Some Minor League Baseball teams across US facing elimination

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Some Minor League baseball teams across the United States are facing elimination, including one hometown's team, the Danville Braves.

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This week, a congressional task force called 'Save Minor League Baseball' was formed to show support to Virginia's Minor League teams. Wednesday, the Pulaski Yankees issued a press release to show appreciation for the congress men and women fighting for Minor League baseball.

Since 1990, there haven't been any notable changes to the contracts between the Major and Minor leagues. The Pulaski Yankees and the Salem Red Sox in our area are safe from elimination. However, the Danville Braves are not.

Betsy Haugh, General Manager of the Pulaski Yankees, said, "It puts us in a situation where we certainly are thankful to know we might survive this, but also where we want to be helpful and keep our league around as well."

Although nothing is set in stone, the proposal definitely has shaken up minor league employees, fans and even congressional members.

"What we are doing right now as a minor league baseball organization and collectively is really just fighting for our industry to survive as is, and be able to keep minor league baseball in those forty-two communities knowing how important and amazing they are for local communities," said Haugh.

The contract with the Major Leagues is still good through 2020, but if the proposal passes in 2021, the Danville Braves will no longer have any affiliation with the Atlanta Braves.

Jeff Lantz, Senior Communications Director for Minor League Baseball, says, "Most of those towns would become an independent-type league where the players are not under contract with any certain major league team. They are just kind of playing in hopes to be signed to a Major League team."

Lantz said they need to realize how important Minor League baseball is to our hometown communities.

"You're also cutting the front office employees, you're cutting the game day employees who work in the parking lot, sell hot dogs, sell tickets, there is a lot of people who depend on that income," said Lantz.

There is no word on when a decision will be made.

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