More baseball coming to Sockville

Burlington to host a second summer team in Sockville
ONSL Mediawall Tease-min

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- As the 2024 baseball season approaches in Alamance County, the Burlington Sock Puppets and parent-organization, Knuckleball Entertainment, are excited to announce that a second summer collegiate team will call Burlington Athletic Stadium home. Effective for the upcoming season, this new team marks the expansion of Burlington Baseball into the Old North State League, the first Partner League of the Players League. This will include an additional 13 home openers at Burlington Athletic Stadium, coinciding with when the Sock Puppets' Appalachian League team is on the road.

Since the Sock Puppets inaugural launch in 2021, the team has continued to have incredible on the field and off the field success. The Sock Puppets have won the Appalachian League East Division and lost in the Championship Series in both 2022 and 2023. Locally, the Sock Puppets have become a strong community steward and seen an overall increase of nearly 70% between the last season of Burlington Royals (2019) and the 2023 Sock Puppets campaign. Nationally, the Sock Puppets have built a successful national brand and were recognized as the Appalachian League Organization of the Year in 2022.

Ryan Keur, who acquired Burlington Baseball in March, 2020 and led the rebrand of the Sock Puppets has made it the team’s mission “since Day 1 to be actively engaged members of the community 365 days a year and continue to be great stewards of Burlington Athletic Stadium,”. Keur mentioned, "adding an additional 13 home games to go along with our 24 Appalachian League home games is a big win for our community and our fans. We are appreciative of Alec Allred and the Old North State League for partnering with us here in Burlington to bring additional games to our stadiums.”

This second team will give college athletes another opportunity to develop and grow the game here in Burlington. "The ONSL is excited to announce the addition of Burlington Baseball Club to the league for the summer of 2024 and beyond,” said Eric Sibrizzi, Commissioner of the Old North State League. “Like Danville, in 2024, the team will be considered a part time member and expansion team and will be tagged as a full time member going into the summer of 2025. The city of Burlington has a super supportive fan base and we can't wait to see how they embrace the players and this organization!"

Burlington is now set to host 37 summer-collegiate games, the Region X JUCO regional tournament, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Baseball State Championships, and over a dozen of local high-school games this year. "With the continual investments by the City of Burlington into this stadium, we want to showcase Burlington as the epicenter of amateur baseball that provides constant opportunities to grow the game of baseball both in player development and fan involvement," Anderson Rathbun, General Manager of the Burlington Sock Puppets, said.

The new team brand name is set to be released on Thursday, March 7 and its debut Opening Weekend on Friday May 24th-Sunday May 26th. The full schedule will be released following the brand announcements. The release of the expansion team is the beginning of multiple exciting announcements the organization is set to make over the next month.