The Huntington Cubs


At a 1989 news conference, Mayor Bobby Nelson pinned An "I Love Huntington?? Badge on
Dennis Bastien , owner of the Chicago Cubs rookie team coming to the City. 
In return, Bastien presented Nelson a Cubs baseball cap. 
The ream's stay in Huntington proved brief.


HUNTINGTON — In the early 1930s, Huntington had a homegrown minor league
baseball team, the Huntington Boosters, which played at League Park in the city’s
West End. The team finished dead last in the Class “C”
Mid-Atlantic League in 1932 and 1933.

In 1934, the Boosters became the Huntington Redbirds, a Cleveland Cardinals
farm team. With an infusion of talented new players supplied by the
Cardinals, the Redbirds won the 1935 Mid-Atlantic Championship.

The Redbirds ceased to be a Cleveland farm team when the historic 1937 Ohio River flood
destroyed League Park. Undaunted, Huntington joined several the West Virginia towns of
Beckley, Welch, Bluefield, Logan and Williamson to form the Mountain State League.
 Unfortunately, the state league became a 1942 casualty of World War II
and didn’t resume play after the war.

After an absence of 48 years, minor league ball returned to town in
 1990 when Mayor Bobby Nelson convinced the Chicago Cubs
to locate a rookie team in Huntington.

The Huntington Cubs played at St. Cloud Commons. Other than the ball field
and the grandstand, there were no facilities. Trailers served as locker
rooms and team offices. The Cubs selected Huntington on condition
 the city build a new minor league stadium to serve the
team and Marshall University baseball.

As sports historian Bob Barnett notes in his book “Hillside Fields:
A History of Sports in West Virginia,” the Cub players were
 good and the crowds were good,  but “the franchise was
moved to Wytheville, Virginia, after the 1994 season
 because the city was never able to build the
 promised stadium or even to upgrade
St. Cloud Commons.” 


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Dec. 10, 2018.


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