The Hagerstown Suns (A Full Season, South Atlantic League affiliate of the Washington Nationals) have tried to get out of town in the past few years.
Several attempts to move to Celebrate Virginia South, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, but in all cases the plans fell through somehow. In Fredericksburg, the stadium plan was balked when it became clear that the costs would exceed the estimated $30 million, requiring more public funds. The attempted move to Spotsylvania stalled after the Suns and Spotsylvania could not come to terms.
So yesterday, the Hagerstown City Council announced that the Suns will stay put for the coming two years. They will pay $35,000 per year for the rent of Municipal Stadium. That money will be invested into the stadium for improvements. Municipal Stadium was built in 1930 in a time span of six weeks and is one of the oldest stadiums in the Minor League landscape.
The deal between the city of Hagerstown and the Suns is agreed in principle. The mayor and city council still has to vote on it before it is official.
The Suns are located in Hagerstown since 1981 after the club was puchased by Lou Eliopoulos (which probably explains the name Suns. Elios is Greek for Sun) and moved from Rocky Mount. From 1981 through 1988 the Suns played at A Full Season level. From 1989 through 1992 the team played in the AA Eastern League to return to the South Atlantic League in 1993.
Through the years the team has had various parent clubs: Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets and since 2007 the Nationals.
Many Major Leaguers spent time in Hagerstown, for example Bryce Harper, Mike Mussina, Storm Davis, Matt Cain, Vernon Wells and Steve Finley.