snooze, I loooooooze.