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Astros return home09/20/2010 3:06 PM ET
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - The Houston Astros (Astros) and the Oklahoma City RedHawks (RedHawks) today announced that the Astros will be returning as the Triple-A affiliate of the RedHawks. The Astros were the original Major League Baseball affiliate of the Oklahoma City Triple-A franchise from 1962 through 1972 and with over 150 games available in 2010 for broadcast; it gives the franchise a strong presence and fan base in the Oklahoma City market. This return of the Astros, together with last week's introduction of Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC (MBP) as the new owner of he RedHawks, brings great expectations and anticipation for the future of RedHawks baseball.
"We are very excited to have our Triple-A affiliation coming home to Oklahoma City," said Astros owner Drayton McLane. "There's a rich tradition of baseball in Oklahoma City, with strong ties to the Astros, so we expect great things in Oklahoma City." Tal Smith, Astros President of Baseball Operations added, "Oklahoma City is a perfect fit for our Triple-A affiliate and we are looking forward to working alongside our new partners at Mandalay Baseball, one of the premier owner/operators in Minor League Baseball, to bring a new level of energy and excitement to the RedHawks franchise."
Art Matin, MBP's CEO and President, commented, "We are thrilled to have the Astros returning to Oklahoma City as the RedHawks' affiliate. The combination of the close proximity to Houston, fan base and history of the Astros in Oklahoma City, TV coverage, other opportunities to draw a connection between the Astros and the RedHawks, and the success the Astros have enjoyed under Drayton McLane's ownership, make the Astros the logical Major League Baseball affiliate for the RedHawks. We anticipate a long and mutually rewarding relationship between the RedHawks and the Astros."
Members of the leadership team of the Astros will be joining representatives of MBP at the RedHawks Reception in the Venetian Ballroom at The Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City from 4:30p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22nd. The media is welcome to attend.
The Astros are currently enjoying late season success, in large part due to their player development system, which has graduated 12 rookies to the Major Leagues over the last two seasons.
The current Astros core group of players, which have produced the third-best record in the Major Leagues since the All-Star Break, are looking to continue a tradition of winning in Houston since McLane purchased the franchise in 1993. From 1993 to 2009, Houston ranked third in the National League and sixth in the Majors in winning percentage and has been to the playoffs six times, which included deep playoff runs in 2004 and the 2005 World Series appearance.
While the Astros strive to be champions on the field, an equal goal of the organization is to make a positive difference in the community. The club strives to achieve this through, among others things, their Astros in Action foundation, which has served in thousands of local projects and events, working to strengthen the community, while dispersing close to $5.0 million throughout the Houston region since 2000. The Astros winter caravan is another important project for Houston and its affiliates, showcasing current players, coaches and Astros legends at community events throughout the region, which include stops at affiliate ballparks including Oklahoma City in 2011.
ABOUT MANDALAY BASEBALL PROPERTIES, LLC
MBP is a national owner/operator of Minor League Baseball franchises. MBP currently owns and/or operates:
o Dayton Dragons (Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds)
o Erie SeaWolves (Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers)
o Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers)
o Hagerstown Suns (Single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals)
o Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros)
o Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
o Staten Island Yankees (Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
o MBP has also played a major role as lead consultant with the Winston-Salem Dash (Single-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) on the 2010 opening of their new $42M dollar BB&T Bank Ballpark