Shorebirds to affiliate with Orioles

September 21, 1996|By Kent Baker

The Delmarva Shorebirds will hold a news conference Tuesday at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury to announce their change of affiliation from the Montreal Expos to the Orioles farm system for 1997.

The Single-A South Atlantic League team recently completed its season, losing in the championship series to the Savannah Sand Gnats, three games to one. Officials of Maryland Baseball Partnership Limited Inc., which owns the franchise, wanted to wait until the Expos' players had finished before revealing the change.

It has been a poorly kept secret. When MBPL purchased the team and moved it from Albany, Ga., to Salisbury, the Shorebirds were dressed in Orioles-type uniforms.

Officials close to the situation confirmed the change and said several Orioles front-office members will be at the news conference.

Delmarva will replace High Desert of the Single-A California League in the Orioles farm system to give it more balance. High Desert and Frederick of the Single-A Carolina League are considered to be at an equivalent level of development, a factor that hurt both teams two years ago because there weren't enough quality players to stock both teams. The South Atlantic League includes players a step below that level.

A two-year contract between the Orioles and High Desert expired after this season.

The Shorebirds set a South Atlantic League attendance record of 315,011 in 65 dates this season. The high was 10,293 at a Sept. 1 game against the Hagerstown Suns.

Pub Date: 9/21/96

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