Once again an MLB club extended the Player Development Contract with its minor league affiliate with two more years through 2018. The number of two years seems to be rather standard. Extensions for longer terms only seem to happen halfway the contracts.
Anyhow, the Washington Nationals and their A Full Season affiliate of the Sally League (South Atlantic League), the Hagerstown Suns have decided to cooperate for two more years, starting in 2017.
The club that was home to Dutchie Spencer Kieboom and that may be home to his brother Carter any time soon, has been with the Nationals organization since 2007 when they turned their back on the Savannah SandGnats.
Since the start of their affiliation, the Suns have been rather successful. They are 669-620 (.519) since aligning with the Nationals, including three consecutive 80+ win seasons and three straight playoff berths from 2012 to 2014. In 2014, the Suns reached the South Atlantic League Finals before they lost to the Asheville Tourists. So far this season, the Suns went 43-27 (.614) to claim the South Atlantic League Northern Division title in the first half, clinching a spot in the postseason. The Suns also have the best overall record in the South Atlantic League at 71-49 (.592).
Both representatives of the Nats and the Suns shared pleasantries.
“Hagerstown has been a tremendous partner of ours,” Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Harris added. “From being Bryce Harper’s first professional home, to helping players like Wilmer Difo flourish, to raising the current wave of young talent impacting our organization at the big-league level, our relationship with the Suns has played a large role in our overall success.”
“We are very pleased with our partnership with the Washington Nationals,” Suns General Manager Travis Painter said. “We look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”
The Hagerstown Suns saw the light in 1981 as a co-op team in the Carolina League (A Advanced) with coaches from the Baltimore Orioles and players of the O’s, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. In their inaugural season the team won the Carolina League champioinship. In the 1982 season the club would become a Baltimore Orioles affiliation. That affiliation lasted through the 1992 season. The O’s were replaced in 1993 by the Toronto Blue Jays. After the 2000 season, the San Francisco Giants stepped in. That cooperation would only last three seasons before the New York Mets took over for two season (2005-2006). From 1989 through 1992 the Suns were a AA team in the Eastern League before they moved to the A Full Season South Atlantic League in 1993 where they reside until today.
Professional baseball dates back to 1896 when Hagerstown had a team in the Cumberland Valley League. The city also had teams in the Blue Ridge League, the Mid Atlantic League, the Inter State League and the Piemont League.