Martinsville Mustangs

Martinsville Mustangs
Founded 2005
Home Field Hooker Field
Based in Martinsville, Virginia
Colors Navy Blue and Vegas Gold
League Coastal Plain League
League Titles 3rd Place - 2007
Head Coach Matt Duffy
General Manager James Taipalus

The Martinsville Mustangs are a baseball team in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The team plays its home games at Hooker Field in Martinsville, Virginia. The Mustangs first started participating in the Coastal Plain League during the 2005 season compiling a record of 22 wins and 34 losses. The Mustangs followed up their 2005 campaign winning both halves of the Western Division in 2006, posting a 35-16 overall record, falling to Wilson in the First Round of the Petitt Cup Tournament in Asheboro, NC. In 2007 the Mustangs finished 28-26 overall, placing sixth overall in the CPL. An amazing run in the Petitt Cup saw the Mustangs come up just one game short of playing for the championship, finishing a very respectable 3rd in the post season.

Founding Roles

The pre-professional baseball team was founded in 2005 after professional baseball pulled out of Martinsville following the 2003 season. In 2004, the City Council of Martinsville approved an effort to return baseball to Hooker Field with a city-owned franchise in the Coastal Plain League. In an October 2004 press conference, the council approved the purchase of a franchise and announced that then-city communications director Matt Hankins would serve as team president and lead the development of the team, including naming the team, hiring a general manager and selecting a coach, under the supervision of Assistant City Manager Wade Bartlett.

Hankins solicited public suggestions for a team name, drawing over 200 different responses and narrowing the list to six finalists. Using focus groups and community research, the list of potential mascots was narrowed to two: the Mallards or the Mustangs. He worked with Roanoke PR firm John Lambert Associates to develop potential logos, and worked with the Martinsville Bulletin to gather public input on the two choices. Based on nearly 80 percent support, the City announced that its baseball team would be known as the Martinsville Mustangs.

Following a search, Hankins hired Vancouver, BC, native and Mount Olive College assistant baseball coach Rob Watt to lead the Mustangs' initial season. Watt would lead the team's first three seasons, with assistants Alex Cherney (2005), Aaron Akin (2006) and Barry Powell (2007). Hankins added former Covington Lumberjack (Valley Baseball League) General Manager Doug Gibson in January to fill the same post in Martinsville.

Hankins ended his tenure with the team and city in October 2007 to enter municipal management with the Town of Rocky Mount, VA. Soon after, long time local baseball supporter Dr. Doug Christman took over the presidential duties.

In 2010 the Mustangs hired a new General Manager Jim Taipalus, only 21 years of age from the Golden Baseball League. Since the hire of Taipalus the Mustangs have set franchise records in season attendance, season revenue, single game attendance, and single game revenue.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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