Lexington Legends join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball

The Atlantic League is the first Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the Major Leagues

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WHITAKER BANK BALLPARK (Lexington, KY) — The Lexington Legends announced today that they have joined the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB).

The Atlantic League is the first Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the Major Leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing 42 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history.

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For the past 20 years the Lexington Legends have played in the South Atlantic League (SAL) as the Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros (2001-2012) and Kansas City Royals (2013-2020). The Legends drew over six million fans over during two decades in the SAL.

When the 2020 Minor League Baseball season was cancelled due to the novel Coronavirus Pandemic, the Legends were one of very few teams across the country to welcome in fans to watch professional baseball with the creation of The Battle of the Bourbon Trail. The Legends rosters were highlighted by future MLB Hall of Famer Brandon Phillips, seven players with MLB experience, and over 40 players with ties to communities across Kentucky.

“Joining the Atlantic League is the perfect next step for this franchise. We are beyond excited and thankful for the Atlantic League and Major League Baseball for assisting in making this happen. Fans can expect to see high caliber baseball, names they recognize, and players that are from Kentucky and the incredible college baseball programs in our state. We did extensive due diligence on what our next step should be. It was clear from the beginning that our fans, community and the game of baseball will continue in Lexington as a member of the premier MLB Partner League,” said Andy Shea, Lexington Legends President & CEO.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Lexington Legends as they join the Atlantic League in 2021,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations. “We have developed an excellent working relationship with the Legends and congratulate them on this next step for the franchise.”

“We are very excited to add such a high-caliber ballclub to our league,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “We congratulate Andy Shea and the entire Legends organization. The Legends bring a tradition of outstanding baseball, operating excellence and dedication to their community that make them a perfect fit for the ALPB.”

Fans can purchase tickets by visiting lexingtonlegends.com. ALPB season begins May 28, 2021. Promotional Schedule will be released soon.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com