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Major League Baseball and USA Baseball jointly announced today a new format for the Appalachian League, which will feature the nation’s top rising college freshmen and sophomores in wood-bat play each summer. 

Bill Sgrinia, director of parks and recreation for the City of Danville, welcomed the announcement.

“Danville has had a long tradition as a baseball community and is extremely excited about keeping quality baseball in the city,” Sgrinia said. “We greatly enjoyed having the Danville Braves as part of our community and are sad to see them leave.  However, we are appreciative of MLB and USA Baseball providing this opportunity for continued baseball in Danville. We look forward to a new team as part of the community." 

The Appalachian League will become a part of the Prospect Development Pipeline (“PDP”), 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 and other future national teams. 

Appalachian League participants will receive extensive visibility to MLB Club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology.  Players will receive instruction from former MLB players and educational programming designed to 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.  The parties are in communication with the NCAA to ensure athlete eligibility requirements are met. 

To herald the start of this exciting new format, each of the 10 teams in the Appalachian League has decided to undertake a process for changing their names and logos to incorporate symbols and images necessary to their respective local communities, to be adopted before the 2021 season.

MLB and USA Baseball have already begun identifying and inviting the top 320 players to participate in the 2021 Appalachian League.

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