Hagerstown Suns History
Baseball has been a staple in Hagerstown for the better part of the past century. In 1915, the Hagerstown Blues joined the Class D Blue Ridge League, where they remained for the next 16 seasons. Throughout this time, they won five pennants and donned four different names: the Blues, the Terriers, the Champs and the Hubs. One month into the 1931 season, the league disbanded and the Hubs moved to Parkersburg, W.Va.
Professional baseball returned to Hagerstown in 1941 when Owen Sterling moved his Detroit Tigers affiliate to town. The newly-named Hagerstown Owls (Owen, Win, Luck and Sterling) joined the Class B Interstate League. Gene Raney purchased the team from Sterling in 1950, and the renamed Hagerstown Braves became an affiliate of the Boston Braves.
The team moved to the Piedmont League in 1953 and once again had a name and affiliation change. The new Washington Senators affiliate, the Hagerstown Packets, competed until the league disbanded after the 1955 season.
Hagerstown was without a professional team until 1981 when Lou Eliopulos began the era of Hagerstown Suns baseball. The Baltimore Orioles affiliate competed in the Class A Carolina League, winning the league championship in its inaugural season.
The Suns became the Double-A affiliate for the Orioles in 1989 with a move to the Eastern League, where they remained until the team moved to Bowie, Md., in 1992.
Winston Blenckstone relocated his Myrtle Beach Hurricanes to Hagerstown in shortly after the Suns departure in 1992. This team was a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate and member of the Class A South Atlantic League. With the move, the Hurricanes became the new Hagerstown Suns.
The Suns remained affiliated with the Blue Jays until 2000 when a four-year partnership with the San Francisco Giants began under the new ownership of Andy Rayburn. Mandalay Entertainment Group purchased the team in 2002. Hagerstown once again changed affiliates in the 2005, having a two-year stint with the New York Mets before becoming a member of the Washington Nationals farm system in 2007.
A new ownership group with local ties, Hagerstown Baseball, LLC, purchased the Suns in September 2010. The group is led by Florida businessman and general manager of Polo Trace Country Club Bruce Quinn. Tony Dahbura, corporate vice president of Hub Labels in Hagerstown, Dr. Mitesh Kothari of Hagerstown, and Quinn's sister, Sheri, complete the group. Following the announcement of the new ownership, the Nationals renewed their affiliation with the Suns through 2012.