Moosic, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders held a meet-and-greet event at PNC Field on Thursday, providing season-ticket holders, corporate sponsors and members of the Challenger Little League the chance to interact with New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. The baseball star was not the only important person in Moosic, however, as the RailRiders also introduced the team’s new local ownership group.
Led by co-managing owners David Blitzer and David Abrams, the team unveiled 21 members, all with strong ties to Northeastern Pennsylvania, who will participate in the RailRiders Advisory Council.
“It was so important to feel what the community feels,” said Bob Mills, a local investor and president of Petrochoice. “This is a local ownership team. This is a group of people that ranges from Luzerne to Lackawanna County. Some work here today. Some live here today. A lot grew up here.”
Abrams and Mills stressed the significance of making the team the community’s. They are proud to be joined by such a prestigious group of local individuals who have the desire to make the RailRiders the top organization in Minor League Baseball.
Though the group has no intentions of making any noticeably dramatic changes to the way the RailRiders do business, there is an evident desire to integrate the big-league Yankees into the culture at PNC Field. Bringing Teixeira to town was the first step.
“We’re going down to Spring Training in a couple weeks to meet with the Yankees and talk more about integrating and things that we can do,” Abrams said.
Grant Cagle, a co-principal of SWB Investors LLC, confirmed the RailRiders would remain 50-50 partners with the Yankees. The new owners recognize the advantage they have over other Triple-A clubs being associated with the world-famous ballclub.
Utilizing that Major League affiliation and their local ties to the community, the RailRiders are hopeful they can bring more fans out to the ballpark.
One local RailRiders fan believes they will benefit from becoming more embedded in the local Lackawanna County community.
“Even though they’re right here in our backyard, the RailRiders didn’t always feel like they were our team,” said Jimmy Skinner, a 10-year resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania. “With this new group of owners, hopefully that will all change.”