Pulaski River Turtles prepare for their debut season in the new Appalachian League

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PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — This week, a new era of baseball begins for Pulaski!

First, the River Turtles will make their debut on the road at Danville on Thursday, June 3 before celebrating their home opener on Saturday, June 5.

In addition, Slider is the newest mascot set to welcome fans to Calfee Park this summer as the Pulaski River Turtles get set to take the field.

“It’s been such a long time coming for most it feels like an eternity since we’ve played baseball out here. For it to be just a few days away now, we’re almost there,” said River Turtles general manager JW Martin.

Along with Slider’s introduction came the unveiling of the team’s home jerseys, the latest reveal of a rebrand effort as Pulaski baseball transitions to its new identity as a collegiate summer league team.

“Whether it’s the signage they see here at the ballpark to the development of the logo to all of our merchandise, there’s a lot that has gone on behind the scenes these past few months. And a lot of work still to do. But we’re going to be ready,” said Martin.

While the design of the jerseys and the mascot took months to put together, these players only have a matter of hours to spend preparing for that first pitch Thursday in Danville.

“You know we did some research. My staff. We worked hard. We did some videos on these kids so we had a little bit of an idea of who’s coming but there’s a lot of kids. We’re going to learn, just like the fans, we’re gonna learn along with ya,” said River Turtles manager Clark Crist.

Crist brings over four decades of experience to Pulaski. While the goal will always be to win game, the River Turtles manager has a long term approach with his players.

“This staff that we put together is all professional people so we’re going to teach a professional atmosphere to these kids. How we play professional baseball…I know everybody here is just pinching themselves asking, how did I land here?…(it’s almost like someone gave you the keys to a new car?) Yeah you know it is. And I don’t want to wreck it. I want to do well,” said Crist.

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