Princeton Rays

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Princeton Rays
Team name:  Princeton Pirates (1988-89)
Princeton Patriots (1990)
Princeton Reds (1991-96)
Princeton Devil Rays (1997-2008)
Princeton Rays (2009-Pres.)
Affiliation:  Pittsburgh (1988-89)
Co-Op (1990)
Cincinnati (1991-96)
Tampa Bay (1997-Pres.)
Location:  Princeton, WV (1988-Pres.)
Class:  Advanced-Rookie
League:  Appalachian League
Ballpark:  Hunnicutt Field (1997-Pres.)
First organizational game
June 18, 1997 vs. Bluefield

The Princeton Rays (formerly the Princeton Devil Rays) are Tampa Bay's minor league affiliate in the Advanced-Rookie Appalachian League.

Franchise History

With backing from Allen Coppinger (a supporter of the Bluefield team that resides in the same county) and then-Appalachian League President Bill Halstead, Princeton sent a small delegation to the Winter Meetings being held in Dallas, TX in 1987. Officials from the Pittsburgh Pirates visited the following month, and quickly announced intentions to field a team in the town.

Given only 5 months to prepare, the community managed to be ready for the beginning of the 1988 season, including building a new ballpark, Hunnicutt Field. Princeton began play in the Advanced-Rookie Appalachian League in 1988 as an affiliate of the Pirates, named after the parent club. The relationship with Pittsburgh lasted for only two seasons.

In 1990 Princeton fielded a Co-Op team, dubbed the Princeton Patriots, stocked with players from the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves organizations.

In 1991, Princeton regained full affiliation, this time with the Cincinnati Reds, and took the named of the new parent club. Later that year, then-team president Hames Thompson hired the franchise's first full-time employee, Jim Holland, to be the General Manager.[1] Holland has presided in that position since then.

Affiliation with Tampa Bay

Princetons's affiliation with Tampa Bay was announced on September 26, 1996[2], and has continued to the present.



  1. "Franchise History of Pro Baseball in Princeton". Princeton Devil Rays. Archived from the original on December 7, 2004. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  2. Topkin, Marc (September 27, 1996). "Rays add rookie team in Princeton, W.Va.". St. Petersburg Times: p. 4C. 

External Links