Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.

A decades-long wait for baseball fans in the Huntington Metro is finally over when summer league baseball returns in 2024.

While the expansion of the Appalachian League to Huntington has been known for months, the new name was unveiled Thursday morning on the MLB Network. The “Tri-State Coal Cats” team will play its home games at Marshall University’s new “Jack Cook Field.”

According to a press release from Marshall University Athletics, the Coal Cats name pays homage to West Virginia’s place as a leading producer of coal and the coal industry’s importance to the Appalachian Region.

While there is no history of coal mining in Cabell County, the city of Huntington itself was built on the river and rail transportation of black gold from the mines of southern West Virginia to the Ohio River and beyond.

MU Athletics Director of Graphic Design, Dylan Winters, intended the logo and marks to capture the symmetry between the Coal Cats, Marshall University, and Greater Appalachia.

The team’s color scheme includes “Coal Black,” “Cool Grey,” and “Marshall Green,” all of which pays homage to the heritage and history within Appalachia while tying it to its home in Huntington at Marshall University.

“The concept behind the Tri-State Coal Cats was to truly hit on the historical aspect of the Appalachian region,” Mr. Winters said. “With West Virginia being the largest coal-producing state in the eastern United States, the coal mining motif made perfect sense. The alliteration and nameplay makes way for one of the most unique team names in all of sports.”

The Coal Cat logo features a Marshall Green outline with Coal Black accents and a Cool Grey face that is highlighted by piercing Marshall Green eyes.

One of the most unique aspects of the design is the utilization of a miner’s pickaxe, which is the basis for the ‘T’ within the names ‘Tri-State’ and ‘Coal Cats.’

The Coal Cats make their diamond debut at Jack Cook Field on June 4 when the Pulaski River Turtles visit Huntington for Opening Day. Fans can purchase 2024 tickets HERE while also taking advantage of their first chance to purchase Tri-State Coal Cats team merchandise HERE

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