CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced the Bluefield Ridge Runners as the recipient of the 2023 Patriot Award. The Patriot Award is presented to a club for outstanding support and engagement with the United States Armed Forces and veterans at the ballpark and in the community.
”The Bluefield Baseball Club/Bluefield Ridge Runners are honored to be the 2023 Appy League Patriot Award winner,” said Bluefield general manager Rocky Malamisura. “This award reflects our dedication and appreciation of our veterans, active duty personnel and our first responders in our area. We can never express enough gratitude for those members of our society who are and have been willing to put it all on the line to protect and defend.”
In 2023, the Ridge Runners hosted more than 200 local veterans, active duty service members and their families at Bowen Field. The team covered the price of admission, and each service representative received a custom service-themed insulated tumbler and a complimentary meal consisting of a hot dog, fries, drink and ice cream as an appreciation of their service. Additionally, the Ridge Runners provided the local American Legion Post a table where they could request donations and sell raffle tickets, in addition to hosting a classic car show.
“The Patriot Award is cherished by myself as a tribute to my father, who volunteered for Bluefield Baseball Club for over 50 years,” added Malamisura. “He was also a former Post Commander and Secretary of the American Legion Riley Vest Post #9, and a key member of Boys & Girls Club in West Virginia.”