Kindred Communications teams up with Marshall Athletics for Tri-State Coal Cats baseball operations

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Huntington-based Kindred Communications and Marshall University Athletics are partnering to handle operational control of Tri-State Coal Cats Baseball.

The new member of the Appalachian League will play 24 games this summer at the new Jack Cook Field, the home of Marshall University Baseball. The opening game will be June 4 at 7 p.m. when the Coal Cats host the Pulaski River Turtles.

The inaugural Coal Cats season wraps up July 31 with a road game against the River Turtles.

The Coal Cats home games will be broadcast throughout the Tri-State on ESPN 94.1 FM and AM 930.

The Coal Cats are one of ten teams in the Appalachian League, a summer collegiate baseball league played in the heart of the Appalachian region of the United States that is part of the Major League Baseball and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline. The league is also an identification and selection opportunity for the following summer’s USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. The Appalachian League is one of the longest-running baseball leagues in the history of baseball, beginning in 1911 before transitioning into a short-season league for Minor League Baseball in 1957.

Kindred Communications President Mike Kirtner will also serve as the Coal Cats president while current Kindred employee Christian Palmer will be the team’s general manager.

Kirtner has previous experience in Minor League Baseball management as part of the former West Virginia Power ballclub in the South Atlantic League.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to be a part of Coal Cats Baseball,” Kirtner said. “This is the second go-around for me as far as being involved in Minor League Baseball. To have it return to Huntington is personally and professionally gratifying. It’s something that Kindred can do, and everyone can enjoy.”

“We’re thrilled to join with Kindred Communications as our partner on the management of our Major League Baseball affiliate Appalachian League team, the Tri-State Coal Cats,” Marshall University Director of Athletics Christian Spears said. “We know they will be tremendous stewards to our region and will be sincere partners in the goal of developing awesome opportunities for our region to enjoy baseball during June and July in a super-competitive league with future MLB prospects. I’m grateful to Mike and Reeves Kirtner for their vision and leadership.”

The Coal Cats have already planned a number of regular promotions as well as special promotions and giveaways.

The opening series with Pulaski will feature a magnetic schedule giveaway. The June 20 game with the Burlington Sock Puppets will feature a W.Va. Day salute for legendary West Virginians. There will be a Myrtle Beach Night on June 29. The final home game against the Danville Otterbots July 27 will be Fan Appreciation Night with multiple giveaways and fan Thank-You’s, including a team picture presented to all fans.

Regular promotions will include Paws in the Park on Tuesday when fans are encouraged to bring their pets to the ballpark. Wednesdays will be Dollar Dog Night, when fans can buy a hot dog for a dollar each with limited purchase quantities. Thursdays, fans can buy a beer for $2. After each Saturday game, there will be a party on the Jack Cook Field concourse with live music and Sunday games will include a chance for young fans to get on the field and run the bases.

There will also be entertainment and giveaways between innings with potato sack races, a bat spin race, Name That Tune trivia and a Dress Like a Player speed game.

Kindred Communications is made up of six radio stations and nine signals including WDGG 93.7 the Dawg, WCMI 92.7 & 98.5 the Planet, WMGA 97.9 the River, WXBW Big Buck Country 101.5, WRVC 94.1 FM & AM 930 and Cat Sports 93.3 FM & AM 1340, as well as The Insider magazine and Kindred Digital.

For more information about the Tri-State Coal Cats, visit and follow @TriStCoalCats on Twitter and Instagram.