State College Spikes Retain MLB Affiliation in New MLB Draft League
(STATE COLLEGE, PA) - The State College Spikes will remain affiliated with Major League Baseball under a new structure as a founding member of the Major League Baseball Draft League. The league will be sanctioned by MLB and operated by Prep Baseball Report, with rosters stocked from draft-eligible collegiate players projected as premium selections in the MLB Draft.
The MLB Draft League embodies the evolution of the Spikes' membership in the 81-year-old New York-Penn League into a new, modern era, while continuing as the premier entry point for future major leaguers on their road to "The Show." Several of the Spikes' familiar NYPL foes have also joined the MLB Draft League as charter members, including the Williamsport Crosscutters, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the West Virginia Black Bears. The roster of five founding clubs is rounded out by the Trenton Thunder, formerly of the Class AA Eastern League.
The MLB Draft League is slated to have a 68-game schedule in its inaugural regular season as part of MLB's "Player Development Pipeline." Players in the league will receive extensive visibility to MLB Club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology, as well as instruction from former MLB players and educational programming designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes. MLB and PBR will provide support for the league's staffing, player participation and administrative functions.
Statements from Happy Valley Community Leaders and Elected Officials
Chuck Greenberg, State College Spikes Chairman and Managing Partner
"This is a new day for the State College Spikes, and a bright one that we are really excited about. The Major League Baseball Draft League is an innovative concept in player development, and we are honored to have been asked to be one of its founding members. We look forward to bringing the nation's top draft-eligible players to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park this summer, and we look forward to partnering with MLB and PBR to create an environment in which the very best collegiate players can engage in intense competition for the attention of all MLB clubs during draft season. With the support of our fans, the MLB Draft League will be the premier place to see these future major league stars testing themselves against one another as they take their first step towards Major League Baseball."
Morgan Sword, MLB Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations
"We are thrilled to partner with Prep Baseball Report and the founding members of the MLB Draft League to create a one-of-a-kind league that will attract the nation's top players who are eligible for each year's MLB Draft and allow local fans to see top prospects and future big-league stars in their hometowns. This announcement continues MLB's commitment to preserving and growing baseball in communities around the United States."
Scott Walker, State College Spikes General Manager
"Thanks to the Major League Baseball Draft League, State College Spikes fans can see high-quality baseball while still experiencing the fun, affordable family entertainment they have come to know and love at a Spikes game. Our community's enthusiastic support during the #SaveOurSpikes campaign has given us this opportunity to once again show the entire baseball world that Happy Valley provides the ideal location for developing future major league stars. We are excited to step up to the plate for our 15th Season of Making Deer Friends in 2021, and we urge our friends and neighbors across Happy Valley to come together once again at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Together, we can make the Spikes and the MLB Draft League viable for many years to come."
Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12), U.S. House of Representatives
"I am thrilled to hear that the Spikes will continue in State College as a member of the Major League Baseball Draft League. Baseball brings so many people together, and the Spikes have proven to be a vital community partner and provide affordable entertainment in central Pennsylvania. The news that the Spikes will retain Major League Baseball affiliation is a promising indication that this important part of our community has a bright future ahead."
Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson (PA-15), U.S. House of Representatives
"The Spikes are a staple of the Centre Region, fueling the economy, supporting local causes, and providing affordable family entertainment. I am happy to learn about the agreement with MLB and will be grateful for baseball continuing in State College."
Jake Corman, Interim President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania State Senate
"The State College Spikes have been a pillar of the community as a place to enjoy affordable, family-friendly entertainment and recreation since day one. The Spikes have created a positive impact on our local economy while also forging deep connections in our community as a gathering place for fans across the region. The formation of the Major League Baseball Draft League will enable the Spikes to continue serving as a great community partner on and off the field while providing the best environment for baseball's future stars to grow and develop as they start their journey to the big leagues. My family and I look forward to enjoying many more Spikes games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park."
Kerry Benninghoff, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives Majority Leader
"The State College Spikes are an integral part of the Centre County community and have served as a premier proving ground for many Major League Baseball players. I applaud Major League Baseball for adapting to these unprecedented times and utilizing outside-the-box thinking to ensure young baseball players can receive the development they need to become tomorrow's stars while keeping baseball in State College. I look forward to seeing baseball played at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College this year and for years to come."
Michael Pipe, Mark Higgins, and Steve Dershem, Centre County Board of Commissioners
"The Centre County Commissioners are pleased to hear the State College Spikes will be retaining Major League Baseball affiliation. Many thanks to all of the individuals and groups who supported the #SaveOurSpikes campaign. State College Spikes baseball is a Centre County gem. Not only is their family-friendly entertainment enjoyed and appreciated by tens of thousands of Central Pennsylvania residents, the Spikes organization contributes to our community as a longtime supporter of numerous local charities and fundraiser for many deserving causes. Terrific news!"
Fritz Smith, President & CEO, The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau
"The State College Spikes' continued affiliation with Major League Baseball is welcome news for the community and all who supported the #SaveOurSpikes initiative. We haven't had too much to celebrate in 2020. The return of affordable, family friendly entertainment is something we can look forward to post-COVID-19 and is important to our economic recovery efforts. State College Spikes baseball is an asset for local residents, as well as for those visiting Happy Valley. We are thrilled by this announcement."
Vern Squier, President and CEO, CBICC
"As our community continues to rebuild and restart its economic engine, the announcement of the State College Spikes' new deal with Major League Baseball is terrific news! This announcement will play an exemplary role in encouraging a look forward in decisions about the future.
"Long considered America's favorite pastime, local fans will look forward to resuming rooting for the home team....a much needed recovery from current times."
• Discuss this story on the Major League Baseball Draft League message board...
Major League Baseball Draft League Stories from November 30, 2020
- State College Spikes Retain MLB Affiliation in New MLB Draft League - State College Spikes
- MLB to launch league for Draft prospects - MLBDL
- Crosscutters Continue Affiliation with Major League Baseball in New MLB Draft League - Williamsport Crosscutters
- West Virginia Black Bears Retain Affiliation with MLB as Founding Member of the Major League Baseball Draft League - West Virginia Black Bears
- Trenton Thunder Join New MLB Draft League for 2021 Season - Trenton Thunder
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
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