ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – After a number of Appalachian League titles won as the Elizabethton Twins, Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark will have a different team take the field tomorrow night: the Elizabethton River Riders!
Named for the Watauga River flowing right by the ballpark, the River Riders will open the 2021 Appy League season on Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a home game against the Greeneville Flyboys.
The league has transformed from a collection of minor league affiliates of Major League Baseball, to a group of teams operating under USA Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline. The teams are made up of college players coming from all across the country at all levels of the NCAA/NAIA.
The River Riders are led by head manager Kevin Riggs, who spent time coaching in a number of MLB organizations including the Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies. He was also drafted by the Cincinnati Reds as a player and played eight seasons in their organization.
The league includes 54 games throughout the summer, a midseason All-Star Game and a championship game set for early August.