Next season, the Pulaski Yankees will be led by their new general manager, JW Martin.
With the newly structured Appalachian League, the Yankees will also begin their leap into new territory with Martin replacing previous general manager Betsy Haugh.
James Williams Martin, who goes by JW, grew up in Marion. He went to Marion Senior High School, and eventually went on to attend Radford University, where he graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Media Studies.
Martin would start out as an intern in 2007 for Shelor Motor Mile’s speedway, and then in 2009, he would start full time.
Before taking the role of GM, Martin did take on a role for previous seasons at Calfee Park for the production team.
When it was announced that Haugh was moving on, Martin took the opportunity to transfer from the racetrack.
With all the new changes that are happening to the Appalachian League, Martin appears to be excited.
“I’m definitely excited. I think that because everything is new next year, with the transition that the Appalachian League is undergoing, and all the positive changes that are going along with that, I think that it will be a good time to get involved. I think it’s good for the town to enter a new chapter,” said Martin
To Martin, the idea of supplying the town of Pulaski with great baseball is important. One of the things that he talked about was the fact that players will be staying with the same team during the season instead of moving on to a higher classification.
Martin said that this will be great because it will allow for the players and the residents of the town to build relationships with each other.
The thing Martin brought up was his excitement over helping the community and bringing events to the Pulaski County area.
“Over the years, I’ve noticed how special events are. Not just on the baseball field or the racetrack but bringing together families and communities. There is a core group of people who are passionate about what’s going on, and there is just this sense of excitement of being involved in operations,” said Martin.
According to Martin, the goal is to bring a sense of escape from the realities of everyday life. Whether that be a monster truck show at the racetrack, or a movie night at Calfee, Martin says they will be there.
“It’s very rewarding being involved in operations, making an event and seeing it be successful,” said Martin.
When asked about certain goals that he has for the organization moving forward, Martin mentioned that he wanted to educate the fan base about the changes to the Appalachian League moving forward.
He stated just because there are changes, that it will still be the same baseball that the people of Pulaski County have grown accustomed to.
Along with bringing the same quality of baseball, Martin hopes the organization brings the same experience that the people of Pulaski County expect.
“People expect a lot when they come here, which they should, we’re a high class organization, and I think one of my goals is to build on that foundation, and to build upon David Hagan’s vision for the park,” said Martin
Martin also stated that one of the silver linings from the year 2020 was that he had to think outside the box when it came to approaching next season. According to Hagan, the organization is looking to bring around 38-45 events next year to the county.
Martin will continue in his goal to bring more events and quality to Pulaski County.
By LUCAS GOAD, The Patriot