The Minnesota Twins have had a team in Elizabethton since 1974, and it's been one of the most accomplished in the league. The E-Twins have won ten league championships, the most recent in 2012, and are a perennial contender. But the on-field accomplishments haven't translated to the turnstiles -- Elizabethton has finished no better than 5th in attendance in the past five seasons.
Elizabethton's home park -- Joe O'Brien Field -- opened when the Twins arrived 43 years ago, and it's been showing its age for more than a decade. That, the middling attendance numbers, and the city's deliberate approach to funding upgrades to the ballpark have put the long-running Twins affiliation in jeopardy.
During the Princeton Rays' recent series at Elizabethton, I sat down with E-Twins General Manager Mike Mains for a candid, illuminating conversation on the future of professional baseball in a town of 14,000 people.
That interview will be aired in three parts, in the "Dugout Show" segment of the Princeton Rays' Pre-Game Show during the P-Rays series at Bluefield. The pre-game show begins at 6:45 pm EDT on Saturday, July 8th, 5:45 pm on Sunday, July 9th, and 6:45 pm on Monday, July 10th.
You can hear the pre-game show -- and the game -- online, on the Princeton Rays Network.