The former Bluefield Blue Jays have announced its new moniker and logo as one of the latest of the Appalachian League teams. The Appalachian League turned into a collegiate wood bat league after MLB cut two levels of professional baseball in a money grab move.
The new name of the former Bluefield Blue Jays is Bluefield Ridge Runners. In a name the team contest, over 125 names were entered by the fans but Ridge Runners prevailed.
The new name of the team reflects the rich railroad history of the Bluefield area. Bowen Field at Peters Park stands on top of the state line of Virginia and West Virginia as did the original namesake of the team. The original Ridge Runner was a train in 1964 that ran a one mile loop atop East River Mountain, half in Virginia and half in West Virginia. The little train now can be seen outside the right field wall of Bowen Field. On warm summer days you can see and hear the sounds of the excited passengers as the train makes its loop throughout adjacent Lottio Park.
The club isn’t the first with a name that refers to railroad history. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, the Hartford Yardgoats and the Roundrock Express (although the latter is named after Nolan Ryan) are just a few examples.